welcome to nhk world "newsline," i'm gene otani in tokyo, here's a look at some stories we're following this hour. a syrian opposition leader urges western powers to quickly carry out a military strike in response to the alleged chemical attack on civilians. community leaders in fukushima are starting a fight to get rid of all nuclear reactors in their prefecture not just those damaged in the
tsunami two years ago. and japan's bullet trains made high-speed railway travel a reality. engineers are now testing a next-generation train that sets a new standard for speed. world leaders are considering all options for dealing with the crisis in syria. u.s. president barack obama says he believes syrian government forces used chemical weapons on civilians. obama and his allies are considering military action. the leader of syria's main opposition alliance is urging a swift strike against the regime of president bashar al assad. syrian national coalition chief made the appeal during talks with french president francois hollande. he stressed the need to seek a political solution, but he added this can only be achieved if the international community is
capable of bringing a stop to the escalation of violence. u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon says a team of investigators investigating the use of chemical weapons will leave on saturday. >> they will continue investigation activities until tomorrow, friday. and they will come out of syria by saturday morning and will report to me. >> u.n. officials had earlier said the inspectors would stay until early september to conduct investigations at four sites in syria. the u.n. security council has not been able to reach an agreement on how to deal with the crisis. syria's key ally, russia, strongly opposes any military intervention. senior u.s. and russian defense officials meeting in brunei have clashed over the possible use of
military force. the differences in views emerged after a meeting of defense ministers from southeast asian nations. u.s. secretary chuck hagel said u.s. is discussing with allies how to respond to alleged chemical attack by the syrian government. >> if any action would be taken against syria, it would be an international collaboration. >> russia's deputy defense minister cautioned against taking immediate action. >> i hope there will be an opportunity for inspectors to fulfill duties and we can discuss together. >> discuss the team's findings with russia. russian media reports say the russian navy is sending two more warships to the eastern mediterranean as the united
states prepares to attack syria. public opinion polls suggest that opponents of military action in syria outnumber supporters in the united states, britain and france. the surveys were conducted last week and this week. in the united states, 25% of respondents would back u.s. military action if the syrian government definitely used chemical weapons on its people. 46% opposed this. in france, 41% are in favor of military action, but 59% are against it. 25% of people surveyed in britain support the use of long-range missiles to attack military sites in syria. 50% reject this option. u.s. economic growth in the second quarter of the year was greater than previously reported. the growth was led by an increase in exports. u.s. commerce department officials say gross domestic
product grew an annualized 2.5%. that's .8 points more than the figure they released in july. exports of goods and services increased 8.6%. officials reveised their figure for growth in investment in residential property to 12.9%. japan's railway engineers have a long track record in developing high-speed trains. they first began crisscrossing the country nearly 50 years ago. the fastest bullet train in service reaches speeds of more than 300 kilometers per hour. engineers are now conducting test runs of a new train. the l-0 can travel at 500 kilometers per hour. nhk world reports. >> reporter: the l-0 uses a technology to race over long
distances at superfast speeds. it's called superconducting magnetic levation. officials have just opened a new track for test runs in central japan. it's nearly 43 kilometers long. commercial service isn't scheduled to begin until 2027. once the train is up and running it will take people from tokyo to nagoya in just 40 minutes. one hour less than a bullet train trip. >> translator: i was impressed by the speed and its quietness surprised me. >> translator: the train will make it much easier to get around. i'm excited.
>> translator: the l-0 will drastically change japan's economy and society. this technology will help propel japan ahead in the world. >> reporter: engineers first began working on the train nearly half a century ago. they've kept at it ever since. in 2003, a prototype reached 581 kilometers per hour, a record that still stands. special magnets hold the key to the train's speed. the l-0 has superconducting electromagnets along the outside. they make it possible for the train to levitate and raise along the track without losing altitude or speed. for this to happen, it's necessary to eliminate the magnet's electrical resistance. the train is equipped with an internal cooling system. it reduces the magnets'
temperature to minus 269 degrees celsius and results in zero resistance. japan's railway technologies are among the most advanced in the world. railroad executives and government officials hope to take japan's expertise abroad. by taking this maglev train to north america and other countries. developers face several hurdles to making the japanese train a global success. for one, engineers in countries such as germany and france, are working on high-speed trains of their own. the l-0's creators will keep racing to stay ahead of the curve. kyoko fujita, nhk world, yamanashi. people in fukushima have been living with fear and inconvenience since the nuclear meltdown two years ago. they hear daily news about leaks of radioactive water at the
crippled power plant. and many still can't go back to their homes. community leaders say they've had it with nuclear plants. they're joining hands to demand the scrapping of all reactors in their prefecture, not just those that melted down. the fukushima daiichi plant has six reactors, four were damaged in the tsunami in march 2011 and melted down. they're due to be scrapped. the fukushima daini has four reactors, none seriously damaged. mayors and assembly chiefs from the towns that host the plants say they want utility workers to scrap all ten reactors. they say there's no alternative because residents have been forced to live as evacuees since the meltdown. the leaders plan to get assembly members to endorse their demand. then they'll take that demand to central government officials and utility representatives. >> translator: we will strive not only to get the reactors
scrapped, but also to help end the crisis at the fukushima daiichi plant. >> fukushima prefecture governor and members of his assembly have repeatedly called for all ten reactors to be scrapped. the chief of the utility's fukushima headquarters says he wants to discuss the issue with townspeople. but he says company officials can't reach a decision right now because they need to consider local views and the nation's energy policy. people in fukushima prefecture have been closely monitoring radiation levels since the nuclear disaster. they are now able to access this information when they travel on public transport. buses in four cities began using special equipment on thursday to measure radioactivity. researchers developed the system. the realtime measurements are displayed near jr fukushima station.
the information is also available online. the data is updated every 30 seconds. areas with low radiation levels are shown in blue. the color changes to green then yellow as levels rise. the data can be tracked back to january. >> translator: it's very useful to have realtime information about radiation levels because they change when we have windy or rainy weather. diplomats watching the korean peninsula are noticing signs of a thaw. officials from north and south korea have agreed to organize reunions of families separated by the korean war. diplomats hope that may open the door to more comprehensive talks. red cross officials are coordinating the reunions. the two sides held talks last
friday, they're first meeting in three years. officials with south korean unification ministry announced separated families will meet at the end of september. 100 family members are expected to take part. the reunions are scheduled to last for six days. south korean officials had initially proposed two events, one in seoul, one in pyongyang. but north koreans are insisting on the resort north of the border. north korean officials said on thursday they're considering bold constructive peace building measures. we spoke with dr. kim choluu, a specialist at the korean institute for defense analysis in seoul. >> three points, first of all seeking diplomatic isolations after the third nuclear test. with the recent flurry of
offensive for dialogue, north korea tries to set the mood of reconciliation which would give necessary justification for the six-party talk. secondly, kim jong-un regime is trying to ease the international economic sanctions for the cash-strapped economy. simply, pyongyang needs money and foreign direct investment. the quick and easy access reopening of the kaesong. furtherly, kim jong-un pursues and shows off his powerbase with building economic strength and promoting people's livelihood without risking any stability, he tries to revive dormant operations of reck -- overall prompted north korea move toward dialogue offensive. south korea's response is a step by step approach, like the building blocks of trust. no more talks for the sake of
talks. presidentrk's principle based approaches to upcoming issues are quite different from previous administrations in terms of safety measures and aid concessions. having successfully xi jinping followed president obama, she has a wide range of interkorean dialogue including her new initiative with setting up the peace pact in the demilitarized zone. no rush to negotiation tables unless pyongyang shows its sincerity and credible safety measures for the reunion. china's chief envoy would have significant effect on resuming the six-party talks in beijing. utilizing, all concerned parties are likely to share strategic interest. china in particular has been strongly urging regional parties
to engage in talks to resolve the korean nuclear issue. at this juncture, peace, stability, dialogue on the korean peninsula has been a standout rhetoric positioning. denuclearization seems to be a long bumpy road ahead. however, justification back into the six-party talks have been added up. this time not to have another ten-year negotiations to pyongyang being nuclear weapon state but to achieve verifiable denuclearization on the korean peninsula which will contribute to the regional peace and stability and for the world. we're following story from bangkok. >> afghan authorities said
thursday more than a dozen people died in an attack on a police convoy. the taliban appears to be stepping up attacks creating instability just as international troops prepare to leave afghanistan. officials from the western province of farah say a taliban ambush killed 15 officers. the attack took place when policeman in vehicles were patrolling a highway. also on wednesday seven people were killed in an attack on a base operated by polish and afghan forces. the taliban has claimed responsibility. reuters says that attackers detonated a truck later with explosives at the rear of the base. and a car bomb at the main gate before a six-hour gun battle erupted. >> translator: almost all the casualties are civilians. i strongly condemn attack like this which caused so many civilian casualties. >> another two incidents took
place in helmand province on wednesday. the two suicide attacks killed at least six people including three soldiers. the province has been the site of some of the fiercest fighting in the country. indian intelligence has taken into custody of an islamic militant group that is believed to be responsible for a number of attacks. the government says his detention will benefit security. the announcement was made thursday. bhatkal was a founder of mujahideen. he's been linked to a number of bomb attacks, including a blast at a bus stand in february. more than 130 people were killed or injured. bhatkal was on the intelligence agency's wanted list. india's foreign minister on thursday praised the arrest. >> translator: such people have no place to hide.
they, who have harmed india, will answer for their misdeeds, whether at home or abroad. >> the u.s. state department believes the indian mujahideen has close ties to the group thought to be responsible for the mumbai attacks in 2008, which left about 160 people dead. on the indonesian island of provided for a source of income, subterranean source of salt which locals harvest and sell for cooking. but as reported, the future of this tradition is far from clear. >> reporter: a plume of muddy water up to ten meters high nomenon known as a mad volcano.
this muddy area is about 100 kilometers in length from the japanese coast. but about 5 million years ago, it was on the seabed. the land has risen, but seawater remains trapped deep underground. pressure from geological movements forces gases along this mixture of ancient seawater to move up to the surface. for hundreds of years, it has also provided local people with a source of salt. he has been harvesting salt here for 71 years. he started when he was just 12 years old. the first step is to collect muddy water. to do that, you create a channel.
muddy water drawn around the channel is collected in bamboo containers and left for five days under the sun. the finishing touch, water containing a higher concentration of salt is sprinkled on the top to make the grains bigger in size and slightly sweet in taste. >> translator: it tastes good, very fine salt. everything will be ready by tomorrow. >> reporter: the salt is an essential ingredient in local kitchens. it's used to prepare indonesian dishes.
>> translator: without the salt, it just wouldn't taste right. everyone in our village uses the salt. >> reporter: but local salt is under threat from cheaper, mass produced brands. these days, only three people still harvest salt here, down from a peak of more than 100. and few young people are willing to take on this grueling work. daytime temperatures soar to more than 35 degrees celsius. and the small monthly income of only about $150, not enough to make ends meet. siyem is 60 years old. her husband was a salt farmer and he passed away last year.
both her sons have other jobs. she's struggled how to carry on her late husband's work, but her customers kept her going. her fine-tasting salt has a good reputation spread by word of mouth. people travel from far and wide to purchase it. >> translator: my customers tell me, my salt is the real deal. i'm determined to preserve this tradition. >> translator: for the tradition salt farmers of central java, these grains are more than just a source of income, they are the bounty of nature, deep underground for more than 500 million years. and enriching lives at priceless
rates. nhk world, java, indonesia. and that wraps up our bulletin. i'm cholaphansa narula in bangkok. it's snowing in bolivia. for more we turn to meteorologist robert speta. off to the north we've been talking abtd these tropical systems, really the peak of tropical season. but here into bolivia seeing pretty heavy snowfall. you have the westerly wind, all this cloud cover here. and i'll show you the images on the ground because it's pretty some incredible stuff. it's the heart of winter down here into south america. and this heavy snow is blanketed paralyzing these towns and villages, downing telephone lines and blocking many roads. the snow which has fallen for two days has caused the death of two people in some areas here. damaged 45 communities. and in the rural regions thousands of people have been stranded. while this is the thing that's
going to be affecting the economy and many people's livelihoods out here, about a quarter million of those alpacas have passed. it's a pretty big impact with the snowfall. typically gets pretty cold out hear especially across the andes. unfortunately going into the weekend still a risk of yet more snowfall. but let's look back towards the north, talk about the tropics out here and the heart of summer on the other hand across much of eastern asia. we have our tropical storm kong-rey. it is just coming down out here. to say the least. and looks like an additional amount is expected across many portions of southern taiwan. the center of circulation is out here to the north, but the moisture is wrapping into it and going to continue to cause heavy
rainfall. across much of the east china sea we are seeing high waves, about two to four meters high. and then kong-rey is going to pull off to the northeast. it's going to tangle up with our cold front and coming off korea right now. and as it does so it's going to follow right along this, kind of like a river. this is water flowing downstream in this low pressure area. and that's going to bring some heavy rainfall across much of japan, western ku kyushu. these areas are still drying off from the rainfall last weekend. widespread precipitation, even into tokyo by saturday afternoon don't be surprise first-degree you see a couple thunderstorms flaring up. and plus the winds coming in from the south ahead of this storm system, tropical storm strength all along the coastline. going to make for rough surf out here. definitely do not want to head toward the beaches. stay out of the water if you can. temperatures into the 30s though for the time being. but behind that cold front really cooling off, 28 in
beijing at 26. take a look over towards europe. we have some spotty weather across the mediterranean. unstable air into northern balka balkans. 65-kilometer-per-hour winds, hail reported in possible seern e southeastern spain. this is going to fizzle. high pressure off to the north staying in place. but this is the next topic at hand. a big game changer. we have a storm system coming in off the atlantic. what this is going to do is first bring showers across the northern portions of the uk, also gusty winds about 65 kilometers per hour. but the temperatures are going to cool off when the front starts to dive in from the north into the early part of next week. london at 24, paris atd 25, even there in berlin, but going into monday and tuesday it looks like the highs are going to be in the low 20s to the high teens and lows into the low teens. and some areas here you could even be getting into the single digits. that's a look at your world weather. here's the extended forecast.