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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  January 17, 2013 6:00am-6:30am PST

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welcome to nhk world "newsline." a rescue operation is under who. the army has been trying to free the captives. various reports say some hostages escaped and some have died in the rescue operation.
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the militants attacked the plant on wednesday. 1,000 kilometers of the capital algiers. they kidnapped an unconfirmed number of people and were in a standoff with the algerian army. the governments of norway, france and japan say the citizens are among the captives. reuters news agency is reporting 25 foreign nationals escaped. it says two japanese citizens among them. algerian tv station says 40 algerians are also free. a news agency has also been reporting the militants said algerian army helicopters launched attacks. the militants had been threatening to kill the hostages if the army intensified its assault. they demanded france end the military campaign in neighboring mali. the french government has yet to issue an official response.
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the algerian government says it will not negotiate with the hostage takers. the british firm bp and other foreign companies operate the natural gas facility. investigators looking into the emergency landing of a 787 dreamliner in japan have found evidence smoke did appear inside the aircraft. officials weren't immediately able to confirm that on wednesday after the boeing plane landed. the incident prompted japanese, american and european aviation authorities to order airlines to ground all 787s in operation. a team from japan's transport safety board tried to figure out why cockpit instruments indicated the presence of smoke on the all nippon airways 787. flight controllers at the airport also reported smoke coming from the plane, but ana officials said the crew didn't see anything. however, a passenger took a photo after the plane was evacuated. the image shows an outlet in the storage space for the plane's front wheels.
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smoke appears to be there. investigators have found soot on two exhaust outlets, which they say likely came from smoke. one outlet is designed to operate if smoke is detected in compartments where batteries are installed. the other is used to control air pressure in the passenger cabin. inspectors removed a battery from electrical equipment bay beneath the cockpit. an earlier check found bulges in the battery container and dark traces of liquid that had seeped out. the team suspects overheating caused electrolyte to leak from the battery. inspectors say it is 5 kilograms lighter than it is supposed to be. japanese manufacturer gsyuasa supplies the lithium batteries for the dreamliner. they say the electrolyte is made from gasoline and can ignite if it overheats.
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boeing selected the japanese batteries to increase fuel efficiency. the crew uses them to start the plane's engines. the batteries are designed to vent excess heat, but the spokespersons say there is a possibility they can overheat if exposed to electric currents beyond their design specifications. japan, u.s. and european aviation authorities have grounded their fleets. aviation authorities in the u.s. and japan are conducting investigations. boeing's spokespersons say they are committed to finding answers as quickly as possible. they say they have so far received orders for 848 dreamliners from more than 50 airlines worldwide. political deadlock in pakistan between the government and judiciary shows no sign of easing. patchari raksawong has this update on the situation. >> the pakistani government's
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anti-corruption chief has rejected an order from the supreme court for the arrest of prime minister raja pervez ashraf. the political climate remains tense as anti-government demonstrations in islamabad entered their fourth day. local media reported that the head of the national accountability bureau, fasih bokhari, declined to arrest the prime minister. bokhari apparently told the supreme court that his investigations are incomplete. the court's demand for the arrest of prime minister rocked pakistan on tuesday. the order relates to charges ashraf took bribes when he was minister for water and power. meanwhile, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters remain camped out near parliament. protest leader and muslim cleric mohammad kadri has labeled the government a bunch of thieves and demanded they resign. >> translator: god heard our prayers and has saved us. we have pledged ourself to kodri. we won't turn back until we
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achieve change. we won't go back even if it rains, even if they spray us with teargas or bullets. >> some sources allege the protests have the covert support of the military. speculation is rife that military chiefs are colluding with the supreme court to topple the government. residents of jakarta woke up on thursday to find the city flooded. torrential rain paralyzed parts of the indonesian capital. more than 15,000 people were forced from their homes. flooding affected swaths of jakarta and its satellite cities. authorities say at least five people were killed. downtown houses and offices and schools were inundated. streets were gridlocked and many businesses and government offices stayed closed as people struggled to get to work. >> translator: i can't go anywhere. i have to skip work today. >> translator: almost everything is inundated. the traffic is terrible and the water comes up to my knees.
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>> heavy rains have pounded jakarta since last week. in some neighborhoods, floods are nothing new. but weather officials say this year's rainy season has been the wettest in five years. and they warn the situation could get worse in the coming days. japan's prime minister shinzo abe is continuing his visit to southeast asia. on thursday, he was here in thailand, the second stop on his first overseas trip since taking office last month. abe says his government places importance on relations with asean but how do asean governments view japan? nhk world's takuma yoshioka asked a respected commentator in singapore. >> reporter: this is the dean of the school of public policy and a former diplomat. he served as singapore's ambassador to the united nations. he's known for his frank opinions. and he expressed his opinions
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about japanese foreign policy towards the asean region. >> i don't think japan ever saw asean as a great priority. in fact, in japan's world view, you know, america is number one and europe is number two. and asean was way low in the priorities, you know. and i think the key thing for japanese policymakers to understand today is that today europe represents the past. america represents the present. and asia, including southeast asia, represents the future. this is now the future of the world. >> reporter: southeast nations are gaining confidence thanks to their rising economic power. leaders from china frequently
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visits member nations of asean. three years ago, china and asean abolished most bilateral free trade agreements and tariffs. the deal created the world's largest free trade zone where the combined population of 1.9 billion people. mahbubani says the trade agreement represented a diplomatic defeat for japan. >> it's interesting that the first country to propose a free trade agreement with asean was not japan. it should have been japan. japan should be one step ahead of china in its dealings with asean. as the southeast asian countries want to diversify their portfolio, they want to do more with japan. the question is, is japan ready to reciprocate? is japan ready to make new initiatives? for example, if china was the
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first country to propose a bilateral fda with asean, why doesn't japan become the first country to produce a trial fda but in japan, asean and india? this requires diplomatic initiative, courage, imagination. and that's sometimes missing in japan. >> reporter: but mahbubani also pointed to the advantage japan holds over china and hinted at what asean expects from japan. >> japanese culture is extremely attractive. and people love japanese culture. so when you talk of soft power, soft power comes from culture. and the japanese people can come and do more in southeast asia. but you got to decide that southeast asia is the future, is a priority.
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>> reporter: asean nations want deeper ties with both china and japan. it's a huge balancing act. and how japan will respond remains unclear. nhk world, singapore. that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. a japanese government panel has drafted a guideline for compiling next year's budget. it states that national bond issuance should be kept to a minimum but no cap was given. according to a draft obtained by nhk, members of the council of economic and fiscal policy call for a budget that could significantly intensify reconstruction efforts from the march 2011 disaster. it says the budget process should shift from a mere distribution of reduced budget
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to creating a cycle of growth and wealth. it also says the goal is to overcome the negative impact of the strong yen and deflation and to create a strong economy with growth in jobs and income. on the other hand, the council states the government needs to achieve the primary balance by reducing the deficit to half by fiscal 2015. but the draft fell short of setting a specific limit on the issuance of japanese government bonds to finance the budget, as the previous administration of the democratic party did. it only urges the government to keep bond issues to a minimum. executives at struggling chipmaker renesas electronics say they need to slash their workforce even further. they're planning a 10% staff cut through a voluntary retirement program. renesas is one of the world's largest suppliers of microcontroller chips. managers told the company's labor union that they'll offer early retirement to about 3,000 employees aged 40 and older.
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the plan is part of restructuring efforts put in place after the company reached a deal on a rescue package with investors. the deal will allow renesas to receive about $2.3 billion from a state-backed fund and several business partners. the chipmaker cut 7,400 jobs through an early retirement program in october. japan's nissan motor will slash domestic prices on its electric cars. that's to boost sluggish sales of these eco friendly vehicles. nissan says it will lower prices on all three of its electric models by $3,160 starting in april. the cheapest model will then be $25,000. that's with the government subsidy for buyers of eco-friendly cars. the automaker hopes that the price reduction together with the release of a cheaper model last november will help to spur demand for electric vehicles. nissan marketed its first electric cars in 2010. the firm has been promoting them as the automobile of the next
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generation. since then cumulative sales have stayed sluggish at a mere 21,000 units. that's due to their relatively high price and limited range for each battery charge. business leaders from japan, china and south korea gathered in seoul as the three nations are about to start negotiations for a free trade deal. the meeting on thursday was organized by a seoul-based secretariat that enhances trilateral cooperation. about 350 government officials and businesspeople attended. >> translator: closer business ties will have a positive impact on the three nation's politics and diplomatic relations. >> translator: we hope the businesspeople gathered here will become the cornerstone for goodwill among the three nations through their strong friendship. >> japan, china and south korea declared last november that they will begin talks for a free
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trade agreement. working level negotiations are expected to start in the first half of this year. many participants echoed these views and voiced the importance of closed or private sector cooperation for better diplomatic relations. people in western japan marked wednesday the 18th anniversary of the deadly 1995 earthquake that devastated the area around kobe city. local communities held ceremonies to remember the nearly 6,500 victims of the disaster. crowds fell silent at 5:46 a.m., the exact time the great earthquake struck.
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families and friends of the victims arranged candles in a kobe park to form the numbers 1 and 17. they represent the month and date the quake struck on january 17th. they also arranged lanterns in the shape of the numbers 3 and 11 marking the month and date of the earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern japan in march 2011. >> about 300 people including some affected by the march 11th disaster attended another ceremony in kobe. the governor told them he will his utmost to prepare for the next massive quake so the tragedy won't be repeated. kobe is relatively young city and over 40% of the citizens
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have no memory of the 1995 disaster. survivors are trying to share their experiences with the next generation. scientists say a massive earthquake could some day strike japan's pacific coast. many predict it would cause more destruction than the kobe disaster and claim up to 320,000 lives. students in one community want to help people prepare by learning about the past. nhk world's satio saguta tells us more. >> reporter: a display shows the horrors of the earthquake 18 years ago in kobe. everything from fallen roofs to burning houses. students from wakayama prefecture western japan are here to view the exhibit. like her classmates, 14-year-old natsumi shioji is keen to know
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about the disaster that happened before she was born. >> this is amazing. >> reporter: they heard from a veteran firefighter. >> translator: in just an instant, scores of people were trapped under collapsed buildings. we didn't have enough fire engines to cope. about 95% of the rescued people were pulled out from the rubble by their neighbors. >> translator: i was able to learn how people suffered and how they helped each other. >> reporter: nastsumi lives in wack yeah ma prefecture. experts say it will be hit by fierce tremors and a tsunami three stories high will roll through. after classes, matsumi and other students learn about past quakes.
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>> translator: let's compare the great honchin quake and the great east japan quake. >> reporter: they learned the tremors lasted a short time but during northeastern japan's quake in 1994, some places shook for over four minutes. they will experience shaking followed by a massive tsunami. it won't be the first time a quake has struck the area. this temple holds records of an earthquake and tsunami that struck more than 300 years ago. inscription says waves as tall as mountains swept through. one after the tremor. 162 people died. there were mountain slides. the ground cracked and people became frantic.
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>> reporter: the students are making their own hazard map. it contains information like areas most likely to flood. they plan to give copies to residents. >> translator: where do we flee to? >> translator: to higher ground. >> translator: what if there's a landslide? >> translator: we want to use what we learned in preparing for a kuwait and we want to get that information to other people, too. >> reporter: studies previous disasters, a new generation learns how to cope with the next one. a lesson that will save lives. saguya, nhk world, wakayama. government officials in japan have spent a lot of time and money trying to bring down the country's suicide rate. now they're seeing some results. the number of people who killed themselves in 2012 fell below 30,000 for the first time in 15
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years. national police agency spokespersons say 27,766 people committed suicide last year. that's down more than 2,800 from the previous year or 9.4%. annual suicides had exceeded 30,000 since 1998. they peaked at more than 34,000 in 2003. of last year's total more than 19,000 were men and about 8,500 were women. 18% were in their 60s, the highest of any age bracket. people in their 40s and 50s each account for 17%. 14% were in their 30s. national police agency representatives say most suicides were because of health problems. other reasons included financial or family troubles. japanese leaders consider suicide a major social issue and they have implemented many prevention measures over the years. still, the number of suicides kept rising, so last year
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officials started putting greater emphasis on community-based efforts that reflect different social economic circumstances. they also prioritized strengthening suicide prevention programs for young people and for individuals who had tried to kill themselves in the past. >> translator: the largest contributing factor to the fall in the number of people taking their lives is progress in enforcing anti-suicide measures in municipalities, but i caution against complacency and urge speedier implementation of measures to address the reality. thousands of people waiting to go home. tons of debris waiting for disposal. vast tracts of land waiting to be restored. overcoming the challenges of japan's 2011 disaster won't be easy, but step by step, people are moving forward. find out how on "the road ahead"
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every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time right here on "newsline." meteorologist robert speta is here to tell us who will be affected by the latest cold snap in eastern asia. robert? >> well, gene, it's exactly that happening across much of eastern asia. it's a cold snap, which means it is getting really cold really quickly. down to minus 32 degrees and show you what's coming out of hoek do. some of first ice flow seen by thursday morning. this is actually 31 days earlier than last year. and the ninth earliest observation since that started in 1959. now, it does look like it will continue to move down here but the good news, talking about strong northerly winds and breaks up the ice flow. really make it easier for any shipping traffic to go through but more is on the way.
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further down towards the south, nagano, you have been seeing heavy snowfall last several days. one report out of the region, 50 centimeters. upwards of 70 centimeters accumulating in next 24 hours. this is ski country and you enjoy the powder when it comes down but anybody not traveling in to the mountains for that is going to be really hazardous situation. further out here towards the west, cold temperatures across china. that gradient between the high pressure and the low there towards the east, that is bringing some very gusty winds. in okinawa, sustained winds at 55 kilometers, some gusts up to 80. in to the forecast over next several days, could be seeing winds upwards of 100 kilometers per hour and very cold, very breezy as far south as the philippines. temperatures in to the teens and some areas might be seeing single digits here. hong kong with a high of 17. shanghai, up to 6 only and seoul
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just as the freezing mark. tokyo also in to the single digit there is on the friday. now, to move over towards the america, main feature is this cloud cover. down towards the south, seeing some rain right near the gulf coast and also snowfall. actually around portions of mississippi, alabama. seeing several cent meet earls accumulate up here, towards the appalachia mountains. thises w, here in to europe, we are also talking about a little break in the weather across
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portions of -- possibly going in to friday. the next storm system is coming in and this is going to bring snowfall. and some of the portions and central uk, upwards of 25 centimeters. london, about 5 to 10 centimeters. due to moist air frorororo
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