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tv   Newsline Prime Time 30min  KCSMMHZ  May 20, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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hello there, welcome to "newsline." it's monday, may 21st, 8:00 a.m. in toke wroe. i'm catherine kobayashi. millions of people from the u.s. to china made sure they were in the right place at the right time over the past hour. they used telescopes, protective glasses or pinhole camera to watch a rare celestial phenomenon. an annular solar eclipse. these are images of the eclipse played back at 260 speed. it began in much of japan around
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7:30 a.m. it lasted from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on where viewers were. an annular solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and earth are in perfect alignment. the moon appears smaller than the sun so a bright ring forms around the moon. people living in these parts of the planet were able to see the ellipse and for the first time in history, the majority of residents in japan had the opportunity to watch this phenomenon. clouds obscured the view in some areas so some people had to struggle to see the ring. very beautiful, indeed. a group of chinese tourists visited fukushima prefecture on sunday. it's the first time that such a group has visited the area since last year's march disaster. a shanghai-based chinese travel company which deploys chinese
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low-colorful airline planned the tour to support fukushima prefecture. about 40 people consisting of travel agency staffs, media, and their families landed at ibaraki airport north of tokyo. they headed for iwaki city in fukushima prefecture by bus. locals welcomed the group with a ceremony at a spa resort. the group enjoyed a hula dance performance which is very popular in the city. local officials explained to the visitors the radiation levels in fukushima prefecture during the bus ride. the chinese group leader said he confirmed the safety of fukushima and said he believes more chinese will visit the region in the future. the tour group will stay in fukushima until tuesday, visiting a scenic lakeside area. a japanese research group says it's succeeded in developing a building material that can filter most radioactive cesium from contaminated water.
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the research group at kinki university's faculty of engineering in hiroshima prefecture applied a method using plaster found in traditional japanese architecture. called shikui, the traditional material usually mixes lime with sand, but the group used zealite powder instead of sand as it can absorb radioactive substances. the group says the material is permeable and could be used to safely store debris and soil contaminated by radiation by preventing radioactive substances from seeping out. >> translator: at this time, we have data, most of which indicate that the material can absorb over 99% of the cesium. >> he says the result was better than expected. he hopes they can construct a storage center for debris or soil contaminated by the fukushima daiichi nuclear accident. chinese government officials say north korea released all
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chinese fishermen and their fishing boats that had been seized by the north earlier this month. chinese media reported 29 chinese crew members and three fishing boats were seized on may 8th in the yellow sea by a north korean gun boat. the boats left in the northeast of china. china's embassy officials in pyongyang issued a statement sunday saying they received a report from the north korean foreign ministry. it said all the crews and bolts were released and heading for china. the government did not say whether north korea or its military had any involvement in the seizure. an nhk correspondent says the issue was swiftly resolved so it could not affect the traditional friendly relationship between the two countries. in egypt, 13 candidates ended campaigning on sunday ahead of the country's first presidential election since the dictatorship of hosni mubarak was toppled in february of last year. during the campaign that started
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on april 30th, clashes between supporters of candidates and the military resulted in deaths and injuries but did not affect campaigning. each candidate held their last rally on sunday in cities such as the capital of cairo. their appeals to voters included how they would evaluate the previous administration. they also considered the relationship between the religion of islam and their nation. candidates also outlined how they would improve the economy and stability of the country. candidates who held key posts in the previous government are contesting against islamists who are trying to stop the return of former administration officials. the votes of the nation's youth who led the ouster of mubarak may hold the key for the election's outcome. the election will be held this week on wednesday and thursday. diplomats are trying to figure out a way to stop the violence in syria. they've slapped sanctions on damascus and send in observers. many of them remain quiet about
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another conflict in the region, the one in bahrain. protesters there have returned to the streets and once again they've run into security forces. sunni muslims only make up about a third of the population. yet sunnis have ruled bahrain for years, pushing down the majority shia population. the shia's resentment is fueling the protest. nhk world managed to go behind the scenes of one protest. he filed this report. >> reporter: night falls in the shia district of manama. the security forces are everywhere. shortly after 8:00 p.m., young people gather in the street. they set up barricades around their neighborhood to keep the security forces out. within the hour, the riot police arrive. skirmishes break out. this time, the clashes continue until 2:00 in the morning.
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>> translator: the regime is oppressing us. we are just defending ourselves. >> reporter: the number is growing. this man was shot by the authorities while taking part in anti-government demonstrations. his family say that security forces burst into hospital and interrupted his treatment and this led to his death. >> translator: we weren't even allowed to talk to the doctors. we don't even have the right to life. >> reporter: in the effort to restore calm, the authorities announced a pack only aftage of reforms. it admitted the crackdown has been too hour a. the police were accused of torturing detainees. to prevent further abuses during
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investigation, all questioning will be recorded on cameras. >> i believe that reforms that we're doing is, in fact, strengthen the foundation of a reconciled society. >> reporter: the annual formula 1 grand prix race is one of the highlights of the calendar in bahrain. last year it had to be canceled due to the disturbances. this year, the race went ahead last month as scheduled. because foreign investors are being scared off, the government was keen to demonstrate that the situation remains under control. however, the shia community oppose the decision. fighting flared up in 30 different locations around the country. one person was killed and more than 50 people were injured.
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>> translator: these protests will continue until bahrain becomes a democracy. >> reporter: despite the government's effort to restore calm, the protest and the crackdowns look set to continue. nhk world, manama. earlier our gene otani spoke with a man from the institute of energy economics japan. >> mr. hosaka, u.n. monitors are already in syria. why aren't we seeing the same kind of intervention in bahrain? >> yes. syria has long standing ties with iran. the other two countries have pursued anti-western policy for a long time. so pro-american and anti-iranian have turned their backs on assad. and that made it easy for the west to put strong pressure. but western and arab leaders don't want the government of
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bahrain to be overthrown. bahrain sits in the center of the gulf. the western countries use this strategic locations to protect pro-western and oil-producing countries from the threat like iran and iraq. the u.s. navy's fifth fleet, for example, is based in manama. >> what kind of impact is unrest having outside of bahrain? >> sectarian conflict in bahrain have already had a negative impact on neighboring countries like saudi arabia and kuwait, which have a certain amount of shia populations. if shia gains power in bahrain, shia minorities in these oil-rich countries would also like to have a more influence. so they might be encouraged by what they see in bahrain. and iran has shia government, and it would try to take
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advantage of the situation. such instability disrupts the oil markets. >> so what do you expect will happen in the coming months? >> political leaders will probably offeree forms, but these steps won't do much to address the shias' frustration. this sectarian divide in bahrain has very deep roots and there is unlikely to be any rapid improvement. i expect the administration will stay in place due to the strong support of its neighboring allies. >> thank you, mr. hosaka. >> thank you very much. >> mr. hosaka from the institute of energy economics japan. people in japan's northeast are focused on overcoming the challenges of the 22011 disaste but it won't be easy. they have to rebuild homes, businesses, entire communities.
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we'll show you their struggles and their successes on "the road ahead" every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time here on "newsline." emergency crews worked into the night after a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit northern italy. at least seven people were killed. the u.s. geological survey says the quake struck on sunday at around 4:00 in the morning. the epicenter was 36 kilometers northwest of the medieval city of bologna. the focus is estimated to be 5.1 kilometers deep. the tremors destroyed buildings and homes. more than 3,000 people had to move into shelters. >> translator: the damage is immense, and above all that, we lost two people. that's the worst part. >> some historic buildings collapsed in towns near the epicenter. prime minister mario monte was attending a nato summit in chicago. he decided to return home ahead
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of schedule. it's been four years since a powerful earthquake struck china's sichuan province, it left more than 80,000 people dead or missing. the government has spent more than $270 billion on rebuilding the area, but its efforts do little to help bereaved families recover from their pain. nhk world's utell oktani reports. >> reporter: four years after the earthquake, the government sponsored memorial services across the province. yingxhu is the nearest town to the quake's epicenter. the powerful jolt flattened all the houses. 6,000 people died. about half the town's population. i visited a junior high school that used to stand in the town's center. the remains of several students are still buried under the wreckage. officials are preserving what is
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left of the building as a quake memorial. they say with the parents' consent. china's government is quickly restoring the destroyed areas. because the region has become widely known as the one closest to the epicenter, authorities are making it a tourist spot. the government has spent about $270 million on restoration projects such as building apartment blocks. souvenir shops occupy the first floor. a four-star hotel now stands near the school debris. the government is encouraging local residents to open inns. >> translator: i want to run a high-end hotel. in just four years, we have undergone 30 years' worth of
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development. >> reporter: now people can reach urban areas on the new expressway. it is said that yearly income of each resident has increased around $750, that's up 1.5 times from the level before the earthquake. >> translator: the recovery after the disaster gives us a good opportunity. with further investment and our own human resources, our town has grown. >> reporter: but not all residents are satisfied with the government's restoration efforts. in the neighboring town, many parents gathered at the cemetery. they prayed for the souls of their children killed when their school building collapsed. and parents cleaned up the graves and made food offerings. when we tried to interview the
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parents, security officials tried to stop us. they seized the permit of a driver, took our camera and ordered us to delete the footage. the earthquake toppled many school buildings in the area. experts say they were poorly built. as for the government's response, few bereaved families are satisfied with it. when parents try to make the issue public, police will detain them. despite this, we managed to int interview a parent. she said when police learn about the interview, they will threaten her. >> translator: i just want officials to explain clearly whether it was shoddy construction or the earthquake, itself, that caused my child's death. the town is being developed through the sacrifice of our children, but i can never forget
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my child's death. >> reporter: each time parents ask for the truth about what caused their children to die, the government doesn't give a straight answer. and it cracks down on defiant parents. for their own safety, they have no choice but to keep silent. the chinese government allows no one to criticize it to keep society stable. in quake-hit areas, that policy is clear to everyone. nhk world. east timor has marked the tenth anniversary of its independence from indonesia. a ceremony was held in the capital dili with about 1,000 people attending. representatives from other countries and the united nations also took part. east timor gained formal independence on may 20th, 2002. after a quarter century of rule by indonesia and the u.n. interim administration.
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taur matan ruak won the election last month with an appeal for national unity. >> translator: the challenges that our country has to face will require my full attention and dedication during the first year of my term in office. i have decided that i will not travel abroad before may next year. >> he also expressed his gratitude to indonesian president susilo bambang yudhoyono for helping east timor to join the association of southeast asian nations. east timor is hoping to boost economic development as 40% of the population live in poverty. security is another concern, as most of the u.n. peacekeeping troops in the country will withdraw by the en this year. the economy of end neerk sha has been developing rapidly in recent years and its middle class is expanding.
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higher incomes are giving parents the means to provide their children with opportunities they never had. nhk world reports. ♪ >> reporter: children play instruments as their parents watch with pride. these children performing at the concert in jakarta didn't only make the melodies, they also composed the music. ♪ demand for music lessons is increasing every year. japanese musical instrument firm yamaha has more than 35,000 students at its music schools in indonesia. classes for young children cost over $40 a month, but that
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hasn't deterred parts from enrolling their kids. >> translator: we want to stimulate his creativity through music. >> translator: music can be her hobby or even her source of income in the future, if she's food at it. >> reporter: increasing numbers of indonesian families are more than $3,000 a year. that officially makes them middle class, able to enjoy the benefits of more disposable income. >> translator: the number of students is increasing by around 15% to 20% a year. the middle class is very important for us. and we'll grow even more in the future. >> reporter: the education boom isn't limited to the capital.
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kumon is a school from japan where students receive extra education after school. it has 570 classrooms and more than 110,000 students across indonesia. that number almost tripled in just five years. this classroom is located in the suburb in. the fee around $30 a month isn't cheap. parents say it's a price worth paying. >> translator: we just hope that our children won't be like us. we want them to be smart. >> translator: it would have been impossible to open a classroom here three or four years ago because the area wasn't so rich then. indonesian parents strongly think that if they can provide a good education for their children, their future will be
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wealthier. >> reporter: she has been studying at the school for 2 1/2 years. she's in the third grade of elementary school, but the material she's studying is third grade junior high. kumon's self-learning effort encouraging students to study at their own pace. many advance beyond their school grade. >> translator: sometimes it's difficult to answer questions for junior high students, but i'm enjoying the self-learning style. i prefer it. >> reporter: shifa keeps studying even after she gets home. her mother says these days she can afford to spend more on her daughter's education. >> translator: i'm proud of my daughter.
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i never imagined she could achieve so much. >> reporter: parents' hopes for their children are rising in indonesia, and businesses are learning that there are opportunities to be found all across the archipelago. nhk world, jakarta. now let's get the world weather forecast from one of the people i rushed outside with to see the eclipse. sayaka? >> hey. >> we were ready, weren't we? >> yeah. >> well, it was a little cloudy here outside our studios, but i think the clouds actually made the eclipse even more beautiful. >> yeah, that's right. we're concerned about the weather, but luckily, clouds are not thick enough to obscure the skies. tomorrow is a different storm. our seasonal rain band will lift toward the north and affect most of the pacific coast producing
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wet and cool temperatures. for example, tokyo, temperatures should be dipping to the mid teens, so feeling more like march. but it's a different story for northern japan, the korean peninsula, and much of eastern china staying dry under the influence of these high pressure systems. meanwhile, there's a potent storm over inland china and that will produce heavy rain in and around the sichuan province, up to 100, or actually more than 100 millimeters is in the forecast over the next 24 hours. as for taiwan, it's been raining over the weekend, about 250 millimeters of rain fell in just a span of 24 hours. but some light showers are in the forecast. that could, of course, raise the risks of flooding as well as landslides. temperature-wise, 29 degrees in hong kong with cloudily skies. 27 in taipei. reaching the 30-degree mark in seoul. and tokyo at 23 degrees. and should drop to 16 degrees on your tuesday. now, moving over to the americas, a new tropical storm
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has formed off the southeast coast of the u.s. this is alberto. it's not likely to become a hurricane nor impact any landmasses, but it could produce dangerous surf and rip currents across the coast from south carolina down toward florida. also, the storm will produce ample moisture, bring ample moisture to the southeastern u.s., so some popup showers are in the forecast here. meanwhile, there's a long frontal line stretching in ontario down toward the southern plains bringing thundershowers. severe weather in the western great lakes should be over within the next couple of hours, but thundershowers will remain across most of the eastern u.s. and canada. out toward the west, there's a low-pressure system moving into british columbia and the pacific northwest bringing wet and windy conditions. to the south, staying dry and calm. actually some parts of the southwestern u.s. will be able to see the annular eclipse if the weather is nice. as you can see, it's going to be
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very dry, so conditions are ideal to watch the ring of fire. 25 degrees expected in los angeles on your monday. 29 degrees in denver. and out toward the east, looking mild in d.c., with a high of 23 degrees. finally, let's go over to europe. multiple systems are creating wet and windy conditions across the western continent. including northern italy where a deadly earthquake occurred on your sunday. unfortunately, unstable weather should remain into monday. so that could hinder the cleanup efforts here. meanwhile, a rain band will form from the baltic states into western russia, and down toward the south, quite warm for this time of year, 27 trdegrees in moscow. 28 degrees in warsaw. 19 degrees in london. should be warming up to the mid 20s as we head into wednesday. here's your extended forecast.
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and that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in
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tokyo. thanks for joining us.
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