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tv   Newsline  PBS  October 21, 2013 6:00am-6:31am PDT

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in tokyo, this is "newsline." i'm james tengan in tokyo. here are some of the stories we're following this hour. the search for the missing is once again under way as residents brace for the possibility that more storms are approaching. workers at the fukushima daiichi are checking the effects of rainwater that spilled over barriers. some of it contained dangerous
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levels of a radioactive substance. smog has disrupted transportation in northeastern china and forced some schools to shut down. rescue workers have resumed their search for missing people on izu oshima in south tokyo. 28 people were killed and 18 went missing last week after torrential rains from typhoon wipha triggered floods and a major landslide. now the islanders are preparing for not one, but two additional storms. nhk world's suzuki reports. >> reporter: authorities on izu oshima have issued advisories in effect since saturday, due to heavy rain. >> translator: we haven't bathed in two days. we want to change our clothes. >> reporter: about 1,200 rescuers have resumed their search for the missing from last week's landslide.
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they include police officers, firefighters and self-defense force units. the islanders have no time to relax. a typhoon and a severe tropical storm are approaching japan, meaning they have to prepare for another evacuation. some are busy piling up sandbags to protect their houses and shops from flooding. workers at this inn are boarding up windows and doors. they're anticipating strong winds and heavy rain. >> translator: we heard two more tropical storms are heading our way. we are preparing as best we can before another evacuation. >> reporter: residents are concerned. 75-year-old yoshimi lives alone
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in the area hit hardest by last week's landslide. he's worried the mountain behind his home could collapse again. >> translator: i'm worried that i'm not safe. >> reporter: yoshimi said elderly residents must be given enough time to evacuate. one of the storms threatening the island is typhoon francisco. it's expected to approach japan later this week. authorities on izu oshima are especially concerned about keeping the residents informed in a timely manner to prevent a recurrence of last week's tragedy. nhk world, tokyo. recent heavy rains in japan are creating more problems for workers at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. rainwater has accumulated in containment areas around tanks storing radioactive water. it has spilled outside those areas. some of the spilled water
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contained unsafe levels of a radioactive substance. here is the report. >> reporter: workers at fukushima daiichi have been struggling for months with leaks of contaminated water. now they're dealing with another problem -- rain. they saw a heavy downpour last week during the typhoon. and on sunday, another storm brought more than 100 millimeters of rain. all that water built up inside barriers surrounding tanks that store contaminated water. workers discovered it had flowed over the barriers at 11 spots. in six areas, they detected levels of radioactive strontium above the government safety limit. the highest rating was more than 70 times the standard. now the workers are trying to find out whether some of the water flowed through ditches and into the pacific ocean. the barriers are designed to
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contain any tainted water that leaks from the tanks. the walls are fitted with drainage pipes. initially whenever it rains, workers open the pipes to discharge rainwater. but in august, they found that 300 tons of highly radioactive water had leaked from one of the tanks. it traveled through a pipe to the area beyond the barrier. workers decided to shut off all the pipes and pump out any water that collected inside the containment area. they now check the pumped-out water for radioactivity. heavy rains are making their job a lot harder. managers plan to install more pumps around the tanks to make sure they can deal with any amount of water. they say they don't want to get called oupt the next time a storm hits. nhk world. school children in northeastern china are getting an unexpected holiday.
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severe air pollution in the city of harbin is causing officials to shut down schools. heavy smog began shrouding the city over the weekend. officials have been measuring levels of the pollutant pm 2.5, they say the density sunday night exceeded 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter. the levels in some areas were so high they couldn't be accurately measured. officials here in japan advise people to stay indoors when the daily average is likely to exceed 70 micrograms. administrators in harbin have closed all primary and middle schools. and officials suspended bus services. they began providing central heating to homes over the weekend. some say a sharp rise in the amount of coal burned for the service is causing the smog. a series of suicide bombings
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in iraq has killed at least 50 people and wounded 70. sectarian violence has been escalating and sunnis are increasingly frustrated with the primarily shia government. one of the attacks took place at a cafe in southern baghdad on sunday night. security authorities say the blast killed at least 37 people and injured 42. the authorities say the cafe in the mainly shia district of the capital was led by a group leading to al qaeda. bombings in a town 300 kilometers northwest of baghdad and another north of the capital killed at least ten people and injured dozens. gunmen have attacked wedding guests at a church near cairo, killing at least four people, including an 8-year-old girl. egyptian security authorities say two masked men on a motorcycle opened fire. 17 people were injured.
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they've been targets of attacks since the ouster of mohamed morsi in july. police say supporters of morsi and his islamist group the muslim brotherhood are responsible. a human rights group is calling for international talks to address concerns about so-called killer robots, or weapons that can decide by themselves to attack. human rights watch made the appeal in a statement monday. representatives of the group urged the u.s. and other countries to hold talks to ensure that humans retain control over decisions to target and use force against others. they said urgent international action is needed before killer robots evolve from a science fiction nightmare into a deadly reality. the u.s. and britain are developing technology to make their weapons more awe ton moss, allowing them to engage targets
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without human instruction. they said it could lead to uncontrolled indiscriminate killing. last wednesday more than # 70 engineers and artificial cyber experts called for a ban on developing killer robots. more violence hit pakistan on monday as a bomb struck a passenger train in the southwest of the country, leaving several people dead. we have the report from bangkok. the bomb apparently planted on a railway line exploded and derailed the train. the a.p. news agency said five people were killed and ten others injured. it happened monday morning, 300 kilometers east of kuwaita, the capital of the province. the express train was traveling between kuwaita near the capital islamabad. so far, no one has claimed responsibility. but local separatists demanding
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the independence of the city have been behind the recent terror strikes. the province has also seen insurgent attacks on minority shia muslims there. terrorist attacks in pakistan have killed as many as 40,000 people over the last decade. and security was one of the key issues in may's general election. against the back drop of a tense domestic situation in pakistan, the u.s. government is looking to resume providing the country with security assistance. support has been suspended since relations between the two countries were soured over the killing of al qaeda leader osama bin laden in pakistan in 2011. the move comes as pakistani prime minister shareef met secretary of state john kerry in washington. it's sharif's first trip to the u.s. since he took office in may. >> we have a lot to talk about, the relationship with pakistan could not be more important, on
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its own, a democracy that is working hard to get its economy moving, and deal with insurgency, and also important to the regional stability. >> a u.s. state department spokesperson said the government has asked congress to approve over $300 million in security assistance for pakistan. relations appear to be showing signs of improvement after a series of major setbacks in recent years. the most significant falling out came when the obama administration failed to consult islamabad for killing osama bin laden on pakistani soil. insurgents have been launching attacks in afghanistan. the militants are believed to be hiding in pakistan's mountainous tribal areas, on the border between the two countries. american combat troops are scheduled to leave afghanistan by the end of 2014.
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the u.s. expects its security assistance f pakistan will be used to boost military operations on the border to keep the insurgents at bay. shareef is scheduled to meet u.s. president barack obama on wednesday. security support issues will be on the agenda. the prosecution at a special tribunal in cambodia asked on monday for life sentences for two cammer rouge leaders. they're accused of forcing people to move from cities to farming villages. it's the first sentencing demand made to the court since it was set up by the united nations in the cambodian government seven years ago. the regime is alleged to have used forced labor in the 1970s, resulting in the deaths of more than 1.7 million cambodians. the accused are the architect of the regime's etiology, and its head of state. prosecutors demanded life in prison. they said the defendants cannot
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escape responsibility as they were among the regime's central figures. cambodia has no death penalty. >> translator: i'm very happy. today the prosecutors asked that the accused be punished with life imprisonment. this is what i want to see, and it would give me justice. >> the court is hearing the cases against the defendants separately. the cammer rouge seized the capital phnom penh in 1975 after defeating a pro-u.s. regime. it regarded residents as enemies of the revolution putting them in forced labor in farm villages. sentencing is scheduled for mid-2014. no date has been set for trials on other charges, including those connected to the deaths. concerns are rising that the court may not be able to
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consider charges against all the regime leaders as the defendants are now elderly. that wraps up our bulletin. japan's economic recovery appears to be filtering through the country. officials at the bank of japan have upgraded their assessment for all nine regions. the boj manager said in a report on monday that quarterly economic indicators across the nation improved, since their previous assessment back in july. they said personal consumption in five of the nine regions grew, thanks to strong sales of new cars and luxury items at department stores. the managers revised their assessment of industrial outputs upwards in eight regions. they said production of steel and transport machinery increased. nearly half of the regions reported improvements in employment and income due to bigger bonuses and overtime pay.
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it's the first time since april for the upgrade for all nine regions. some japanese bullet trains are getting an upgrade. a railway company showed the media how it's increasing safety features in case of a major earthquake. it's been refining the braking system on the n-700 models. a company official explained the process after a plant in central japan. the 80 trains will get the 15% boost to their braking power the official also said the system is designed to activate quicker in the event of an earthquake. the railway company aims to complete the work by the end of march 2016. they project it to cost $230 million. japanese cosmetics maker kenebo will step up the whitening products. it will help affected customers
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as fewer people are coming forward with skin trouble. it has been four months since the maker began product recalls. kanebo said as of october 13th, nearly 15,200 people had reported skin problems. that number is up more than 1,200 from two weeks before. officials are to revisit affected people to check their conditions and introduce experts who can give consultation on long-term treatments. the company also plans to distribute a newly developed foundation that can cover the blotches. kanebo said it will release the latest information on the skin problems on its website every monday. let's now take a look at the latest market figures.
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in other news, members of a group had engaged in hate speech. they said they were exercising their freedom of expression. earlier this month a district court ruled that the group had engaged in hate speech in 2009 and 2010. they had been protesting near a korean school near kyoto. the activities they said were a form of racial discrimination which is banned under an international convention. it ordered them to pay about $120,000 in damages, and stop engaging in such activities near the school. the group's lawyer filed an appeal and admitted that the demonstrations included insulting words and acts but said some parts constituted political opinion. the lawyer also said freedom of expression should be respected.
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a lawyer for the korean school says the conduct was vicious, and discriminatory under the guise of political freedom. japanese officials want to make the internet safer, especially for people who do their banking online. they're working with private companies on a new cybersecurity initiative. authorities at the communications ministry are teaming up with 11 internet service providers. they're developing a system that sends warnings when users try to access fraudulent websites. information security firms will keep track of malicious websites. officials are responding to a rise in cyber crime hackers have been using virus infected computers to steal user information from online banks. tokyo police authorities say the damage so far this year has reached more than $7 million. that's already double the record set in all of 2011.
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many people rely on smartphones, tablet computers and gps to get through their day. but some japanese researchers are questioning the value and the cost of all the convenience. >> reporter: people love gadgets that make life more convenient, but some people feel that too much convenience may also have its drawbacks. >> translator: i used to be able to remember phone numbers. but now i can't. >> translator: i'm getting worse at writing by hand. >> reporter: does convenience always improve our lives? a team of researchers at kyoto university disagrees. >> translator: please, come in. hello. >> reporter: these men conduct research into what they call the
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benefit of inconvenience. they've also developed instruments that reflect this idea. >> translator: this is a prime number ruler. >> reporter: at first glance, it looks like an ordinary ruler. but the measurements follow a sequence of prime numbers, 2, 3, 5, 7, and so on. this is how it's used. >> translator: to make a line one centimeter long, you draw the distance between 2 and 3. for the two-centimeter line, draw the distance between 3 and 5. in other words, to find the right length, you subtract. by leaving out the usual numbers on the ruler, we've made it inconvenient by design. this forces users to think a little, and come up with their own ideas.
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>> reporter: gps navigation systems are very convenient, especially when you're in an unfamiliar place. but aren't we all losing the ability to find the way on our own? >> translator: so we thought up this navigation system. >> reporter: parts of the map are no longer visible. once you've gone down a street, it gradually fades out. the more you pass through an area, the less the map is visible. so you can't rely on the map the next time you walk down this road. >> translator: as you walk, the map fades. so you need to pay more attention to your surroundings. you might get a bit lost. but this creates a clearer mental image of the actual area. one you'll retain. >> reporter: the researchers
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often brainstorm other ideas that might give rise to inconvenience. on this day, the theme is inconvenient television. >> translator: how about making people pay for each program? >> translator: yes, so children don't spend too long watching tv. >> reporter: a lot of inconvenient ideas are thrown out. >> translator: a television that gives you no choice of channels. >> translator: that sounds good. >> reporter: in the past, people only had one television per household, and there were arguments about what to watch. but that meant people used to talk to each other more. >> translator: we're picking up on ideas that got thrown out because people thought they were inconvenient. if we look at inconvenience as interesting, we see that inconvenience has benefits. and we can appreciate it.
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>> reporter: to prove his point, he doesn't use a watch or a cell phone. it may be a daring step to embrace inconvenience like this, but it could help to enrich our lives. >> interesting approach. here in tokyo, it's overcast with the current temperature reading around 19 degrees celsius, or 66 degrees fahrenheit. standing by is robert speta with news on typhoon francisco, which is headed for japan. >> all right. now, actually towards the southeast of okinawa, but you're right it is coming off towards the northwest. it will be impacting the okinawa and much of the islands going into wednesday here, as it does track off to the northwest. right now, though, winds at 162, gusting up to 234 kilometers per hour. a fairly strong system here. it is expected to weaken, as it does move off to the northwest. but still, you're going to be seeing pretty strong tropical storm strength winds across
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okinawa. and you could see three to six meter high waves. i think that will be the major threat as it turns to the northeast, it impacts mainland japan by friday and actually into saturday later on this week. not moving very fast at all, this storm system. it's going to bring some heavy rainfall out here. a lot of the moisture gets pushed off to the northern per rify. what it means is we'll see a widespread area of heavy rainfall. this stops right at about the 72-hour mark. if you just extrapolate that and move it to the northeast, that's how much rainfall we're going to be seeing, even extending over to tokyo later on in the week. we definitely want to keep an eye on that. we do have this low pressure area coming out of mongolia. that will affect our storm system thursday into friday. but for now it's dragging a lot of cold air behind it. kuala lumpur, just of there for your high. south into the new south wales
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of australia, definitely very serious situation still ongoing here towards the west of sydney in the blue mountains. we've been seeing these fires burn. it's not this cloud cover here, but i want to show you what's happening on the ground here in the blue mountains towards the west of sydney, where these fires in australia continue to burn on monday, with some reaching emergency levels. but firefighters say their efforts to prevent the fires from leaking up and creating a super blaze are working. an estimated 2,000 firefighters are battling more than 60 blazes. and one man has died. 200 homes have been damaged, and another 120 have also been damaged, actually, 200 homes have been destroyed at this time. serious situation. residents are packing up some of their belongings and evacuating from these fires as well. still ongoing. good news is, right now we're seeing better weather. but going into tuesday and wednesday, that is going to be drastically changing. we have this system moving through that stationary
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boundary. then another low is coming through. that's going to bring a cold front. tuesday into wednesday, we'll see pretty gusty winds out here. not just the hot temperatures. these winds and that dry air and that kindle already on the ground is going to be fueling these flames. a very serious fire threat, still fire ban in effect across all of new south wales. please don't go out here and burn anything. let the firefighters do their job as this continues to kick up. if you're traveling to sydney, check in on that over the weekend. there were numerous flight cancellations, delays due to the westerly wind. it reduced the visibility at the airport there. something to keep an eye on. let's talk about hurricane raymond, still bringing heavy rainfall around the coastal areas there in mexico. acapulco, you could see about # 00 millimeters of rain. serious risk of flooding as this major hurricane lingers near the coastline. that will head back out to sea. also heavy snowfall around the great lakes. most of it will be reserved toward ontario. 10 to 15 centimeters.
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toward western portions of new york and pennsylvania, lake-effect snow will kick up tuesday into wednesday. 5 to 10 centimeters could fall in isolated areas. let's look at your world weather. here's your extended forecast. and that was the news from tokyo. from all of us here on
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"newsline," thanks for watching.
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two and a half years after the east japan earthquake, all kinds of recovery efforts are still going on in the stricken areas. this is the third time for this italian journalist to visit the tohoku region since the disaster. she started gathering information for an italian newspaper immediately after the earthquake. italy, her home country, is also


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