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tv   Newsline  PBS  August 21, 2013 6:00am-6:31am PDT

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welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at some of the stories we are following this hour. >> japan's nuclear regulators urged fukushima daiichi to check the water tanks after hundreds of tons of water leaked out. al jazeera america has kicked off in new york.
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some welcome a different angle on the news while others say it's biased against the u.s. and the friends and family of a japanese war correspondent are remembering her one year after her death and trying to spread her message. workers at the damaged fukushima daiichi plant say a leakage of contaminated water may have gone undetected for some time. they say the storage tank doesn't have a water level gauge and their monitoring may not have been adequate. workers found a puddle forming just outside a low wall surrounding tanks near reactor number four. they confirmed one of the tanks lost more than 300 tons of water. the water contains high levels of radioactive substances. officials of the tokyo electric power company says the tank has no water gauge. they say the workers didn't notice the leak in their daily inspections until they saw the puddle outside the barrier. nuclear regulators urged the utility to check 350 tanks of
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the same structure in the compound. >> translator: if a leak occurred at one tank, we should assume it could happen at other tanks as well. the tafrpg produces 400 tons of contaminated water because ground water is coming into the reactor buildings through cracks in the walls. the nuclear regulators say the leak of the contaminated water may be worse than they first thought. they are reassessing the severity of the spill and say they may raise their rating by two levels. members of the nuclear regulation authority rated the leak a level one incident on an international scale from zero to seven, but say they may revise their rating to level three. the scale classifies the seriousness of nuclear incidents. regulators look at how much the radiation has leaked and how
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badly the facility was damaged. level three is for serious incidents. that rating was given to a reprocessing plant north of tokyo. 37 workers were exposed to radiation. the 2011 accident at fukushima daiichi and the 1986 chernobyl nuclear accident were both classified as level seven accidents. japan's defense minister says the government is working hard to win the okinawa governor's approval for the start of land reclamation for a new u.s. military base. approval is needed before construction can begin of an alternative facility to the u.s. marine corps futenma air station. onodera made the remark to u.s. senator john mccain in tokyo. the two discussed the stalled plan to relocate the air station to the coastal station. in okinawa. mccain said he hopes they will
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soon approve the plan to begin filling in the offshore area. the governor will decide the application as early as next spring. in his talks with the republican senator, onodera referred to drastic cuts by the u.s. senate, for transferring marines from okinawa to guam. he expressed the concern the return will not proceed if the transfer doesn't take place. onodera called on the u.s. to provide funds for their military's relocation in order to help ease the okinawa people's burden. >> angela amerimerkel is the fio visit the site. she traveled with a group of survivors from the camp. more than 40,000 people, most of them jews died at the camps during the holocaust. u.s. troops liberated it in 1945.
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>> translator: the memory of their fate fills me with deep sadness and shame. at the same time, such places as the concentration camp memorial site are a powerful reminder. >> it was set up by the nazis in 1933 as the first concentration camp and became the prototype for a network of death camp in germany and abroad including auschwitz in poland. al jazeera began broadcasting from new york city. many people think the channel is anti-american. but reporters claim they are just getting a fresh viewpoint.
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>> reporter: i'm standing in the newsroom of al jazeera america, which launched its news channel a few moments ago. >> it is 4:00 p.m. in the eastern time zone and this is the first-ever news hour from al jazeera america. welcome, everyone. >> al jazeera first came on air in 1996, funded by middle eastern nation, qatar. people in the states have mostly seen it as anti-american since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but it's now trying to establish an american presence with the newly created 24-hour news channel. al jazeera in january acquired current tv, founded by former vice president al gore, for a reported $500 million. it then hired more than 850 staff and established 12 bureaus across the country.
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with current tv's network to build on, al jazeera america is starting off with a viewership of 48 million american households. the new network can call on its parent company, 70 bureaus worldwide, and promises to provide an in-depth look at international coverage often missing from u.s. television news. but the focus is its fresh look at the domestic coverage. >> i think this will allow al jazeera america to have the best and strongest in news gathering so we're going to get the stories from everywhere. we're going to cover areas that nobody covers and we're going to cover areas that are considered undercovered. >> reporter: the u.s. networks have felt the pinch of a difficult economy and pressure from sponsors to boost ratings. in many cases, that's meant sacrificing thorough news coverage for a more sensational approach. many journalists who joined al
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al jazeera are eager to get back to real journalism. >> the pressure is on for us to do good work versus the pressures to do good work that the audience will find are two different things. i'm here because the promise to do really great work is just exceptional. >> reporter: it's still unknown how al jazeera will get beyond its anti-american image. while many u.s. viewers clearly welcome a different take on the news, others voice a.m. bif lens. >> fantastic. we need multiple forces, multiple views, especially for our international news. so, welcome. >> i think it's terrible. i think al jazeera is a network of terrorists. i lost 3,000 friends of mine down the street here on 9/11. i don't feel highly about it at all. >> reporter: the pledge of serious journalism echoes the hopes of u.s. news professionals
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but it's going to face a serious scrutiny, unlike any other in the u.s. or around the world. nhk world, new york. china's foreign minister made a symbolic trip to cambodia weeks after the controversial election. here are the details from bangkok. the visit highlights show support for cambodia's long serving prime minister. he claimed victory but opposition parties dispute the result. foreign minister met on wednesday during an official visit to mark 55 years of diplomatic relations. he congratulated him on the victory and stressed the importance of bilateral ties. >> translator: i would like to stress once again that china will continue to strengthen the friendly relationship between
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the two countries. >> he is asia's longest serving prime minister, in power for 28 years. opposition parties have criticized his thor tear yan style. cambodia's foreign minister was quick the highlight china's support for the ruling party. >> translator: on behalf of the royal government of cambodia, i thank you, the government of china, for supporting the election result of cambodia. >> chinese influence over cambodia has been increasing. nearly half of all investment into cambodia over the past five years has come from china. critics say beijing is using its financial might to buy diplomatic influence. cambodia face criticism when it cut short debate on the south china sea. china and other asean members have overlapping claims. china appears keen to boost ties
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with friendly countries at a time when the united states is also giving more attenti t the region as part of its pivot to asia policy. >> a bus with about 50 people on board plunged into a deep ravine near a malaysia tourist resort on wednesday. 33 people were killed including the driver. the vehicle tumbled off a steep road near genting highlands. a popular destination that is home to malaysia's only casino. the bus fell 60 meters into the ravine. the passengers were mostly malaysians along with several tourists. it attracts thousands of domestic and foreign tourist every week including many from singapore and china. life isn't easy for residents of kabul.
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security in the cav tam capital of afghanistan is a constant worry and scorching temperatures make everything feel harder. but a new leisure facility is making waves. here is more. >> reporter: afghans are baking in the heat of summer. daytime highs regularly reach 35 degrees celsius. sometimes even 40. for many it's almost too much to bear. >> the summer heat and the worsening security irritate me. >> now there is a new place where roasting residents can cool off. this is a brand-new facility in kabul. but to get inside we need to go through this kind of body-check. let's get inside.
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the country's first recreational swimming pool opened in april. the entrance fee of 12 u.s. dollars is expensive, equivalent to 60 cups of tea. but it seems a lot of people can afford it. the pool welcomes more than 300 visitors a day. >> translator: when i come here i don't feel i'm in afghanistan. i hear no explosions or fighting and i can relax. >> reporter: most afghans have never seen a water slide before. i feel much cooler. >> reporter: only a few swimming
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pools exist in this landlocked country so the chance to get wet is a luxury. >> translator: i feel great in here because it's terribly hot outside. >> reporter: children enjoy and so do adults and the jacuzzi gets them somewhere to relax. and they don't have to worry about missing prayer time either because the facility has a room for that. >> i must pray no matter what. having a place like this is essential. >> reporter: but this place isn't for everyone. a close look reveals that all the bathers are men. islam prohibits women from showing their bodies in public so the pool of for men only. afghan females have little choice but to suffer through the heat.
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>> translator: it's so disappointing that women aren't allowed to visit a place like this. >> translator: unless we women demand it, no swimming pool for females will ever be built. >> reporter: for those people lucky enough to be allowed inside and if they can afford it, afghanistan's first recreational swimming pool is an oasis, they can escape the heat of summer and also let the war torn country wash away. >> and that wraps up our bulletin in bangkock. china's government commission for economic policies indicated the economic slowdown is coming to an end. the chief economist at the
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national development and reform commission state information center forecasts grow will likely remain stable for the rest of this year. he says steel output posted a sharp rise in july. and also pointed out producer prices are starting to rise gradually. economic growth in the third and fourth quarter is likely to be slightly higher than the previous two quarters. china will be able to reach the government target of around 7.5% in the annual growth rate. foreign travelers to japan topped 1 million in july for the first time. this was due to a weaker yen and an easing in visa requirements. officials at the japan national tourism organization say an estimated 1 million, 3,000 people came, up 18.4% from a year before. the japanese government eased visa requirements from visitors
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from five southeastern nations and the tourists from vietnam up 59.4% and those from malaysia up 25.2%. visitors from taiwan and hong kong set new highs. further efforts are needed to reach the government target of 10 million visitors a year. >> translator: enhancing the image of japan is the key. make it more distinctive and appealing to foreigners. >> jesm ficials may expand the easier visa requirements to nationals of india, russia and other countries, to reach the next target of 20 million visitors a year. here are the latest market figures.
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the family and friends of a japanese war correspondent are taking time to remember her one year after she died. she was killed covering the civil war in syria. some of those who knew her are trying to carry on with her mission. >> reporter: mika yamamoto was killed doing what she loved doing, reporting on the horrors of war. one year after her death, the situation in syria hasn't changed much. >> translator: mika would be sad or even angry over the way things are now.
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>> reporter: united nations specialists say more than 5,000 people are killed in syria every month, nearly 100,000 since the uprising began. about 1.8 million refugees have fled to neighboring countries. >> translator: it's been 2 1/2 years, and the international community isn't doing anything for us. >> reporter: mika yamamoto tried to make people care. she used to give lectures at her old high school about what she saw in conflict zones. >> translator: many innocent people die without being able to cry for help. the job of journalists is to gather information on what happened to them and tell their stories to the world.
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>> reporter: inspired by what she heard, she wrote down every word that yamamoto said and read books to learn more about the background of yamamoto's report. >> translator: she changed my perception of daily news. >> reporter: she even visited yamamoto's parents. >> translator: mika's aspiration was to end war, and her greatest wish was to spread that message. >> reporter: her group organized a reading of yamamoto's book covering wars.
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>> translator: i want to keep spreading mika's story among people of my generation. >> reporter: tanamo and her friends say they will keep honoring her work to learn about the suffering of innocent people caught up in war. nhk world, tokyo. >> syria has become the most dangerous country for journalists. the people at reporters without borders say last year, 17 journalists were killed there. seven more have been killed since the start of the year. >> tokyo officials have switched on the city's rain-making machinery for the first time in
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12 years amid sweltering dry conditions. government workers conduct and experiment near a dam on the river. they hope to ease tokyo's increasingly tight water supply. the equipment releases tiny particles of silve the air. the particles combine with water vapor in clouds to form droplets of rain. the equipment was activated at two locations in the afternoon. rain began falling near the dam after the process was complete. 10 to 11 millimeters of precipitation per hour were recorded in the evening. hot and dry weather has prevailed in tokyo nearby areas this summer. it has reduced water levels in the dam to 69% of capacity, far below the seasonal average. the metropolitan government has imposed a cut in water intake from rivers. >> translator: this is a desperate measure to make rainfall. we will make every effort, in face of the severe water shortage but we also want people
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in tokyo to continue the efforts to save water. >> a senior government official say it had is crucial for tokyo to continue to function as the nation's capital, despite getting little or no rain. there is a tropical storm near taiwan and rachel ferguson from the weather team has been following the story. rachel? things are looking very wet and windy indeed. this is a strong severe tropical storm. it has been impacting taiwan today and the eye of the storm has just moved past the northern tip of the island. it is now expected to make landfall in the southeastern coast of china in the early hours of thursday morning. so you can see the reach of this storm. it is bringing some strong winds, 108 kilometer per hour sustained winds with 162 kilometer per hour gusts in
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okinawa, we heard that 100 kilometer per hour gusts were recorded. it's really the rain from the system that has been bringing the most concern. for the last several days, places like the northern philippines and taiwan have been hit hard by the rains from trami, in the past week, you can see totals of 500 to 600 millimeters, really bad flooding across parts of northern philippines as well as taiwan. we were showing pictures earlier today. here are pictures from the philippines once again. this is 80 kilometers north of manila. floods have been submerging villages and making roads impassable. a month's worth of rain has fallen in a few days and the area is claimed a place of calamity. nearly 300,000 more have been
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displaced but are staying with friends and relatives. so this is in the philippines, which isn't even in the direct path of this storm. what it's been doing, enhancing the southwest monsoonal flow over the philippines as the moisture flows into the storm. all of this heavy rain has been impacting portions of luzon. we'll see more of that in taiwan and as the system makes its way into southeastern china, even after it becomes a tropical depression, which is likely to do after making landfall. we'll see a lot of rain in the next three or four days. you can see it as it spreads in over the next 72 hours. another area getting heavy rain last few days, parts of japan, central portions and 53 millimeters in the space of one hour. short term heavy rain a concern for flooding. into the weekend southern portions of japan will be enjoying cooler and wetter
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conditions after a very protracted hot and dry spell. that is some good news here. tokyo, 33 degrees and staying dry on thursday. 31 in seoul. we're seeing the rain of course in taipai and heating up at 37 degrees there. into the americas, wet and unstable across the southeast. you've been looking at this front just lingering for the last several days. any additional rainfall will be falling on already saturated land, flooding could be an issue for the gulf states. to the north it's been very humid in the northeast and across the great lakes. it will change as the cold front descends and cools things down to regular temperatures and cools the air a bit. there's severe storms to be found along the front before that happens. it looks hot to the west and red flag warnings and dry in northern california. real heat will be down here in places like phoenix, 44 degrees, very humid as well. it will feel even hotter than that.
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do take care. here's your extended forecast. that's "newsline" for this hour.
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i'm gene otani in tokyo. 
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