and taiwan's president is reaching out to mainland china as he faces shrinking popularity at home. the prime minister of libya is shaken, but safe, after being held captive for part of the day by rebel forces. armed men kidnapped ali sei dan from tripoli. the president of libya's general national congress confirmed the rebels had released the prime minister. a rebel group posted a message on his facebook pagerime minist along with security personnel. it said it was investigating his unlawful actions. the prime minister lives in the hotel, in central tripoli, and known for tight security. many foreign guests stay there.
zeidan took office in november last year. his government has been struggling to maintain a grip on security. rival militias have been fighting for control. several politicians have been kidnapped. earlier this month u.s. forces held a counter raid on al qaeda. last month zeidan said his nation is trying to build after decades under gadhafi rule. the east asia summit brings the association of southeast asian nations together with other countries from the asia-pacific. we have this special report. >> reporter: the east asia summit that took place in the brunei capital on thursday is one of the biggest gatherings of regional leaders. they have the opportunity to discuss face-to-face delicate issues such as territorial
disputes in the south china sea. but many headlines have been focused not on who attended the summit, but who didn't. u.s. president barack obama stayed home, and in his absence china could aggressively emphasize its desire for greater cooperation with asean. a block of fast-growing economies with a combined market of more than 600 million potential consumers. the main topic of discussion was a dispute over territorial rights in the south china sea. china's claims to the area overlap with those of some asean members, including the philippines. it was focused on whether progress would be made toward a proposed legally binding code of conduct to resolve the disputes. the premier emphasized at the meeting that china remains positive on the coc. but lee also warned against
outside interference, an apparent reference to the united states and japan. a number of asean nations have disputes with china, but beijing has singled them out to bear the pressure. after a two-month standoff with philippine ships, china took effective control over the area. manila responded by filing a case of mediation under the u.n. convention on law on the sea. the united states is the philippines' biggest ally. the east asia summit was supposed to be an opportunity for president obama to show solidarity with asean, and help counter the maritime ambitions of china. but his absence has raised questions about the extent of u.s. influence.
nhk world's matt reports. >> reporter: last month the united states and the philippines staged a large joint military exercise. u.s. forces are working to improve the fighting skills of their filipino allies. the u.s. is also planning to establish a sizeable military presence in the philippines. in august, chuck hagel made the first visit to manila by a u.s. defense secretary in four years. they would sign a new agreement as soon as possible. >> this agreement will strengthen cooperation between our two militaries, and help them work together more effectively. >> reporter: a philippine navy base on the edge of the south china sea is expected to resume some of its former role as a foothold for the u.s. military. during the cold war, the base was a vital staging post for u.s. forces. it was returned to the philippines in 1992, amid rising
filipino nationalism. the u.s. pullout is often cited as opening a door to a more assertive chinese maritime presence. the philippines is now welcoming the united states to come back. >> the -- all the etfforts of te armed forces of the philippines are geared for one objective, for the increased capability of our troops and our equipment to be able to perform our primary mandate, which is to provide territorial protection, territorial security, and for the protection of our sovereignty. >> reporter: the u.s. navy also began to pull advanced vessels in singapore on a rotational basis in april. this would give the u.s. navy a constant presence on two sides of the south china sea. one goal of these moves by the u.s. is to get china to agree to
settle its disputes with asean countries within a multilateral framework such as the east asia summit. china re mants adamant they should be negotiated bilaterally and warned against outside interference. until this year, president obama made a point of always attending the east asia summit to try to steer discussions. but political deadlock in washington led obama to cancel his plans, causing some to question his so-called pivot to asia policy. >> the fact that the president did not go on this particular trip to apec and to asean meetings was purely american domestic politics that grounded the president. the united states will pay a price. i think president obama will pay a price. >> reporter: washington said u.s. engagement in asia is vital to the economic interests and national security. the president missed high-profile meetings and rival china scored a victory by default. the obama administration has its
work cut out to reassure allies. matt field, nhk world. >> it appears in efforts to at least try to begin a process of dialogue between the philippines and china has been made during these meetings in brunei. the philippines president shook hands and exchanged word with china's premier. aquino said he welcomed the positive stance lee showed toward resolving south china sea disputes, specifically on talks about the prospect of code of conduct. >> translator: the tone of what china had to say in the meeting was not offensive. and we received it with a positive attitude. if we can aim for mutually beneficial goals, we should be able to make progress with talks on the coc. >> it was the first contact between the leaders of china and
the philippines in two years. observers will now watch to see whether the exchange of words is followed by any concrete improvement in relations. that might be difficult as it would require the two sides to deal with their competing territorial claims. nhk world has more analysis of the east asia summit. there's a diplomatic tug-of-war under way between china and the united states. and asean looks like it's somewhere in the middle. now, which way is it likely to go? >> president obama's absence from the east asian summit made east asian members anxious. they were relieved by china's position at the talks. china says it's ready to move forward with discussions on the legally binding code of conduct. but despite it, observe essay china is still reluctant to sign up to rules restricting its actions in the south china sea. so asean faces a huge challenge to encourage china to cooperate
and keep the process moving in asean's favor. >> now, how will it shape the future relationship with the u.s., china and other key regional players? >> china is asean's biggest neighbors. it will be a long-term challenge. on one hand, asean needs to cooperate with china. but on the other, asean needs to counter china's growing strength. china agreed to discuss the code of conduct partly because it wants to stop the u.s. from getting involved and try to limit american influence in the region. but already, there are questions about u.s. influence. president obama's asia policy looks hollow, because of his failure to attend some of the region's most important meetings. washington is finding it increasingly difficult to focus on asia, given the domestic political disruptions and other diplomatic issues involving syria, iran and other parts of the middle east. the south china sea is an ongoing headache for asean.
some member nations are more understanding of china's position, and others are chose closer to the united states. being united will be a huge challenge as asean looks toward its ambitious goal of creating a single united economic community in just two years' time. >> thank you. the summit has exposed a complex web of competing geopolitical interests among china, the united nations, -- the united states and other regional powers. there's a desire to win favor with a fast-growing economies of southeast asia. asean also finds itself in the middle of the broader struggle for influencing asia, between china and the united states. a struggle that poses many risks to regional security. in the middle of all these different forces, southeast
asian nations will have to work hard to remain united, and achieve both stability and prosperity. that wraps up our special coverage. japanese prime minister shinzo abe says he wants to improve relations with two important neighbors. disagreements over territory and history have left japan's ties with china and south korea strained. abe spoke after a regional summit in brunei. he said he's open to dialogue. >> translator: we shouldn't close the door on dialogue just because we have an issue. i believe we should hold summit level dialogues, particularly when we have problems. >> abe also referred to the territorial issues in the south china sea involving china and some southeast asian nations. >> translator: we should respect the basic rules on the oceans,
including international laws on resolving conflicts peacefully. freedom of na rein navigation, and the united nations convention on the law of the sea. >> abe said he'd seek opportunities for official bilateral talks with the leaders of china and south korea. he also said he'd explain japan's security policies to leaders at a string of regional summits. and he said those leaders had told him they hoped japan would play a bigger role in maintaining peace. japan's ruling party is to study eliminating tariffs on agricultural products. these are items it has tried to exclude from the transpacific partnership free trade talks. members of the tpp task force of the liberal democratic party and other officials agreed to
explore the possibility at a meeting on thursday. the decision came after leaders of countries negotiating the tpp agreed earlier this week that high-level political decisions are needed. that's to break a deadlock in the talks so as to reach a conclusion by the end of the year, ldp task force leader said they're looking into the five key categories of farm products including rice and wheat to see if tariffs can be lifted on some items. some voiced opposition saying some items were treated as exceptions in trade talks, should be protected this time around. after the meeting, mish a ka wa said a decision on which items to eliminate tariffs on should be decided over the next month, before the next tpp talks possibly in december. the operator of the casual clothing chain has posted a record high sales and profit due to aggressive store openings in asia.
fast retailing opened their sales up in august. up to more than $11 billion. operating profit reached $1.3 billion, up 5% from the same period a year ago. the firm's executives say the upbeat earnings are due to strong domestic demand for thermal underwear and shirts that breathe. expansion in mainland china, hong kong and other parts of asia also helped to boost sales. >> translator: i expect overseas operations will keel on expanding, as a main driver of the fast retailing group. >> the chairman also referred to a government request to business leaders for higher wages to boost economic growth. he said he will consider raising payments for his employees. samsung electronics launched what it said is the world's first smartphone with a curved display. galaxy round hit the market
thursday. plastic is used instead of glass to form the concave display. tilting the device on a flat surface will allow users to check information such as missed calls. samsung executives say the firm will apply this technology to develop new smartphone models, including wearable ones. taiwan's president has been reaching out to his island's most powerful neighbor, china. he called for closer relations, a goal some taiwanese oppose. we have the report from taipei. >> reporter: the president addressed the taiwanese at the foundation day ceremony. attempting to reach out to people on the mainland. >> translator: we should use frequent contacts and interaction to build political trust and continue expanding and
deepening exchanges in a variety of fields to further the people's welfare. >> reporter: he said he's pleased the ministers in charge of the relations met last weekend for the first time. and he highlighted the benefits of the deal china and taiwan reached in june, to open up their service sectors. he said that the agreement will create jobs in taiwan. still, not everyone on the island supports the president's policy of opening up to the mainland. a demonstration is in progress here. they are demanding the president to step down. they have come into the streets in large numbers. >> translator: my biggest complaint is that the president doesn't listen to his people. he should take democracy more seriously, and not ignore the
public. >> reporter: demonstrators say ma has created turmoil. and they say his efforts to let mainland companies enter taiwan's service sectors could push local farms out of business. the president has seen his approval rates fall to a low of 10%. whether he's able to improve relations with china could ride on his ability to gain more support at home. nhk world, taipei. governments around the world have joined hands to better control a substance people can't live with, or without. they adopted a treaty to regulate the trade and use of
mercury, a metal that's a threat to health and a vital part of many products. officials from 140 countries and territories gathered to sign the treaty to ban digging for mercury at new mines, and starting in 2020 it will regulate the manufacture, export and import of products containing the metal. the convention is named after a japanese city where mercury poisoned residents over half a century ago. thousands suffered severe health problems. the chemical manufacture had been releasing the metal into the ocean. otani has been supporting victims for decades. he welcomes the treaty but says the governments could do a lot more. >> translator: knowing the efforts we've made have borne fruit in the form of this treaty is very moving. but this is just a starting point. we need to get more regulations
put into effect all over the world. >> mercury pollution is still spreading. mine workers in emerging nations use the metal when they dig for gold. the leaders of those countries want to tackle the resulting pollution and say they need help from japan. >> this is very important. because it will assist us in the country to make policy regarding a fight against mercury use. japan has to be at the forefront, has to be the leading country to get others to assist others. >> japanese leaders promised $2 billion to help developing countries deal with mercury pollution. officials with the u.n. environment program aim to get the min a mata convention ratified and put it into effect in 2016. nuclear regulators in japan will soon get international support to monitor the impact the fukushima daiichi crisis is
having on the ocean. specialists with the u.s. nuclear watchdog will check radiation levels in the waters off the damaged facility. >> translator: monitoring radioactivity in seawater is very important, so the iaea would like to cooperate with the japanese authority. >> iaea chief offered the assistance to the head of japan's in you clear regulation authority. ta na ka said working together would help alleviate concerns among neighboring countries. officials with the authority have been testing seawater in different locations in fukushima daiichi's port. they say radiation levels are below the government standard, but a series of contaminated water leaks has sparked more concern among people in japan and abroad. south korea recently banned imports of marine products from fukushima prefecture. the iaea plans to send a team of
specialists in mid-november to study how to carry out the joint monitoring. a cyclone is heading toward india. robert speta has been following that story. robert? >> let's start off with this strong cyclonic storm pulling off to the west. now technically a very severe cyclonic storm. you can see here with this cloud cover, it is covering a very wide area across the bay of bengal, moving off to the northwest. right now, winds sustained at 120, gusting to 130 -- or 120 to 130, gusting to 140 kilometers per hour. but it is expected to intensify. that is really the big story with this. as it pulls off to the northwest, it starts to push near the indian coastline. this is going to be packing winds gusting over 200 kilometers per hour. so a very serious storm system. definitely a serious threat to the loss of life out here. if people do not heed these
warnings ahead of this storm system, definitely a storm surge is going to be a major threat, not to mention the heavy rainfall accompanying this as it pushes onshore. we'll continue to keep an eye on this cyclonic storm. but also we have our severe tropical storm out here, just towards the east of the philippines, pulling off there towards the west. in the near future, this is going to become a typhoon. already starting to see an eye develop around the center of circulation as it moves off toward luzon. this is going to be packing pretty strong winds. the main threat with this, or the problem with it, it's going to be making a nighttime landfall. that is when you start to see very dangerous conditions out here. anybody venturing out and about, you won't be able to see any debris flying around, and there's a serious risk of flooding with this. all that heavy rain coming down as it pushes over luzon. manila at the airport, already reporting about 86 millimeters in the past 24 hours. those are just with the outer rain bands. that is just scratching the
surface of this storm system as it comes ashore. flooding and land slides will be a major threat there, with our severe tropical storm, soon to be a typhoon. also watching a tropical depression, expected to be a tropical storm near guam. we'll continue to keep an eye on that. northern asia, japan, warm weather in place. we have a storm system coming in from northeast china, bringing in rain showers there. that will push across the korean peninsula into much of the sea of japan coastline, tohoku region, you could vel coury wel rainfall into friday. a lot of warm air surging in from the south. temperatures will be getting into the high 20s. tokyo actually expecting about 29 for the high here on friday. but behind it, you can see what's coming in. seoul, just a high of 20. all that air is going to be transporting out towards the east. tokyo will be dropping down into the low 20s.
lows into the lower portions of the teens by the end of the weekend. here in the americas, we have a nor'easter spinning off the northeastern coastline. the highs here in new york city, washington, d.c., actually into the mid-teens. that's dragging cooler air into canada. messy situation there. high pressure dominating the central portion of the u.s. higher elevations could be seeing about 40 centimeters of snowfall in the rockies. that's going to drag east. i don't expect the heavy snowfall that we saw in the upper plains of the united states like we did last week, but saskatchewan, you could see some snowfall out of this, into the lower elevations going through the weekend, as that storm system tracks off there toward the east. that's a look at your world weather. here's the extended forecast.
canadian novelist alice monroe has been awarded the nobel prize for literature. she's known as a master of short stories. >> the nobel prize in literature for 2013 is awarded to canadian author alice monroe. >> members of the swedish academy made the announcement in stockholm. munro is 82 years old. her piece was published in 1974 and became a canadian best-seller. the view from castle rock depicted a three-generation family that drew high praise from critics. the academy members say her works are characterized by clarity and psychological realism. some say she is a canadian