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tv   Newsline  PBS  August 25, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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welcome to "newsline." it's monday august 26th. i'm catherine toeb yashy in tokyo. united nations inspectors will visit alleged sites for chemical weapons attacks. they say hundreds of people were killed. the u.n.'s high representative
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for disarmament affairs traveled to the syrian capital to press for an investigation. officials with the syrian foreign ministry announced the government would grant the inspectors access. u.s. secretary-general ban ki-moon said they will visit the government officials agreed to a cease-fire in the area to ensure the safety of the investigators. spokespersons for doctors without borders sd three hospitals received about 3,600 people in the hours after the alleged attacks. they say 355 of those patients died. government officials have denied using chemical weapons. state-run tv reported such weapons were found in an armory belonging to opposition forces. u.s. president barack obama discussed the situation with david cameron on saturday. they expressed grave concern over the use of chemical weapons. they also agreed to consult closely about potential
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responses by the international community. obama convened a meeting of the national security council. he received a detailed review of the options the international community can take in reaction to the alleged use of chemical weapons. u.s. media report that the u.s. reinforced guided missile destroyers off the coast of syria. observers say obama remains cautious about military intervention without any concrete evidence. the post communist party official has denied allegations by a prosecution witness on the fourth day of his trial. the court held a hearing on the chart that bo blocked an investigation into a murder case. in august 2012, bo's wife was convicted of killing a british businessman.
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bo's former subordinate, former police chief, appeared as a witness for the prosecution. a series of scandals involving bo came to light after wang sought asylum in the u.s. consulate in february 2012. bo said wang is unreliable because he is the kind of person who makes up lies in court. the former party chief has denied all three charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power. the trial will run into a fifth day on monday. most criminal trials in china only take one day. japan's foreign minister has seen firsthand the site of the 1986 chernobyl nuclear accident in ukraine. he wants to increase cooperation with ukraine in order to reconstruct areas in northeastern japan affected by
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the fukushima daiichi nuclear accident two and a half years ago. he was shown the concrete and metal sarcophagus that has covered the reactor for the last 27 years. engineers explained how difficult it was to cop tan radioactive substances immediately after the accident. they said highly radioactive materials remain inside. he inspected the construction of a dome-like structure that will cover the aging sarcophagus. he also visited a deserted town where plant workers once lived. >> translator: i think the experience and knowledge gained by the ukraine yans after the 1986 accident provides a great example with dealing with the accident at fukushima. >> kishida told recorders he realized the effort to contain the aftereffects of the chernobyl accident continues to this day. even though nearly 30 years have passed since the accident
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at chernobyl, radiation levels are still high around the plant. a no-entry zone extends 30 kilometers from the site. about 30 firefighters and plant workers died soon after the accident due to acute radiation exposure. more than 160,000 people were forced to move out of contaminated areas. they continue to live on government subsidies. a u.n. survey suggest many children in the area have developed thyroid cancer. others have developed heart and circumstance la tory diseases. some complain of physical disorders including headaches and dizziness. the ukrainian government provides support to about 2 million people. japan is ready to continue doing its part in anti-piracy operations under way by multi-national forces off so mail yo. shinzo abe made a visit to the region over the weekend. abe met the commander of the
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u.s. fifth fleet vice admiral john miller in bahrain on sunday. the two discussed a multi-operation. the fifth fleet has its headquarters in the gulf nation. miller received the anti-piracy operations protect ships around the gulf and surrounding waters. abe said they need to stay on the alert against pirates and help with the rebuilding of somalia. he said japan is ready to play a part in both efforts. abe added that stability in the gulf region is vital for the global economy and japan. he said his country will continue fulfilling its responsibility to ensure stability. the government plans to send one of the two maritime self-defense destroyers engaged in the anti-piracy mission sometime in december. it's considering sending a patrol plane. japan's ground self-defense force has staged their largest
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annual live fire drills. the exercise assumed that a remote japanese island was invaded from the sea. they held the exercise on sunday at the training camp in shikuza prefecture in central japan. tanks and anti-tank helicopters took part. under the scenario, ground, maritime and air self-defense force units jointly dealt with the attacks. fighter jets did not join the exercise due to poor weather. tanks carried out a shelling exercise. defense ministry is putting together an interim report on the guidelines. they aim to strengthen the nation's ability to protect remote islands. footage of joint landing drills was shown at the venue,
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indicating the drill's focus of protecting remote islands. a japanese cabinet minister said he expects prime minister shinzo abe on increasing the consumption tax before october. the former government passed a bill last august to raise the tax. it specifies that the tax will be increased to 8% next april, and to 10% in october 2015. he said he will carefully review the state of japan's economy before making a final decision. economic revitalization minister spoke about the timetable in an nhk tv program on sunday. >> translator: the decision will be made from late september to early october. the government will think about various economic indicators. these may include the bank of
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japan's quarterly survey. prime minister abe will decide the timing of the tax increase. >> abe's remarks suggest he's likely to make his decision before the apec summit on october 7th in indonesia. the alliance between japan and the united states has a big impact on peace and stability in the asia-pacific region. as u.s. ambassador to japan, john roos worked for four years to strengthen that alliance. he returned home earlier this month. before his departure, roos looked back on his time in japan and the numerous challenges he faced. here's the report. >> in the last four years, i've come to deeply appreciate the incredible bonds between the japanese people and the american people.
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>> roos assumed the post in 2009, the year the democratic party came to power. the administration of prime minister hatoyama had an alliance on equal footing. hot oh yam a promised to change an agreement at the futenma astation. they agreed to relocate the base. but hatoyama called for moving the base elsewhere. hatoyama couldn't keep his promise. bilater bilateral, and hostility continued to grow. the deployment of osprey
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transport aircraft in the prefecture was a key issue. people in okinawa are concerned about the safety of the aircraft which have suffered a string of accints. roos visited okinawa, and asked for understanding. he emphasized the importance of the japan/u.s. alliance. >> our troops are here in order to provide deterrents, defend japan, maintain peace and security. we must continue to do whatever we can to strengthen the alliance. i recognize, and i know all americans recognize, the need to reduce the impact of our bases in okinawa. at the same time we must continue to upgrade our military equipment, so that we can provide the people of japan the best guarantee of defense that
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we possibly can. >> then, in 2011, the massive earthquake and tsunami struck japan, triggering the crisis at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. u.s. officials were not happy with the way the japanese government shared information about the disaster. that raised a little tension between the two countries. the u.s. military launched a relief mission dubbed operation tomodashi to show its commitment to the alliance. roos encouraged victims. >> i was proud that the president was woken up obviously in the middle of the night to be informed of this crisis. and he said, just like every american i ran into, and dealt with during that crisis, he
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said, do whatever it is necessary to help our friends in japan. >> roos made history during his time as ambassador. he attended peace ceremonies in hiroshima and nagasaki. >> president obama, as you know, has promoted an agenda of elimination of all nuclear weapons. i felt that by my going, it would help to send a message of advancing president obama's agenda of the elimination of -- of the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. >> president barack obama appointed caroline kennedy to be the next ambassador to japan. as the daughter of the late president john f. kennedy, she's widely known. like roos, she will start her post with no previous diplomatic experience. like him, she will have to learn on the job.
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observers will be watching to see whether kennedy can build on what roos achieved. to make japan/u.s. relations even stronger. nhk world, tokyo. firefighters in the western u.s. state of california are still struggling. they're trying to contain a wildfire that began near yosemite national park. state authorities are mobilizing more firefighters and are calling on residents and tourists to remain cautious. the fire consumed more than 54,000 hectares of forest land, more than a week after it broke out. two firefighters were injured battling the blaze. officials say the fire is spreading rapidly because the air is dry and the trees are close together. many residents were forced to evacuate as about 4,500 houses and buildings are possibly in the fire's path. more than 2,800 firefighters are now working to quell the flames.
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they're getting help from airplanes and helicopters dropping flame retardant from the air. police in india have af rested all five men suspected of committing the gang rape of a female photojournalist in the western city of mumbai. the police made the arrest in mumbai and new delhi. the five men are suspected of assaulting a 22-year-old woman and beating her male cockt in an abandoned textile mill last thursday. media reported on the same day a group of armed men raped a female police officer. people in mumbai including journalists marched in the city on sunday protesting a series of sexual crimes. they called for a police crackdown and faster trials. there were nationwide protests last december after a female student was gang raped on a bus in new delhi. she later died from injuries. that incident led to tougher laws against sexual offenses. but there have been similar assaults since then.
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68 years after world war ii ended, and the japanese and russians have still not signed a peace treaty. the main obstacle is an ongoing territorial issue. four islands which the japanese call the northern territories, lie close to both russia and japan. they have been settled by japanese. when the war ended, soviet troops occupied them and incorporated them into what was then the soviet union. for decades japan has been negotiating for their return. soviet leader joseph stalin displaced the japanese residents from the islands. later they started making return visits to tend family graves. they have not needed passports, instead relying on a humanitarian arrangement.
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marking the 50th year of this program, they went back to honor their ancestors. >> the group left from hokkaido last month. they ranged in age from 23 to 91. many used to live in the northern territories. others were relatives. this woman wanted to visit the graves of her grandmother and sister. she is 87. and thought this visit might be her last opportunity. her son accompanied her. it was his first visit. >> translator: i want my son to remember where i come from. i want him to see it. >> translator: i've been thinking i should make a visit at some point. i want to see what the island looks like. >> but there were complications.
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a russian vessel showed up. before sailing to their destination, the japanese had to stop to complete entry procedures. then the travelers could travel to their destination, shikotan island. it took three hours to complete the paperwork and receive authorization. if the ship had been allowed to travel straight to the island, the voyage would have only taken four hours. but with the side trip, the journey took 12 hours. finally, they caught sight of the island. they had to use small boats to reach shore. this is the spot where japanese fishermen used to dry their catch. but there's no sign of that activity now. she lived here until she was 19.
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she tried to find some traces of her childhood. it was the trail in which she walked to school. it's an uphill trek from the bay to the cemetery and hard on the elderly. >> translator: my dear sister, i brought some sweets that you never had a chance to taste. >> it was her first visit in eight years. her son followed, in honor of the souls of his ancestors and those of others. her nostalgia brought home to her son that he is a descendent of the northern territories and this is where his roots are. >> translator: coming here was the right thing to do. it might not be easy to match
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mother's spirit, but i'd like to cherish the island as her hometown. i want to visit again. officials of japan and russia have agreed to arrange top-level talks on the issue of the northern territories, and other matters next month. the talks are likely to be held on the sidelines of the g-20 summit in st. petersburg. two sisters from iraq are visiting japan to make a musical appeal for peace ten years after the u.s.-led war in their country. they performed in a mini concert in tokyo on sunday. they played the pop classic with young japanese musicians. one plays the oboe and the other
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is a violinist. the sisters were invited to japan by a nonprofit organization that provides medical assistance to iraq. the sisters experienced war in baghdad. they're now students and play in an amateur orchestra. the orchestra held the charity concert to raise donations for people affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern japan. >> i feel the music is the language of the world. and the language of the peace. everyone in any country can understand the music. >> they'll perform in osaka this week. they'll also give converts inas ter hit prefectures. time for a check on the weather with meteorologist sakea. it seems people in western japan are dealing with heavy rain and
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serious flooding. what's the latest there? >> yes, catherine. the return of the rainy season. let's go straight to the relentless rain-forced evacuation yesterday. there are more than 50 reports of land slides and damaged roads. a river retaining wall has collapsed. the prefecture authorities are considering a request to designate the region as a disaster area. so the situation is really catastrophic. let's take a look at how much rainfall we've got since friday. 474 millimeters in parts of the tsubakagashaun prefecture. the ground is very well prone to flooding as well as land slides. unfortunately, the heavy rainmaker is still affecting this area.
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we have heavyr this area. it will heighten the potential for flooding as well as land slides. now, the same frontal system is extending all the way into the west over the shanghai area, bringing lots of heavy rain as well. further down towards the south, the tropics are really firing p up. we have a tropical depression bringing lots of rain and strong winds for the eastern parts of luzan. this one could become a tropical storm within the next few hours, as it does, stormier conditions are likely for the philippines. and the western coast of luzon will receive quite heavy rain due to the enhanced southwest monsoon. the remnants of a tropical storm is still lingering over the northern area of the indochina peninsula, bringing widespread heavy rain. temperatures are going to be quite high across much of china. shanghai will be cooling down into the 20s due to heavy rain. tokyo going up to 29 degrees.
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so nice cool air today. north america. dry weather for the center and eastern parts of the u.s., thanks to this high pressure system. southern areas are a different story. drenching rains for the gulf states. damaging winds and large hail are going to be the primary threats out there, the system will likely shift to the south slightly as we go into monday. remnants of a tropical ivo is bringing ample moisture to the western corner of the u.s. good news, because we still have nearly 50 reports of wildfires in the western u.s. hopefully the heavy rain could improve the situation. but the combination of sudden burst of showers and parched ground could lead to flash floods. temperatures are going to be quite warm across the east. it looks like 33 is the number for the day in places like
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denver, oklahoma. finally, in europe, swirling clouds are still affecting central parts of europe. lots of rain, thundershowers and even the risk of hail. this one will likely sit over the same area into the next few days. now, towards the north, dry weather and temperatures are going to be quite pleasant. 21 for you in stockholm. cooling down in vienna at 19 degrees on monday. here is your extended forecast.
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we'd like to remind you of our lead story this hour. syrian government has agreed to
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allow united nations inspectors to visit the sites of alleged chemical weapons attacks. opposition activists said last wednesday government forces used poisoned gas in an assault on the suburbs of damascus. they said hundreds of people were killed. the u.n.'s high representative for disarmament affairs traveled to the syrian capital to press for an investigation. officials with the syrian foreign ministry announced the government would grant the inspectors access. u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon said they will visit the sites on monday. he said government officials agreed to a cease-fire in the area to assure the safety of the investigators. spokespersons for doctors without borders said three hospitals received about 3,600 people in the hours after the alleged attacks. they say 355 of those patients died. government officials have denied using chemical weapons. state-run tv reported such weapons were found in an armory
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belonging to opposition forces. that is all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us. 
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- coming up, new technology and new moral challenges. - these are questions we need to think about before we have the technologies. so, we have to engage in what i call prophylactic ethics. we need to think about what this means for us. - nasa's paul root wolpe talks mind-reading, cerebral privacy, health in the space station, and more from the cutting edge of bioethics. it's just ahead on "global ethics forum." - today's guest has spent his career examining the ethics underlying tomorrow's scientific breakthroughs. as one of the nation's most prominent bioethicists, paul root wolpe encourages scientists to reconsider not only what they can do, but what they should do. dr. wolpe is the asa griggs candler professor of bioethics and the director of the center for ethics at emory university.


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