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tv   Newsline  PBS  October 25, 2013 6:00am-6:31am PDT

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live from our studios here in tokyo, this is "newsline." i'm james tengan. here's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. a chinese newspaper grabs more attention as it pushes back against media control and fights for an arrested reporter to be released. authorities an an island south of tokyo have ordered more than 1,000 residents to head to safer places ahead of a severe tropical storm. european union leaders are
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discussing allegations that u.s. agents have been spying on them. a newspaper in china has not only been reporting the news this week, it's been making it. editors of the new express have used their front page to demand that police release one of their reporters who exposed shady dealings at a state-owned firm. their campaign has put the spotlight on china's tight control over the media. and the growing desire for change. here's more. >> reporter: please release him. this is a message that's been carried for two days this week on the front page of the new express newspaper. the reporter was detained last saturday after he wrote about corruption at the major state-owned company. they say the damage to the reputation. it's demanding that he be
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released. it's almost unheard of that such a demand is published in china, where the media is under tight government control. the pleas are attracting a lot of attention around the country. >> translator: we should have first investigated the case. i don't think it's normal. >> translator: it is quite natural for reporters to write about the case. >> reporter: they're being posted online. other newspapers have come out in support of the new express. support for the plea is spreading partly because people are becoming more vocal about the tight controls of free speech. in january, editors at another newspaper in guangdong province were told to rewrite a new editorial calling for political reform. the move sparked several days of protests. a "new express" editorialist
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told us that he believed the content of the reporter's article is accurate, and that there is a sense of solidarity within the company. he says the newspaper will not give up until the reporter is set free. the fight by the guangdong paper for freedom and ensuring controversy is serving to highlight the depth of china's problems. nhk world, gong shong. residents of an island south of tokyo are getting out of the way of a tropical storm a week after they lost friends and neighbors to a typhoon. they had already advised everyone on the island to head to safer places. last week typhoon wipha set off landslides that destroyed dozens of homes. it killed at least 31 people.
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12 others are still missing. now authorities have turned their attention to the latest forecasts. they've asked the more than 8,000 residents on the island to move to somewhere safe before the next storm arrives. a seventh of the population has no choice, and must leave their homes. rain has fallen on the island throughout the week. authorities fear they could see more landslides. let's see how worrisome the situation is, because of the approaching storm systems with robert speta from our weather desk. robert? >> right now, just seeing this big band of cloud cover extending all the way from ku shu, extending off to the north, we're seeing widespread rain showers across much of japan through the evening hours here on friday. it does look like the peak of it is going to be passing over tokyo, and even down to the izu islands after midnight, into the early morning hours. tokyo expecting about 50 millimeters in just a few hours. but that is on the tail of what's been happening down to
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the southwest into portions of ku shu, and off to the key peninsula. about 636 millimeters reported in a course of a few hours. video coming off just towards the north, where a rock actually rolled down the hill here, caused by a landslide due to the heavy rain at this location. you saw about 100 millimeters of rain. now, the good news, this train was not derailed. it did cause some damage and definitely a headache for a lot of commuters out here, but it's just one of the examples of what happens when you get the heavy rains, you get the rock slides, landslides. on a smaller scale than what we saw last year as wipha skirted the coastline. francisco is staying off the coast, but still bringing a heavy amount of rainfall. we'll be seeing heavy showers, even winds up to about 50 kilometers per hour is possible here.
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japanese prime minister shinzo abe's cabinet has approved a bill protecting information designated as state secrets. cabinet ministers endorsed the bill at a meeting on friday. officials say the legislation is necessary to allow japan to share intelligence with other countries. the government is also preparing to launch a national security council to oversee foreign and security policies. the bill will enable heads of government offices, such as ministers, to designate information to national security as state secrets. the information would only be handled by ministers, vice ministers, parliamentary secretaries and approved public servants. public officials who leak such information could face a maximum prison sentence of ten years. the bill addresses the need to support freedom of the press, which is considered key to the public's right to know. journalists would not be penalized for their activities
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unless they violated the law or used methods deemed extremely improper. the bill also requires cabinet approval if the government wants to keep the information secret for more than 30 years. the government hopes to pass the bill during the current diet session. lawyers and privacy experts are concerned about the bill. lawyers took to the streets of tokyo to protest against the bill. they say the bill's definition of secrets is ambiguous. and could infringe on the public's right to know. they want a more rigorous information disclosure system. one lawyer says the secrecy bill should be discussed along with revision of the information disclosure law, and should not be enacted in haste. the head of a group backing freedom of information told a tokyo symposium there should be rules to preserve documents containing state secrets for future review. >> translator: if we call something secret information, it
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should not be thrown out with other government papers. secrets have to be saved so they can be made public some day. >> another participant said there should be more discussion to raise public awareness of the need to preserve and disclose public documents. prime minister abe says it is vital the diet pass the two bills during the current session. abe was speaking at the lower house. abe says a national security council would strengthen the command functions of the prime minister's office. he says this is important at a time when the security environment is getting more severe. abe also says that for the new security body to function effectively, legal and other systems must be in place to protect government information and secrets. the draft bill says the prime minister would chair the new council. the foreign and defense ministers as well as the chief cabinet secretary would be members. abe says the council could discuss counterterrorism, natural disasters, and the tpp
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talks if these matters were thought to have a fundamental impact on national security. european leaders attending a summit in brussels are expressing anger over allegations that the u.s. has been spying on its allies. but even as they meet, more reports are emerging of illegal u.s. intelligence-gathering around the world. >> reporter: e.u. leaders arrived in brussels with plans to discuss investment in digital services and how to handle bank bailouts. but instead, much of their focus is on allegations that the americans have been eavesdropping on them. the story broke when the journal weekly magazine reported that u.s. national security agency had intercepted chancellor angela merkel's telephone calls. on wednesday she telephoned u.s. president barack obama to discuss the issue. the nsa allegedly eavesdropped
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on another european ally as well, france. officials in paris say as many as 17 million phone calls were tapped between last december and january of this year. european leaders at the summit have echoed merkel's displeasure. but some are less critical, such as britain, america's closest ally. german and french leaders say they intend to discuss the intelligence activities separately with their u.s. counterparts. >> translator: europe and the u.s. are partners. i insist that this partnership be based on trust and respect. >> reporter: since the newspaper broke the story, a flood of spy allegations have come to light. a british newspaper says it obtained a confidential memo suggesting that the nsa may have monitored communications of 35
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world leaders. in italy, a weekly magazine reports that british intelligence had intercepted internet and phone traffic and shared it with the u.s. and in brazil, local television reports that the u.s. agency tapped a communications of the brazilian and mexican leaders. >> translator: the u.s. activities were a breach of international law. and an affront to the relations between friendly nations. >> reporter: u.s. officials are struggling to contain the fallout from the scandal. >> we're not going to comment publicly on every specified alleged intelligence activity and as a matter of policy we have made clear that the united states gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations. >> reporter: obama came to power with a pledge to respect the country's allies. and the international community.
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but experts now say he could lose the trust of his allies because of the scandal. and find it hard to pursue his foreign policy. chiaki ishikawa, nhk world. thailand's top buddhist leader has died at the age of 100. flags flew at half mast around the country on friday. over 90% of the population follows buddhism. thai supreme patriarch leader died on thursday after a blood infection following intestinal surgery. people dressed in black lined up near the hospital in bangkok. later on the monk's body was transferred to a temple.
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as the head of buddhism in thailand, he was an influential figure. >> translator: i was shocked to hear that his holiness died, because he was an important person in thai buddhism. i came all the way from the countryside to pay my respects to his image. >> translator: i'm heart broken. i was following the news about his health, and when he was not doing any better, we were really sad. we prayed for him to get well. >> the buddhist leader was born in 1913. he started his studies to become a monk at 14. in late 1980s, he was appointed as supreme patriarch.
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the leader's passing made headline news. they've asked the state to mourn for 30 days and to fly flags on all public buildings at half mast for three days. 340,000 people remain evacuated after an earthquake in the southern philippines on the 15th. the united nations is calling on the international community for relief. the u.n. held a press conference in manila on friday. officials called for about $47 million in emergency international assistance. authorities say more than 200 people died in the magnitude 7.2 quake, which had its epicenter on bohol island. a u.n. team on the ground says more than 52,000 buildings collapsed. they say 344,300 people remain evacuated. the united nations says there's an urgent need for more settlers and relief supplies, such as food, water and medicine.
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anti-government forces in syria say people living in an opposition strong hold near damascus are on the brink of starvation. government troops have surrounded the town since around january. this has prevented food and fuel from reaching the approximately 9,000 people living there. this footage is said to be recorded there last month by an anti-government activist. it shows image also of severely emaciated young children. an opposition activist said the residents are facing a serious food shortage. >> translator: food supplies ran out four months ago. people now only have leaves and olives left to eat. >> he said 11 women and children have starved to death, and more than 100 others are in critical condition. battles between the government and opposition forces rage on in many parts of the country. observers say many lives are being lost, not just in combat,
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but also from starvation. south korean forces have carried out a drill on disputed territory in waters between their country and japan. they base the exercise on the assumption that right-wing activists had landed on islands south korea controls, but the japanese claim. >> translator: the islands are historically and currently our territory. we publicize the drill to show our forces will defend them under any circumstances. >> the defense ministry spokesperson said in seoul that army, air and naval forces took part. he revealed a special navy unit carried out a landing operation. it's rare for the unit to participate in exercises on the islands. in a similar drill last year, commanders canceled a landing operation at the last minute. analysts saw it as an attempt to avoid further friction with japan, following a visit to the territory by then president
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imbak. japan protested the most recent drill. >> translator: based on our position on the island's sovereignty, the drill is totally unacceptable and regrettable. >> he emphasized that japan owns the islands under international law. he added that japan and south korea should not let this kind of issue damage bilateral ties. in the chaos following japan's surrender after world war ii, thousands of japanese immigrants in korea were forced to flee. many died trying. now three japanese who lost family members in what is today north korea were in the country to pray for the souls of their relatives. a tokyo couple and a man from western japan arrived in pyongyang on thursday. >> translator: i want to tell father that mother got the children back to japan safely.
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so you can feel relief now. >> the three will travel to the city of homun on the sea of japan coast, where the remains of their families be believed to be buried. last month, the north's foreign ministry said it would stop accepting the visits if japan did not agree to talks on the issue of identifying and properly burying the japanese remains. but on thursday a ministry official told the visiting japanese that more visits will be allowed next year. u.s. monetary authorities are moving to head off another financial crisis. the federal reserve plans to require major banks to hold enough high liquidity assets sooner than national standards require. it includes cash and government bonds. fed officials say large u.s.
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financial institutions should strengthen their liquidity positio positions. they were agreed to on banking supervision, after the global financial crisis of 2008. at the time deposit outflows stemming from credit uneasiness and a squeeze on interbank lending hit u.s. banking operations hard. the u.s. central bank took these developments into krgsz in working out its own strict rules. beginning in january 2017, it plans to ask banks to hold a liquidity coverage ratio of 21%, that means banks should hold liquid assets equal to their cash flow outflows. it will fund their operations for about 30 days during a time of market stress. if it becomes official, the fed proposal would also affect financial institutions in other
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countries that own u.s. banks as affiliates. a jury in the u.s. state of oklahoma has ordered toyota motor to pay $3 million in damages, holding it liable for a 2007 car crash. a woman driving a toyota camry was seriously injured, and another woman in the car was killed. the injured woman and the family of the deceased had filed a lawsuit against toyota. they said toyota was aware of a defect in its car's brake override system. but failed to make that knowledge public. toyota blamed the driver's error for the accident saying she apparently mistook the accelerator pedal for the brake. the jury decided, however, that the toyota car did have a problem which led to its sudden acceleration. the japanese automaker is facing other suits in the u.s. involving issues of acceleration in its cars. earlier this month, a jury in california said toyota was not responsible for a separate accident.
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the world trade organization has acknowledged claims by japan and other countries that china's exports of rare earth metals are restrictive and violate its rules. the wto plans to ask the country to change the practice. japan, the u.s. and the european union filed a complaint in june last year saying china's export control is against wto rules. china accounts for more than 90% of the global output of rare earth metals used to make high-tech products like smartphones. the country said it's limiting exports to protect the resource and the environment. sources now say the wto is in broad agreement with the claims by japan and other countries. the organization has put an interim report together to advise china to correct the situation. the wto is expected to publish a final report in december after hearing from china and other parties involved. beijing has launched and anti-smog action plan so local
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residents can breathe easier. that comes after air pollution in the city hit unsafe levels earlier this month. the plan calls for cutting the levels of the pollutant pm 2.5 by more than 25% by 2017. a key part of the plan is a thermal power plant now being built in a beijing suburb. it will be one of the city's biggest thermal power sources. beijing is investing more than $1.7 billion in the plant. the plant will provide hot water to heat houses in winter. if everything goes according to plan, it will be online a year from now, just in time for winter. this type of power plant uses natural gas, so beijing will use less coal for heating homes and offices. and that means cleaner air, because coal is a major cause of air pollution in the chinese capital. >> translator: we would like to achieve our objective with everyone's support.
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>> the city is also introducing commuter buses that run on electricity and natural gas. beijing plans to replace two-thirds of its buses with these eco-friendly vehicles by 2017. the city government earlier this week announced new anti-pollution measures, including warning on smog levels. beijing plans to cut the number of vehicles on the roads by half. serious air pollution is expected to last more than three days. while beijing grapples with air pollution, let's see what atmospheric conditions are affecting other parts of the world with robert speta. >> right now, we're still watching our severe tropical storm francisco rolling up the coastline of japan here. you can see the cloud shield extending across most of the country with the heavy rain showers. the peak of it over tokyo will be through the overnight hours. by the time we go ahead into the afternoon, the evening hours here on saturday, it's going to be rapidly improving conditions coming behind it. one reason is because we have a low pushing across hokkaido.
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that will really pull farther off to the north. also we have our typhoon lekima continuing to weaken. this is also going to act as a pole pulling francisco quickly away from the coastline. as far as the direct impact from this storm system, it's a very strong one bringing the winds out here to the islands. it's not going to be directly hitting the coastline, staying well offshore. that's typical for october typhoons. usually by this time of year, they remain well offshore. remember, with wipha, that actually came near the coastline. just prior to that, we had another storm system push off here. now we have francisco pulling off as well. we take a look at the climatology, by this time it should be further off toward the east. with lekima happening, now we start to see the strong westerly winds come in. we've also seen snowfall off to the north. so i think we're going to start to see the typhoons weighing down farther to the north. if anything develops, more than
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likely it will be farther into the tropics over the next several months. something to keep an eye on. still possible, but seems a lot less unlikely through the next several months out here. seoul with a high of 15. sunny skies with the high pressure coming in as well. beijing with 18. let's talk about what's going on in the americas. high pressure has been dominating, really controlling the weather out here. sinking all the way from northern canada. and what we are seeing is these freeze watches in effect in portions of georgia, over towards the carolinas as well. we're still going to be seeing a dusting of snowfall due to lake-effect snow developing in some areas here. not to mention another low pressure coming in from the west, bringing snow to the western great lakes. as far as your temperatures, it will be cold through the overnight hours, with the freeze watches, definitely in effect here. the highs will rebound into the south. 13 with a high in atlanta, washington, d.c. at 12, new york at 12 as well. but still, keep a jacket on throughout the day out here. things remain rather chilly.
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let's talk about what's going on in europe as well with the large storm system coming in from the west. this is already bringing gusty winds out here. still going to be seeing heavy rainfall. it pushes through with severe thunderstorms as well coming along with it. not to mention the temperatures. staying on the cool side in london with a high of 16, partly cloudy skies. paris with 20 here on saturday after that system pushes off it oh the east. madrid, you'll see lingering showers. if we look farther to the east, moscow, you'll see rain showers here, a high of 9 on your saturday. that's your world weather. here's the extended forecast.
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