rt.com/usa. you can follow me on twitter. see you right back here at 8:00. thanks for watching. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- hello there. welcome to "newsline." it's thursday, august 29dth. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. u.s. president barack obama said u.s. officials have concluded that syrian forces used chemical weapons on civilians. in an interview on public television, he said members of his administration do not believe the opposition could have carried out such a attacks. handy said there needs to be international consequences.
obama back upped syrian opposition leaders who say last week government forces attacked their neighborhoods in the suburbs of damascus. they say hundreds of people were killed. u.s. commanders say they're ready to launch strikes if president obama orders an attack. syria's prime minister took to state tv to warn them not to. he told them and their allies that syria would become their graveyard. he said the world still remembers how the west started the war in iraq ten years ago. he said u.s. officials falsely claimed the iraqis possessed weapons of mass destruction, then guided international opinion in the wrong direction. residents of damascus are preparing for the worst. they're stocking up on food and other supplies, and some who live near potential targets have left their homes. u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon says diplomacy in syria must still be given a chance and that western powers must not rush into hasty military action.
>> the u.s. of chemical weapons by anyone for any reasons under any circumstances would be an atrocious violation of international law. any perpetrators should be brought to justice for accountability. >> ban says a team of u.n. weapons inspectors in syria is now collecting valuable samples and interviewing victims. but he says the inspectors need more time. iran's supreme leader says u.s. intervention in syria would be a disaster for the region. ayatollah ali khamenei said the united states would lose a lot as it did in iraq and afghanistan. speaking in tehran, he likened the region to a gunpowder store and said the future cannot be predicted there. iran is one of syria's closest allies. the government of iranian president hassan rouhani has followed the previous regime in supporting syrian president
bashar al assad. americans are taking time to remember a man who spearheaded the civil rights movement. 50 years ago in washington martin luther king delivered a speech in washington. he uttered the words "i have a dream." thousands gathered at the lincoln memorial at the national mall 50 years on. president obama was joined by bill clinton and jimmy carter. obama said king and other civil rights leadee local assemblieses, congress and even the white house. but he also expressed concern for the nation's economic disparities that are widening, not shrinking. >> as always has been noted, black unemployment has remained almost twice as high as white unemployment. latino unemployment close behind. the gap in wealth between races
has not lessened, it's grown. >> opinion polls suggest that 79% of african-americans say the country still has a long way to go before it achieves a society free of racial prejudices. i have a dream w those words martin luther king jr. inspired people everywhere to join him in his quest for equal rights for all. 50 years after the speech, people continued to reflect on the importance of his vision. the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. was born in 1929 in atlanta, georgia. he became a leader who dedicated his whole life to fighting racial discrimination. he delivered his "i have a dream" speech at the lincoln memorial in washington, d.c., on august 28th, 1963. >> i have a dream that my four little children will one day
live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. i have a dream today. >> his historic speech electrified millions of americans who were fighting for civil rights. he received the nobel peace prize the following year for his tireless work, but during a visit to tennessee in 1968 he was shot and killed. he was just 39 years old. on saturday, thousands gathered in washington to commemorate his historic speech. the vision laid out by dr. king has been remembered and celebrated around the world. in tokyo, a concert was held to honor his dream. ezra brown is a saxophone player from the state of mississippi. he arrived in tokyo on august 28th to commemorate the historic
day. the message he brought with him? let freedom ring. ♪ brown played a traditional spiritual song that he has been listening to since his childhood. it's a piece that people in the civil rights movement sang in church to help them during their struggle. >> in the words of dr. martin luther king jr., let's keep in our heart and our mind and our soul about universal peace, equality for everyone, freedom. ♪ >> well, it reminds me that i have to be conscious of the inequalities that does exist now in the world. >> i don't know how much longer it's going to take, if it's going to be another 50 years or what, but we still got a ways to go, you know, and we still got
to kind of keep the march going. ♪ a series of bombs have exploded in shia muslim areas in and around the iraqi capital baghdad. the blasts killed at least 40 people. another 160 were wounded. iraqi authorities say insurgents detonated bombs in 14 places including parking lots and outdoor markets. the explosions occurred within the space of one hour. the bombs mainly targeted residents out shopping and on their way to work. the explosions followed months of protests by iraqis, iraq's sunni minority against the shia-led government of prime minister nuri al maliki.
other leaders have called for restraint while security forces have boosted counterinsurgency operations. but the measures have failed to stop the violence with more than 4,000 people killed so far this year. a united nations team looking into human rights violations in north korea is visiting japan. the members are meeting with the families of japanese nationals abducted by the north and are listening to their plights. the parents of high profile abductee megumi yokota were among those who spoke to the u.n. members. the closed door interview lasted for about 90 minutes. the families later said they pulled out photos of their loved ones and gave details about the abductions. >> translator: i hope the united nations will take measures that will force north korea to act. >> the panel will invite the family members to a public hearing on the abductions in tokyo on thursday. it plans to submit a preliminary
report of its find togz a session of the u.n. human rights council in september. japanese researchers have begun a project to identify human remains in north korea. they're looking for traces of japanese who died at the end of world war ii. to complete their task, they need cooperation from north korean experts. nhk world reports from pyongyang. >> reporter: i'm at the cemetery in a suburb of pyongyang. researchers have begun to inspect the remains of japanese. this is a first time such an investigation has been conducted. it's based on historical materials collected from the families of the victims and survivors. tens of thousands of japanese nationals died in what is now north korea in the confusion following japanese surrender in world war ii. the remains of many have been
left where they fell for nearly 70 years. an investigation in japan has identified about 70 burial sites. but only several locations have been investigated so far. a major obstacle is pinpoints the exact location of the graves. so researchers are asking for help from their north korean counterparts. they've handed over eyewitness accounts and other documents. >> translator: our government has to provide historical materials and ask the north koreans to make field studies at the gravesites. >> translator: the issue is not just an individual problem concerning relatives. the japanese government should also take responsibility to help
solve it. >> reporter: people on both sides agree on the need for a joint investigation. it's an atmosphere of cooperation between the governments. hiroki yajima, nhk world, pyongyang. u.s. secretary of defense chuck hagel has joined a meeting of defense ministers from the association of southeast asian nations in brunei. the region contains a number of security challenges including disputes over the south china sea, but the media agenda was overtaken by events in the middle east and the talk of possible u.s. military action against syria. the obama administration has identified the asia pacific
region as an area of increasing strategic importance for the united states. hagel attended the asean defense ministers meeting on wednesday. he'll also join a wider discussion on thursday when ministers from china, japan and other countries join their counterparts from asean. it will be the second meeting of the so-called asean defense ministers meeting plus. former u.s. defense secretary robert gates attended the first one three years ago when he stressed the u.s. pivot to asia policy. but the global security picture has changed dramatically in three years. a de facto military coup has plunged egypt into further turmoil and the civil war in syria drags on with bashar al assad sochd using chemical weap weapons. countries in southeast asia are watching closely how the u.s. responds to these various
security challenges. some asean members have disputes with china over the south china sea and view the u.s. focus on asia as critically important to counterbalance china's expanding power. at least seven people have died in india and dozens more are feared trapped after two adjacent apartment buildings collapsed. the failures underline concerns about shoddy construction and lax regulations amid the rush to build new homes and offices. the first three-story apartment building collapsed in the early hours of wednesday morning in the city of vadodara. the next door building collapsed 20 minutes later. rescuers are hurrying to find people who may still be trapped under the debris. >> translator: i was asleep when suddenly there was a loud noise. i thought it must be a blowout in an electric meter. but when i went downstair, i saw the whole block had collapsed.
>> the two buildings were part of a 33-block housing development constructed by the government nor low-income households more than a decade ago. local news reports that residents had complained the building was unsafe. several structures have collapsed in india in recent months including a three-story hotel in july and an eight-story building in april. the country's rapid economic growth has boosted demand for buildings. but many are poorly constructed, often without permission or safety checks. peace between palestinians and israelis seems far off, but concerned japanese citizens are hoping they can foster a little harmony and understanding between the two sides this summer. they invited young people from the region to take part in a special homestay program in a scenic ki oe kyoto village.
>> reporter: the program began in kyoto ten years ago. ten palestinian and israeli teenagers took part this year. the organizers hope to help bring peace to the middle east by promoting dialogue. amal comes from palestine. nur from israel. they stayed in the home of tomoko asada. 18-year-old amal studies at the palestinian college. she lost her grandfather and two uncles under the israeli military occupation. nur is 16 years old and studies music at a high school in israel. he lost his uncle who was an israeli soldier. >> i'm a little bit in shock
because it's very -- it's a lot of new things. >> i was interesting to visit japan for first time. actually, it is different than here and other countries. a big difference from here and palestine. >> reporter: for each home stay, program organizers pair a palestinian and an israeli. as they visit japanese families the youth participate in a variety of experiences and experiencing japanese culture. today at the house, some neighborhood youngsters dropped in. they wanted to listen to the middle eastern students. >> translator: what is your dream?
>> having a free country because the world don't know what palestine. >> the end of wars. >> end of war, huh? >> peace, especially in the middle east and also in all the world, not just the middle east. >> reporter: on their last day in kyoto, the guests hiked up a mountain with their host. they noticed how japan is unlike where they come from. for example, mountains back there are smaller, and the wildlife is different. they realized they shared a common poichbt view. >> translator: i'm very happy. it must have been hard to organize the trip, so we may not get a chance to meet again, but our memory of climbing the mountain will last forever. >> reporter: on the summit, the pair wrote a message along with the local children and asada's
family. they wrote about being grateful for the time they spent together and how they felt. >> i think we make a change where wey connect, we can make our peace. >> i will talk to my friends about peace, about it's possible. >> reporter: arriving at a peaceful middle east solution has been impossible for palestinians and israeli leaders. but these young visitors to japan are showing them the way. marie mano, nhk world, kyoto. let's now take a look at the market figures.
a friendly animal can provide comfort for those who are feeling lonely or blue. now professionals are training what they call facility dogs to provide some canine therapy. >> reporter: bailey is a 5-year-old golden retriever therapy dog. he work at the children's medical center in yokohama, close to tokyo. his job is to make friends with children and ease their worries. bailey's handle yuko morita
takes him on his rounds. >> translator: you're hurting him. be gentle. that's a good boy. >> reporter: a therapy dog never whelps or bites even when tormented. >> translator: a dog makes a huge difference to children in a hospital. with bailey, their behavior changes completely. >> reporter: bailey was trained as a therapy dog in hawaii. he's conditioned not to lose his temper even when a stranger touches him. morita is a qualified nurse. she played a big part in bailey becoming the first facility dog in japan. bailey's schedule is like a staff member's, six hours a day, five days a week. >> translator: sorry to keep you waiting! >> reporter: it's been about a year since bailey arrived. he gives the children courage to
go through treatment. >> translator: i was able to take the medicine because bailey was with me. i know bailey thinks the i'm cool. >> translator: medical procedures inevitably inflict physical and psychological pain on patients. bailey supports our kids by getting close to them and building a strong bond. >> reporter: 8-year-old haku has been hospitalized for two months, an operation to remove a cancerous tumor appears to have gone well. but after so long in hospital, he easily gets depressed. bailey helps him through his rehabilitation schedule. haku moves his body as he throws
the ball. usually a quiet dog, bailey puts on a little show for haku. haku is inspired to get up from his wheelchair to play some of his favorite sport of football. and bailey is with him. >> translator: he barks. >> reporter: bailey looks happy. >> translator: i'm so happy being with baileyy. >> translator: good for you, bailey. >> reporter: bailey helps the children cope with uncertainty and worry. his duties might be as simple as
just snuggling up beside them. it's all in a day's work to make sick kids smile again. time now for a check on the weather with meteorologist sayaka mori. good morning. people in taiwan and the southern islands of japan are waking up to stormy weather conditions. >> clouds from a severe tropical storm are blanketing taiwan and the southwest islands of japan producing stormy conditions. we have reports of 110 kilometers for the western-most inhabited island of japan. we're expecting gusts reaching 160 kilometers per hour with waves up to about eight meters across this area today. it is going to force many residents to reschedule your weekend plans because it's moving across japan into the weekend. now, the center of the storm
could hit northern areas of kyushu by saturday. and then reach central parts of japan by sunday morning local time before weakening. rain is expected across the big az lands of japan over the weekend. rainfall will be confined across the south, we're expecting about 150 millimeters to fall on the already saturated ground and heavy also across the province, so flooding is a risk across this area. another heavy rainmaker is found across the korean korea could b hardest. it is set to move into japan on friday. so before making landfall, before the tropical disturbance, widespread rain is likely for much of japan on friday, but on thursday, dry weather across tokyo with high of 32 degrees. cooling down to 26, but back up to normal in ulan bator with 18
degrees for the high on thursday. and across north america, a heat dome is still with you affecting residents in the central and eastern parts of the u.s. i want to share this video from chicago. the heat wave has forced some schools without air conditioners to close. the temperature hit 35.6 degrees, close to the record high of 36.1 degrees set in 1973. one school cranked up its air conditioners and overloaded the circuit breakers. over 600 residents had to be sent home. but it looks like many people are enjoying the late summer heat now, the peak of the hot weather is over, but much above average temperatures will remain into the weekend in chicago and across des moines. temperatures could hit 38 degrees on friday. it could break the daily record. and across the rest of north america, lots of rain across the high plains.
thunderstorms are likely that are set to move into the great lakes region, but conditions will be looking up across the northeastern parts of the u.s. as we go into thursday. rain across the northwest coast, but rain is not going to fall across inland locations. and finally, in europe then dry conditions across the northern half of the continent, the very unstable conditions across the south, especially unstable across the south of the iberian peninsula and the northern areas of the balkan peninsula, storms and hail are possible on thursday. temperatures comfortable, 24 in berlin and 23 degrees in warsaw. 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