hello there. welcome to "newsline." it's wednesday, august 17th. 8:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. some municipalities are having trouble e aling with the dirty and dangerous aftermath of the accident at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. sludge containing radioactive materials has been building up at sewage facilities. half of it remains in storage despite the government's plan to bury it.
nhk asked local governments in 17 prefectures in northeastern and central japan how they're coping with the toxic sludge. more than 54,400 tons of it has accumulated at waste water treatment facilities. 75% contains less than 8,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium. that's the set limit for disposal by bereel. still much of the amount has been kept in storage at treatment plants. one reason is because some burial projects has been rejected by residents who live near sites. a large amount of contaminated sludge has accumulated and storage space is running out. the government has decided to keep it at six facilities. it explained the decision to residents through their community associations.
>> japan's land and infrastructure ministry says waste must be disposed of at the site where it was generated. it also says it supports the municipalities by sending employees to educate them about the plants to get rid of the contaminated sludge. the u.s. vice president will visit one of the disaster-hit areas in northeastern japan next week. a white house official said on monday that joe biden will visit sendai city next tuesday to reserve recovery efforts and express support for japan. biden recognizes that the u.s. has a big stake in japan's full recovery. he will be in japan from august 22nd to the 24th after traveling
to china and mongolia. in china he is expected to meet chinese vice president for extensive discussions on the economy, human rights, and security in asia. he has cemented his position as the likely successor to hu jing tao. people who have lost their homes after the earthquake and tsunami have dealt with challenges. it has been particularly tough for families of the disabled. many have moved in temporary homes that are not adapted to suit the needs of the handicapped. now some are taking action to try to change how japan helps its most vulnerable citizens in times of crisis. >> reporter: 44-year-old rika's daughter is disabled. the 13-year-old has serious brain damage and needs 24 hour care. including suction to clear her
saliva and phlegm. their home is equipped with a width tub. but the tsunami demolished it. it will cost a lot to get the home livable again. >> translator: the water came up to there. the second floor was completely flooded. >> reporter: the family spent nearly two months in a shelter in a local school. her parents also worried her condition would bother other evacuees. the family now lives at her mother's house. isa had access to temporary housing. because of her daughter's condition, she found it inconvenient. so she opted to use a government grant for two year's worth of rent to lease a house on her
own. >> translator: we have no prospect of finding a livable temporary home, so we have decided to rent an ordinary house. but the place we found isn't to suit the needs of someone in a wheelchair. >> reporter: the ise family has faced several challenges since the disaster. rea nita found life difficult after moving into temporary housing with her daughter. the tsunami destroyed their home which was built just five years ago. the family waited more than four months before the government gave them temporary housing. but their new home is far fr from -- it's tough for nita to
push her daughter's wheelchair over the gravel. there is a ramp leading up to the front door. but the opening isn't wide enough for the wheelchair to pass. >> translator: there's no point in being given a house with a ramp if we can't get through the door. >> reporter: nita and her daughter must enter the house in a sliding door off the ground. so she has to place her in first and then climb in. many of the temporary housing units in northeastern japan were constructed in a hurry. most of them lack features. after nita's request, the city finally agreed to set up a ramp for the sliding door. >> translator: i was frustrated
at having to explain our needs to the smallest detail. >> reporter: ise and nita visited the hall in miyagi prefecture together to ask for more help. other parents with children with serious disabilities joined them. they asked the city to make temporary housing barrier free and ensure disabled people would receive the necessary care in the event another disaster hits. as mothers of children with serious disabilities, both ise and nita made it their mission to speak up for all families who face these challenges. >> translator: i think that if things in our everyday lives were built based on the needs of disabled children, it would create a comfortable and livable environment for everyone.
the same applies to disaster preparation. >> reporter: enabling the lives of disabled people in the region is an important issue. the problems of most vulnerable people must not be ignored and steps should be made to help them. nhk world, miyagi. "newsline" is the place to turn to for the latest on japan post-march 11th. we have two segments offering two unique perspectives on the fallout from the earthquake and tsunami. "nuclear watch" brings you insight and information on the impact of the fukushima daiichi crisis. and "the road ahead" examines japan's efforts to recover and rebuild. don't miss "nuclear watch" and "the road ahead" on "newsline. high speed rail passengers in china will now need more time to get to where they're going. the country appears to be
prioritizing safety following last month's fatal crash and derailment. it's slowing down its bullet trains and scaling back their schedules. the chinese railway ministry began evaluating the schedules on tuesday in response to growing public criticism over how it handled the accident. it reduced the number of daily round trips on a line connecting beijing and shanghai from -- to 67 rather from 88. that will give workers time to repair cars that have experienced problems since june. on the beijing-tianjin line speeds have been reduced. >> translator: it's better to reduce the speed if safety can be ensured. it's a good idea. >> translator: the cause of the accident should be determined, but it's not necessary to reduce the speed of the train.
>> the chinese government plans to disclose the results of the accident by mid-september. it says it will foresee approval of new projects for new. meanwhile, china's railway ministry has fired its spokesperson who drew criticism over his comment on the handling of the accident. an english version of the state run xinhua news agency said that ying was dismissed. at a news conference on july 24th, one day after the accident, he said it was necessary to bury the damaged carriages to make way for mechanical equipment that would help with rescue efforts. his comment sparked strong criticism as it seemed to deny any coverup of the accident. wang also said he was confident about his statement whether people believed it or not. a 2-year-old girl was pulled
from the wreckage still alive. wang called the rescue a miracle of life. the incident prompted further criticism that rescue efforts were hurried in order to quickly restore train services. al qaeda's new leader has called on muslims to continue targeting the united states in a video released just three weeks before the tenth anniversary of the september 11 attacks. the video surfaced monday on the internet with the face and voice of someone politicly to be iman al zawirhi. saying that followers must pursue a criminal country which has spread corruption in the world. the al qaeda chief also says the u.s. threw away osama bin laden's body into the sea and captured his wives and children. he assumed the new leadership of
the terrorist group in june after bin laden was shot dead by u.s. forces in pakistan in may. no concrete plan for a terrorist attack is suggested in the footage. but the u.s. government is on high alert against possible massive strikes by terrorists around the world as the september 11 anniversary looms closer. israel has launched air strikes in the gaza strip killing one palestinian. the jets conducted runs five times on monday morning. a member of the islamic military group hamas was killed. many others injured. the israeli military said the launch was retaliation of rockets fired from the gaza strip into southern israel. israel had suspended attacks on the territory in may when hamas talked with fata.
but hamas has carried out several attacks since last month as the group is frustrated with slow progress for the reconciliation progress. concerns are rising that the latest air strikes could prompt retaliatory attacks from gaza and lead to renewed violence. human rights watch is denouncing somalia's transitional government. the group says soldiers are shooting civilians during armed battle with a group. human rights watch released a report detailing abuse and war crimes in the african county. it based its findings on accounts by refugees and other sources. the organization says civilians have suffered the most between the transition between al
shaabab. >> and that these are contributing to the country's humanitarian catastrophe. >> the report partly blames the high civilian death toll on government forces. firing back in densely populated areas in response to al shabaab attacks. and safeguard human rights in the limited areas under its control. human rights watch says somalia supporters such as the united nations, the african union, and the united states should reconsider their assistance. acquisitions made by japanese companies abroad have increased sharply on the back of the strong yen. merge her and acquisition broker says that 161 acquisitions were made in the four months through july marking a rise of 33%. a total of 2.46 trillion yen or
about $32 billion was invested in these deals. more than doubling the sum for the same period last year. taketa pharmaceutical purchased a swiss firm for about $13 billion followed by toshiba. analysts say as a domestic market is being hit by the economic downturn and is shri shrinking along with the population, japanese are trying to -- through the acquisition of foreign firms taking advantage of the strong yen. the thai resort city of pataya was once famous for its
beautiful beach which lured tourists from around the world. but rising sea levels have washed away much of the sand. the tourism is washing away too. >> reporter: pattaya is a village close to bangkok. it's a magnet for foreign tourists seeking fun, sea, marine sports, and night life. a nice breeze and the beach. pattaya is very enjoyable. this is pattya beach today. narrow in many places. and that's not even at high tide. the beach is eaten away at the rate of two meters a year.
sometimes the sea has washed away sand leaving the roots of trees unearthed. locals use ropes to stop the trees from falling down. 50 years ago, this beach was 35 meters wide. some studies predict that if nothing is done to hold the erosion, in less than five years the beach will be completely gone. >> i've never seen nothing like it in all my life. i've been to everywhere. florida, everywhere in america. never seen a beach like this. look. it's a disgrace.
>> reporter: the shrinking beach has led to a decline in tourists. >> translator: i have lost 70% of my revenue. but some others have lost everything. >> reporter: appointed by the maritime efforts to save the beach. global warming is causing sea levels to rise. and tropical cyclones hit the area more often with bigger waves and stronger rains. luring away the sand.
prevents new sand from leaving the beach. they set up a team of more than 15 experts to find a solution that will not hurt tourism. the beach is made up of ivory color sand. but any sands below the water line is muddy and not good for a tourist beach. so he decided to bring in a different sort of sand with larger particles. >> different color. but it is a bit different. because of the stability of the batch. >> reporter: the plan is to make a brand new beach 2.7 kilometers long. first he will bring in huge amounts of sand. 400,000 cubic meters to make a
new beach 35 meters wide. in the middle he will bury sandbags to stop the beach from receding. even if erosion continues, it will stop at the sandbags. and it can be replaced. to realize his plan, he needs to get the backing of residents of pattaya who rely on tourism to make a living. he has already secured a budget of $10 million and is ready to start construction. it should be finished within a year. >> translator: there are many other tourist beaches in thailand with the same problem. if we make our plan work, it will be a role model for saving other beaches. >> reporter: so it may not be long before we see pattaya's beautiful beach restored and
hello there. time now for your weather update. very active frontal system continues to stretch across the northern end of east asia. plenty of wet weather from much of china. dealing with widespread rain. we could certainly see up to 100 meters fall within the next 24 hours. still remains unstable. that rain less intense than yesterday's brief and heavy showers expected throughout the day. and the northern end of japan dealing with heavy showers as well here. especially for tohoku. heavy rain to erupt there today. also elsewhere across the country is similarly unstable. it has been raining here for days. the risk of flooding landslides will be pretty high.
somewhere else that's dealing with a lot of rain, of course areas around the bay of bengal. that widespread rain continues to impact much of indochina. but for india as well, that rain remain it is fairly widespread and dealing with those downpours hearing of staggering amounts falling in the last 24 hours. here you want to watch out for things like landslides as well as flooding. in terms of temperatures across eastern asia. heat wave situation going on in southern china. we've got the 40 degrees in chongqing. that's set to last throughout the week. extremely hot conditions here. tokyo rising to 34 degrees. it will be hot again for central and western areas coming in at 36 in kyoto today. 35 in fukushima. on the other hand up towards the north looking relatively cool. 26 in sapporo.
in the americas, a system bringing heavy rain and strong thunderstorms. now we have rainfall warnings in effect for manitoba. that will continue throughout the night. it becomes a bit better on wednesday. it will remain fairly stormy across much of ontario. we do have risks of tornadoes out here. minnesota across the u.s. looking severe tonight as well. but as you can see the weather conditions improve by wednesday. as we're looking at fairly long conditions. we have a tropical depression to the south of mexico as well. 38 degrees in houston today. and hot day in los angeles. 31. but much cooler towards the pacific northwest. now for europe. the heaviest of rain will occur across the northern tier of the continent.
much of continental europe will stay dry and settled under this very large high pressure system. the british isles, too, looking much drier. could even see spells of sunshine as well. france will see wet weather. much of spain and portugal will stay dry. stays hot in madrid. 37 degrees. paris will be warm, 28. 20 degrees, cool in london. here is your extended forecast now.
chinese character dai meaning large followed by silent prayers for the disaster victims. the city government originally planned to use the firewood from trees swept away by the march 11 tsunami. but the plan was cancelled after radioactive cesium was detected in wood sent from the hard hit town in iwate prefecture. instead organizers used local wood and copied the eulogies or messages on them. >> translator: it was very beautiful. and i was so moved. >> translator: this time i watched the bonfires with profound emotion because of the earthquake and also the firewood incident. >> it's believed the bonfire is helped to send off the souls of ancestors that briefly returned home in mid-august during the