go to youtube.com/rtamerica. you can follow me on twitter. see you at 8:00. hello and welcome to "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. the alleged chemical weapons aattack in syria last week could result in military action by the united states and some european nations. some u.s. media report u.s. forces could strike syria within
a couple of days. nbc news says senior u.s. officials told them missile strikes against syria could be launched as early as thursday. the sources say three-day strikes are planned and would be limited in scope. they would be aimed at sending a message to syrian president bashar al assad. white house spokesman says the u.s. response to syria has not yet been decided. >> the president continues to work with his national security team reviewing the options available to him. when he has made a decision he will make the announcement. he said the u.s. has a firm assessment that the assad regime has maintained control of the chemical weapons stock pile.
carney also said the u.s. officials will release the findings of the probe within a week. >> translator: the chemical massacre of damascus cannot go without a response and france is ready to punish those who took the decision to gas innocent people. he said he will increase french military support to syria's main opposition group, the syrian national coalition. united nations officials have postponed investigators. they called on all parties to cooperate and allow them to
conduct inspections safely. the alleged chemical weapons attack occurred last week. hundreds were killed including children. the opposition forces and government are blaming each other for the attack a. the u.n. investigators are analyzing blood samples from patients and soil taken from the attack sites. attention is focused on whether the on going investigation will provide evidence that chemical weapons were used. syrian foreign minister demanded the u.s. present proof backing up the accusations. he said no country would use chemical weapons on its people. a russian spokesman is accusing u.s. leaders of making up reasons to launch an attack on syrian.
>> translator: the attempts to get around the security council and to once again create artificial, unsubstantiated pretext for the armed interference in the region may result in new sufferings in syria. >> lukashevich says a decision by the u.s. to postpone a meeting with russia was regrettable. diplomats from the countries were due to discuss the use of alleged chemical weapons in syria. ♪ workers at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant discovered they have a bigger cleanup effort on their hands following a leak of highly radioactive water. they found out last week that the toxic water had seeped out of a storage tank, one of hundreds on site. now they've learned it may have flowed in two directions. last monday crews found more than 300 tons of highly radioactive waste water had
leaked from the tank. the water escaped a low barrier through a valve used to drain rainwater. workers detected high levels of radiation inside a nearby ditch. now officials with tokyo electric power company say inspectors observed high levels near a valve on the other side of the tank. officials fear contaminated water may have flowed out of there, too. and they worry the runoff may have seeped into the ground. so they've decided to remove soil from a wider area than they had planned. they still don't know what caused the leak or how far the contamination spread. they suspect some of the water may have flowed into the ocean through the drainage ditch. tepco officials have hinted it will take weeks to find out why radioactive waste water leaked from the tank. tepco executives presented a plan to investigate the incident to the nuclear regulation authority. they said possible causes of the leak include loose joints, deteriorated parts, and
corrosion at the bottom or sides of the tank. the officials said radiation levels in the tank are high. they plan to remove radioactive materials in the coming week so that investigators can go inside. the nuclear regulators told tepco to speed up its investigation. they also said measures must be taken for about 300 tanks of the same type, if necessary. officials are determined to make safety standards in their industry more stringent. they say they'll force power companies to regularly test nuclear plants for resistance to earthquakes and tsunamis. the officials at the nuclear regulation authority agreed to make checks a legal requirement. they'll oblige utilities to conduct so-called stress tests using computer analysis every five years. plant operators will also have to calculate the probability of severe accidents such as the one at fukushima daiichi in 2011.
the regulator plans to introduce a range of new safety measures by december after consulting the public. employees of a japanese utility are also consulting the public about their plan to restart operations at one of their nuclear plants. shikoku electric power company workers are telling people living near the facility they have nothing to worry about. they're trying to build community support by visiting about 28,000 households near the ikata plant in western japan. they're informing residents about measures the utility has adopted to satisfy new government safety standards, but some people remain cautious. >> translator: i understand the officials are trying hard, but considering what happened at fukushima, i still feel there are risks with the plant. >> shikoku electric has applied for government approval to
restart one of the reactors at the ikata facility. other utilities but not tepco have applied to put nuclear plants back online. currently only two of the 50 commercial reactors in japan are generating power. those units are scheduled to go offline next month. japanese researchers are looking back into history. they have arrived in north korea to search for the remains of japanese who died at the end of world war ii. north korean leaders have shown openness toward the mission, but some diplomats are wary of the north's motives. we report from pyongyang. >> reporter: researchers are here in north korea to inspect sites where japanese were
buried. >> translator: we have come here to identify the sites where the japanese were buried, and we want to share the information with north korean officials who are conducting research on what they think japanese remains they have found here. >> reporter: japan were on the peninsula from 1910 to 1945. commissioners from the health ministry say 5,000 japanese died there of hunger or illness at the end of the war. the remains of 20,000 are buried at about 70 sites. but for decades, a lack of diplomatic relations prevented members of their families from visiting. then japanese and north korean diplomats sat down together for
the first time in four years. >> translator: both sides have agreed to seek a meeting with higher level officials in beijing as soon as possible. >> reporter: north korean workers have been digging at the sites. they have found the remains of japanese, fragments of clothing, and personal items. authorities have allowed about 30 japanese to watch. they include researchers and victims' families. but the two sides have not agreed on dna testing. so the only way to identify the remains is to match survivors' accounts with what north korean officials say. north korean leaders have suggested the opening talks with diplomats from japan, south korea, and the u.s. they say they are open to a
range of topics including humanitarian issues, such as access to the burial sites. but diplomats are suspicious. north koreans say japan must provide compensation for its colonial rule, and they may be granting concessions for financial assistance for their fragile economy. nhk world, pyongyang. members of the ruling
communist party have scheduled a meeting to discuss deepening reforms. more than 300 members of the powerful committee will meet in november. party leaders have grown concerned about the prospects for the economy. and they could use the meeting to discuss approaches to more stable growth. they can revisit the crack down on corruption. party leaders have gone after bureaucrats and business leaders, too, and they are expected to reiterate that they are committed to cleaning things up. a senior chinese diplomat has poured water on the prospect of top-level talks with japan. the vice foreign minister says china's leader is unlikely to meet prime minister shinzo abe on the sidelines of the g-20 summit in russia. lee says japan is to blame for the strain in ties over the senkaku islands in the east china sea.
japan controls the islands, but china and taiwan also claim them. prime minister abe has called for talks with chinese president xi jinping as soon as possible and without conditions. but lee says the chinese leader has no plans to meet. >> translator: at this time, there's no basis for the talks. how can we set up this kind of summit that japan says it hopes to hold? >> china is demanding japan recognize that a territorial issue exists between the countries. and the dispute over the senkaku islands has prompted japan coast guard officials to strengthen their ranks. they plan to add more than 520 personnel in the 2014-2015 fiscal year. that would be the largest increase in four decades. chinese government vessels have entered japanese waters on a
regular basis since japan nationalized three of the islands last september. their presence is expected to grow because china is building more ships. japanese leaders say the islands are an inherent part of their territory in terms of history and international law. coast guard authorities plan to put a team of 12 ships in charge of patrolling around the territory in the future. they still need to build six of those vessels. the team would likely be based in okinawa, southern japan. the coast guard is expected to request about $2 billion from the government to fund the surveillance program. japanese researchers say they have preserved animal sperm with a freeze-drying technique used to make instant food. the team says their findings will lead to the long-term preservation of rare animals. a group from kyoto university freeze-dried the sperm of animals such as chimpanzees and giraffes. a month later they added water and confirmed it could fertilize eggs. animal sperm is usually
preserved in liquid nitrogen at about minus 200 degrees celsius. but freeze-drying allows storage in refrigerators, and that reduces cost. the group has already created a mouse by using freeze-dried sperm stored for five years. >> translator: we are hoping that kyoto city zoo and other zoological gardens will cooperate for the preservation of rare animal species using this method. >> kaneko says the development could enable the low-cost long-term preservation of many rare animals. generations of children have grown up with a book about a
girl named noriko. one reader travelled to japan to find her. >> reporter: the girl from japan portrays daily activities of a japanese girl in the 1950s. why does she sleep lying on the floor? because japanese people sleep this way. the aadults and the children, too. >> reporter: a girl from sweden visits noriko and learns about the customs and the culture of japan. the book has been a good friend to one reader in israel for nearly half a century. film director was 4 when she first read the story. >> we didn't have television until 1968.
and this book were like our television. we could see people in other places. >> reporter: she says she has found that children are still fascinated by noreko. one girl asked her what is she doing now? she searched in august. she was accompanied by a doctor in sweden. she found her by placing an advertisement in the newspaper. >> i went to meet her and talk to her. how was your life? >> reporter: they spoke to the press and asked for help. >> i'm in japan to find
noreko-son. >> reporter: came from a biography of a swedish woman who had been in contact with the family. the book gave an address in tokyo. they walked around the area but the names of the streets have changed. and the residents could offer no help. then the swedish embassy in tokyo received a phone call. >> you are smiling. >> so we are going to meet noreko tomorrow. >> reporter: the call was from noreko. she had learned of a quest and reached out. they met at the embassy. the reunion came after almost six decades. she declined to be interviewed but passed on a message.
>> i'm surprised to delighted to hear that the book about eva and me is still so loved. i'm so happy to be reunited after 58 years. >> when something is so important to you, so effective on you as a child you will do everything to find it back. >> reporter: she aims to make a documentary film about her search for noreko. she hopes it will convey the importance of treasuring the wonders of childhood. thousands of residents are still waiting to go home. vast tracts of land are still waiting to be restored. and more than half of fishing ports on the pacific coast must be rebuilt.
it's time for a check on the weather. you have been keeping an eye on a storm approaching taiwan. >> we expect taiwan will get very stormy starting this afternoon. a severe tropical storm is located on the waters and moving at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour. it looks like it is going to brush through taiwan and then across the western southern islands of japan or mainland japan or south korea on the weekend. now, heavy rain of about 250 millimeters likely for parts of taiwan, not good news. this area still dealing with the after math of a tropical storm, the last storm. the ground is saturated.
this area is a mountainous area so landslides and mudslides are very high risk here. waves could be as high as seven will ease across the north. the disturbance is enhancing the southwest monsoon. heavy rain will continue throughout the day. up towards the north a strong low is dropping heavy rain for northeastern china. the system is expected to reach the korean peninsula as we look ahead to thursday. temperatures are soaring into the mid 30s in tokyo with plenty of sunshine. humidity is quite low about 35%. we wouldn't feel hot today and very chilly. only 12 degrees for you. and in north america heat dome is blanketing the central and eastern parts of the u.s. and the air is meeting up with
cooler air across the area from the dakotas into the ohio river valley producing risk of severe weather. across the west wide spread flooding rains across the southwest. some of the rain is putting out wild fires so that is good news. the rain is not going to fall across the northwest where fires are still growing. the hot conditions across the mid section of u.s. and canada. 27 degrees in omaha. 34 in denver. with high humidity you feel much hotter than these actual numbers. in europe days of dry weather has resulted in wildfires in parts of portugal. take a look at this video. about 1,000 firefighters were trying to put out 15 major wild fires in portugal. the country has extreme hot weather and strong night winds.
more than 40,000 hectares of forest have burned down this month. rain is falling and more heavy rain and a risk of hail across this area and even tornadoes cannot be ruled out. weather across the north and temperatures are going to be pleasant in many locations with the exception going to be athens at 38 degrees for you on wednesday. here is the extended forecast.
inauguration ceremony on tuesday. the four year college adopts the yale system of cross disciplinary education. each class will have a maximum of 18 students. the pioneering group of 155 students was selected from more than 10,000 applicants. 60% of the students are from singapore. the rest are from the u.s., india, china and other countries. >> i want to embrace all possibilities because the school is offering us amazing opportunities for us to learn and explore. >> this is something pioneering new and unlike anything else in the world. i think i want to understand where i fit in the global sphere and how my cultural conditioning has led to where i am today. >> some u.s. and european universities have formed
>> 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 ba