welcome to nhk world "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here is a look at some of the stories we are following this hour. an official with japan's nuclear watchdog says the operator of fukushima daiichi was ill prepared for a leak of highly radioactive water from a storage tank. the head of the united nations is calling on the syrian government to allow inspectors to fully investigate the latest allegation of chemical weapons use.
the former rising star of the communist party bo xailai fights back on the second day of his trial denying all charges against him. an official with japan's nuclear -- told them to ask for help if needed. workers scramble to deal with leaks of highly radioactive water. 300 tons of water seeped from the storage plant. workers detected the leak on monday. they've been checking about 350 tanks of the same design to make sure no other water is getting out. he criticized tepco for not considering the possibility of a leak. he said the utility was ill-prepared and said the company should have been keeping records of radiation levels near the tanks on a regular basis. tepco officials told him they need more workers to oversee the
site. >> translator: we want officials with tokyo electric power company to admit the limits of their efforts instead of simply repeating that they are doing their best. they should speak up about what they need. >> tepco officials should voice any other concerns they have about funding their operations. plant managers say some of the contaminated water that leaked from the storage tank may have flowed into the ocean. a lot of it soaked into the soil. workers plan to excavate a layer of soil and measure radiation levels. if the levels are high, they will keep digging until they reach clean soil. but engineers say underground cables may hamper excavation efforts. crews have been trying to contain another source of contamination. an estimated 210 tons of highly radioactive water sits in a tunnel that's about 60 meters
from the shore. the water has been leaking into the ocean. tepco officials say workers will run the water through a filter designed to capture some of the radioactive particles, then they'll store it in steel tanks. estimates suggest 15,000 tons of radioactive water is sitting in all the underground tunnels at the facility. people gathered in tokyo to remember the man who led the efforts to control fukushima daiichi after the 2011 accident. former plant manager died last month of e sophogeal cancer. he tried to stabilize the leak. he defied orders from tepco executives to stop injecting sea water to cool the fuel in one unit. more than 1,000 people attended the memorial service for him. they included prime minister shinzo abe and government officials. tepco president vowed to build on yoshido's efforts.
>> translator: you took responsibility as a leader and did your utmost to deal with the crisis. we'll always remember how you tried to protect the land and people of fukushima. we'll remember how you acted with a sense of responsibility, pride and courage. >> an in-house investigation accused him of failing to take measures to protect against huge tsunamis. tepco officials said they warned him in 2008 that an unexpectedly large tsunami could hit the plant. he reportedly said the research was inconclusive. u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon is urging the syrian government to let inspectors thoroughly investigate the latest allegations regarding the use of chemical weapons. opposition leaders in the country say government forces targeted their towns with poison gas. ban is taking the accusation seriously. >> any use of chemical weapons
by anybody under any circumstances would violate international law. such a crime against humanity should result in serious consequences for the perpetrator. >> opposition leaders say forces loyal to president bashar al assad fired rockets loaded with chemical weapons at their stronghold in a suburb of damascus. they say the attack killed hundreds of people. government officials say the claims are absolutely baseless. u.n. inspectors are already in syria to look into previous incidents of alleged chemical weapons use. but the assad administration hasn't allowed them to investigate the latest case. ban ki-moon has instructed top u.s. armament officials to press the government for full cooperation. u.s. government officials are also urging syrian authorities to grant u.n. inspectors full access. >> if the regime has nothing to do with these attacks, if there was not a use of chemical weapons here, there's no reason they wouldn't let the u.n. team
that is on the ground, available, happy to investigate in to do just that. >> people around the world are demanding to know the truth about the use of chemical weapons. masaaki iwaki, a former commander in japan's self-defense force and a specialist in these weapons, tells us what the visual evidence indicates and what kind of research is necessary to reveal the truth. >> at this point, it is difficult to determine whether chemical weapons were actually used. that's because to make such a judgment, you need more information on chemical agents and what was used to fire the weapons must be available. some video shows people foaming at the mouth. this and other description of the victims' condition suggests that the toxic substances affecting the respiratory system were used.
according to some reports, the chemical agent used could be sarin. and that possibility cannot be ruled out. the mandate based on the agreement with the assad regime involves inspections at three sites in syria includiing alepp. but the damascus area is not part of the agreement. so i think it will be difficult to investigate there. if the inspections can be conducted, the inspector will be able to collect samples of projectile, soil and biological samples from victims. an analysis of information on the areas that were attacked and the projectiles will help reveal who is actually responsible. the international community, especially the u.n. security council, must unite in pressing
the assad regime to allow the inspectors in. if chemical weapons have actually been used, then the government must be behind them. it is highly unlikely that anti-government forces have the ability to inflict such heavy damage. so at this stage, the view of the u.s., britain, france and other countries that the government launched the attack is reasonable. but many aspects of the latest attack, including the motive and missiles employed, cannot be explained. the international community is currently focused on syria. u.n. inspectors are inside the country. the fighting is deadlocked. was the latest target near damascus where civilians reside
important for the government? could encourage international backing by other forces. these and other questions still remain. >> the civil war has forced many syrians to flee their country. experts say the number of children among them has reached 1 million. almost 2 million syrians have sought shelter in other countries since the conflict began 2 1/2 years ago. u.n. officials say half of them are under the age of 18. they say many children are forced to work to help support their families. some are even sold by their parents. the officials say they need $5 billion by the end of the year to provide the children with proper education and health care. but member countries have only provided them with about 20% of the money they need. a chinese politician who fell from grace is back in court.
bo xilai was once a rising star in the communist party. now he stands accused of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power. bo once served as mayor and party secretary in the coastal city before he became head of the communist party in chongqing. prosecutors say during his tenure there he accepted more than $3.5 million in bribes from two companies. bo says the charges are complete fabrication. he's also dismissed a videotape testimony by his wife, g gu kailai. gu says she received bribes on his behalf. bo argues that his wife is mentally unstable and she's making a false accusation under pressure from authorities. on saturday judges are expected to examine whether bo abused his wer obsuctn instigation to the activities of his wife. gu kailai has already been convicted of a murder of a british businessman. many families on the korean peninsula remain divided by the border between north and south.
now red cross officials from both sides of the border are meeting to discuss how to organize family reunions for the first time in three years. the family gatherings are scheduled for the middle of september. officials are discussing the details including where the reunions will be held and how many people will be allowed to participate. officials from the two koreas initially disagreed on where to hold the talks. they finally agreed to mee in pamujan. the north's leaders see tourism as a key source of foreign currency, but the project has been suspended for five years. the issue of rape in india has been thrown back into the spotlight with news of another disturbing incident. dhra dhirakaosal in bangkok is monitoring the story. >> reporter: police in india say a female photo journalist has been gang raped in the city of
mumbai. the government is facing a fresh wave of public anger along with demands it do more to combat violence against women. police say the 22-year-old woman is being treated at hospital after she was attacked by five men. she and a male colleague were on assignment in an abandoned textile mill on thursday night. the attackers tied her colleague to a tree and beat him. the issue of violence against women burst into the open last december after a 23-year-old female was gang raped on a bus in new delhi. she later died from her injuries. despite widespread public anger, the problem hasn't gone away. mumbai was thought to be safer than other cities. local media have jumped on this latest case saying the situation remains unacceptable. famous actors use twitter to denounce the attack in mumbai.
the incident was also discussed in parliament on friday. opposition parties criticized the ruling coalition for failing to protect women. >> india has the largest school meal system in the world, feeding 120 million children at pubically run schools. but faith was shattered when 23 children died after eating their elementary school lunch. investigators have yet to identify the exact cause but the incident raises serious questions about food safety at schools. nhk world reports. >> reporter: bihar state in eastern india is home to some hundred million people. it's also one of the poorest states in the country. many hseholds cat afford to make packed lunches for the children to take to school.
instead, the children are fed by what's known as the program designed to help poor households and create an environment where students can concentrate on their school work. for more than a decade, india has spent $1 billion a year to provide elementary school and middle school children. it feeds 900 children. >> transtor: i will study har after eating my school lunch. >> translator: thanks to the midday mea program people now come to school every day. they've become fond of studyi. >> reporr: but tragedy at a
school in bihar last month has raised serious questions about the scheme. pupils were rushed to the hospital suffering from vomiting and abdominal pain after eating lunch. 23 children died. police found high levels of insecticide in the food but don't yet know the source of contamination. i'm at the school where the incident happened. this is the grave of a child who died in the tragedy. the school had inadequate storage facilities. food was kept in a warehouse at the home of the principal alongside farming equipment and pesticides. a local ngo working to improve educational environment says poor food safety is common.
the ngo this year found 85% of elementary schools lacked proper storage. about 60% didn't have an enclosed kitchen. national and state governments are supposed to make sure that all schools have adequate facilities. without them, hygiene standards suffer. >> translator: had the government made some efforts to improve the quality of school meals, the incident could have been prevented. >> reporter: earlier this month this elementary school suddenly stopped serving lunch. the meals were prepared on a veranda. teachers lament the lack of government support.
with no meals at school, pupils eat lunch at home. it may be safer but it is a significant financial burden. the ngo has meetings in the village near the school. villages decided to call on the authorities to improve school kitchen facilities and hygiene. >> translator: the midday meal scheme is indispensable, but the content of the meals has to change. >> reporter: many poor households rely on the school meal program to feed their children, so making sure those meals are safe is an urgent priority. but with 1.2 million schools taking part in the program, reaching that goal would take both time and money. neha gupta, nhk world, india.
>> people in the philippines are counting the costs after a week of devastating extreme weather. more than one month of rainfall inundated manila between sunday and wednesday. floods left 20 people dead and more than half a million homeless. rainy season plus a nearby tropical storm combined to create exceptional downpours. areas around capital are struggling to get back to sen oformay. about half of manila was submerged earlier this week. some 600,000 people remained homeless as of friday. officials say about 200,000 people are in government-run shelters and another 400,000 are staying with friends or relatives. central luzon is worse effected with 481 villages still submerged by up to one meter of
water. the philippines endures about 20 major storms or typhoons every year. the weather was improving by friday but the damage was already done. authorities estimate the cost to infrastructure and agriculture will reach $2.2 billion. >> and that wraps up our bulletin. i'm dhra dhirakaosal in bangkok. israeli war planes have bombed a target in southern lebanon. military spokespersons call it a response to a rocket attack against communities in northern israel. the spokespersons say the israeli air force bombed an islamist militant stronghold south of beirut. the strike happened friday. the rocket attack happened the day earlier. neither incident reportedly caused injuries. lebanese media say the israeli war planes targeted the base of a militant group that has denied any involvement in the rocket attack. israeli prime minister benjamin
netanyahu said in a statement that anyone who tries to attack his people should know they will hit back. u.s. researchers say authorities in iran may be trying to cover-up activities related to their nuclear weapons program. they say satellite imagery shows workers have paved over sections of a military site outside tehran. that would make it difficult to take soil samples for testing. officials from the institute of science and international security released the photos. an image from 2011 show areas around the facility covered with sand. an image taken earlier this month shows many places are now dark indicated they have been covered in asphalt. inspectors from the international atomic energy agency suspect the site may have been used in the development of nuclear weapons, but authorities have refused to allow them into the site. iran's new president, hasan
rowhani said he is ready for new negotiations over the nuclear program but analyst says if authorities covered up evidence, it could adversely affect discussions. m >> peace will build here. >> the 89-year-old mugabe won the election in july with 61% of the vote. his main rival, prime minister morgan sangurai claimed the vote was rigged, but a court dismissed the case. mugabe stressed the valid di in his inaugural speech. he dismissed accusations as baseless. observers say mugabe must now work on reviving the sluggish economy and deal with deep rifts
with the prime minister and western nations. only two weeks are left before the international olympic committee decides which city will host the 2020 summer olympics. tokyo, istanbul and madrid are competing. members of the tokyo bidding committee took part in a ceremony to reaffirm their commitment to the games. about 800 people involved in tokyo's bid attended the ceremony. high profile politicians were onhand to support the campaign ahead of the ioc meeting in buenos aires. >> translator: there are only 15 days to go. i hope the japanese people's support for our bid will reach buenos aires. >> translator: i'll be heading
to bueno aires. >> tokyo's bid ha so far earned high marks as far as soundness and public security. sudden rainfall some japanese are calling gorilla rainstorm has hit many parts of the country. rachel ferguson from the weather team has more. rachel. >> hi there, yes. very heavy rain across central portions of japan in toyama, a record and about 61 millimeters in the space of one hour. we're talking about really heavy rain over a short period of time. if i pull back and show you what we're seeing here in terms of the fronts and the systems, you'll be getting an idea of why we're experiencing so much rain. we've got two low pressure systems towards the north. and then a front extending back across the korean peninsula and into eastern china. a lot of moisture flowing into that front.
we're going to be seeing more of that heavy rain as well as potential for severe storms, lightning, hail, even tornadoes can't be ruled out. in fact, much of eastern asia's going to be experiencing heavy rain. down towards the south here i want to show you to the east of the philippines right now this one is likely to be our next named storm. right now it's a low pressure system, but it shows good signs of developing, becoming a tropical storm. unfortunately, it's tracking up towards luzon, that means more heavy rain coming into luzon which is already experiencing widespread flooding because of trami, which was the last tropical storm we saw yesterday making landfall in fujan province, if you remember. it made landfall and then it has moved down towards the south as a tropical depression remnant low in fact. and now it's still bringing that heavy rain, but back in towards the south of china now where last week we saw typhoon utor move through the south china sea and come in here through
guangdong province, if you remember. these are areas that do not need anymore rain. maybe 250 millimeters heading over into vietnam for the next 24 hours. up towards the north as well in far eastern russia more flooding here. we've got some video of the situation in russia. this is being called the worst flooding in 120 years in russia's far east. impacting 50,000 people. and the forecast shows that conditions may even worsen. the amor river burst its banks after a month of unusually heavy rainfall hit the area through august. now, many forecasters think the water is not going to recede until early september. well, in response, about 2,000 emergency workers have been dispatched and are trying to assist those affected. it really is a very serious situation across much of eastern asia. if we look at the temperatures as well you're going to be seeing that although there's nothing particularly extreme in
terms of the high temperatures, there's a lot of wet weather and thunderstorms about from tokyo through in to shanghai, chongqing and down into the tropics. lots of thunderstorms and heavy rain. on into the americas, you're going to be seeing some storms as well across the mountains here in the rockies. we have got that monsoonal flow coming in. and then very unsettled once again for the southeastern corner, especially the florida peninsula and right along that gulf coast. you've got a lot of moisture filtering in there. it's not going to be particularly heavy rain, but it's falling on already saturated land. there will be the risk of flooding. then we have another tropical storm here. this one likely to become a tropical storm through the course of friday. at the moment a tropical depression tracking in towards the baja, california, peninsula. that's where we're going to see the worst of the heavy rain. here are your temperatures then for the americas. and i'll leave you with your extended forecast.