hello. welcome to "newsline." i'm miki yamamoto in tokyo. we begin this hour with a developing story in hong kong. government officials are sitting down and meeting face-to-face with student protesters to try to end their three-week-long stalemate. you're looking right now at a direct feed from hong kong. five representatives from both sides have gathered at a school in the territory. they're scheduled to meet for two hours. they will discuss a new election
system. the standing committee of china's parliament decided in august to allow hong kong's residents to choose their next chief executive in a direct election in 2017. but, they also decided that the candidates must be approved by a pro-beijing panel. analysts say this effectively rules out participation by pro-democracy candidates. protesters say they're demanding a system that allows whoever is backed by residents to run in the election. but, chief executive leung chun-ying maintains authorities in beijing will not retract their decision. tens of thousands of students and other citizens have been occupying sections of three major roads. people in and out of hong kong are watching whether both sides can take a step closer to ending their standoff. year watching the developments closely and will bring you update as they come in. in other news, health care
workers in the united states now have new guidelines designed to further protect them from being exposed to ebola. officials with the centers for disease control released the protocols about a week after the virus jumped to nurses who treated an affected patient. nhk world's craig dale is tracking that and other ebola developments for us. >> reporter: these protocols are meant to dramatically lower the risk of transmission. they're focused on the personal protective equipment or ppe that health care workers wear when they treat patients. now, the new guidelines say all health care workers must receive rigorous and repeated training in taking ppe on and off. they can't leave any skin exposed. whereas before they could. and trained monitors will observe the process of putting on and taking off ppe. keep in mind, ebola is spread through contact with infected body fluids. that's how those nurses in dallas got infected. health care workers need to make sure their ppe is completely sealed, that they have blood, vomit or diarrhea on them they
need to take off the ppe in a slow, methodical way to avoid exposure. health authorities admit the old protocols put nurses at risk. >> they went by the protocol. they got infected. right now those protocols are being changed. >> yeah. >> so that we can have much more stringent attention to training, to observation, to making sure that you're well protected. >> reporter: now, as for what health care workers are wearing, the ppe includes double gloves, waterproof boot covers that should go up to the calf or higher, fluid resistant gowns and aprons, along with r respirators and face shields. the ppe is restrictive and it's hot but that's essentially how medical teams in west africa suit up. although the supply of ppe is always a concern. hospitals and clinics there are stretched beyond the limit and there have been lapses in infection control. ebola has killed more than 4500 people, the vast majority in sierra leone, liberia and guinea. european foreign ministers have met to discuss the situation along with other global issues.
they decided to appoint a coordinator to oversee the eu's ebola response. the u.s. has done the same thing. british leaders are also pushing to raise the amount of money the eu has pledged to fight the disease to about $1.3 billion. >> there is a major health crisis here. we've got a very short window to get on top of it. and prevent the uncontrollable spread of this disease. >> now, to that end there have been some positive developments in west africa. world health organization officials have declared nigeria ebola-free. it spread there from liberia and killed several people. but there have been no new cases reported in 42 days. that's twice the maximum incubation period for the virus. w.h.o. officials call it a spectacular success story that shows ebola can be contained. last friday they declared senegal free of the virus. but certainly with more than 9,000 cases in sierra leone, liberia and guinea, and with the w.h.o. saying by december there could be 10,000 new cases per week, there's still a long way to go forward beating this
epidemic. craig dale, nhk world. investors around the world now have the latest economic data out of china. ron madison has more on that, and all the latest news from the biz desk. ron? >> yeah, that's right, miki. government officials in china have released figures that show third quarter gdp growth fell short of their target. analysts say the world's second biggest economy appears to be losing steam. officials at the national bureau of statistics say gdp growth slowed to 7.3% year-on-year in the july to september period. that's down 0.2 percentage points from the previous quarter. the pace of expansion was the slowest in 5 1/2 years. since the first quarter of 2009. that was just after the global financial crisis hit. >> translator: economic conditions in and outside china are complex. china's economy faces many challenges.
>> government officials have said they will put priority on structural reform, and refrain from large-scale stimulus measures. the slowdown will likely make it hard for them to achieve their growth target of around 7.5% for this year. well, for more ai uchida spoke earlier with peter morgan, a senior consultant for research at the asian development bank institute and he's also a specialist on the chinese economy. he talked about the factors that are responsible for these figures. >> well, the chinese economy has been a bit weak this year on the export side. growth has been slow because of weakness in places like europe, and also the domestic growth has been hit by a number of pressures, but most important, perhaps, is the weakness in the real estate market because of excess capacity, a declining housing prices. also there have been attempts to rein in credit growth in the shadow banking sector and that's had some impact. and we may also have seen some chilling effect of the
anti-corruption campaign on investment spending. now the government did implement some stimulus measures but they're fairly limited. but that has not been enough to offset the overall slowdown. >> officials want domestic consumption to drive the economy. but the latest figures, for example, we saw consumer price index, it showed the slowest pace of increase in years. how concerned are you about that? >> a low cpi inflation per se would be a benefit to consumers if they had a good income growth. but, unfortunately, the weak cpi is a sign of overall weakness in the economy, and i think that's an issue that should concern policymakers because they are trying to shift the growth impetus from investment spending to consumption. but so far, there aren't any obvious ways to stimulate consumer spending. now, the main ways they could do so are to increase for example the social safety net so people wouldn't have to save as much for their own needs. and also, perhaps reforms in the
corporate sector to put greater pressure on wages. >> and what about offsite pressures? for example the slowdown in the eurozone or the direction of u.s. fed's monetary policy. how do you see these affecting the economy? >> well, we've seen the weakness on exports as we have slow growth in europe for some time. so that's not really a new factor at this point. as far as the fed ending of the fed tapering goes, the impact of that on china should be fairly limited. china has relatively closed capital account. and the exchange rate is fairly tightly controlled. so, that that impact, per se, should not be that great. >> the growth target is around 7.5%. what kind of stimulus can we expect for them to try to achieve that goal? >> well, the first point is that of course it's about 7.5%. so maybe 7.4, 7.3 is still within the range there. but i think we can probably expect some further monetary and
fiscal measures, perhaps cuts in the reserve ratio for the -- from the central bank, maybe some easing of the loan restrictions in the mortgage market. maybe perhaps some increases in infrastructure spending. >> and it looks like investors in asia are feeting a bit jittery again after seeing china's economy growing at a slower pace. the data prompted them to lock in profits from the strong performance that was logged on monday. many major benchmarks in the region closed down. tokyo's nikkei saw pretty heavy selling after surging nearly 4% the previous day. chinese equities reversed earlier gains, and finished the die lower. here in tokyo the nikkei average did decline about 2%. it finished at 14,804. that erased pretty much half of the previous day's advance. export linked issues like toyota motor took a hit due to a stronger yen. the shanghai composite, mean time, giving up just about three quarters of a percent, 2,339. property shares under pressure after data showed the country's
housing sales fell in the third quarter. and in south korea the kospi seeing declines of nearly 0.8%. 1,915. leading the decline were growth sensitive shares like the steelmakers following the lackluster chinese data. pasco among the day's losers. automakers are recalling millions of cars over a defect with air bags supplied by japanese firm tack atta. officials at japan's transport ministry say the recall numbers have reached nearly 9.5 million worldwide. managers at tack atta say a problem was found in the chemical used to expand the air bags. they say the bags could explode when deployed in the worst case scenario. officials with the u.s. national highway traffic safety administration are urging car owners with takata air bags to replace them immediately. they say the supplies to more than 4.7 million cars in the country. executives at japanese auto firms are also urging drivers to take action. those at honda are recalling the biggest number of vehicles. the people at u.s. automaker
general motors and german carmaker bmw are also issuing recalls. takata executives say they will cooperate fully with automakers to repair the air bags. japanese plums, sweetfish, and rice paddies don't sound like they have all that much in common. but they're the reason that officials at the japanese agriculture ministry have chosen three sites as candidates for special recognition by a u.n. body. agricultural ministry officials chose the sites because of their traditional eco-friendly farming and beautiful rural scenery. the upper and middle reaches of the nagara river in central japan are known for clear waters and ayu sweetfish. farmers in the minabe and tanabe areas in central japan have been producing high quality japanese plums for more than 400 years. they grow the fruit on mountain slopes that are unsuited for other types of agriculture. and the mountainous terrain of the shiibayama and takachiho
areas in southwestern japan is known for terraced rice paddies and traditional slash and burn agriculture. the people at the food and agriculture organization, the fao, every two years add new sites to their list of globally important agricultural heritage systems. the fao will name new sites next year. japan currently has five on the list. all right. that is going to do it for biz this hour. let's see how things are looking on the markets.
leaders of the parties in japan's coalition government have met a day after two ministers quit. executives with the liberal democratic party and komeito vowed to work together to get their work done. prime minister shinzo abe appointed yuko obuchi and as part of a cabinet shuffle. they were among five women abe picked as part of his efforts to promote women's advancement. over the course of one day both ministers quit amidst questions over their political activity. ldp secretary-general sadakazu tanagaki apologized to his counterpart for the resignation. he said the government carefully selected the replacements. he said members of his party will work hard to overcome challenges and regain public terrorist.
>> translator: we have to renew our resolve. i've asked the leaders of komeito to work as one with the ldp. >> translator: we want to work to the to restore trust, get the diet clinton rations moving and advance the work of the administration. >> members want lawmakers to enact bills related to key policies before the current diet session ends next month. the bills include those on regional revitalization, and creating more opportunities for women. prime minister abe has outlined some policy goals he wants to accomplish by the end of the year. the sudden resignation of the two ministers is raising questions about whether he'll be able to succeed. nhk world's tomoko kamata has more. >> reporter: this isn't the first time abe has had to replace some of his top aides.
he lost five members of his cabinet during his first term as prime minister in 2006 and 2007. members of the opposition put the key on abe's administration over funding scandals and other gaffes. senior officials of the ruling liberal democratic party say abe and his colleagues may have wanted to avoid the same thing happening again. so they tried to defuse the situation by replacing the two ministers on the same day. >> translator: we're facing a number of challenging issues. we must push forward with our policies, particularly on the economy. there should be no delays in the political process. >> reporter: abe is hoping to keep the focus on his political agenda. the ldp faces two important regional elections in fukushima and okinawa prefectures.
next month voters in okinawa will choose a new governor. the main issue in the campaign is the relocation of a u.s. military base. the outcome will likely have an impact on relations between japan and the u.s. abe also has a decision to make about the economy. he said he will announce by the end of the year whether to raise the consumption tax again. . this time from 8% to 10%. the abe government is involved in some sensitive diplomacy overseas. that includes negotiations with north korea over the return of abducted japanese citizens. and abe is holding direct talks with chinese president xi jinping next month on the sidelines of an apec summit.
but opposition party leaders say the prime minister must first address the cabinet resignations. they want him to explain himself in front of lawmakers in the diet. >> translator: it's extraordinary to have two ministers quitting in one day. the prime minister should be asked to take responsibility for appointing them. >> reporter: abe is seeking the support of the japanese public for his policy agenda. he'll need to make a quick recovery from the shock of the resignations to keep up the trust. tomoko kamata, nhk world. officials from a record 155 countries are calling for an end to nuclear weapons. they've come out in support of a u.n. statement on disarmament. officials from japan signed on for the second straight year.
new zealand's ambassador for disarmament presented the statement at a general assembly committee meet being. it's the fifth such document to be presented to the committee. >> it is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstances. >> higgie said disarmment is an issue of concern to people all over the world. she described the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons as unacceptable. nuclear powers, including the united states and china, have not joined the statement. officials from japan have been reluctant to lend their support as japan relies on the u.s. nuclear umbrella. but they signed on for the first time last year, after some wording was revised. foreign minister said the statement proves the international committee is committed to disarmament.
>> translator: the statement shows the strong political will of every country to achieve a nuclear-free world. it conforms to japan's security policies and to our approach to disarmament. >> he said japan as the only country to have suffered atomic bombings will continue to lead realistic and practical efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. world leaders met at the united nations headquarters last month to reiterate their call for a total ban on nuclear tests. but not all governments are on board. the top official of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty organization is trying to change that. nhk world's miki ibara reports. >> reporter: the executive secretary of ctbto. the organization has a worldwide network of monitoring stations to detect nuclear tests
underground, under water, or in the air. >> our job is to detect any suspicious event. that is not a natural event first of all. first to identify an explosion. to screen that explosion from a natural event like an earthquake. when we do that our data is transmitted immediately to our laboratories. >> reporter: north korea conducted its third nuclear test last year. the explosion was registered by 96 seismic stations. but the radiation was detected much later. >> we saw stiff of radioactive material 55 days after the event. we tried to correlate to see if there's any correlation between this emission, and the event that was detected. >> reporter: the detection was
made at a station in japan about 1,000 kilometers from the test site. two radioactive isotopes were identified, indicating the emission may have come from the nuclear explosion. tests like the ones north korea is carrying out are what the international community aims to stop by the treaty. a comprehensive test ban treaty was adopted by the u.n. general assembly in 1996. more than 160 countries have ratified it. but eight nuclear capable countries, including the u.s., china, and north korea, have either not signed, or ratified it. so the treaty has not come into effect. zerbo is advocating that once they join, the monitoring system would contribute to their security. >> what we have to do is to prove that the system gives them
a part of their own national security. it's part of the process that they want to feel confident and then to lead this process towards the world free of nuclear weapon. >> reporter: zerbo says he will attend an international conference japan plans to most next year in hiroshima. in efforts to push further for the treaty's early entry into force. miki ebara, nhk world, tokyo. it's time now to check on the world weather. it seems to be unseasonably cold in northwestern russia. let's hear more from our meteorologist sayaka mori. sayaka? >> yes, miki, people in moscow are experiencing a taste of winter. they are bundling up in heavy coats. let's take a look at this video from the city. heavy snow blanketed moscow sunday as low pressure system moved through the capital city.
cold air associated with the system led to the snowfall. but it also caused problems on the roadways as the snow melted and then froze on the highways, creating difficulties for drivers. several thousand workers were brought in to deal with the weather's impacts for travelers. and more snow will come in wednesday and temperatures will drop down even farther day by day as we go into thursday at least. take a look at this forecast. your high is going to be 4 degrees on tuesday, and then negative 4 the average this time of year is 8 degrees. similarly cold in st. petersburg so bundle up. now we have another big system coming in from the west. this is actually the remnants of hurricane gonzalo. it's now a very, very windmaker producing some lots of windy conditions over the british isles, the south of scandinavian peninsula, and central parts of europe, an excessive amount of heavy rain is likely in these places. and this will most likely make its way towards the east,
reaching the northwestern parts of the balkan peninsula within the next 24 hours and heavy snowfall along with strong winds are expected to occur in the alpine region on both tuesday, as well as wednesday. now speaking of storms, we have a very powerful system over the waters near hawaii. it's now a tropical storm that is now packing winds of 95 kilometers per hour. it's on a weakening trend however it's still posing a threat of high surf over the islands of hawaii, up to five meter waves are expected throughout your tuesday. and across the americas, we have a low pressure system south of mexico bringing some torrential rainfall, and another area of heavy rain can be found over the western coast of the u.s. as far as canada. because we are expecting quite heavy rainfall, flash floods could happen probably up to 160 millimeters of rain is likely, that's about 200% more than monthly rainfall for october. and heavy snow is likely in the mountains in montana as well as
idaho. dry weather in the middle part of the u.s. and canada. however we have a separate system right here that is expected to bring gusting winds and also torrential rainfall which could cause some flooding over the northeastern u.s., including new york city, and washington, d.c. rain is on the menu for new york city and washington, d.c. on tuesday, and temperatures are going to be up to 20 degrees. quite chilly back behind it, only 11 for chicago, 12 in toronto, and across the west, 16 for the high in seattle with rain on the menu. all right, finally over asia. lots of heavy rain is falling along with thunderstorms for many parts of japan. the system will likely make its way towards the south, so heavy rain will likely move in to the pacific coast as we go into wednesday. and as the system moves in, cooler air will move in from the north and temperatures are going to be cooling down. only 18 degrees for you in tokyo, and we may see the first snowfall of the season in sapporo tomorrow morning. seoul up to 18 degrees with partly sunny skies, and across the south, 33 manila with
now, recapping our top story. we're going back to hong kong. government officials and student protest leaders are meeting face-to-face at the moment for the first time. the two sides are trying to end their three-week-long stalemate. now, this is a direct feed from hong kong of the ongoing meeting. they've chosen to gather at a school in the territory. and they're discussing a new election system. the standing committee of china's parliament decided in august to vet candidates for the 2017 hong kong chief executive election. protesters are calling for the decision to be retracted. tens of thousands of students and other citizens have been occupying sections of three major roads. people in and out of hong kong are watching whether both sides can take a step closer to ending their standoff. we'll have more on this story when we come back at the top of the hour.
>> in the headlines this afternoon, oscar pistorius is now in jail after being in theed to five years killing of his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp on valentine's day last year. both families say they accept the sentence. after more than three weeks of protests, hong kong demonstrators are sitting down for talks with the government for the first time. the demonstrators said they will continue their umbrella revolution to keep up the pressure on authorities. of ahe chief executive company died when his private