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tv   Newsline  PBS  August 2, 2013 5:30pm-5:41pm PDT

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welcome to "newsline." i'm keiko kitagawa in tokyo. u.s. governmen officials are warning al qaeda may soon launch terror attacks in the middle east and north africa. they're taking defensive measures to protect american facilities and citizens. state department officials say they'll temporarily close embassies on sunday in 17 muslim countries including iraq, libya, egypt and afghanistan. they issued a global travel alert based on information suggesting al qaeda members are planning attacks. they say they see a threat
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between now and the end of this month. u.s. officials stepped up their security at diplomatic facility last year. militants in libya killed four americans including the u.s. ambassador in september. a man lit up a bomb this february at the u.s. embassy in turkey. the latest u.s. jobs data are presenting a mixed picture. fewer americans were out of work, but job growth fell short of economists' expectations. analysts are trying to figure out whether the numbers will prompt fed policymakers to scale down their economic stimulus measures. officials at the u.s. labor department say the jobless rate last month stood at 7.4%. that's down 0.2% from a month before. it's the lowest figure since december 2008. employers added 162,000 non-farm jobs. economists had expected about 185,000. people found new jobs in the
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retail trade, food and beverage services, financial activity, and the wholesale trade. officials revised down their numbers of new non-farm jobs for may and june. and for more insight on those numbers, we spoke with bruce kasmchief economist at jpmorgan chase in new york. >> the july employment report was modestly disappointing. the jobs gains slowed to about 160,000 a month, which was less than expected. but i think more important was the combination of a decline in hours worked in the month, as well as a decline in average hourly earnings. as a result of that, what we see is a picture of an economy in which corporations which have been suffering profit losses over the last couple of quarters making steps back to regain margins by pulling back somewhat on their labor inputs. overall, the payroll picture continues to look solid, but is softening in a way that does add
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some risks to our forecast and consensus forecast that the economy will pick up steam in the second half of the year. for the federal reserve, as it moves towards the september meeting, we don't think this alters the decision that they'll make that they're signaling they're going to make towards beginning the tapering of asset purchases. the job growth that we've seen remains strong enough. the accumulation of improvement in the labor market and the fall in the unemployment rate to 7.4% all suggests that the fed will be on track for tapering. however, if this report is a signal that the economy is not going to be picking up much steam more broadly in the second half of the year, it does suggest the feds tapering will be rather modest, perhaps no more than $10 billion or $15 billion in the first step. and also, that the steps ahead will take place quite slowly. we're not looking for a second step on tapering until the december fomc meeting after september. finally on the economy, we
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believe the u.s. economy is gradually lifting as we move through the middle part of the year, but it is set to be held back by some important drags. the lift is coming partly from a fiscal drag, which we think will be fading in the second half of the year. it's coming partly from a global economy, which is being helped by europe's exit from recession. and we do believe even though the fed is tapering, that the impulses coming from monetary policy are positive. we can see the lift beginning in the manufacturing data. we see the lift also likely to show up in the capital spending and equipment space. the consumer, we think, is going to be on the sluggish side but not restrain the economy in a significant way. we're looking for a 2.5% growth rate in the next two quarters after having seen the economy grow at only a 1.4% pace over the last four quarters. >> that was bruce kasman, chief economist at jpmorgan chase. executives at the japanese
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electronics giant soniy are rejecting what they see as a bad idea for their business. they've been under pressure from a major shareholder to spin off their entertainment division. but they say they'll hang on to that division and use it to make their business grow. sony executives have been considering a proposal from a u.s. hedge fund named third point. they say they'll officially reject the proposal at an extraordinary board meeting as early as next week. they say their movie and music combo will lead to growth if they run it in conjunction with their tv and video operations. the chief executive of third point started putting pressure on sony executives in may. he urged them to spin off their entertainment arm and sell some of its shares to secure funds to rebuild its finances. he said the sony executives should go ahead with the spin-off immediately for the sake of their shareholders. the man who led iran for 80
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years wrapped up his presidency in a way that had become familiar to his enemies. mahmoud ahmadinejad stepped on to a podium in the capital and fired one last verbal salvo at the west and israel. >> translator: the united states and european countries have caused a powerful storm in this region and around the world. that storm will uproot israel. >> they're marking what they call quds day. they demand israelis leave the territories they occupy. tens of thousands marched in the capital tehran. most were members of a voluntary militia called the basij. they chanted slogans wishing death on israel and the united states. hassan rouhani will take office
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sunday. some people in shanghai have been getting a higher view of their city. they've been peering down from the top of what's going to be chinese tallest building. builders expect to finish their work on the changsha tower in 2015. it will have 125 floors and stand 632 meters tall. it will house offices, the world's highest hotel and the world's fastest elevator. the skyscraper has taken the title of mainland china's tallest struck from its next door neighbor, the changsha world financial center. a representative of the new building's owner said height is not their only goal. >> translator: i hope this building will become a shanghai landmark. >> china's agency says another superskyscraper is rising in the
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southern city of changjen. skyscrapers are planned for three other chinese cities. here's the three-day world weather forecast.
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before we wrap up, we'd like to show you how people in the central japanese city nagaoka haeen spding a summer evening. residents began holding an annual fireworks show after world war ii as a way to remember people who died in u.s. air raids. they dedicated this year's event to disaster recovery. some were remembering an earthquake that struck the area in 2004 and the quake and tsunami that hit northeastern japan in 2011. fireworks lit up the sky along the shinano river. one of the most popular displays was called niagara falls. city officials say it attracted 40,000 more spectators than last year. organizers are putting on another show on saturday.
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and that's all for now on this edition of "newsline." thank you for watching.


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