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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  October 12, 2011 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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savoring freedom. myanmar starts releasing thousands from jail, among them, political prisoners. will the move satisfy the opposition and the international community? good evening. you're watching "newsline." i'm michio kijima in tokyo. myanmar's government is not saying much, but its actions are speaking louder than its words. we've got details and reactions to grant freedom to more than 6,300 prisoners. patchari raksawong joins us from our bureau in bangkok. >> myanmar's government began freeing prisoners on wednesday,
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one day after it announced an amnesty. the government has extended the amnesty to both political and other prisoners. the president released a statement on tuesday saying his government would free exactly 6,350 detainees and nhk filmed several prisoners leaving a prison in yangon on wednesday. the national league for democracy, or nld, says it has confirmed at least 100 political prisoners have been released so far. >> the move is seen as the government's attempt to appease pro-democracy groups. western nations imposed economic sanctions on myanmar and have said the release of political prisoners is a
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condition for lifting the restrictions. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton speaking to reuters after myanmar announced the amnesty said she was encouraged by the promising signals, but that it was too early to announce any steps washington might take in response. next, to thailand, floods are plaguing much of the country, and bangkok is on high alert as its main river is threatening to burst its bank. we have more. >> reporter: in the capital city, residents are preparing for a weekend of heavy flooding. a big pile of sandbags have been prepared to safeguard the hospital from possible heavy floods in bangkok. the city is located in the chao phraya river basin. the water level is expected to
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rise with heavy rain forecast for at least a few more weeks. meanwhile, flooding has gotten worse in ayutthaya, about 100 kilometers north of bangkok. officials extended an evacuation zone on wednesday affecting about 150 companies, including major foreign manufacturers, such as canon and sony. authorities are asking locals to be on high alert as the rainy weather will continue until the end of october. the thai government is telling people to stay calm and pay attention to the latest information. for nhk world, bangkok. the leaders of vietnam and india met in new delhi on wednesday after reaching an agreement to jointly develop oil fields in the south china sea
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last month. vietnam apparently hopes to keep china in check on territorial issues by strengthing ties with india. vietnam's president and indian prime minister manhoman singh on wednesday exchanged documents discussing oil feels in the south china sea and other matters, including crude oil refining and agricultural issues. >> a strong india partnership is effective of peace, stability and development in this region. it is a partnership that stands on its own merits. >> meanwhile, china has taken a strong stance against the development.
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general secretary of the communist party visited beijing the previous day and met with chinese premiere hu jintao. state run china's central television reported that while zutsi i discussing the territorial disputes between the two nations who gave a stern warning about vietnam and india's joint project. hu said that vietnam should not make any moves that complicate or expand the disputes. some countries including vietnam and the philippines are trying to coordinate an effort to negotiate with china for an end to territorial disputes in the south china sea. now the world's largest opium producer is getting even bigger. according to the latest united nations survey, poppy production in afghanistan will increase by about 60% this year. the u.n. office on drugs and crime made the forecast on
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tuesday in its annual report on afghanistan's poppy farming. the plants are used to make opium and other narcotics. >> we still have around 1 million afghans. that means 1 million afghan families who are being and are affected by drug addiction. >> the u.n. says that more and more land is being used to cultivate poppies. three provinces that had been declared poppy-free are said to have returned to production. half of the country's provinces are now growing the crop. the report says farmers are returning to poppies because of the slow progress in establishing security and rebuilding the economy and because opium prices are rising. the u.n. says opium is a key revenue source for the taliban and warns that the group may use the money to step up attacks on government and multi-national troops. and that's going to wrap up
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our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. the massive earthquake off sumatra in december 2004 spawned huge tsunami waves that swept across the indian ocean, smashing into coastal communities from thailand to africa. more than 200,000 were left dead or missing. seven years later, a new tsunami warning system has officially begun, serving more than 20 countries in the region. the countries took part in the drill on wednesday to test relaying tsunami information in case of a huge earthquake. under the system, indonesia, australia and india provided tsunami information to other countries online or by fax. in the exercise, indonesia's meteorological agency sent a message giving the location and scale of a quake. over the next five minutes, the agency sent tsunami forecasts to coastal areas. the forecasts were updated every hour. an indonesian meteorological
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official pledged to train personnel and upgrade the commitment to make forecasts more quickly and effectively. the parliament on tuesday rejected the plan to increase the powers of the european financial stability facility. the fund is designed to extend emergency loans to debt ridden nations. one of the four ruling coalition parties abstained from the vote. as the public is largely against supporting greece. slovakia is the only member of the 17 euro zone countries that has voted down the plan. >> translator: i'm satisfied the plan was voted down. slovakia cannot afford to help other nations, so it shouldn't support greece. >> translator: slovakia should have approved the plan because
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our country is a euro zone member. i can't believe it was rejected. >> prime minister iveta radicova is planning to negotiate with the largest opposition to win its support for the plan. if the talks bear fruit, she hopes to seat plan win lawmakers' approval in the second vote. german chancellor angela merkel expressed hope that slovakian lawmakers will approve the plan in the second vote. speaking in vietnam, merkel said she is certain that by the time the eu hold its summit on october 23rd, all euro gone countries will have passed a plan to expand the european bailout fund. meanwhile, french foreign minister expressed the need to sped up the decision-making process. >> translator: slovakia's rejection of the expansion plan is not good news. but i trust the slovakian
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government. i strongly hope that the second vote will turn out to be a positive result. >> before we return to the news, here are some colorful scenes from hiroshima. ♪ cosmos flowers are in full bloom at the national park. over 1.5 million plants are creating the landscape of the pink and white. this coming weekend, visitors will be allowed to pick the flowers and take them home. ♪ preliminary radiation checks have been conducted on sake or rice wine and other alcoholic beverages produced near the fukushima daiichi power plant to ensure their safety. the national tax agency on wednesday tested samples for radioactive materials such as iodine and cesium. the agency oversees the
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distribution of alcoholic beverages. extremely low levels of such materials similar to those detected in natural fields were detected. the agency says that if high levels of radioactive materials are detected, it will send samples to a government-backed alcohol research institution, hiroshima, western japan, for detailed checks. brewing facilitying outside the radius will be randomly tested. rice and barley, the main ingredients of alcoholic beverages have already been tested for radiation. the agency hopes the additional testing will put consumers at ease. officials in tokyo are thinking ahead to the next possible disaster. one of the city's wards have passed a bylaw requiring companies to shelter their employees in the event of a major earthquake. it is in response to what
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happened after the march 11th disaster. trains stopped running. thousands of commuters could not get home. the minato ward assembly adopted the ordinance laying out the responsibility of companies to help minimize confusion. the ward has many small and midsized businesses. the organization says companies should prevent employees from leaving and taking commuters who have no way of going home. companies are urged to stock food and water for their workers. experts warn that if an earthquake occurs directly beneath tokyo, people walking home could be injured by fires and collapsed buildings. so why are companies being asked to shoulder such a burden? we'll look into what led to the approval of bylaw and how the ward is trying to deal with this newly discovered problem. >> reporter: this is the leader of a community group in minato
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ward. after the quake, he watched people stream into a square in front of the station. >> translator: the companies made their employees leave the office. i've never seen such a large number of people here before. >> reporter: an hour after the quake, commuters filled the square and couldn't go home because transportation systems had been disrupted. people who couldn't get into the square went to evacuation sites for local residents. he started to worry members of his community would be left without a place to go. >> translator: the evacuation site filled up. people arrived later were turned down, but we need to evacuate to somewhere as well. >> reporter: the japanese government says about 90% of people who will not be able to go home in the event of a disaster are company employees. that prompted tokyo's minato
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ward to play a central role in coping with commuters who would be stranded. but there's a problem. some businesses cannot keep their employees at their offices because of a lack of space or for other reasons. at this travel agency, one-third of the employees are women. on the day of the earthquake, many male employees spread newspaper on the floor and spent the night in the office. >> reporter: but almost all female workers were instructed to go home. space was one issue. privacy was another. >> translator: there are things that we don't want to show, even to our co-workers. i assume that feeling is especially strong among women. >> reporter: while enforcing the bylaw, minato ward will
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negotiate with companies individually to craft specific plans an how they will cooperate. >> translator: it's not only businesses or the ward that should be involved. everybody should work together to deal with the surrounding communities. >> minato ward is the first among tokyo's 23 wards to introduce the measure by asking private firms to help deal with future disasters. a march 11th town was devastated by the tsunami that hit the coach of japan. the waves swept away many buildings including the town hall, leaving 560 people dead. seven months on, local children have produced a short movie about the disaster. the film focuses on the japanese word meaning the deep bond of friendship between people.
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nhk world has the story. >> reporter: i'm in front of a school. the tsunami damaged the school's first floor. >> for the first time in their lives, 23 pupils from the school are participating in the production of the movie feature. with the support of a director and his team. >> translator: i want you to think about the bonds between people and the kinds of actions that make such bonds visible. >> reporter: the children were divided into four groups, and at first the choice of producing. they took part in the whole
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process from writing to shooting and to editing. this student chose to produce a ten-minute documentary based on interviews. he and his parents live in temporary housing after losing their home to the tsunami. >> translator: it was right over here. and the entrance was around there. iewewesusususususurvivs. >> translator: how did you feel after your house was swept away? >> the whole neighborhood was filled with a crashing sound. >> translator: i am not sure if the interviews will go well. it is difficult to visualize the result. >> reporter: the children were
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invited to shoot at the village and it produces the atmosphere of edo period, japan. they were given just two days to complete the film. the film premiered at an international film festival in yamagata prefecture on monday. >> translator: how did you feel when you moved into temporary housing? >> translator: when i got to the temporary houses, up in the hills, i hated the idea of leaving town. i feel much better now. some nights, i just can't sleep. >> reporter: even though they were directly hit by the tsunami, they came to realize the importance of human bonds.
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>> translator: what does the word kizuna mean to you? >> translator: it is the small things we do to help each other. >> translator: have you ever experienced kizuna with other people? >> translator: i like interacting with other people. the bonds we develop, the communication between us is what makes us grow. that's the meaning of kizuna. >> reporter: this interviewee came to the movie from a village where the natural disaster was compounded by a serious nuclear accident. >> translator: reconstruction has been slowed down by the problem of radiation and the situation is still very serious. >> translator: what's your hope
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for the tohoku region? >> translator: we need to use the disaster as an opportunity to show our strength to the entire nation. [ applause ] >> translator: my impression is that the kids got really involved and that they asked very candid questions. >> translator: i was very moved by the scene where they speak with the survivors. >> translator: i am happy to have edited my film. i would give it an 8 out of 10. if there is an opportunity to make another film, i'll do better. >> reporter: the features produced by these children clearly show that the affected areas are still on the minds of many people. the idea of kizuna is helping people to overcome their
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difficult situation. daisuke azuma. time to check on some of the stories we have gathered from broadcasters around asia. we begin tonight with this item sent in by cctv china. t china and russia signed agreements to boost ties. the deals were signed after wen jiabao held talks with russian president vladimir putin in beijing on tuesday. the leaders also stressed a need to build a strategic partnership based on equality and mutual trust. a mechanism for holding regular meetings between prime ministers of both countries was set up in 1996, and has been an important platform, strengthening bilateral ties since then. the malaysian agricultural minister said his country has enough rice. the comments come amid public concerns of a shortage following
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massive flooding in thailand, malaysia's main rice supplier. his comment came a day after thai prime minister said rice production in thailand could drop by 4 million tons due to floods. he said malaysia has a stockpile of 1 million tons, sufficient for about half a year. he add the the country can import fris other countries including india and pakistan. thai customs officers rescued 115 penguins which were being smuggled to china on wednesday. a senior official said the animals were retrieved from a truck in central thailand. the mammals are worth about $33,000 and are considered a delicacy in china. the penguins will be sent to the wildlife authority for medical checkups and rehabilitation before being released back to the wild.
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here are the latest market figures. rachel ferguson is up next with weather. >> hi. time for another update as we head into eastern asia. we're looking at not a tropical storm now, but actually a tropical depression. this is the system that was just
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moving across -- downgraded to eye depression, but still bringing lite of heavy rain. into the next 24 hours, we'll see anywhere in the red is about 100 millimeters, maybe a little more than that. and, of course, we have seen system after system coming through the philippines, bringing all of that heavy rain. so flooding and landslides are going to be very, very high concern. already a saturated land, these downpours are falling on. now, we also have a low pressure system sitting over vietnam, which is bringing heavy rain here and over laos too. thailand is continuing to get rain, which is most unwelcome. there is a critical flooding situation there at the moment. but it looks like it is going to be fairly wet, certainly into the next 24 hours. we also see some heavier rain making its way down toward southern and eastern parts of china. this is actually going to be spreading up towards the korean peninsula and japan. and we'll be seeing some rain coming into these areas from thursday afternoon and in towards the end of the week it is going to look a little bit
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wet. now, this system up towards the north, most of this precipitation is going to be falling as snow. five degrees in ulan batur, that's the high on thursday. lows getting down below freezing now. 20 in beijing and in seoul, tokyo, shanghai, chongqing as well, we're looking at the low 20s, hanging on to the 30s just in manila and bangkok. all right, now if we go into north america, we had a hurricane here, still a hurricane category one, this is hova that made landfall earlier today in southwestern mexico. we still have those warnings posted along the coast, moving at 15 kilometers an hour now with winds at 140, with stronger gusts. so it is still a very powerful system in that respect. some strong winds and we will continue to seat rain coming down. coastal areas picking up at a further 150 mill meeters in places. at least it could be a bit more than that. we have to take into consideration we have a few things going on down here, a new tropical depression has been formed here, just towards the south of mexico. we have irwin, which is that
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storm just behind hova that one possibly bringing more rain toward the coast and then we have hova itself. a lot going on here in mexico. we'll be keeping an eye on what is going on there. as we head through the next few days, pacific system is starting to wind down. high pressure taking control much of the western half of the united states. and canada. and, in fact, it is bringing some very warm, i should say hot temperatures to the southeast. i'll show you the temperatures in a second, but some offshore winds coming in towards the southwest, really going to be bringing those temperatures up. we head over towards east, looking very messy here, some of the storms moving to the lower mississippi valley, could get a little nasty, basically strong winds and some hail, those will be the major concerns. and then we have some heavy rain spreading up towards the northeast. now, let's turn our attention back to the southwest. 36 degrees in the middle of october in los angeles. it is going to be about 37 on thursday. and then finally we'll start to see things cooling down as we head into the weekend.
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all right, as for europe, things are clearing up here towards the west. we do see some storms making their way through central locations and down in towards the balkans. temperatures not too bad, actually, in london, for example, we have 19 on your thursday. 18 in paris. we're still in the 30s here in iberia. we're really cooling down across much of central and eastern portions of the continent. i'll leave you now with your extended forecast. that's our broadcast for this hour on "newsline." we'll be back with more news in half an hour. i'm michio kijima in tokyo.
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thank you for watching. bye-bye.
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