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tv   Satellite News From Taiwan  PBS  January 12, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

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check out the website at the bottom of the screen and get involved, and help our young people pursue their dreams. thank you. welcome to nhk world "newsline." japanese prime minister naoto kan met with u.s. defense secretary robert gates in tokyo. they agreed to continue working together to bring stability to east asia, including north korea. before the meeting kan told gates he is determined to deepen the japan-u.s. alliance. kan added that he is looking forward to expressing the sentiment to u.s. president barack obama when they meet in the spring. gates agreed with kan. he said sustaining strong
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relations between the two countries is important amid the unstable situation in the region. prior to the talks with kan gates met with foreign minister seiji maehara and defense minister toshimi kitazawa. u.s. president barack obama has mourned the victims of the shooting rampage in arizona. six people died, and a congresswoman was left in critical condition. obama spoke at a memorial service in tucson on wednesday. >> we mourn with you for the fallen. we join you in your grief. and we add our faith to yours that representative gabrielle giffords and the other living victims of this tragedy will pull through. [ cheers and applause ] rather than pointing fingers or
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assigning blame, let's use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together. >> in washington the u.s. house of representatives has unanimously adopted a resolution con demg t condemning the arizona shooting rampage. the house reopened on wednesday after deliberations were postponed due to the shootings. around 100 members of congress paid tribute to their colleague, gabrielle giffords, who is recovering after being shot in the head. >> this is a time for the house to lock arms in prayer for the fallen and the wounded. >> in the resolution the house said intimidation and threats of violence cannot silence the voices of any american.
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the members also offered condolences for the victims and prayers for the speedy recovery of the 14 wounded. lawmakers are expected to continue discussions on additional security measures. japanese stock prices are up but japan's machinery orders were down. this is a leading indicator of capital investment, which was announced on thursday morning. the data was worse than market forecasts. machinery orders in november fell 3% from the previous month. it's the third largest month of declines. the cabinet office reported major machinery makers received orders worth about $8.7 billion from domestic firms. the figure excludes shipping and power companies. while orders for manufacturers were up 10.6%, those of non-manufacturers fell 10.5%. the cabinet office downgraded its assessment, saying that machinery orders are on a recovery track but orders from non-manufacturers are weak. in october the government had said the orders were recovering.
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the federal reserve says the u.s. economy is continuing to show gradual improvement, though the housing market remains sluggish. on wednesday the fed released a report known as the beige book. that's a survey of economic conditions in the country's 12 federal reserve districts. the report says all districts saw lingering sluggishness in the housing market, which is the key to a full-fledged economic recovery. it says manufacturing and consumer spending improved moderately. some districts reported stronger than expected retail sales during the year-end shopping season. the report says the unemployment situation is somewhat improved in nearly all parts of the country. but it also says employers remain cautious about wage hikes and new hiring. the fed additionally notes that many companies are concerned about the increasing cost of crude oil and oil-related products. u.s. treasury secretary timothy geithner has urged china to allow its currency to rise faster. geithner made the comment in a
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speech in washington on wednesday, ahead of chinese president hu jintao's state visit to the united states next week. geithner said the yuan remains substantially undervalued and china is moving too slowly to i rise. china pledged to allow more currency flexibility last june, but geithner said for the past seven months the yuan has appreciated against the dollar by only about 3%. >> if china does not allow the currency to appreciate more rapidly, it will run the risk of seeing domestic inflation accelerate, as you already have seen, and will face greater risk of a damaging rise in asset prices. >> the treasury secretary also mentioned alleged widespread theft of u.s. intellectual property in china and the country's policies to protect domestic businesses. there is a growing unhappiness among some in the united states the cheap yuan is damaging the competitiveness of u.s. products. japan's prime minister kan
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looks set to dismiss his chief cabinet secretary yoshito sengoku in a cabinet reshuffle on friday. the move comes after opposition parties threatened to boycott diet deliberations unless sengoku steps down. informed sources say kan will reshuffle his cabinet and the executive of the governing democratic party on friday as it prepares to convene the ordinary diet session on january 24th. the government wants to enact the fiscal 2011 budget and related bills before the next fiscal year begins on april 1st. kan has sought to keep sengoku in his post because he was -- or he has played a key role in coordinating major policies since the prime minister took over seven months ago. but the main opposition liberal democratic and the new komeito parties want sengoku replaced, saying the upper house adopted a censure moment against him last year. the prime minister apparently decided to dismiss sengoku for the sake of smooth diet deliberation. kan has to replace him with the
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ruling party's deputy secretary-general, yukio edano, who is close to his predecessor. informed sources also say the co-leader of the opposition sunrise party kaoru yosano accepted kan's request to become a cabinet minister. he left the opposition party on thursday. yosano served in several key cabinet posts, including finance minister in the governments of the liberal democrats. he tried to broker a coalition with the ruling democrats late last year. the sources say kan intends to retain foreign minister seiji maehara and other key cabinet ministers. he also plans to keep the party secretary-general katsuya okada in their posts. thousands of people have taken part in memorial services across the caribbean nation of haiti to remember the victims of the 2010 earthquake. the quake struck exactly one year ago. the haitian government declared wednesday a day of national mourning for the more than 200,000 people killed in the quake. in the capital, port-au-prince,
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a ceremony marked the start of construction of a memorial for the victims. haitian president rene preval and former u.s. president bill clinton were in attendance. ♪ ♪ >> civic ceremonies were also held with many mourners taking part from the early morning. more than 800,000 haitians who
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lost their homes in the quake are still living in make-shift shelters. reconstruction is expected to take years. the sluggish economy after the lehman brothers collapse still distresses many americans. to get the u.s. economy back on track the federal reserve created another quantitative easing policy last autumn. in this "global economy" series we focus on the united states. nhk world's david savina reports from new york. >> reporter: the new york stock exchange opened the year on an upbeat note while the dow jones industrial average posted three-year highs two times in its opening week. >> well, it's supposed to be the year of the rabbit, and this is a pretty good -- pretty good start. you're seeing money coming into the marketplace that had been at rest somewhere else. >> reporter: one driving force behind the rise is retail sales.
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americans have been buying more. according to the international council of shopping centers, 2010's holiday sales were up, with the season posting the strongest sales since 2006. the strong sales have carried over into 2011. this ski resort has 10% more customers compared to the same time last year. some say it indicates americans have more money available for recreation. >> for the holidays, for christmas, i bought my wife a nice ski jacket, and bought new skis for the children. so we're spending on that type of thing. >> reporter: a government stimulus plan has driven the recovery. the federal reserve, the u.s.'s central bank, put the plan into effect last year. this stimulus package pumped $600 billion into the economy.
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and americans are spending the money on all kinds of products. in december gold reached its highest price ever, at $1,432.50 an ounce. prices of other futures, such as crude oil and cotton, are gradually going up. but the average consumer still faces the highest -- >> the gas prices. my piece is -- my pie is every day getting a "little miss sunshine" every day. you know what i'm saying? >> reporter: also, the enormous u.s. budget deficit at $1.5 trillion and growing is weighing the economy down. long-term interest rates have risen sharply since the fall. at one point the yield for a ten-year government bond reached
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3.5%. so home mortgage rates have gone up. this is bad news for the real estate market, which had finally started to show signs of recovery. >> if they allow interest rates to pop up precipitously, they're going to crash the real estate market. >> reporter: the recent strength of the u.s. stock market seems to be just one more indicator pointing toward a year of economic growth in 2011. some anxiety continues, however, over the side effects of the federal reserve's huge quantitative easing policy. david savino, nhk world, new york. >> earlier hideshi hara spoke with ai uchida about the u.s. economy. >> ai, the report shows that consumption is slowly picking up but can we take it as a sign of full-fledged recovery? >> well, it certainly could be taken as one sign, but we definitely need other pieces of the puzzle firmly in place
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before we can cheer. but let's first focus on the positive. last friday federal reserve chairman he ben bernanke said a self-sustaining recovery in personal consumption and business spending may be taking hold in the u.s. economy. he was speaking to the u.s. senate. at the same time it is expected that obama's extension of the tax cuts and unemployment benefits will stimulate -- will continue to stimulate the economy. >> okay. what's that news, then? >> first, as the earlier report showed, the budget deficit is ballooning. it is estimated to top $1.5 trillion this year. the second concern is the sluggish housing market due to rising interest rates. the housing market is one of the pillars of the u.s. economy. and speaking of which, the third concern that needs to be addressed is the jobless situation in the united states. the u.s. unemployment rate has stood above 9% for 20 straight months now.
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bernanke said it still needs another four to five years for labor market to stabilize. >> then what more needs to be done? >> i spoke with alan blinder about that. he is a former vice chairman of the federal reserve and currently an economics professor at princeton university. first i asked him how the obama stimulus packages will help americans. >> well, i'm sure we're going to see more jobs. some, for example, i mentioned the payroll tax. some substantial amount of that 120 billion is going to be spent on consumer items. there will be some investment stimulus on business equipment items. and that will lead to some jobs. now, housing has been dead in the water in our country for some time now, and i wouldn't bet on a big revival this year. >> professor, what more do you think the fed can do? >> for example, i have been urging the federal reserve -- they're not listening to me, but i've been urging them to routes
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interest rate it pays banks to hold idle reserves to zero at least or preferably to actually go negative, start charging them a service fee for holding them. the fed is paying them 1/4 of a percent annualized as an interest rate. which is very low, but compared to many other short-term interest rates in the u.s. not that low. >> now, ai, the fed's second round of quantitative easing, the so-called qe2, runs out in june. what's the possibility of qe3? >> well, alan blinder, as well as several other economists that i've spoken to here in tokyo, seemed to think that the chances of that happening are less than 50%. the main reason seems to be that it would weaken the u.s. dollar, which in turn fuels concern of inflation in other economies, particularly in developing economies. and another reason is that the u.s. economy could be in better shape in a few months' time. so it could all depend on the
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economic situation in the first half of 2011 as we lead up to the expiration of qe2. >> thanks again for your report. comedy can be hard work, but what is it like to perform in a country that has seen 30 years of war and ethnic strife? that was the challenge facing a group of japanese entertainers who visited iraq recently. next we meet a troupe determined to make the children laugh. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: peels of laughter, shrieks of joy. who is entertaining these iraqi children? >> ninja! >> reporter: a comedic storyteller. a magician. and a manga artist. that's who. and all three from japan. the group is called entertainers
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without borders. >> translator: you see how children's faces change before and after the show. their eyes start to brighten. >> reporter: kakusho, a comedic storyteller, is the group's leader. 16 years ago he performed for the victims of a big earthquake in western japan. people who had lost homes and loved ones told him that laughter helped to ease their suffering. since then kakusho has performed overseas, aiming to bring joy to children suffering from poverty
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or disasters. early in december kakusho and his group arrived in sulemania, a town in northern iraq. the town has become home for 480 sunni refugees who have fled from baghdad. even though conditions have improved, refugees cannot live safely in the capital because of continued religious conflict. >> many people can go back to baghdad. >> reporter: three days after arriving the performers set up their stage. as the show progresses, excitement starts to fill the air. >> everyone's really excited.
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people are having fun like there's no tomorrow. >> translator: i'm happy. >> translator: it was fun. >> reporter: next day a review appeared in the local paper. it said the japanese show brought joy to the hearts of our children. however, on their last day the japanese troupe faced a tough challen challenge. in recent years an increasing number of children have been diagnosed with cancer and leukemia. some believe it is the result of weapons used during the war. kakusho performed for the young patients. but one boy never smiled. >> translator: i couldn't do anything. i think it will take time for
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him to heal. it's my only regret. we shouldn't have children who can't laugh. >> reporter: he had hoped to make all the children smile. he hopes to return to iraq one day and make all the children laugh. >> kakusho has performed for children in 30 countries and territories, but he says this was the first time he had returned with feelings of regret. he plans to visit iraq again with his humorous stories, determined to make a difference in the children's lives. let's take a look at the latest market figures. ♪
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♪ hello there. time now for another update. we'll take a look at australia, first of all. you can see those clouds beginning to dissipate over southeastern queensland. we could well see the odd shower or two in brisbane over the next few days, but that should really help with the recovery efforts
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going on here. and levels are beginning to recede as well. now, the area of concern is going to be victoria. next we've got some really hefty showers expected to develop during the day. mostly tropical moisture entering from the north and heading toward this low pressure system. we are going to see heavy rainfall today. we've already heard reports of minor flooding in the area. that could certainly trigger major flooding as well. so do stay on the watch for that. as for eastern asia, pretty calm really across china and the korean peninsula again. some showers popping up in the southwestern corner and some light snow flurries working their way across the eastern corner here reaching north korea as well. winter storm really impacting the western side of japan again but mainly in the morning hours. still we can expect some really significant snowfall accumulating in this area. up toward the north for hokkaido staying pretty windy and stormy throughout the day near that low pressure system. now, as for southeastern asia more unsettled weather to come, especially for the philippines,
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which has been dealing with weeks of heavy rain. and the additional rainfall could certainly worsen the flooding situation out here. another area we keep an eye on is sri lanka that has been dealing with torrential rains since the weekend. just in the last 24 hours rainfall exceeded 200 millimeters in eastern parts of sri lanka. and additional rain is expected over the next two to three days. we do have a low pressure system nearby. that's just going to continue to in the same area. so that could certainly worsen the flooding situation out here as well. we've got 14 degrees in hong kong today, 7 in chongqing, 6 degrees in shanghai. a touch milder today. 1 degree in beijing. staying very cold in seoul. and tokyo's going to be 8 degrees on thursday. now, heading into europe, then, we do have a couple of systems, large systems, in play. one toward the east is going to continue to bring wintry precipitation. we can expect widespread snow up in finland.
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snowfall for the baltic states into western russia. and then down toward the uk looking at a mix of rain, snow, and sleet there. now, out toward the west, we're going to see this long line of rain that's expected to affect places like the southern uk, the low countries, as well as germany, which is dealing with severe flooding over a wide area. down towards the south the weather is recovering quite nicely for places like italy. still a bit thundery to start off the day in greece. and the iberian peninsula holding on to that dry wearing here. good spells of sunshine in between as well, and temperatures on the mild side here. 16 degrees in madrid. 16 in lisbon. very pleasant in london. and paris as well. 14 degrees in paris. all right. here's your extended forecast now. ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ once again, the headlines this hour. japanese prime minister naoto kan met with u.s. defense secretary robert gates in tokyo. they agreed to continue working together to bring stability to east asia, including north korea. before the meeting kan told gates he is determined to deepen the japan-u.s. alliance. kan added that he is looking forward to expressing the sentiment to u.s. president barack obama when they meet in the spring. gates agreed with kan. he said sustaining strong relations between the two countries is important amid the unstable situation in the region. prior to talks with kan, gates met with foreign minister seiji maehara and defense minister toshimi kitazawa. u.s. president barack obama has mourned the victims of the shooting rampage in arizona. six people died, and a
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congresswoman was left in critical condition. obama spoke at a memorial service in tucson on wednesday. >> we mourn with you for the fallen. we join you in your grief. and we add our faith to yours that representative gabrielle giffords and the other living victims of this tragedy will pull through. [ applause ] rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let's use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways
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our hopes and dreams are bound together. we'll be back with more news in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani.
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