tv Newsline LINKTV November 19, 2013 5:00am-5:31am PST
welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. explosions in beirut cause carnage and destruction near the iranian embassy. the latest attack, lebanon believed to be linked so syria's civil war. world powers push for talks between syrian officials and rebel leaders as the fighting continues to take a to
the people in charge of fukushima daiichi say damaged to fuel rods could complicate their efforts to decommission the nuclear plant. emergency medical teams rushed to a corner of thecapita deal with the bloody aftermath of two explosions. the blasts happened near the iranian embassy, killing at least 20 people. it's the latest attack that's believed to be a result of the civil war in syria. lebanon state-run news agency is reporting that along with the dead, the explosions wounded about 100 others. lebanese media say the blasts happened within minutes of each other and that one of them was caused by a car bomb. the iranian embassy is situated in south beirut, which is controlled by lebanon's shia muslim militant group hezbollah. iran supports the group, and hezbollah is supporting troops loyal to syrian president bashar al assad who have been fighting against rebel forces.
the friction between hezbollah and sunni muslims in lebanon has intensified since hezbollah sent combatants to syria earlier this year. the explosions were the latest in a string of bomb attacks in lebanon. now inside syria, president assad's military is continuing its effort to stamp out opposition forces. and as the violence grinds on, more civilians are paying the price. nhk world's sho beppu is reporting this week inside the syrian capital, damascus. >> reporter: it's our fourth day in the capital, damascus, the heart of president bashar al assad's power base. at night streets are empty except for members of the security forces. each day we hear explosions coming from the outskirts of the city where the syrian army is on the offensive against opposition fighters.
syrians continue to suffer as the war rages on. this is a shelter for residents displaced by fighting. about 200 people are staying here. more than a dozen members of four families are crowded into a single room. >> translator: we've used up all our savings. i want to go home as soon as possible. >> reporter: the war and the sanctions imposed by western nations have shuttered the syrian economy. we saw plenty of meat and vegetables at this market, but residents say they can't afford to buy them because prices have risen so sharply. >> translator: everything from powdered milk to diapers costs ten times as much as it used to. it's really hard to get by.
>> reporter: syria's christian community has been a target of violence. last week a mortar attack on a school bus in the christian quarter killed four children. the government blames the attack on opposition forces. mourners at a local church attended a funeral for the children. >> translator: our kids have become angels in heaven. please, punish the people who did this. >> reporter: what started out as demonstrations against the assad regime has turned into a gruesome war. religious elements have entered into the conflict on both sides. we obtained this video of an islamic group opposed to assad's regime. it shows young people undergoing military training in the northern city of aleppo.
>> translator: you have to hold the gun as if it's part of your body. you should keep calm, or else you'll miss the target. the enemy is right in front of you. >> reporter: members of rebel groups like this one adhere to sharia law. they believe islamic principles should be the foundation of government. >> translator: we'll overflthro the assad regime and establish an islamic nation on this land. >> reporter: officials from the united states and syria's closest ally, russia, are trying to help end the conflict. they are hoping to organize peace talks by the end of the year. syria's information minister says he welcomes the idea and that the assad government will prevail. >> translator: opposition forces are staging mortar attacks near damascus just to draw media attention. government forces are winning battles in many regions.
>> reporter: although president assad remains defiant, opposition leaders continue to call for his departure. here in damascus, i sense no chance for a political breakthrough any time soon. and in the meantime, the killings continue. sho beppu, nhk world, damascus. japan's foreign minister says he's sending three experts from the self-defense forces to syria. they'll be there to inspect the process of destroying the country's chemical weapons. the minister's announcement follows an adoption on friday for the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons. they agreed to transport most of the stockpile out of the country by the end of the year and dispose of it. >> translator: global efforts are already under way to dispose of syria's chemical weapons arsenal, and japan will
cooperate with this as much as possible. >> he says the experts have worked for the opcw and have the necessary experience. they're expected to monitor the entire processor. japan's prime minister wants to speed things up with regard to free trade with europe. >> that's right, shinzo abe and european union leaders have agreed to step up talks on an economic partnership agreement. abe met with the eu president and the european commission president in tokyo. they agreed to seek an early conclusion in negotiations to work out an epa deal and strengthen bilateral economic relations. they also agreed to set up a meeting to create rules for the development of outer space. in addition, they reached an agreement to ease tensions in east asia in the midst of china's increased maritime activities. both parties included these points in a joint statement that they released after the talks.
chinese vice premier wen wang has welcomed a delegation now visiting beijing. it comes at a time when bilateral ties remain strained. it was the first time in two years that members of the japan/china economic association had met such a high-ranking chinese officials. wang greeted more than 100 japanese company executives at the chinese government central compound. he said that the visit is a sign that japan places emphasis on improving economic relations between the two countries. wang is also in charge of china's economic policies. the japanese group is believed to have proposed cooperation in promoting environmental protection and energy development. the delegation had first sought a meeting with premier chang, but china apparently decided it was too early to meet the japanese business leaders. let's get a check of the markets starting with currencies. weaker than expected data out of germany are putting a bit of
downward pressure on the euro. it fell against the dollar. the decline came after a survey showed that economic sentiment in germany rose to 54.6% in november from the previous month, but market participants had anticipated a higher number. euro/dollar right now at right around 1.3501. now, analysts also say that market players are looking for signs of improvement in the u.s. economy. u.s. retail sales data for october will be coming out on wednesday. dollar/yen ahead of that right now is at 99.84. turning to stocks now, profit taking emerging in key european markets. indices there had surged for the past three sessions. a bit different story today with frankfurt's dax down 0.4%. this after closing above the key 9,200 level for the first time ever the previous day. paris's cac 40 down by about 1%. asian markets finished mixed. chinese markets finished lower. the shanghai composite shed
about 0.2% while tokyo's nikkei fell 0.25%. japanese price farmers renewed called demanding that the government take more time to review a subsidy program that's set up for them. the policy was implemented 40 years ago to stop rice prices from falling. about 700 rice producers and agricultural cooperative officials gathered in tokyo. lawmakers from the governing coalition also attended the meeting. >> translator: this is a major turnaround of rice policy. the government should deal with it thoroughly and cautiously in order to prevent confusion among producers. >> now, the government aims to make the agricultural sector more competitive by ending the subsidy program by fiscal 2018. it also plans to sharply slash subsidies for farmers who take part in acreage reduction starting next year. lawmakers in japan's lower house have passed a bill to implement the country's economic growth strategy compiled back in
june. the bill calls for easing regulations on selected firms to make it easier for them to start new businesses. they will also establish a system that allows start-ups to confirm in advance what kind of regulations they would have to follow. this will help encourage businesses to enter medical and other highly regulated fields. prime minister shinzo abe has been saying the bill is crucial in carrying out his economic growth policies. well, the world's most powerful supercomputer is again made in china. that's according to the top 500 list issued by american and german experts every six months. developed by china's national university of defense technology led the latest rankings. it can perform 33.86 quadrillion calculations per second. the top five supercomputers on the list also remain unchanged from the previous rankings. u.s. systems took second, third and fifth places. japan's "k" supercomputer was in fourth position. in 2011 it headed the list.
the system was developed by fujitsu. all right. that is going to wrap it up for biz tonight. i'll leave you with the markets. delegates from more than 190 countries and regions are trying to find common ground on an issue that's affecting communities worldwide. they're meeting in warsaw to work out the details of a new framework for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. ministers and other negotiators at the united nations climate change talks have been debating the issue since last week.
the new framework will apply to all countries from 2020. it will replace the kyoto protocol which only binds some industrialized nations. environment ministers want to finalize an agreement in 2015. they'll discuss a time line for countries to submit their reduction targets. but they're yet to go into the specifics of the framework. under the kyoto protocol, japan pledged to reduce its emissions by an average of 6% by 2012 compared to 1990 levels. the environment minister says it's achieved that goal. some claim tokyo's new target for 2020 and beyond is too low. but he says it's important to note that japan's giving technical and financial help to developing countries to achieve their reduction targets. deep divisions remain among the parties meeting in warsaw. nhk world's reporter reports. >> reporter: kiribati is a small island nation in the pacific
ocean. by midcentury, rising ocean levels could leave 80% of the main island under water. many homes are already vulnerable to high tides. experts also point out a possible link between global warming and severe weather. a recent example was typhoon haiyan which devastated part of the philippines, leaving nearly 4,000 people dead and 1,600 more missing. a report from the international panel on climate change says that if countries fail to act, average temperatures on the planet could rise by up to 4.8 degrees by the end of the century. the international community has agreed to try to keep this temperature rise within two degrees. but officials at the u.n. environment program say the pace of current measures is too slow. in an emotional intervention, a negotiator from the philippines
urged his counterparts from around the world to act quickly. >> we can fix this. we can stop this madness right now, right here in the middle of this football field and stop moving the goalposts. >> reporter: the delegate went as far as starting a hunger strike to underline his commitment. other participants of the conference have decided to join him. >> and beyond. >> reporter: the purpose of this year's conference is to lay the groundwork for a new climate agreement that regulates greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020. u.n. officials hope the agreement can be signed in 2015. but so far, negotiators have failed to achieve real progress. european union and the united states disagree over when countries should submit their
commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions. and developing countries insist that mandatory measures should apply only to industrialized nations whom they consider historically responsible for global warming. developing countries are also demanding that a new fund be set up to help them deal with the adverse consequences of climate change. but many industrialized nations are reluctant to contribute additional funds. some experts are pessimistic about the prospect of an agreement before the end of the conference. >> ministers from the developed countries will be forced to propose something complete regarding government finance or government compensation to the damage caused by climate change. otherwise developing countries will push more strongly. it will be difficult to get any consensus or answer on this issue for each country. we have only four days to go,
and i'm not sure we have enough time. >> reporter: japan announced last week that it will be scaling down its self-imposed greenhouse gas reduction targets. the decision drew considerable international criticism, and it may serve as a pretext for other countries not to commit to ambitious targets. mitsuko nishikawa, nhk world. the people in charge of fukushima daiichi are facing some challenges in a difficult phase of their efforts to decommission the nuclear plant. workers have started removing fuel rods from a reactor building. and officials with tokyo electric power company say some of the rods are damaged. workers launched the operation on monday in the building housing reactor number 4. they lifted four assemblies of unused fuel rods and moved them into a container.
the accident at the plant two years ago left fragments of debris in the pool where the rods have been stored. the murky water forced workers to install underwater cameras so they could monitor what they were doing. they had to make sure the debris didn't do any damage. so they could only move the assemblies at a speed of one centimeter per second. the task took them more than three hours. the crews are planning to remove the fuel rods from all four reactors. more than 3,100 assemblies in all. tepco officials say 80 of those assemblies are damaged, most of them in the building housing reactor number 1. they say the units were damaged before the accident, but they don't know how. they say holes and cracks in them could cause radioactive particles to leak out and delay the process. tepco engineers are putting together specially sealed containers to allow crews to remove the damaged assemblies safely. the japanese defense minister has called on the public and private sectors to provide relief to the
typhoon-ravaged philippines. he said the self-defense forces will airlift 1 ton of supplies. they include paper diapers provided by the prefecture. >> translator: in case other prefectures, municipalities and groups offer to buy supplies, we'd like to do our best to deliver them immediately to the affected areas. >> japan decided last week to send its biggest ever sdf relief team of nearly 1,200 personnel. two vessels carrying the team left on monday. the new u.s. ambassador to japan has taken part in an elaborate ceremony to mark the start of her duties. caroline kennedy visited the emperor to present her credentials from washington. kennedy traveled to the imperial palace in a horse-drawn carriage sent by the imperial household agency. she smiled and waved to crowds along the way. kennedy gave emperor akahito.
she also submitted a notice of her predecessor's departure. the emperor shook hands with the new ambassador. >> i just was honored to present my credentials to his majesty, and i'm eager to begin work as ambassador. >> kennedy is the daughter of late u.s. president john f. kennedy. she's also it is first female u.s. ambassador to japan. german chancellor angela merkel has spoken before lawmakers in her country about suspected u.s. eavesdropping. she said allegations that agents tapped her cell phone are serious, and she wants an explanation. merkel made a speech before lawmakers, began debating allegations of wide-ranging surveillance by the u.s. national security agency. she said the revelations have strained ties between the u.s. and europe, and negotiations on a transatlantic free trade agreeme
agreement. >> translator: the allegations are serious and should be investigated. the more important thing is to rebuild trust between our countries for the future. >> some lawmakers suggested bringing former nsa contractor edward snowden to germany to testify. snowden leaked extensive information about u.s. surveillance programs. he's living under temporary asylum in russia. there's a big winter storm in northeastern asia. our meteorologist, robert speta, has been following the situation. robert, what are we looking at? >> gene, right now, it has already been bringing heavy snowfall. in northeastern china, take a look at the map, especially around harbin, you saw up to over 20 centimeters of snowfall in the past 24 hours. even along the sea of japan coastline. it's not just the snow in the higher elevations. it's the gusty winds. even thunderstorms are spotting along the coastline there of northern honchu. and that looks like it will be lingering.
northeastern china should be tapering off for wednesday, even for far east russia. we have that sea-effect snow, that cold air moving over the warmer waters, and it condenses and up and over 30 centimeters could be expected. the good news, this is ski country. a lot of the resorts will be looking forward to it. if you don't like the cold weather, on the other hand, unfortunately, you won't be looking forward to what's going to be happening later on this week. you see those lines from the northwest to the southeast, that's that cold air being ushered in. tokyo, you're looking at about a five-degree drop, even over towards seoul. then this whole mass of high pressure, that's a cold surge. that's what we call it. that's going to be transporting all that cold air. on the leading edge of this there into northeastern luzon, even extending down into portions of thailand, some rain showers have been popping up with this. that northeast monsoon coming in. for the most part, you are into some of these areas that were significantly hit by typhoon haiyan. it does look like just afternoon thunderstorms are going to be popping up there for you.
really nothing significant in the forecast as far as organized tropical activity. manila with a high of 30. taipei at 21. even seoul, just the single didn'ts, partly cloudy skies here on wednesday. let's move over toward the americas and talk about what's going on in here with the high pressure which is dominating much of the central u.s. this is ushering in an abundance of cold air from the north following behind the severe weather we actually saw on sunday. now, that cold front that ushered in the destructive weather into portions of illinois, that's well off to the east. temperatures are. d dropping down. the significant weather is in the pacific northwest
where we have all these rain showers coming on shore. about 30 centimeters expected in higher elevations. if you are traveling, be prepared. if you're flying, check in on your flights. outside of that, though, the big topic is these temperatures. i'll get out of the way so you can look at the highs.
three-day forecast high in winnipeg, just minus 12 there on thursday. even into chicago, just five by friday. oklahoma city farther down towards the south, well below normal. actually about 11 degrees below normal here by friday. things are really starting to cool off. you don't wa you'll want a jacket. towards the eastern seaboard, it looks like temperatures will continue to drop off. here across europe, well, really, look at this cut-off low spinning across the mediterranean. sardinia, you've been looking at severe weather. italy, this will be bringing all sorts of gusty winds and even thunderstorms popping up there. low country, some rough weather as well. even rain showers coming out of this. i think the big topic will be by midweek. we have this
low. you can see it just north of the british isles. and already you've been seeing some snow across portions of scotland. with had this comes in, we could be seeing up to 30 centimeters of snowfall along with gusty winds and even -- well, the snow, the winds, some whiteout conditions. reduced visibility. if you are traveling across
a baseball player crowned japan's single-season home run king has received a hero's welcome in his homeland. ballantine is an outfielder. he hit 60 homers last season. that sh spa esmashed the previos record. he flew to the nation of curacao on sunday in a private jet. fans, government officials and family members were at the airport to greet him. balentien get into a red
convertible and a motorcade escorted him home. the 43-kilometer trip took four hours as he waved to people along the route. >> he's beautiful. >> and i think, of course, japan did support him and manage him to become what he is today. >> officials in balentien's hometown planned something special. they invited him to unveil a street bearing his nickname, coco. ♪ >> he's great to be with. with all my people. it's great to feel this love from my hometown. i'm happy to be home. i just realized something i did is not something that happens every year or something like that. >> balentien said he wants to relax while at home. he said he plans to be there for a week. that's "newsline" for this hour. i'm gene otani in tokyo.
streetsy blasts on the of beirut. explosions at the iranian embassy to the south of the capital. at least 20 able dead and 160 wounded. an al qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility. still at large book of the unknown gunmen who carried out multiple attacks with the shotgun here in paris is on the run. authorities looking to identify and bring in the shooter. and ma are in name only. toronto's rob ford is stripped of his remaining powers. but he says he will not leave office. hello, those are the headlines here on france 24
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