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tv   Newsline Daily  PBS  September 30, 2010 4:00pm-4:30pm PST

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hello and welcome to "newsline." i'm hideshi hara in tokyo with the latest at this hour. u.s. researchers sayhey have dcovere a potentially h habitable new plan tent. it was led by astronomers at the university of california and carnegie institution of washington made the announcement on wednesday. the astronomers spent 11 years using a telescope in hawaii, one of the world's largest to observe a fixed star in the constellation libra.
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they say that a newly discovered planet yoorbiting gliese's gravy is similar to that earth of which would make atmosphere possible and life could be sustained in such an environment. two other previously detected planets may also contain life but the astronomers say that this most recent find offers better conditions. the exist tense of water and an atmosphere on the planet has not yet been confirmed. nasa says more research is need to back up the astronomers' theory. three of the four japanese detained in china have been released but one man remains in custody. the four were detained in shijiazhuang, hebei province, in september, suspected of videotaping a military area. they work for japanese
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construction company fujita corporation and its shanghai subsidiary. the three released have already arrived in shanghai. a chinese forei mintry spokesrson jiang yu touched on the status of the man who remains in detention. >> the spokesperson talked about improving china-japan relations. >> observers say china's detention of the japanese nationals may have been in reaction to the arrest of a chinese trawler captain earlier this month. the trawler collided with japan coast guard patrol ships near the senkaku islands on september 7th.
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the islands are part of japan but both china and taiwan claimed them as their own. japanese authorities arrested the captain on suspicion he intentionally rammed his boat into the ships to obstruct an on-board inspection. the chinese government's response was sharp and it only grew shaer. it suspended ministerial level contact with japan and halted exports of rare earth metals. on top of that, chinese citizens held demonstrations in front of japanese embassies and consulates in several cities. despite the pressure, japan detained the captain for nearly three weeks. informed sources told nhk that prosecutors believed his indictment was inevitable, but last saturday japanese prosecutors released the captain. >> translator: given the impact on the japanese blic and future relations with china, we have decided it is not
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appropriate to detain and question the captain any longer. >> even though the captain was freed, china's attitude remained harsh. it demanded an apology and compensation from japan. now, china appears to be softening its stance towards japan. on tuesday, trade officials said china resumed customs clearance procedures for exports of rare earth minerals to japan. also, on tuesday, a chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said the japanese government must take sincere and real action but avoided mentioning previous demands for an apology and compensation. a senior chinese foreign ministry official told nhk that china is not happy with the current situation. the chinese government is believed to have decided it would be appropriate to release the japanese nationals on thursday. a week-long holiday period begins on friday to celebrate the 61st anniversary of the country's founding. attention is focused on whether china will do more to mend ties with japan.
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north korea has finally given the world a glimpse of its next leader. state run media released a photo and video of kim jong-un on thursday. the third son of kim jong-il. in the video, kim jong-un is sitting in the front row at north korea's workers party conference wearing the famous type of jump suit his father sports. north korean tevision rerted the conference w held on tuesday in pngya. the korean central news agency also took a photo in the north korean capital where the late j kim il-sung is laid to rest. until now this was the only photo of available of kim jong-un, taken in the late 1990s
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when he studied in switzerland for several years. he is said to be in his teens. now kim jong-un is believed to be in his late 20s. kim jong-un was named vice chairman of the central military commission of the ruling korean workers party, one rank below his father who is the chairman of the commission. it was made at a general meeting of the central committee and at a party conference. several years ago kim jong-il first appeared in public to succeed his father kim il-sung. he was also chosen to be a member of the central military commission. there is widespread speculation that kim jong-un will attend a military pare on octob 10th in pyongyang. the 65th anniversary of the founding of the workers party. north and south korea have made no progress narrowing their differences over the sinking of a south korean war ship in march near the disputed sea border the west of the korean peninsula. military officials from both
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sides met for the first time in two years on thursdayn panmunjom, a demilitarized zone. at the meeting, south korea called on its counterpart to offer an apology, punish those responsible and take measures to prevent similar recurrences saying it is obvious that the north is responsible for the sinking which claimed the lives of 46 sailors. north korea reportedly reconfirmed its position that it cannot accept the findings of a south korea-led international panel and demanded that the south accept a north korean team to look into the incident. earlier on thursday south korea's vice defense minister suppressed that an apology should come first to improve interkorean relations considering that the north is increasingly calling for bilateral dialogue over issues such as rice aid and reunionof families separated by the korean war. the meeting held shortly after kim jong-il's son kim jong-un was put on a path to succeed his father ended without setting a timetable for the next round of
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talks. rescue efforts continue for three japanese mountain climbers who were caught in an avalanche in the himalayas in nepal on tuesday. the three were at an altitude of about 5,400 meters on their way up. the 8,167 meter mt. dhaulagiri when the avalanche struck. several other japanese climbers in the vicinity at the time survived. one of them, hiroshi isoda spoke to nhk at a hotel in katmandu on thursday after being airlifted there by helicopter.
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japan's internal affairs ministry says people 65 years and older account for 23% of the country's totalle population. that's the highest level in the world. recent statistics also show the number of elderly who live alone in japan is on the rise and more of them are dying solitary deaths. me teenagers in one prefecture are trying to fix that restoring the bonds between local elderly people and their communities. >> reporter: this is a 17-year-old high schoolgirl who studies nursing. she leads a local student volunteer group that tries to connect elderly people with their communities. here elderlpeople makep more
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than one-third of the population of 17,000. one in three lives alone. ten students ranging in age from 14 to 17 are part of her volunteer group. the news that more elderly people are dying alone is their biggest concern. on this day, they headed to an isolated mountain village that's a 1 1/2-hour drive from their town. this vlage is a tiny well-hidden place that's home to 14 elderly people. all the younger people left the village to seek jobs in cities. recently, a neighbor who had lived alone died without anyone noticing for at least one night. since then, they try to gather here every day to see if all are alive and well.
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euna and a team first visited the eldest of the eldest. he's 90 years old and lives alone. his wife died of a stroke a year ago. he tries to stay independent but it is not easy anymore. >> translator: in the past we have to big shrine festivals twice a year. >> translator: it does not happen here anymore? >> translator: no, it doesn't. >> reporter: he guided the student volunteers to the village's shrine. this was made when our warrior ancestors built this shrine
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about 400 years ago." the students discovered the village has a rich history. later that afternoon the volunteers held an event at the village's community hall. they'd spent their whole summer preparing an event to amuse locals. >> translator: i haven't had so much fun in a long time. ♪ >> reporter: the pty stretched on past sunset. >> translator: we thank them for coming here. they gave us the power to live. with their encouragement, i can continue to protect the village
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'til i die. >> translator: many elderly have to spend time alone because there just aren't enough professionals to look after them. i wanted to help by spending quality time with elderly peo e people. >> reporter: the teenage volunteers will likely make good on their word. although time will one day overtake this aging japanese village. for now, this new bond between young and old will bring its residents a sense of happiness and connectiveness. >> now the reporter who filed the report joins us from the studio. you spent some time with the teenage volunteers and elderly. what kind of connection did you find between them? >> it was so special to witness the students and elderly people respond so well to each other, they complimented and learned from one another. and the young people didn't just relate to older people as caretakers and elderly felt
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renewed sense in purpose in passing on their culture to the younger generation. >> and overall in japan, many people -- many elderly people are living alone and dying alone. how has that become such a big problem as it is now? >> japanese society has traditionally depended on the family to look after elderly until they die. but japan's rapid economic growth radically transformed the family. after children grow up, they move away from their parents and form nuclear families. now we seen many signs that family ties have disappeared and the issue of solitary death in elderly people is just one of them. elderly people in rural areas with shrinking populations like the village i visited cannot remain independent because they are so old. >> japan's economy is still weak. how is that affecting the kind of assistance the elderly people are receiving? >> the latest statistics say that more than 4.5 million elderly people in japan live alone. as of last y, 53000 of them
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were receiving public assistance. as you can see, the percentage of elderly who gets health from the government almost doubled in five or six years. the problem is, there are more potentially and many more solitary elderly struggling to make ends meet but fail to qualify for public assistance for certain reasons. for example, they have savings or own property. in most cases, they can't afford to pay elderly care insurance and so aren't protected by japan's social safety net. experts rn tir ranks are likely to increase in the future. >> the student volunteers like the ones you met may be one solution, but what kind of long-term impact do you think they could have? >> uena is now trying to form a nationwide volunteer network. she came to tokyo recent rly to encourage other high school students to set up similar project in supporting elderly
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people. but this kind of initiative can't continue on education alone. these young people will need help if thei wk isoingo coinue in the future. that means adults and their communities, nationalal, region, local governments must get involved. it needs financial support. >> thank you. nhk world's emika lenard. here is some of the news received from broadcasting stations across asia. we begin with this item sent by btb, bangladesh. at least five people were killed and 40 others injured in a train/bus collision in bangladesh's capital city on wednesday. police say the accident occurred when a speeding train rammed into a bus at an intersection. it is thought that the crossing bar at intersection had out in
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been brought down. the injured have been admitted to nearby hospitals. train accidents are common in the south asian country because of its manual system of crossing signals. an indian court handed down a ruling on thursday about a piece of disputed land. it says the land should be divided between muslims and two hindu sects. hindus believe there was a s century before a 16th century moo muslim ruler demolished it. community riots left 2,000 people dead. more than 200,000 police have been deployed throughout india in case there is a violent backlash against the ruling. also in china, six people -- in china, six people have been chosen from more than 60,000 applicants from around the world to become panda ambassadors or
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pambassadors. the winners will spend four weeks caring for pandas. in addition to feeding the animals bamboo leaves, the ambassadors will prepare cakes for them, then write a blog about their experience as part after caaign to raise awareness of the endangered creature's plight. global warming threatened the very existence of a town in the french alps. the risk is so grave, engineers are hurrying to relieve a build-up of water of a melting glacier before it overflows and inundates the town. >> reporter: even during the
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summer, snow falls at the top of the glacier-covered alps. the project of unprecedented scale is under way. a big construction truck crawls up the rocky mountain which slopes as much as 40 degrees. it must reach a spot more than 3,000 meters above sea level. many mountain climbers askrecen this glacier. up here on a sheet of ice 60 meters thick, a massive operation has started. what prompted it. this doctor runs as one of the country's top glacier experts. during his research on this glacier, he made an alarming
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discovery. >> translator: there is a cavity deep inside the glacier, and it is filled with large volume of water. >> reporter: to check the amount of water in the glacier, he drills a hole and inserts a came camera. it descends through 60 meters of ice. all of a sudden, the images disappear. instead of ice reflecting the light, there is a pitch black reservoir down there. what is going on under the glacier. usually, snow covers the glacier and water flows out from
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underneath. but this winter, there wasn't enough snow to cover the glacier. the snow that did fall lted, exposing the ice. as a result, when the temperature drops below freezing at night, the water flowing out of exit point freezes trapping the water behind it a other glacier. over 65,000 metric tons of water may be locked inside the ice. the scientist thinks that the water will eventually come rushing out if the wat builds up. rrying ice and boulders, the fluid water would destroy the town at the foot of the mountain within ten minutes. to prevent any kind of accident, the local authorities decide for the first time in the world to pump that water out.
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seven days into the project, water finally starts to flow from the first hole. but only 250 metric tons of water can be pumped out per y. but winter pumping isn't possible. work must stop at the end of october. so far, engineers have drained only one-tenth of the water. they stay at a nearby lodge and watch around the clock. the residents of the village can only pray that the project goes well. >> translator: if a catastrophe happens, that's it for the town. i hope the government will take all necessary measures to prevent tragedy. >> experts warn of similar
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situationshimalayas. they have called for urgent action. hi there. time to check on the world's weather conditions once again. starting in eastern asia, well, it looks like friday is going to bring more chilly showers into eastern portions of japan. by the weekend, that should be gone, though, as we see that low and front moving away to the east. high pressure comes in behind it. that should be a bit better. we do have a low moving into the beijing area, light showers. actually that could intensify to some heavier showers in some places and same for this area of rain moving towards central eastern china. as for indochina, looking not too bad, especially here in the northwest, but eastern portions, you have seen some pretty heavy rain and continue to in areas like vietnam and laos. same for you in the eastern half of the philippines, want to show you temperatures now, we're going to bseeing 32 in taii tomorrow. expecting 24 in tokyo. with those showers i mentioned before. cool shot of air coming down
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from mongolia, keeping things cool in chongqing. 20 here, but snow in the forecast. to north america, not much going on here for a good part of the continent. but if we look to the east, there is plenty to talk about here. we have very heavy rain, all the way from the caribbean up into eastern canada. responsible is two low pressure systems. there is one to thnorth that just dumpeabout 200 mill mt of rain in some locations of north carolina. as it moves away, the heavy rain pushes up into southern montreal. and then we have this second low. the second low is our ex-tropical storm nicole. nicole is following the same path, that means more heavy rain, possibly just as much, upwards of 100 millimeters, possibly 200 along the same path. so potential for flash flooding and also for landslides is going to be very high. and even the waves are getting very high at the coast, too. so stay away from all that. i'll show you exactly what we're talking about.
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200 area is the red stufyou can see there. but anywhere really from north carolina right up into eastern canada, it is going to be very intense rainfall. elsewhere, as i mentioned, not much to talk about. the temperatures, well, those have been very high in the southwest. 31 in los angeles. so still above average, but should be cooling down for you. let's talk about what's happening in europe. i want to start with some video coming out of eastern germany. and western poland for the very heavy rain caused very significant flooding. so this was video from yesterday, wednesday. river levels rose very quickly. authorities were issuing flood warnings for the rivers. and while no injuries were reported, traffic was disrupted. as you can see there, rain poured into streets and homes are trying to -- trying to stop that with sandbagging there. everybody helping the cleanup now. not so much rain. the good news is it is a much dryer day across central portions. along the front we'll see showers moving through.
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but it is not going to be too intense. heavy rain is forecast for the british isles. look at all this, it is going to be coming across on friday. moving quickly, though, so that the weekend should be a lot dryer than that. and then out to the east, well, that very heavy rain and thunderstorms over ukraine also looks like it is going to be pushing further to the east. so that's good news there. moscow, snow for you, 9 degrees for the high. really cooling down in the east. warsaw, 9 degrees for you also. 14 in london. cool day here too. and even athens getting cooler too as we head into october, 26 for the high.
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that concludes this edition of "newsline." i'm hideshi hara in tokyo. we'll be back in half-an-hour. thanks for joining us on nhk
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