live from tokyo, this is "newsline." i'm james tengan. here are some of the stories we're following this hour. tight races. in the first selection process on the road to the white house ted cruz has won the republican side and hillary clinton on the democratic side. a great divide. both sides in syria's civil war are still a long way off from
sitting at the table for peace talks. and a growing case. japan's food exports hit another record last year as more people around the world crave japanese cuisine. this year's u.s. presidential selection process has kicked off with a key vote in iowa after a tight three-way contest. ted cruz has gone on the republican side. the democratic side is still too close to call. cruz wasn't the frontrunner coming to iowa, but he managed to come out on top. the texas senator is considered a hard-line conservative. he's taken a tough stance against illegal immigrants and in his approach with dealing with islamic state militants. cruz beat his main rivals, real estate mogul donald trump and florida senator marco rubio. on the democratic side, former secretary of state hillary clinton has beaten vermont senator bernie sanders by a razor-thin margin.
results from iowa are the first real indication of which way voters are leaning. they could affect the course of the selection processes in other states leading up to the parties' national conventions in july. the presidential election takes place in november. the world health organization is calling the zika virus of the same category of concern of ebola. the director called for a united global response. margaret chan said the goal is to improve protection and vaccine developments. she advised pregnant women to avoid traveling to affected areas. the first cases of the latest outbreak were confirmed in brazil last may and have raised fears about microcephaly. babies of mothers infected with zika have been suspected of developing the condition which can result in underdeveloped
brains. >> the experts agree that a causal relationship between the zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected. though not yet scientifically proven. >> infections have now been reported in 25 countries and territories, mainly across central and south america. the w.h.o. estimates that up to 4 million people in the region could become infected. the chief of staff for brazil's president acknowledged the impact of the outbreak on visitors. >> translator: i think pregnant women will say i prefer not to take the risk. i think that is perfectly reasonable. >> he says the government will do all it can to keep the outbreak from affecting the rio olympic games. and added there is zero risk to athletes and visitors if they are not pregnant. the disease has an incubation period of 3 to 12 days. symptoms can include mild fever,
headaches, and muscle aches that last up to a week. but the virus is not deadly. there is no treatment or vaccine currently available. officials in tokyo are taking precautions. the health ministry will distribute test kits to medical facilities and require them to report any confirmed diagnosis. and airport workers will use special devices to check the temperature of travelers arriving from central and south america. fresh negotiations aimed at ending syria's civil war are under way in geneva. delegates of the syrian government and main opposition group are in the swiss city but but there are no signs the two sides will sit down together any time soon. >> reporter: things got off to a shaky start in geneva. u.n. envoy stefan de mistura and a syrian government delegation first met friday, as planned.
representatives from a key opposition group didn't show up until the following day. but they say without a halt to air strikes and an end to sieges on towns, they will not participate in the talks. >> translator: the autocratic rule must end. i will never tolerate civilians being murdered and will never side with criminals. >> reporter: the syrian government delegation has refused to comply. >> i will not accept any precondition. >> reporter: and its members have taken issue with the participation of the army of islam group in the opposition's delegation. they say they will not negotiate with terrorists. back in syria, three explosions tore through the suburbs of damascus saturday, leaving more than 70 dead. islamic state militants have claimed responsibility and the government lashed out at the opposition.
>> translator: there is a link between terrorism and those who sponsor terrorism from one side and some political groups that pretend to be against terrorism. >> reporter: opposition groups struck back saying the government is trying to derail the negotiations. >> this area is somehow surrounded or protected by the regime forces. and this is always the story of the regime, that it is fighting terrorists. he is committing terrorism. >> reporter: behind the spat are confrontations between nations with close links with syria. the united states and russia are at odds over the fate of syrian president bashar alo assad. then there's iran. supporte erer of saud. and saudi arabia which supports the opposition. they're at loggerheads and
they're accused of fighting a proxy war in syria. the fighting broke out in syria in 2011. more than 100 armed groups and regional alliances make up the forces fighting assad or islamic state militants. human rights groups estimate more than 250,000 people have been killed and millions have fled. u.n. special envoy stefan de mistura is expected to have separate talks with both sides tuesday in a bid to narrow their differences and try to secure a long-awaited cease-fire. prime minister shinzo abe has apologized in the diet for a key cabinet member last thursday. he continued to say he will focus on economy to fulfill his responsibility to the people. tuesday lawmakers discussed the former revitalization minister
akira amari. he stepped down amid scandals saying his secretaries had mishandled political donations. >> translator: i express deep regret to the people over the resignation of one of the cabinet ministers i've appointed. economic revitalization will continue to be a top priority for my cabinet. i am resolved to fulfill my responsibility by pushing abenomics forward and getting the economy out of deflation. >> abe said the new minister ishihara is the right person for the job because he has held several ministerial posts as well as executive positions in the ruling party. >> translator: as minister in charge of the transpacific partnership free trade deal i will try to alleviate concerns of the people, especially farmers, about the tpp. i will fully explain through diet deliberations how the tpp has the potential to present great opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses.
>> opposition lawmakers are demaing that ama elain himsf in the diet. the issue has delayed budget talks. japanese electronicsmaker sharp is at a cross roads. the ailing company has to pick between a government-supported rescue of its business or an investment offer from taiwan's hon hai. gene otani joins us from the business desk with that and other headlines. a japanese private slarn public fund has made a bid to invest $2.5 billion into sharp. taiwan's hon hai industry has also made an offer. the chief executive met to explain the raised offer of nearly $5 billion and plans to restructure the lcd business.
guo said they're approaching companies and major creditor banks to get their understanding. >> translator: as far as i know, the decision on whether or not to accept hon hai's investment offer will be made not by sharp's top management, but by its banks. the creditor banks must be fully aware that the company absolutely needs to return from the red to the black. from the bank's point of view, sharp has to start making profits so its lenders can start collecting the money they are owed. sharp has no future if it can't return to the black and get funds to start putting into research and development as soon as possible. >> some people are worried if hon hai acquires sharp, the japane japanese's company's l.e.d. technology could leak out of the country.
guo thinks otherwise. >> translator: many people are saying we're trying to steal japanese technological assets. sure, sharp's lcd technology was developed in japan, and it has long been researched worldwide. it's impossible to steal technology by sending a few employees to look at it. anyway, we don't need to steal it. we just want to use it. why would we have to steal? we'll be totally satisfied if we can justse sharp lcds. we'rnothing t a user we're a customer. >> sharp will decide which investor to go with as early as thursday. yields on japanese government bonds are sinking to record lows after the bank of japan introduced a negative interest rate policy last week. the average yields for the newly issued 10-year bonds fell to 0.078% on tuesday in the first auction since the boj's surprising action. on monday yields on the benchmark 10-year bonds dropped
to 0.05% at one point, setting a record low. this implies that the demand is raising prices. investors believe that the bank will continue the buying even at higher costs under its large-scale monetary easing. some investors also say the negative interest rate policy will keep pushing up the prices. tokyo stocks fell for the first time in three days on tuesday. investors took their money off the table after the boj boosted stocks with its negative rate policy. we go to mayu yoshida at the tokyo stock exchange. >> the nikkei soared 800 points since the boj surprised the markets on friday so it's about time investors saw profits from recent gains. shares slipped from three-week highs on tuesday, closing at 17,750. the topix fell .7% at the close.
oil prices prompted investors to sell stocks. energy stocks were lower as well as resource-related stocks as they were hit hard by a slowdown in china, especially after monday's weak pmi numbers. for example, steelmakers like jfe holdings and nippon steel saw sharp losses. on the upside are the pharmaceutical sector-led gains. eisai jumping more than 7% after it raised its full-year outlook. the rally lost its steam mainly due to profit might have taking. mayu yoshida reporting from the tokyo stock exchange. china's shanghai composite showed a strong rebound. it rose by 2.2%, 2749 for the closing price. reverse investorsbargain hunting. high-tech and telecom companies
led gains. sydney's s&p dropping to 4993 for the close. resource and industrial companies were lower on weak chinese manufacturing data. reserve bank of australia kept its key interest rate unchanged at 2%. monday's economic data from china and lower oil prices cast a shadow on many markets in the asia-pacific region. take a look at south korea's seoul kospi index down by almost 1%. hong kong's hang seng declining by almost .8%. japan's annual food exports hit a record high for the third straight year in 2015. government officials say the boom in japanese food product and the weaker yen making it more affordable led to the increase. agricultural ministry officials say exports in 2015 were a record 745 billion yen, or nearly $6.2 billion. that's up nearly 22% in yen terms from 2014.
vegetable and fruit exports rose 44%. sales of apples to taiwan helped the rise. rice and other grains went up more than 35% as exports of brown rice gained in hong kong and singapore. processed food such as soy sauce, miso paste, and sake as well as seafood rose more than 20%. >> translator: the government and private companies will continue coordinated efforts to achieve an annual export target of 1 trillion yen, or about $8 billion. earlier than the original plan for 2020. >> he said japanese cuisine known as washoku was listed as a eunesco intangible cultural heritage. he said it was also introduced at expo milan in 2015. the minister said the recognition of washoku was a result of joint efforts by the government and the private sector. here's a look at some of the other business stories we're following today.
japan's monetary base renewed its record high for the second straight month in january. bank of japan officials say it topped 358 drill yen, or about $3 trillion. the figure is the sum of cash in circulation and deposits held at the central bank. boj is injecting massive amounts of funds into the financial markets to achieve its inflation target. japanese cabinet ministers have approved official note on this the transpacific partnership free trade pact that the country will exchange with other nations. tpp members will hold a signing ceremony for the deal on thursday. the written agreement says japan will substantially lower tariffs on beef and pork. today we begin a two-part report on some unusual trend setters in the textile industry. the common thread here is their efforts to revive past traditions. in part one we meet someone
putting a new spin on a traditional fabric in danger of fading away. >> reporter: it's not hard to identify kasuri, a cotton fabric splashed all over with geometric shapes. create the pattern during the weavinstag it w origilly ud to mak kimonos well aother garments it toooff in t 1800s. by the mid-thcentury, a big area of western japan accounted for about 70% of the country's output. kimonos anymore. and our aging workforce is shrinking the pool of artisans. at the peak, there were around
250 kasuri makers. today only two remain. hiroshi mikasa wants to help revive the industry. mikasa used to work for department stores. he traveled around the country buying women's wear. that's when he recognized the beauty of his hometown product. >> translator: bingo kasuri has a special feel to it. i wanted to find ways to tell more people about the textile. >> reporter: mikasa set up his own business and started a campaign to win people back to kasuri textiles. he started by getting in touch with his old contacts at
department stores. he set up booths at more than 30 stores nationwide. if mikasa could get people to feel the fabric, he was certain they'd appreciate the quality. he also developed new products, including women's clothing and jackets. he hasn't limited his creations to clothes. kasuri accessories are lined up too. mikasa is starting small, but he says sales have been growing steadily. >> translator: it's very warm. i like the warm and soft feel of cotton. >> translator: our production capacity is limited so i can't hope to attract huge interests straightaway. i want to create a brand eadily, fering pducts fo every season.
residents of a town near fukushima daiichi are seeing another sign of recovery. nearly five years ago they had to evacuate naraha after a powerful earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear accident. but when that order was lifted last year not many returned due to a lack of public services. now officials hope a new clinic will help bring more of them back. nhk world's ryo asami reports. >> reporter: this man has been waiting to go home for five years. his town of naraha is just 20 kilometers from fukushima's crippled nuclear plant. insufficient services have kept him in temporary housing nearby so he can keep getting medical care, but that's all about to change with the opening of a clinic within walking distance
from his old home. >> translator: i've been looking forward to the opening. >> reporter: 7,300 people are registered as naha residents. but today only 6% of the population stays in their homes more than four days a week. many still rely on neighboring cities for shops and other services. some stay away over fears of radiation. but yamauchi is anxious for the return of life in naraha. he's one of the first to visit the clinic on the opening day. the clinic offers internal medicine and orthopedic surgery services. because of the opening of the clinic, yamauchi is now feeling positive about returning home. >> translator: the presence of doctors is very reassuring. i feel like staying in my old home nearby today.
>> translator: it would be great if this clinic does encourage more residents to return to their homes. >> reporter: and there are other encouraging signs in naraha. municipal officials plan to reopen elementary and junior high schools by next april. but some local residents say lifting the evacuation order is not enough. they want a long-term plan in place for rebuilding the community they once knew. ryo asami, nhk world. jonathan oh joins us with this hour's update on weather starting with the u.s. >> we're keeping an eye on what will be coming up during the day tuesday. we have been monitorg a low
pressu system movg onshore, it was bringing a lot of wintry weather. we are now expecting the system to continue to push toward the east. it's goi to dip the jet strm wnward a because is goi be ming inrough formation, meaning from the southwest to the northeast, it's going to usher in a lot of warm air. when there's warm air colliding with cold air, that's very unstable weather, we run into severe storms. back over toward the west with these winter storms, starting off in colorado here where several winter storms and low temperatures have caused more than average snowfall in the mountains of the western u.s. soda springs road in california was temporarily closed after the road was flooded by ice and emergency services had to use heavy equipment to allow the water to flow back into the river. earlier trucks overturned. soda springs, california, using water to try to melt some of the ice and clear the roadways and clear some of the ice out of the way. now as we go forward in time
that low already creating a mess in the central plains and in the mid west, will push toward the east. that southerly flow is going to bring that chance for severe thunderstorms. we're talking about tornado possibilities, damaging winds, we're talking about flash flooding concerns as well. winds can gust up to 90 kilometers per hour and some of the heavier snow totals toward the north, close to 60 centimeters as we go throughout the day. freezing rain cannot be ruled out. on topf tt tsevere stornywhere from sligh to enhanced risk as we go throughout the day tuesday. please pay attention to the weather situation as we go through tuesday. the deep south is looking out for some of that nasty weather. so snow from denver into chicago. looking at wet weather from houston into atlanta and thunderstorms embedded in there as well. further to the north and east, cooler temperatures in the single digits for new york and washington, d.c. north america's not the only place dealing with severe weather. we're talking crazy wind gusts into the united kingdom because
of a winter storm named henry. some areas reporting close to 176 kilometer per hour gusts on monday. this cold front is associated with that system will move toward the south and that's going to really be the dividing line between the mild weather toward the south and the stormier and colder weather further north. we could see wind gusts 200 kilometers per hour as we go throughout the day tuesday. looking at some of the colder weather toward the east as well that may be bringing some snow as we go throughout the day. high of 2 in moscow. 5 in kiev. single digits into stockholm and warsaw. we're looking at 12 in berlin and paris with wet weather. look at the warmth toward athens, 20 for the high coming up on tuesday. wrapping things up with a look at east asia. we have seen a beautiful day in tokyo with sunny skies and temperatures close to average after it's been very cold during the weekend. we are looking at the warmer conditions to linger just a little bit longer. highs close to average. winter pressure pattern will continue to bring some of the snowfall further up toward the
genie: this is "france 24." aroundr 60 minutes live the world. i'm genie godula. ted cruz wins the iowa caucus for the republicans. the right-wing texas senator pulls ahead of billionaire businessman donald trump. florida senator marco rubio comes in a strong third. .ery close for the democrats the clinton campaign says hillary clinton has won the iowa nominating contest, but it is the.