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tv   Journal  KCSMMHZ  November 15, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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have risen in some rivers. eight months after the disaster, the struggle for clean water continues. welcome to "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. japan's environment ministry says downstream radiation levels have risen in some rivers in fukushima prefecture. the ministry has been monitoring radiation levels in rivers near the fukushima daiichi plant to assess the impact of the
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accident there. officials took sand samples from two rivers in september. the upstream radioactive cesium levels were over 300 becquerel in a river near a village. downstream levels of the same river were 3,000 becquerel. they had fallen to one fifth of those observed in may, but downstream measurements tripled. cesium levels near the mouth of another river in soma city where were nearly 30,000 becquerel. they doubled since may. he says radiation levels should be monitored near river mouths as radioactive substances in river bed sands are probably moving downstream. a survey team of the international atomic energy agency has drawn up final recommendations on how to remove the radioactive substances released from the fukushima
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daiichi nuclear power plant. the team handed the report to the japanese government on tuesday. the 80-page report is based on the team's visit to fukushima prefecture last month. the report urges central and local governments to find final disposal sites for contaminated topsoil and other materials so they won't cause health problems. the experts say the decontamination work should start from locations where high levels of radiation are detected. they advise much of the radioactive waste in urban areas can be treated at existing disposal facilities because the radiation levels are low by the safety standards. the team asks authorities to set up road signs to warn people they are approaching the evaluation zone around the troubled plant. the iaea says it will provide a technological support according to the japanese government's request. residents of the fukushima prefecture are deeply concerned about radiation from the nuclear power plant accident.
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we've got two stories from the effected areas. in this program we focus on residents worried about radiation exposure through the air they breathe and food they eat. people are exposed to internal radiation when they breathe in radioactive material or eat contaminated food. the body's cells come in direct contact with the radioactive material but researchers aren't sure of the long-term effects. the doctors in fukushima prefecture have tested more than 10,000 residents and give preference to children and pregnant women but many residents are concerned so some local governments and a private hospitals have started doing tests of their own. nhk world has the story. >> translator: we've been overwhelmed with appointments. the next appointment is in january. >> the doctors here began
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testing last month for internal radiation exposure. 7,000 people have already made appointments. 90% of the patients are children under the age of 18. >> translator: radiation may have gotten into my body. so i'm worried about the results of the test. >> reporter: this mother and daughter could not get a check up, even eight months after the nuclear accident so the mother chose to pay for tests out of her own pocket. the doctors does what's called a whole-body counter. for two minutes. the machine detects whether the patient's body has absorbed radioactive materials. they send out the results by mail. >> we can't find out the results right away. >> a specialist has to look at them first.
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>> i see. thank you. >> translator: i know the nuclear reactors are not 100% safe. so i realize that our concerns won't be satisfied just by finding out the results of this test. >> reporter: the yamada family live in a town within 20 meters of the fukushima diiachi power plant. they fear their hometown was contaminated. they moved farther away to an apartment shortly after the accident. she spent a lot of time after the move visiting the school
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nurse. she complained of headaches, felt depressed. the counselor determined that she was suffering from psychological stress from the effects of living through the disaster. >> translator: when i hear talk in t classroom about the nuclear power plant i worry that people are avoiding me. so i want to find out the results as soon as possible. >> translator: we want her to live with the confidence that the accident did not affect her physically. >> reporter: doctors across the prefecture send in results every day. but they have not reported any incidents in which a patient has been exposed to more than 100 millisieverts. the maximum limit and health hazard. the doctor also analyze the test and mail her the results within
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a month. they hope that they'll finally find some peace of mind. nhk world, fukushima. >> hiroki spent a lot of time with the people that carry out the tests. researchers at fukushima medical university study the results. hiroki spoke to one of them about his work. >> reporter: professor, you study the internal affects of radiation and you have to spend sometime explaining the effects to the residents. what does the science tell you? >> at this point there's been no data indicating exposure levels that would affect human health. to give you a specific example, some residents evacuated after the accident were tested using hard body counters but the
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levels detected cannot be considered harmful. they want more precise information. local government authorities have responded by acquiring more counters and are moving forward with the tests. >> reporter: we have spent some time since the disaster comparing the accident at fukushima with the one at chernobyl. what are the main differences? >> internally, the nuclear reactor exploded releasing radioactive materials. the report said 28 people lost their lives because of acute radiation syndrome. in fukushima there was a hydrogen explosion but not the reactors themselves. the estimated quantity of released materials is lower than chernobyl. so far, nobody in fukushima has been diagnosed with acute radiation syndrome.
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>> thank you, professor. >> our focus on the effects of radiation in the fukushima prefecture will continue on wednesday with this story. >> i'm in fukushima city where we'll meet people and discuss fighting fear with radiation with facts. they've ordered independent tests on his apples to reassure his customers. >> reporter: i ordered a test for my apples because when people question their safety, i would like to say from the bottom of my heart that they are okay to eat. >> reporter: he gets the results on wednesday on "newsline." "newsline" is the place to
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turn to 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." we are highlighting how the credit concerns are in the region.
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prices of italian and spanish bonds have fallen on european markets on concerns that the debt problems in the eurozone may spread further. italian bonds were sold on tuesday amid anxiety that the incoming prime minister may have difficulty forming a new cabinet. investors also sold spanish bonds after the country had to offer high yields for the short-term issues. in the united states, retail sales rose the fifth straight month as they spent more on electronics, and building supplies. october retail sales nearly $398 billion. that's up 0.5% from the previous month. sales of electronics products jumped 3.7%. building materials posted 1.5% increase, and automobiles and auto parts 0.4%. personal spending is seen as the driving force of the u.s. economy, amid the gloomy job situation. and lists say sustained growth in retail sales is the key to a full fledged recovery. all eyes are on the christmas
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and new year shopping season when retailers earn a majority of their sales. and also from the u.s., new york police detained more than 140 anti-wall street protesters on tuesday after they resisted eviction from a park used as a campaign base. several hundred officers were mobilized to evict protesters from the park near the financial district. they had been camping in the park since mid september, campaigning against economic inequality. the new york mayor, michael bloomberg, explained the protesters had become a health and fire hazard to themselves and the local community. hundreds of people responded by marching in several places in the city. they're likely to continue trying to use the park, despite the authorities' ban. now let's check the markets. to see how stocks are kicking off this wednesday morning in japan, we cross-over to ramin at
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the tokyo stock exchange. on one hand, strong u.s. economic data, on the other, european concerns. what kind of action are you seeing this there morning? >> very good morning to you. we had retail sales for october in the u.s. which gave a bit of boost to the markets there, and showing arise in october and also suggesting steady consumer spending ahead of the big christmas shopping season. and that eased a little worries surrounding the eurozone debt worries you mention there as well. let's look at the opening levels here for the nikkei and topix. both are trading higher in the first few minutes. topix just dipping into the negative there, a bit of a mixed picture as you can see. the focus in japan the past couple weeks has been on olympus, and remains tangled in that corporate bookkeeping scandal, and the share price really has been quite volatile. last couple days, up 40%, and today just before the markets
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opened, it was also bid only. in other words, only buy orders coming in. that makes it three days in a row it has been only buy orders coming in for olympus. we'll keep track of that the rest of the day. yields on italian bonds back above 7%, and that put pressure on the euro, having to look at levels now. you can see the yen gained yet again against the euro. at one point, it was trading around 103.95, hitting a five week low for the euro. and also on the tech sector. we had earnings from dell computer. we will look for related shares today as well. dell reporting revenue fell for the third quarter and citing a lower projection for the rest of the year. also, wti crude oil prices getting close to $100 a barrel. look for energy related stocks and that was really on the back of retail sales gains and also a
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new york manufacturing area index. empire state index which also showed some gains. still to come in the u.s. today, consumer price index and industrial production economic data. back to you. >> all right. thanks a lot. that was ramin mellegard. eu toughens rating rules. it is spreading credit worries in the region. while rating agency' assessment can be beneficial, it poses considerable risk to the market. to improve transparency, he said further regulation is needed, especially on the ratings for government bonds. specific measures under consideration include complete disclosure of underlying data. also includes 24 hour advance notice to governments when debt ratings are being changed.
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now a recap of the latest market figures. back to katherine. >> next, we go to bangkok to find out what's making headlines. >> reporter: assian has kicked off a series meeting in bali, foreign ministers met on tuesday, ahead of the leaders summitt later in the week. among items on the agenda, mynamar's bid to become chair of the group.
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the ten assian foreign minimum -- ministers discussed whether to support the proposal to lead the block in 2014. they have been coveting the role in a way to gain international recognition after years of isolation. indonesia is the current chair of the group. its foreign minister expressed confidence that mynamar is up to the task. >> mynamar is creating a positive condition that make it more possible for them to chair the assian in 2014. and then some countries were quite explicit in expressing their strong support for mynamar. >> the final decision on whether to endorse mynamar's bid will be taken when assian leaders meet on thursday. here in thailand, hopes that the worst of the flood crisis
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was over for bangkok have proved short lived. tensions between residents of flooded areas and officials have led to some flood barriers being opened. water is, once again, heading towards the center of the capital. >> in northern bangkok near the airport, we witnessed water pouring through flood defenses in the direction of the city center. angry residents had destroyed part of a 5 kilometer wall of massive sandbags known as "the big bag" on sunday. the barrier is designed to prevent water from the north reaching central bangkok. but people living on the wrong side of the wall say it's blocking the flow of water. >> translator: people living near here are really suffering. my house has been flooded for a month.
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barrier once but faced with strong opposition they opened it up again. residents of flooded areas are demanding that more sections of the barrier be opened. and that would put inner areas of bangkok, once again, at risk of flooding. >> while a number of districts in bangkok remain under water, people are doing everything they can to protect their values and that includes cars which are parked all over the city causing unexpected problems. nhk world has the report. >> reporter: floods continue to wreak havoc in thailand. massive amounts of water are still flowing into bangkok. car owners are struggling to find somewhere to keep their vehicles safe. cars are jam packed in this multilevel parking structure in the city center. they are even blocking the ramps and there's no more space to park here. this parking lot has been full since late october.
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vehicles are squeezed in everywhere. one parking lot by the river has raised its fee ten fold to about $65 per day. even so, it's completely full. >> translator: we don't know how many more cars we'll be able to handle. >> reporter: some people are going to unusual lengths to this polystyrene form board is designed to make cars float and it's manufactured by a housing and materials company and costs about $300. the company has sold 50 of them. it's totally out of stock. >> translator: we didn't think we'd receive this many orders. >> i'm all prepared for the water now.
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>> the cheapest way to protect a car is to park it high up. like on an elevated expressway. the number of vehicles parked illegally like this in bangkok is thought to be more than 10,000. it's a safety hazard, too, and there have been many accidents in which parked cars have been hit. this pickup truck belonged to a store owner whose house was flooded. when she came to get her truck she found it smashed. the products she was keeping in the back of the truck has also been taken. >> translator: first my house was ruined by the floods and then this happened to my car. >> reporter: police have been overwhelmed. they are trying to prevent people from parking illegally. they just call on them to avoid double parking and to leave a contact phone number.
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>> translator: nobody listens when we tell them not to park. they think this is the most convenient place. >> reporter: the worst floods in 50 years have them scrambling to protect their possessions and it adds to the sense of confusion that has disrupted the life of the capital. nhk world, bangkok. >> that wraps up our bulletin. tokyo is having a chilly morning with gusty winds. let's look at the forecast for japan and other countries. hello and welcome to your weather update. we'll begin with east asia. much of japan is experiencing
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the coldest morning of the season and these areas are contending with sea effect snow, more than 30 centimeters of snow have fallen in the last 24 hours in hokaido and in addition to 40 centimeters are possible into thursday morning. in addition to heavy snowfall, strong winds and high waves are a concern for this area. for china, the inland and northeastern portions of the country are looking at some light precipitation but it's not on the severe side. toward the south, the northern and central portions of the philippines and much of taiwan are continuing with heavy precipitation. the ground is already very saturated so additional rain could trigger landslides as well as flooding. temperatures dropping to the mid teens despite sunshine and 14 in seoul, staying 10 degrees in beijing and you may see snow in
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the north with minus two degrees. heading over to the americas, we see long cloud bands from texas to the northeastern state, underneath the clouds we're seeing heavy rainfall and snow in some areas and extremely stormy in the southern plains as well as the lower mississippi valley the threats of severe thunderstorms, hail, damaging winds and even tornadoes are possible into tonight. now, the stormy conditions will move eastward so things are getting dryer for the southern plains on wednesday. up towards the north, a mix of rain and snow can be found across central canada and the northern plains and that will affect ontario in the next 24 hours and strong winds are also a concern here on wednesday. meanwhile, a powerful low pressure system is approaching the west coast spreading heavy mountain snow and coastal rain for the northern parts of british colombia and that will target the vancouver area and
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the pacific northwest in the next 24 hours. as for wednesday's high, only minus 2 in winnipeg. 8 in denver, 5 in chicago and staying in the mild temperatures of 16 in new york and 17 in washington, d.c. finally, let's go over to europe, a stationary low pressure system is bringing heavy rainfall for the pyrenees but finally, the rain will taper off as we head to wednesday so that's good news for you for the british isles, it's getting wet and windy in ireland but the london area will escape rain throughout wednesday. up toward the north, a new system is moving into scandinavia and will reach western russia and the precipitation could be heavier on wednesday. for turkey, it's wet and cold and you may see snow in the higher elevations for the next couple of days. as for highs, only minus 4 degrees in moscow and 1 for kiev
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with snow staying in the teens in london with 10 and 12 in paris, and warming up to 17 in lisbon and 18 in rome. here's your extended forecast. our lead story this hour, japan's environment minister says downstream radiation levels
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have risen in some rivers in fukushima prefecture. the ministry has been monitoring radiation levels in rivers near the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant to assess the impact of the accident there. officials took sand samples from two rivers in september. the upstream radioactive cesium levels were over 3,000 becquerels per kilogram in a river in a northern village. the downstream levels of the same river in an area of soma city were 13,000 becquerels. upstream levels were one fifth of those observed in may, but downstream measurements had tripled. cesium levels near the mouth of another river in soma city were nearly 30,000 becquerels. they doubled since may. a professor says radiation levels should be monitored near river mouths as radioactive substances and river bed sands are probably moving downstream. that's all for this edition
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of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. do stay with us.
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