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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  March 13, 2013 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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welcome to nhk world "newsline." generation after generation has stared into space and wondered whether there may be life on mars. nasa scientists say the red planet may once have been habitable. they say their rover curiosity has found the ingredients to nurture life and evidence of a vast amount of water. >> i think we have found a habitable environment that is so benign and supportive of life that probably if this water was around and you had been on the planet you would have been able
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to drink it. >> curiosity drilled last month in search of rock. nasa scientists used the vehicle's observation instruments to analyze the samples. they identified sulfur, nitrogen, phosphorus. some of the chemical ingredients for life. they always found the area the rover searched had a vast amount of water and was almost ph neutral as water is on earth. curiosity landed on mars last august after a 36-week journey through space. scientists are operating the rover by remote control. they've spent the past seven months looking for any trace of life on the red planet where the surface temperature can drop below minus 120 degrees celsius. curiosity transmitted clear pictures of mars' terrain soon after it landed. scientists examined the images. the photos and data helped them determine that a stream once flowed on the planet. the rover also discovered stones that have been smoothed by
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water. junichi watanabe is a leading researcher at the national astronomical observatory in japan. he says he strongly believes curiosity will find evidence of life on mars during its two-year mission. >> this time they found the environment which is very suitable for a creature like us. but with the 1 1/2 years left, i expect some kind of evidence of the creatures will be found. that's exciting. it will be exciting for scientific history. >> nasa scientists have focused much of their attention on mars since their space shuttle program ended. u.s. president barack obama set
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a goal of sending a manned expedition to the planet by the mid-2030s. north korean officials are responding to remarks by south korea's new leader with more threats. the president park geun-hye criticized her neighbor's decision to unilaterally scrap the korean war armistice. authorities in pyongyang say they have no choice but to retaliate mercilessly with the help of the army and the people. the statement from north korea's ministry of people's armed forces says park's comments echoes the controversial policies of her predecessor lee myung-bak. it goes on to say the armistice agreement is no longer valid and the north is not restrained by past inter-korean nonaggression pacts. it refrained from criticizing park by name. the south korean president spoke last week at a military ceremony. she said any country is bound to face self-destruction if it concentrates solely on strengthening its military power such as nuclear weapons. the u.s. intelligence chief says recent threats coming from north
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korean officials may be more than just talk. james clapper warns they could be preparing to take what he called provocative actions. clapper spoke at a hearing of the senate intelligence committee. he said he's concerned about north korean leader kim jong-un. >> the rhetoric, while it is propaganda laced is also an indicator of their attitude and perhaps their intent. so far my part i am very concerned about what they might do and they're certainly -- if they so chose, could initiate a provocative action against the south. >> clapper said the central intelligence agency will increase surveillance in the region. defense ministry officials in taiwan say china remains a military threat and hasn't ruled out using force against the island. they outlined their concerns in a new report and they say they're not yet ready to take part in military exchanges with their chinese counterparts.
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the defense report comes out once every four years. it notes taiwan's relations with china have improved since president jo took office in 2008 but the report says chinese leaders haven't given up on the option of using force against taiwan. it points out the chinese navy is already capable of blockading taiwan and stopping u.s. intervention. the report says u.s. authorities in beijing have been rapidly modernizing their weaponry and deployment capabilities. based on all of that it concludes now is not the time to promote military confidence building measures. prime minister shinzo abe wants everyone to help defeat the deflation that's dogged the japanese economy for years. he's urging businesses to pay their employees more. some managers agreed to do that but only temporarily. nhk world explains.
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>> reporter: more company managers and labor unions are wrapping up their month-long wage negotiations today. many firms cut bonuses last year. but this year, workers are receiving better deals. union members in japan are tallying up the pay increases for the next fiscal year, which starts april 1st. so far, all of the country's major companies have promised to keep raising wages based on age and seniority. many firms are offering more because business is better. managers at toyota motor agreed to pay an annual bonus worth five-month wages plus an extra $3,000. that's the highest payout since 2008. executives at nissan, honda, and mitsubishi also decided to accept demands for bigger bonuses. >> translator: it's good to see bonuses are increasing even if it's a temporary measure.
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>> reporter: prime minister abe has repeatedly asked business leaders to raise their worker's pay. he says wages must go up to boost consumption and pull japan out of deflation. some retailers were the first to respond to the call. the president of the convenience store chain promised to raise annual income by 3% on average. but in general, only a limited number of firms have agreed to across-the-board hikes in base pay. >> bonus hikes are good, but i need to see salaries go up as well if i'm going to be more motivated to work. >> reporter: some economists warn it may still take time for companies to hike salaries to help boost the economy. >> translator: firms will face higher social security costs once they raise their workers' wages. they're not confident they can
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sustainably secure enough profit to cover those increases. >> reporter: economists say defeating deflation will require sacrifices from business and industry. but while government leaders argue wage increases are key to economic recovery, executives say they want to be sure things will be stable down the road. before they change their approach to pay. nhk world, tokyo. negotiators for a free trade deal under the transpacific partnership noted progress in their talks and aim to conclude them by the end of this year. they mentioned in japan joins, its participation should not delay the negotiations. japan's prime minister shinzo abe could announce on friday this country's intention to join the tpp talks. delegates from 11 pacific rim countries including the united states and australia wrapped up their 16th round of working level talks in singapore on wednesday.
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>> the negotiating teams made sol progress in bridging gaps in a number of areas. >> while refraining from revealing details, she said some challenging areas remain, including intellectual property and environmental issues. on the possibility of japan joining talks, the singaporean representative said member nations hope that new participating nations will keep up the good momentum which has been created throughout the negotiations. the next working level discussions are scheduled for may in peru. russia is the world's leading producer of natural gas and producers want to sell more overseas. the country's energy minister says he hopes to reach a deal to increase exports to japan. alexander novak met in tokyo with the japanese trade and industry minister. they got together ahead of prime minister shinzo abe's scheduled trip to russia next month. novak said liquefied natural gas
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would be high on the agenda during abe's visit. he added that russian officials are working on plans to export lng from russia's far eastern and arctic regions. he said surging imports of lng have played a big role in driving up japan's trade deficit. the japanese have relied on imported fuel since the fukushima nuclear disaster two years ago. japanese officials will focus on price when deciding whether to import russian gas. russian officials are concerned about an oversupply of natural gas in the future. they face rising competition now from shale gas producers in the united states. tokyo gas has unveiled what will be the world's largest underground storage tank for the natural gas. the facility is expected to be completed in july. construction of the storage tank began four years ago. in yokohama near tokyo. the facility hopes to start using it in yokoham. the facility hopes to start
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using it in november. the lng tank can store up to 250 kilo liters. enough to meet the annual average needs of about 360,000 households. to prevent gas leaks, the tank interior is fully covered with two millimeter thick stainless steel plates. the utility expects lng demand to rise further because it emits less carbon dioxide compared to oil and coal. it will also be fit to store shale gas.
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the u.s. federal aviation administration has approved test flights of a plane that's been through tests before. the dreamliner. the regulators ordered airlines to ground the boeing 787 in january after a series of problems. airline executives want to get the planes back in the sky. a jet operated by all nippon airways made an emergency landing after smoke was detected from the battery. it caught fire at an airport in boston. engineers at boeing redesigned the battery, adding insulation to stop problems in any of the eight cells from affecting the others. faa officials approved the plan.
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faa heads say the tests will show whether improvements work as designed. the boeing ceo says they've passed a milestone toward getting the fleet flying again. the head of the u.s. nuclear regulatory commission has offered to help with the clean-up at fukushima daiichi. 4 out of 6 reactors were damaged during the earthquake and tsunami two years ago. three of them melted down. nrc chair allison mcfarlane says they'll have to clear a lot of hurdles before they can clean up the plant. she visited the site in december and expressed her respect for the 2000 workers who are removing debris and spent fuel. >> that was all very impressive. at the same time, there's clearly a huge amount of work that needs to be done there. they've got to you reactors that are damaged. >> mcfarlane has offered to work with her counterparts at japan's
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nuclear authority. tokyo electric officials have been cleared of accusations they lied about conditions at the fukushima daiichi plant. that's the conclusion of a probe set up by the power utility. the case goes back to february of last year. diet appointed investigators were due to inspect the number one reactor but abandoned their plan after tepco officials told them inside the building was pitch dark and dangerous. this later turned out to be false. tepco executives appointed a panel last month to probe whether the misinformation was intentional. the report says there was no systematic attempt to falsify information and the matter was a misunderstanding. but the committee concludes tepco officials should have consulted their supervisors before issuing the warning because it effectively blocked the inspection. the tepco president says the utility will improve work procedures, adding he wants nuclear regulators to inspect the number one reactor. the u.s. federal bureau of
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investigation is probing a claim by hackers to hay they've posted the private information of some prominent people on the internet. abc television reports first lady michelle obama, vice president joe biden and pop singer beyonce are among those whose personal information may have been stolen. users can see a list with the alleged personal information on a website, including social security numbers and phone numbers. president obama told abc he is not sure whether the claims are you a thentive but authorities are investigating the case. officials at unicef are calling for more support of children in syria. the officials outlined the risks in their latest report syria's children, a lost generation. >> as the crisis in syria enters its third tragic year without any end in sight, the risk of a
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lost generation which we refer to in our title grows every hour, every day, every month. >> unicef officials say 1 million syrians have fled to neighboring countries. more than half the refugees are under 18 years old. aide workers are trying to build schools and refugee camps but only received one-fifth the funding they need. aide workers have been providing drinking water and clothing but fighting between government and opposition forces has prevented them from making deliveries in some areas. an ancient jewish king is making a comeback in israel and not everyone is happy. legend has it that haerrod the
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great was a strong leader who built the temple of jerusalem. the bible mentions him along with jesus christ. now he's part of an upscale exhibition upping the friction between israelis and palestinians. >> reporter: a stone coffin with intricately carved flowers. the grand bathtub made by hollowing out a rock. these are some of the archaeological finds in the show about king herrod. it took officials at this royal museum about four years to prepare the first ever exhibition of this scale on the king. it runs for an exceptionally long eight months, until october. >> it's very nice, very impressive and you get some information about the history of
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israel. >> reporter: but the cultural assets have stirred a controversy. at issue is the place where the artifacts were found. this is the fortress build by king herrod more than 2,000 years ago and his tomb is also found here. but the issue is, this is in occupied territory of west bank. israeli scholars dug up the relics. however, the hague convention prohibits the unilateral excavation of cultural sites in occupied territories. it also bans the removal of anything that's unearthed. and israel is a signatory to the convention. the exhibition has made palestinians angry. they say israel has ignored international rules. >> the israelis are thinking as
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only occupiers and that they have the power and they're the super power, they can do what they want. >> reporter: exhibition organizers insist they have no ill intentions and the artifacts will be put back where they were found. >> our exhibition is not political. the museum invested huge efforts and expertise onn preserving an restoring and recon instructing archaeological finds. >> reporter: but palestinians are increasingly uneasy over israeli archaeological of occupied land. they fear israel will use what it find to justify its occupation. east jerusalem has been under israeli occupation for decades. israeli archaeologists are now excavating ruins from the days of king david, some 3,000 years
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ago. some jewish people say the remains support their claim over this part of jerusalem. israeli officials have designated the area around the ruins as a national park. they plan to expand it. what's more, city officials have ordered 88 palestinian households in the area to leave. this is one resident who has been told he he must go by early june. the officials say buildings have been illegally constructed. to him, the order is outrageous. his ancestors have lived in this place for generations. >> translator: what israelis really want after all is to kick us out. they are exploiting religious and historic cal assets as a pretext for justifying
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occupation. >> reporter: israeli authorities have already demolished the home of his next-door neighbor. the family were not given a chance to remove their furniture. some archaeologists in israel warn over making a political issue out of ancient digs. >> in this kind of political conflict, archaeology's playing not just a scientific tool but also very much a political tool for many israelis who have a jewish layer. that's enough for us to legitimize our belonging, our stay. >> reporter: of course, any archaeologist would be excited to dig in this part of the world. it is rich in precious clues and stories about the past. but it is also directly connected with historical perceptions and this complicates the present. nhk world, jerusalem. spring is quickly
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approaching tokyo but in some parts of europe, it's snowing. meteorologist robert speta is here with the details. robert? >> reporter: th >> this is spilling across the north, bringing snowfall to france, the uk is seeing one of the worst blizzards in 30 years in some areas. then into spain, all the cold air continues to filter in. across the pyrenees, you could see 25 centimeters of snow. in the balkans we're seeing some thunderstorms, even some hail out of this. due to the instability of the cold air coming in, that moisture being drawn out of the mediterranean, some of these storms could very well start to rotate. there is a chance of some tornadoes in this system as it does push across the region. definitely a storm to watch throughout the next several days. meanwhile though, that's what's
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fueling it. warm air -- athens at 18, vienna just minus 1 on your thursday. towards the americas, we've actually been watching this system all week. now it's finally starting to get a move on. behind it cold air is starting to pill in, actually some lake effect across portions of lake superior, downwind of it you could very well see 8 to 10 krer centimeters, into portions of west virginia and pennsylvania you could have winter weather advisories as this moves in. definitely a big chill in place. but on the other side of the u.s. and even western canada, a moisture onflow is pushing into british columbia bringing some flooding in the low lying areas. higher elevations will see some snow but it is definitely something to watch out for, especially downstream into these river beds, especially in the low lying. but in los angeles, clear skies overhead. the same high pressure is actually fueling that moisture off towards the north. it has been bringing dry conditions and warm weather. 27 for your high. compare that with the east
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coast. can you really see that dip in the jet stream. chicago just at 2 here going through your wednesday. as we take a look over towards eastern asia here, actually japan, this frontal area that's pushing overhead is already starting to bring some rain showers, even thunderstorms to western japan, off towards the north, some snow. that's going to push over the tokyo area throughout the overnight hours but ahead of this system, it was really dangerous today. actually winds gusting up to 100 kilometers per hour. i want to show you a video coming out of tokyo narita, you can see what's affected on this plane. that's the crosswind coming on there. wind shear at the airport, if you have a head or tailwind is good but when it comes on the side, it makes for a rather perilous situation. i'm sure everybody on-board that flight definitely held on for a while before it attempted to make a landing. but that flight had to take back off and loop back around. it does go to show that just these straight line winds you
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don't need a storm and it really makes traveling rather dangerous. something to watch out for there but now the system moves on, high pressure ridging in behind it, bringing cooler weather for a time being, winds letting up thankfully for anybody flying but it is going to be warming back up. that's the good news. with this high pressure moving off towards the east, start pouring in warm air from the south yet again. that see saw effect in beijing, 14 above your average. seoul, 11, above average. tokyo as well, warming up to 19 on the weekend. that's a look at your world weather. here's the extended forecast.
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sri lanka's president is visiting japan this s s in events to make e diplomatic ties. he meets japan's prime minister on thursday. but before that, he had important business to take care of at a zoo in tokyo. a present for japan. this is amara. an 8-year-old female. sri lanka has given the zoo another young elephant.
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but vidura, a 5-year-old male, wasn't on view. staff say he is still undergoing orientation. sri lankan elephants are a subspecies of endangered asian elephants. rajapaksa attended a handover ceremony at the zoo, joined by japan's princess tsuguko. they arrived bearing a gift, a basket of apples and bananas. ♪ children from a local nursery school sang a song about elephants in the sri lankan language. it's hard to be sure, but amara seemed to enjoy the performance. zoo officials said staff are hoping the new arrivals produce offspring. >> translator: we'll take good care of them as a symbol of our friendship with sri lanka. >> the two elephants will be shown to the public from thursday. we're back in 30 minutes with more of the latest. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, thanks for joining us.
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