VOA 1分ニュース スクリプト 12/04/25

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International diplomat Kofi Annan has expressed concern about news reports that Syrian security forces have launched attacks in civilian areas. These areas were recently visited by United Nations soldiers trying to observe a week truce in the government's fight against rebels. UN diplomats say Mr. Annan commented Tuesday in a closed-door meeting with the Security Council. They report that Mr. Annan said he has heard news reports that Syrian troops fired automatic weapons and killed a number of people in the city of Hama on Monday. He said if the killings are confirmed they would be what he calls “totally unacceptable and reprehensible.”



South Sudan says the next few days will be very important to avoid an all out war with its northern neighbor, Sudan. During a visit to China, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir talked to Chinese President Hu Jintao about the situation. He said Sudan's bombings of the South, even after South Sudanese troops withdrew from a disputed oil town are a declaration of war. Mr. Hu called for restraint from both sides. Chinese state television later reported that Mr. Hu said he hoped both Sudans will end conflicts along their border and settle their issues through peaceful negotiations. The administration of President Obama condemned Sudan's military movements into South Sudan and called on the two governments to agree to a ceasefire.



A new study shows that sub-Saharan Africa is sitting on a huge area of underground water. Scientists who studied the area estimate that three hundred million people in Africa do not have safe drinking water. They say the new research shows that part of the srolution lies under their feet. The water under the ground is believed to be more than one hundred times the yearly renewable fresh water available in Africa and twenty times that which is stored in fresh water lakes. Maps produced by the British Geological Survey and University College London show that Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Sudan could be sitting on groundwater supplies tens of meters deep. Scientists predict the demand for water will grow very fast with the growth of the population.



The United States has confirmed a case of mad cow disease in the western state of California. Mad cow disease attacks the brains of infected cattle and can be spread to humans who eat meat from a diseased animal. The new case was found at a farm that sells milk. The chief animal officer for the Department of Agriculture said human health was not threatened. John Clifford said the cow's milk would not spread the disease to humans. He also said the laboratory results would be shared with the World Organization for Animal Health. Mr. Clifford noted that there were only twenty-nine cases of the disease in the world last year. There were thirty-seven thousand cases in nineteen ninety-two.



The United States Justice Department says a former employee of the oil company BP has been arrested for destroying evidence about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in twenty ten. A Justice Department statement said that fifty-year-old Kurt Mix of Texas was charged with blocking justice. Investigators say that the former BP engineer removed more than three hundred written messages from his telephone. The messages dealt with the amount of pollution spilling into the water as BP struggled to stop the oil leak off the southern coast of the United States. He is the first person charged in an investigation of the worst underwater oil spill in American history. He could face up to forty years in prison and a half-million-dollar fine.