syria. >> i from instructed them to reduce the strong imprint to the syrian government of opposition forces so that this will never happen. >> opposition forces say government forces killed hundreds of people in the attacks last wednesday. the inspectors visited two hospitals to collect blood samples from patients. and they're planning to visit three other sites where the takens are alleged to have taken place. u.s. secretary of state john kerry said there's undeniable evidence of a large scale chemical weapons attack. >> president obama believes there must be accountability for
those who would use the word's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people. >> they've been contacting u.s. allies to discuss ways to respond. they plan to carry on with their work, but experts are divided about whether chemical weapons were even used. more from nhk world's chi yam ma geeshy. >> reporter: opposition leaders say the syrian military used chemical weapons last wednesday to hit targets in the suburbs of damascus. they say hundreds of people were killed, government officials argue the claims are baseless. members of the u.n. security council have expressed concern. syrian leaders first refused to grant a team of u.n. inspectors
access to the site of the alleged attacks. international pressure caused them to reverse that decision. opinions vary on whether chemical weapons were used. spokes perns for doctors without borders say about 3,600 people went to hospitals after the alleged attacks. they say 355 of them died. >> what we can tell that important number of patients, very important number of patients, they came within three hours with neurotoxic symptoms and this is not normal. we are almost sure even 100% sure that neurotoxic agent had been used. >> reporter: but an israeli expert in chemical weapons takes a different view. >> i didn't see any symptoms
that are classically belong to chemical warfare attack, which are convulsions, sweating, excretions from the mouth or from the nose. >> reporter: he says agents such as cyanide might have been used instead. even though no firm conclusion has been made about what happened, some world leaders are >> translator: the chemical massacre that has occurred in syria and for which the regime is evidently responsible is unacceptable. the position of france, which i hope is the position of all democracies, is that there must be a strong reaction. >> reporter: u.s. president barack obama is cautioning against a hasty decision. still, american media reported
that u.s. naval forces have already been dispatched toward syria's coastal waters. russian officials are concerned about the possible military response. foreign minister sergei lavrov reportedly urged restraint when talking to his u.s. counterpart. the united states and its allies say killing by syrian forces near the site of the alleged attacks has destroyed evidence. the next step in this long running civil war could depend on the conclusions of the u.n. inspectors. chie yamagishi, nhk world. >> syria's president bashar al assad has set out his stance on the issue. he told a russian newspaper that accusations of chemical attacks made no sense. assad said his troops would not use chemical weapons in an area with no clear front line between
the two sides. he accused the rebels and said they were the ones who used the weapons. russia's foreign minister sergey lavrov also weighed in. he said on monday there's no evidence assad used chemical weapons and he said using force against syria without u.n. support would violate international law. he added that a u.s. or european intervention would just lead to more bloodshed. japan's aerospace officials are counting down to the launch of the country's first new rocket in 12 years. the solid fuel eps ilan will blast off early tuesday afternoon. the rocket is still under wraps at its launch site in the southern plsk of kagoshima. it will carry the world's first space telescope for the remote study of planets. it is 24 meters long that's half the size of the mainstay rocket
and costs one-third as much. they hope the more efficient production process will boost japan's lagging satellite business. one of the project managers said the liftoff will be the culmination of seven years of research and development. >> translator: we are confident the launch will be successful. >> engineers will bring the rocket out from its hangar three hours before the launch. it's set to blast off at 1:45 p.m. japan time. the united nations secretary-general has asked leaders to make sol soul searching. their understanding of history is straining ties between south korea yand china. he was responding to a question from a reporter during a visit to his native south korea. the reporter asked for his views on how conflicting interpretations of history are hurting. ban said the tension was regrettable and laid the blame
on japan's leaders. >> translator: the japanese government and political leaders need to reflect deeply. they need to have an international and future oriented vision. >> japan's prime minister said his administration's approach is to leave historical issues to the experts. still, shinzo abe said regional leaders should take time to exchange views to maintain piece and stability. he made the remarks during a visit to kuwait. abe said he would continue to call for talks with chinese president xi jinping and south korean president park guen-hye. he would look for opportunities to meet on the sidelines of upcoming international conferences. prosecutors in china are demanding a severe sentence for a former political heavyweight. the trial of bo xilai has ended. the once rising star in the
communist party is denying charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power. the criminal trial lasted five days in a country where most cases of this nature wrap up in a day. bo was at one time considered a contender for a top leadership post. but a number of scandals involving him came to light after his wife was accused of murdering a british businessman. prosecutors argued bo abused his power to obstruct an investigation into his wife's actions. and they said he accepted more than $3.5 million in bribes when he was mayor and party secretary in the city of dalian. he said he doesn't deserve leniency because he refused to admit guilt. bo criticized them for presenting insufficient evidence. he said many people would face unfair convictions if judges listened only to the prosecution. he has admitted to a degree of responsibility for some of the charges against him, but he's denying any criminal liability. on the surface, bo's fate is in the hands of three judges.
but because this is china, the decisionmaking process is much more complex than that. nhk world's takafumi terui reports from beijing. >> reporter: bo stayed defiant in the face of prosecutors. some of his supporters say he's the victim of political infighting and innocent of the charges against him. bo likely has this in mind when he planned out his courtroom strategy. sources familiar with the internal affairs of the communist party say party leaders knew that bo would mount a vigorous defense and use eloquent arguments to refute the evidence against him. but some believe they didn't expect him to go as far as he did. bo still enjoys support among ordinary citizens. he advocates the vuls of the mow
zedong era. when he was party secretary of the mega city of chongqing, he relied on mao's methods. for example, he used mass campaigns to fight for the rights of low-income families and fight against organized crime. in doing so, he stirred a political debate within the communist party. some leaders worry bo's trial will rekindle that debate. there is little doubt judicial authorities will rule that bo is guilty. they are under the party's control. and experts say they aren't independent, especially when they oversee trials of politicians. the question is what kind of sentence will they hand down? the leadership of president xi jinping has been trying to portray itself as firmly determined to fight corruption. and bo's trial is considered
part of that fight. but analysts say authorities may give bo a sentence lenient enough to avoid criticism from within the party, from china's citizens and from abroad. chinese envoy wu dawei is in north korea to discuss resuming the six-party talks on its nuclear program. the discussions had been suspended for almost five years. china chairs the talks joined by japan, the united states, russia and the two koreas. the north state-run news agency reported wu's arrival in pyongyang one day before the tenth anniversary of the start of the talks. he expected to discuss with north korean officials their country's nuclear program and explore an early resumption of the talks aimed at making the korean peninsula nuclear-free. the north has not changed its
preference for bilateral discussions with the united states within the six-party talks framework. attention is focused on whether wu's visit will make north korea more flexible. israeli troops shot and killed three palestinians in a raid on a refugee camp in the west bank. a palestinian spokesperson warn nad the incident could derail the recently restarted peace talks. israeli military leaders say their soldiers were trying to arrest a suspected terrorist. they say hundreds of palestinians poured into streets hurling fire bombs. they say their officers had no choice but to open fire. palestinian medical officials say the casualties were all young protesters.
at least 15 other palestinians were wounded. u.s. diplomats convinced israeli and palestinian negotiators to resume talks last month after a three-year hiatus. religious violence in myanmar has caused tens of thousands of muslims to flee the country. almost all of them of the religious minority. many have ended up in another country that doesn't want them -- thailand. thousands of refugees are being housed in overcrowded conditions where several detainees have died. nhk world got rare access to a detention facility in southern thailand. >> reporter: i'm standing at the thailand immigration detention center. as you can see, hundreds of the refugees have been detained here for more than six months without knowing what will hap to them. the facility we visited for ve fugees along the border with malaysia was smelly and overcrowded.
about 300 detainest were crammed into a space for just 100. >> translator: honestly, we feel really stressed. please help us. >> reporter: the muslims in western myanmar have long been denied citizenship by the government. sectarian violence that started last year caused more and more of them to flee. the u.n. estimates at least 27,000 fled by sea in rickety boats since last year. nearly 7,000 reached thai waters, most were forced back out to sea. more than 1,600 are in the country. thailand said it would let them stay for an initial period of six months. but that time is already up. frustrated muslims have protested at detention centers
and scores have escaped. concerns about poor conditions are mounting. several men are known to have died while in detention. beneath this fresh grave with no headstone, two youths were silently buried. . the thai government said several have died so far this year. >> the conditions may be a little bit overcrowded and we're trying to improve on that, but it's also important for the international community to also, you know, have a nonbiased look at h thailand is doing its best. it's a tragedy even from our point of view to see people risk their lives at sea. >> the families are another concern. scores of women and children are
kept in another shelter away from the men. this woman escaped myanmar with her husband just a month after their marriage. as soon as they arrived in thai water, they were detained the and separated. she later gave birth to a baby girl. >> when i brought our daughter for the first time to his place of detention, my husband could only cry and cry. he said he couldn't do anything for the baby or for me, even though he's the head of the family. i don't want to go back to myanmar. when i left the country by boat, i promised myself that i'm not going back. >> reporter: one day in mid-august, she was finally able to see her husband for the first time in six weeks.
>> translator: my child will grow up without recognizing me if things get worse. i don't know why rohinga's fate is always to suffer. >> we decided to flee myanmar because our home town was burned to the ground, not one property left standing. even though we reached ailand, we feel our will to live has been lost. i want to escape from all these problems by committing suicide. >> reporter: where these rohingas will end up is uncertain, but this is clear, the monsoon will end soon and the indian ocean will be calm. the next wave of refugees is about torrive and perhaps in even greater numbers than before. reporting for nhk world.
people across japan hold hundreds of fireworks shows in the summer. a national contest haseen runningn the north for more than a century and is considered one of the best. only the best pyrotechnic teams are invited to participate. and the pursuit of the perfect firework formations produces some truly stunning results. >> reporter: fire works are a big deal in the omagari district. there's a hanabi street, hanabi street hole covers, and hanabi art on sidewalks. no wonder the annual fireworks festival is a big draw. 750,000 people showed up this year.
that's 20 times the district population. 27 fireworks producers from across japan competed to wow them and win recognition as the best of the bunch. only two managed to create the six ring chrysanthemum image firework. the display requires a lot of accuracy and technique. this version by local firework craftsman won the most viable performance award. >> translator: we put in a lot of time and effort. we hoped it would open perfectly. i'm so glad we succeeded. >> reporter: for the finale the promoter of the event ended the show by setting off a 500-meter-long line of fireworks.
>> reporter: it's a kind of reaction pyre ro technicians work so hard for. and the work doesn't stop nep say they start thinking the of brand new fireworks for next year's contest the day after the competition. reporting for nhk world. impressive. residents at japan's newest unesco world heritage site have set imaginations alight. they welcome visitors to mount fuji for an annual fire festival. they invited revelers to the kitaguchi hongu fuji sengen shrine at the foot of the
mountain. participants hefted portable shrines through the city. one featured a model of mount fuji. and they set 92 torches aflame along a 2.5 kilometer route. >> translator: as mount fuji has been listed as a world heritage site, people are trying to protect this great mountain. >> people paid special attention to thisyear's festival after mount fuji's recent inclusion as a unesco world heritage site. here are the market figures.
time now for a check on the weather with meteorologist sayaka mori. good morning. it's a cool start to the day. what can we expect up ahead? >> yes, catherine, it's like a start of fall, relatively cool with low humidity. sunny skies in tokyo will continue for the next couple of days, but if you look at the north, conditions are different. we're expecting very wet conditions starting this afternoon. damaging winds, thunderstorms and even tornadic activities cannot be ruled out in hokkaido and parts of the tohoku region this afternoon. and across the west, moderate to heavy rain is likely to fall for northern areas of china and further down towards the south we have a tropical storm that's packing winds of about -- quite strong winds.
72 kilometers with gusts of 108 kilometers per hour. it's directly affecting luzon with rain and strong winds. it looks like it will move up to the north while intensifying. it could hit taiwan by a severe tropical storm by thursday morning local time. the sea surface temperature is quite warm enough to energize the system so it could intensify into a typhoon by friday. so very heavy rain is likely to fall in taiwan starting thursday or starting wednesday or thursday. that's not good news because this area is still working on the recovery efforts due to tropical storm. but for now heavy rain will be found across northern years of the philippines. trouble is that 200 millimeters or more is expected in some places enough to trigger further flooding or landslides. we see torrents of heavy rain due to the enhanced southwest monsoon. across north america, first of
all, i want to show you this video from california. wildfires there. there's trouble for yogi bear in yosemite national park in california. firefighters are struggling to contain a coastal wildfire. they're calling it the rim fire. it's already burned 54,000 hectares. and it is close to the key reservoir that supplies most of san francisco's water. there are fires occurring across the western parts of the u.s., but yesterday it was 50, to 10 fewer. heavy monsoonal showers are helping the situation improving and more widespread heavy rain is likely. hopefully ttould prevent the situation even further, but that means the rain won't fall across the northwest. severe weather is occurring across the midwestern u.s. up into the northeastern u.s. the primary effects will be damaging winds as well as large hail. and heavy rain southwest of mexico as well due to the
remains of a tropical storm. temperatures are very high in the midsection of the u.s. going up to 39 in des moines. with humidity you'd feel much hotter than this number. and 32 degrees on your tuesday. across europe, dry and pleasant across the north but our lingering showers are causing some flood risk across the central and southern parts of europe. lots of rain, thunderstorms as well as a funnel cloud have been reported many places. now, conditions will remain on the unsettled side into the next 20 or 48 hours. so that risk of flooding will get even higher. temperatures are very pleasant in many locations. 18 degrees for you in moscow. here's the extended forecast.
>> good afternoon. i'm james harmon, president and ceo ceo of the wilson center. it has occurred to our speaker and me and maybe some of you that today is the second anniversary of zero dark 30. it was on may 2 at 12 :00 a.m. that the takedown of osama bin laden occurred. someone with my left had a lot to do with that. more on that later. a special welcome to the ambassador of