hello, welcome to "newsline." it's friday, november 13th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. kurdish fighters in iraq are trying to cut off a vital supply route of the islamic state militant group. they want to take back a strategic town and they've launched a major offensive. peshmerga forces of the kurdish regional government say they started the operation to recapture sinjar in a northern mountainous area. they said 7,500 combatants have mounted attacks from three directions with help of air strikes by the u.s.-led coalition. they said the fighters have retaken several villages and parts of a highway near the
town. sinjar is along a road that links raqqa in northern syria with iraq's second-largest city, mosul. rauk sa is the group's proclaimed capital. the kurds believe if the mission succeeds they'll be able to sever the islamic state group's supply route for weapons and personnel. much of sinjar has been under the militant group's control since august of last year. militants killed many members of the minority yazidi sect living in the town claiming they worshipped the devil. they abducted thousands of women and displaced others. reports say yazidis are participating in the latest operation to take back their hometown. the islamic state militant group has claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in lebanon. two explosions tore through a suburb in southern beirut. 43 were killed and nearly 240 others were wounded. the explosions hit minutes apart
during rush hour in an area considered a stronghold of the islamist group hezbollah. islamic state militants posted a message online saying two members carried out the attack. hezbollah has been in syria fighting the group alongside government forces. islamic state militants are threatening to carry out attacks in russia. the group released a video online on wednesday. it's in russian and features voices chanting the group's slogan. the voice on the video says a russian city will be shocked to hear people chant iing allah akbar, or god is great. it says blood will spill like an ocean very soon. the video does not refer to last month's crash of a russian passenger jet in egypt. a group fill lated with the islamic state militants has claimed responsibility for downing the plane. russia has been conducting air strikes in syria since late
september. it claims they're aimed at defeating the islamic state militants and supporting the government of bechard al assad. kremlin spokesman petrov said state security services will analyze the video. myanmar's opposition party is close to claiming a victory in a historic election. the national league for democracy led by aung san suu kyi has secured nearly enough seats for a parliamentary majority. the election commission has announced that 81% of the seats have been declared with the nld winning 327 seats. the military-backed ruling union solidarity and development party garnered 40 seats. the constitution compiled by the giunta allocated one-fourth of the seats in parliament to the military party. the institution compiled by the
j opposition party must secure two-thirds to take over. myanmar was under military rule for half a century. in the last election 25 years ago, the nld won a sweeping victory, but the government refused to hand over power. the media are predicting a change of power, but people are uneasy about prospect of the reigns being handed over smoothly. president thein sein issued a statement congratulating the nld and promised a peaceful transfer of power. the president and military chief have agreed to meet with aung aung san suu kyi within a week to discuss national security and recognition which she requested. while an nld majority assures the party of being able to elect the president, aung san suu kyi remains barred from office. the constitution prohibits people with foreign nationals in their families from becoming president. but she has said she will back
the country's de facto leader acting above the president if her party forms the next government. white house officials say president barack obama has congratulated aung san suu kyi. they say he called to praise her on the campaign and the success of her party. obama commended her for what he called tireless efforts and sacrifice to promote a more inclusive, peaceful and democratic country. and he stressed that the election and formation of a new government could be an important step forward in myanmar's democratic transition. obama also talked with president thein sein. he offered his congratulations to the people of myanmar for their participation in the election. and he commended the efforts of the election commission and government officials for overcoming challenges in conducting the election. the leaders discussed the importance of all parties to respect election results once they're announced.
japanese prime minister shinzo abe is flying to turkey on friday to talk to global leaders. he'll discuss a balanced economic growth and measures to tackle terrorism and refugees. abe will attend a g-50 summit in a southern resort city antalia. others attending include barack obama, chinese president xi jinping, and russian president vladimir putin. abe plans to announce his ideas contributing to the global economy by reviving area pan through active promotion of deregulation and other growth strategies. abe also intends to show his stance of europe's refugee crisis comprehensively by continuing to actively provide aid, including economic support and personnel training. abe wants to meet other leaders separately on the sidelines of the summit. he's scheduled to meet the turkish president erdogan and australian prime minister
turnbull. abe knows he has issues to tackle at home too so he's left his staff with orders to lay out policy that will jump start the economy. ai uchida, what are some of those challenges? >> there's serious demographics issues here in japan. a low birth rate and a large population of senior citizens. abe doesn't want dem graphics to stall the economy so he wants to raise the fertility rate of women while simultaneously keeping people working. the national congress gathered with cabinet ministers and experts from the private sector. >> translator: when we have such a big goal, there will be many budget requests from a range of areas. as a result, we will end up losing focus. we will have to make efficient use of our limited resources. >> abe is aiming for a fertility rate of 1.8 births per woman. to help lessen the financial burden on families, some private
sector members suggested a student loan system with repayments based on income. another priority is to help those carryiing for aging famil members to remain in the workforce. japanese work care facilities struggle with a labor shortage so some proposed making it easier to employ foreign staff. abe wants to boost economic ties with china and other asian countries through comprehensive economic cooperation, including free trade agreements. the first japan/china ceo summit brings together leaders from the japan business federation and china's group for international economic exchange. abe spoke at their reception. >> translator: japan and china are the third is second-largest economies in the world respectively. growth of both countries and the strengthening of economic ties has significant meaning to other parts of asia and the rest of the world.
>> abe said he hopes they'll take the initiative in forming a trilateral free trade deal between japan, china and south korea and the regional comprehensive economic partnership, arcep, a proposed free trait pact among 16 nations in the region. a toshiba group has revealed a loss in its affiliate's bookkeeping. the electronicsmaker says its nuclear power subsidiary westing how long had losses in 2012 and 2013. toshiba says westinghouse had written down the value of its assets by about 160 billion yen, about $1.3 billion, in those fiscal years combined. company officials attribute this to the severe business environment created after the accident at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant in 2011. they had been withholding the numbers for westinghouse saying accounting rules do not mandate the disclosure of subsidiaries'
results. toshiba refishes say they don't include the write-downs in their group results as they expect the subsidiary to be profitable. now let's check on markets. tokyo stock prices did open lower following sharp drops in the u.s. and europe. as you can see the nikkei still in negative territory, down 1.28%. 19,444. crude oil prices continued to fall signaling weak global demand. investors jittery about a growing divergence in monetary policies between the u.s. and the eurozone. let's see what's happening with currencies. the dollar is weakening for a second day as traders are buying the relatively safer yen. the dollar/yen is at the mid-122 yen levels. analysts say there's upward momentum for the greenback following comments from several u.s. federal reserve officials hinting at a rate hike next month. the euro is trading against the
dollar at 1.08. sydney shares are tumbling to one and a half month lows on falling commodity prices, right now down by 1.69%. over in seoul the kospi is down a little more, .95%. scientists around the world are working on a project that will peer back through time to the earliest days of the universe. they're busy planning what will be the most powerful telescope in the world and they're countology a japanese glassmaking firm to provide one of the most crucial components. >> reporter: experts from japan and four other countries are designing the 30-meter telescope. a giant reflecting telescope. they say the main mirror will be about 30 meters wide and co comprise some 500 segments.
>> translator: we hope we can discover the first galaxy or star, and if we find a planet with a very similar environment to the one on earth, we can investigate further to see if there's life. with this telescope we can potentially make discoveries worthy of nobel prizes. >> reporter: team members say the main challenge is to ensure the mirror doesn't expand with heat, causing images to blur. they're planning to use glass with virtually zero expansion to avoid any problems. engineers at a leading japanese glassmaker wanted to be involved in the project. the firm provided glass for the apollo 11 manned spaceflight to the moon in 1969. >> that's one small step for man -- >> reporter: but in the '90s it lost out to a u.s. company on a contract for japan's subaru
telescope. a frustrating experience for this company engineer. >> translator: why wasn't japanese-made glass used for a japanese telescope? we were determined to make up for that loss someday. >> reporter: the team came up with the idea of using crystals that shrink as temperatures rise. glass expands when heated. but if criticals inside the glass shrink, they thought it would compensate almost perfectly for any expansion in the glass. the engineers created the crystals by mixing three metallic oxides, adjusting the ratios just a fraction each time to get the combination right. they carried out tests at different temperatures over varying periods of time. and in 2004, they finally hit on the right formula. they say their glass expands by just one-100th millionth with
each degree rise in temperature. >> translator: this glass is the highest quality in the world. it will help us build the best possible telescope. >> translator: we leapt for joy when we heard our products had been chosen. >> reporter: workers at an optical equipmentmaker are busy polishing the glass to get it ready for one of the most exciting scientific projects in years. astronomy buffs will have to wait nearly a decade before the tmt is up and running. until then, they can only imagine the secrets it will reveal. >> that's the latest in business news for this hour. i'll leave you with a check on markets.
south korea's top court has upheld a life sentence for the captain of the ferry "sewol" which sank off the nation's south coast in 2014. the disaster was one of south korea's deadliest maritime accidents killing almost 300 people. nhk world's jungsil kim reports. >> reporter: it's been more than a year and a half since the tragedy. 295 people lost their lives when the ferry "sewol" went down off the southern coast of south korea. many of the dead were high school students.
captain lee joon-seok fled the ship leaving most of the passengers behind. in november 2014, the district court sentenced lee to 36 years in prison saying he neglected to take proper measures to help his passengers. but the judge said he couldn't determine whether lee knew the passengers would die as a result of his actions. relatives of the victims rejected the ruling and demanded the death penalty. protesters staged a massive demonstration against the government. one of the country's high courts then sentenced the captain to life in prison saying he was guilty of homicide through willful negligence. but still the victims' family members and supporters were not satisfied. on thursday south korea's
supreme court upheld the high court's ruling that lee be given a life sentence. it concluded that lee fled his ship without giving an evacuation order even though he was required by law to take measures to save his passengers. bereaved family members gathered in front of the court. >> translator: victims were supposed to take the college entrance exam today, but their dreams were taken away. today is a very sad day. >> translator: our wish is that the accident will be accurately recorded, according to the ruling, so south korean society will be more safety conscious. >> reporter: the anger of these family members is directed toward the ferry operators and the government that they believe have neglected public transportation safety. jungsil kim, nhk world.
taiwanese president has been taking heat from opposition parties who say he did not take a strong enough line on sovereignty. but he's insisting he stood up for taiwan. ma laid off his position in an interview on taiwanese tv. he addressed criticism over his affirmation with xi jinping that china and taiwan belonged to one country. he asked whether he clearly stated taiwan's claim of soverei sovereignty. >> translator: i made it clear, no taiwanese leader had ever talked to a chinese leader from the mainland in such a direct manner. >> ma touched on military threats including missiles on the coast facing taiwan. he said he asked xi to improve the situation. the tv station that interviewed ma conducted an opinion poll asking taiwanese people whether they were satisfied with what ma said at the summit. the proportion who said yes and the proportion who said no were almost the same.
southeast asian nations compete against each other for investment from foreign manufacturers. vietnam is betting high-tech know-how from japan can keep it a step ahead. the trend is a win-win for many small japanese firms, too. >> reporter: japan and vietnam held a joint economic forum in hanoi in october. japanese companies encouraged vietnam to enter its manufacturing, paying special attention to production. asia's many hubs, china and thailand, are losing their edge as labor costs rise. cambodia and myanmar are emerging as low-cost alternatives. but vietnam's strategy bet on
tech. >> translator: developing the manufacturing parts industry is a priority for the vietnamese government. collaborating with partsmakers from japan, we want to strengthen technology transfers and nurture the workforce. >> reporter: local governments from japan are ready to facilitate such collaboration. they see vietnam as an overseas growth opportunity for small and medium-sized japanese enterprises in their areas. another prefecture west of tokyo launched its own industrial park near hanoi in october. with so-called rental factories. to help kanagawa companies expand in a foreign country.
a total of five rental factory buildings were rebuilt. >> translator: we'll try supporting small and mid-sized companies to start the businesses in vietnam. >> the first kanagawa company using the facility produces a device used in cell phone bay stations. the company's general director states it chose vietnam because of impressive official support. >> translator: our company is small and has limited manpower and financial resources. the support system here is reliable, especially because it's run by a local government and people we can trust. >> reporter: the company receive filing complex paperwork in
multiple languages. the first $5,000 annual usage fee was also waived. vietnamese officials say they are excited to have the japanese prefecture's support. >> translator: we hope for more investment from kanagawa. >> reporter: a local government from japan seeking new opportunities abroad and vietnam hoping for japanese high-tech know-how. this new style of cooperation is a strategy worth watching. nguyen mai anh, nhk world, hanoi. it's time for a check of the weather. people in the uk are dealing with extremely windy conditions. flights have been delayed, ferries have stopped operating, and schools have been closed. meteorologist robert speta has the details. >> yes, it is a rather blustery day across much of the british isles, for that matter.
what we're looking at here into the forecast is still these very windy conditions. i know at least at this time many airports have been dhaed. and a big reason for this is the strong cross-winds that are really coming in across much of ireland, over toward scotland as well. when you get that happening it's rather hard for a lot of these planes to land. about a 30-minute delay of many of these airports. at the very least going on across this area. a lot of schools have been canceled. actually across the north there has been wind reports, 90 to 100 kilometers per hour out here. those are reports and you still could be seeing winds higher than that. our storm's back here toward the north, the center of low pressure, but we have this cold front extending south that brought rain showers and thunderstorms. the tight pressure gradient which has set and up specifically the closer we get to that low the higher the winds are. in some areas, take a look at this, 150 kilometer per hour winds are still possible along the western seaboards.
this does have a name on it, winter storm abigail. conditions are going to stay rough as we go through your friday. even into saturday some of you could be seeing very gusty winds. by sunday it should be tapering off with improving conditions out there to wrap up your weekend. take a look at the bigger picture. i do want to start off with this, this is where you can see that low pressure in the bigger scope of things. look how it dominates the satellite picture out here toward the west. why it's so severe but the rest of europe, lack of cloud cover, absolutely beautiful weather in place. you're going to be looking at sunny skies back toward the east and the mediterranean. high pressure dominating and temperatures continuing to remain on the warm side. do get out there and enjoy that. also it looks like clear skies across much of the indian subcontinent. we have a northeast monsoon continuing to dominate. a little bit of a low toward pakistan.
rain showers, snow in higher elevations there for you. back down towards the south, this is the big topic. you have the inner tropical convergence zone dominating, bringing showers for southern areas of india. earlier this week we had that deep depression which brought flooding. well, that's over with now. nothing too organized out here. my only biggest worry is actually with the itcz continuing to develop, it's pulling in moisture from the east. so some areas there into thailand and malaysia you're going to be seeing rain showers, maybe some of those strong thunderstorms continuing to flare up here for you. toward northeastern asia, an area of low pressure is developing in southeastern china bringing showers. in the past 24 hours some areas as much as 70 to 90 millimeters has been reported. you can see that additional precipitation. hong kong, taipei, shanghai, rainfall in that forecast on your friday. manila, cummins spartly cloudy .
japan, what's going on this weekend? it does not look very wonderful. we have an area of low pressure that's coming out of china moving towards the northeast. that's going to bring widespread showers first across kyushu, then moving into shokuku. if you're in tokyo have an umbrella ready because it's going to be a wet one coming up here on saturday and sunday. i'll leave you now with your extended outlook.
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>> on this edition of "native report"... we view legendary works of fine art at the gilcrease museum in oklahoma. >> and some of the stories i want to tell are completely... >> we interview noted filmmaker chris eyre. >> housing issues... >> and we meet eastern band of cherokee indians vice chief larry blythe. >> ...how do we create those opportunities. >> we also learn something new about indian country and hear from our elders on this "native report." >> production of "native report" is made possible by grants from the shakopee mdewakanton sioux community and the blandin foundation.