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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  March 19, 2013 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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engineers at japan's damaged fukushima daiichi plant have almost finished repairing a major malfunction. systems that cooled thousands of spent nuclear fuel rods shut down. japanese researchers have created a formula to calculate the risk of having a stroke. they hope it will help some people reconsider their lifestyles. and a decade from the start of the war that toppled saddam hussein. the emotional wounds are still fresh for some iraqis.
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nhk world reunites with an orphan he met nine years ago. from our studios here in tokyo, this is "newsline." crews at fukushima daiichi worked all night and through the day to fix a problem that could have had dangerous consequences. the system's designed to cool four spent fuel rod pools at the nuclear plant stopped working. tokyo electric power company engineers announced that things should be back up and running again by wednesday. >> translator: this is our target, but this plan could be subject to slight delays. we're trying our best to get the systems working again. >> a blackout happened at the facility early on monday evening. for a short while, people working inside the plant's accident response center were left in the dark. then tepco engineers noticed the
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system used to cool spent fuel in pools connected to reactors one, three, and four, along with another pool, had stopped working. these pools contain about 8,500 spent fuel rods. tepco needs to keep cooling water flowing into them, or temperatures will rise. if it gets too hot, fuel can melt down and release a massive amount of radiation. engineers traced the problem to three high voltage switchboards. they say they bypassed these devices to send electricity to where it needs to go. so far they've managed to get the cooling systems for the reactor one and four pools operating again. they say the system for the number three reactor will be running shortly and the one or the other spent fuel pool which is not connected to any reactor building will be restored by wednesday morning japan time. engineers say they still have not figured out what caused the malfunction. tepco's spokespersons say radiation levels around
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fukushima daiichi have not changed and say the system's mechanism that cools the melted fuel in reactors one, two and three has not been affected. researchers in japan have come up with a tool that could help people in many countries reduce the risk of a leading cause of death. they've created a formula to calculate the chances of having a stroke. all people have to do is answer seven questions. fujita health university professor hiroshi yatsuya and his colleagues studied 15,000 men and women across japan. they looked at their daily habits and health data. then they came up with seven factors linked to strokes, such as smoking, obesity, diabetes, and blood pressure. using these factors, people in their 40s to 60s can determine the possibility they'll have a stroke in the next decade. they can also find out the condition of their blood vessels. for example, a 50-year-old diabetic male smoker with other health problems faces a risk of
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12% to 15% and he has the blood vessels of an 85-year-old. professor yatsuya says he hopes the formula will encourage people to improve their lifestyles. another group of researchers in japan has made a discovery that could be useful in developing new treatments for cancer. scientists at kyushu university found that suppressing a type of protein in certain cells makes anti-cancer drugs more effective. they focused on cancer stem cells. scientists agree are responsible for the development of cancer cells. cancer stem cells are normally resistant to anti-cancer drugs. the researchers found a way to break down that resistance. they used mice with chronic myeloid leukemia. they manipulated the genes to suppress the function of a protein called fbxw-7. this made stem cells in the mice vulnerable. when researchers administered anti-cancer drugs, the cells died.
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two months later, the survival rate among these mice was eight times greater than among those with normally functioning protein in their cells. >> translator: we think it's highly likely that this treatment can be applied to other types of cancer as well. >> members of the team say they will now try to identify the specific substance that suppresses the protein. they hope their work will lead to cancer medications in five to ten years. an american educated i.t 300,000 people have celebrating with the new pope. he says he will lead a humble church that will help the poor. the followers for in the square, and he was elected last week by a secret conclave of cardinals. he then entered st. peter's
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basilica. he received the ring known as the fisherman's ring. it bears the image of st. peter holding two keys. he called on economic and social leaders to protect the people and the environment. pope francis indicated he will build a closer relationship with followers, raising expectations for reform within the catholic church. an american educated i.t. manager will become the prime minister for the opposition in syria. ghassan hitto lived in the u.s. for decades but now he will govern parts of syria controlled
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by rebel forces. members of the syrian national coalition met in istanbul, turkey. they voted to elect hitto who moved to turkey last year to help coordinate the opposition. the coalition plans to launch an interim government for northern syria which is under rebel control. 70,000 syrians have died in two years of fighting between rebels and president bashar al assad's forces. analysts say some in the coalition see hitto as an outsider. they also doubt rebel groups which are not part of the coalition will accept an interim government. u.s. military leaders are showing off some high-tech hardware they could use against north korea. pilots taking part in a joint exercise with south korea are flying missions using b-52 bombers. the aircraft are capable of launching nuclear missiles and can simultaneously strike multiple targets. the u.s. military has b-52s at its bases in south korea. defense department spokesman george little said the b-52
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missions are meant to be a deterrent. he said the aim is to demonstrate the u.s. military's capabilities to north korea. scientists in north korea conducted a third test in the month. they said they were scrapping the truce that ended fighting in the korean war. in new york, north korea's representative to the united nations has justified his country's possession of nuclear arms. he says it's a way to counter the u.s. threat. deputy representative ri tong il spoke before the u.n. conference on the arms trade treaty. he refrained from mentioning the u.s. directly, but he criticized the country for continuing the development of nuclear weapons. >> at the front of the modernization is the largest nuclear weapon state who has listed certain countries as targets. with increased -- >> ri said such increased nuclear blackmail has compelled
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his country to adopt the same preemptive strike policy. the u.s. delegation did not exercise its right to reply and disregarded the condemnation from north korea. japan is set to sanction a north korean bank. the u.s. treasury secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence travelled to tokyo to seek cooperate from japan. he met with them on tuesday. he explained the u.s. decision last week to ban the foreign trade bank of north korea in engaging in transactions with the north korean bang. it's said to be effective to a certain extent. but each country can prohibit
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only financial institutions from doing business with a north korean bank. cohen is also visiting china and south korea this week. tuesday was the last day in offi office. >> a lot has happened during my term including the collapse of lehman brothers, and the march 11 earthquake. >> he said he hopes the boj will temperature up efforts to pull japan out of a long period of deflation. >> translator: japan now has an opportunity to stop deflation.
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>> he said he had done his best to stop deflation as soon as possible and to stir growth. they bumped liquidity into the economy, but he said he took extreme care to make sure the country did not shoulder the countries debt. he also said they could not change fast enough to keep pace with the ageing population and the progress has caused the economy to stall. the consulting chief researcher spoke about his five years in office. he criticized the governor for not working hard enough to pull the country out of deflation. he said he worried too much about the risks of inflation
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that could set in if he took bold, monetary measures. >> he was able to end deflation. he failed to clearly outlike the boj's responsibilities and to appeal to the public that they would take aggressive steps. >> but he gave him credit for helping to stabilize the financial system. japan did not experience a financial crisis despite the collapse of lehman brothers and the earthquake two years ago. here are the latest market figures.
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people across iraq are looking back on a war that took away one problem and replaced it with many others ten years ago on march 20th, u.s.-led forces invaded their country. saddam hussein's regime collapsed in less than a month but the conflict stretched on for much longer. the sectarian violence triggered continues to this day. nhk world's sho beppu covered the war and its aftermath. he's now back in baghdad. sho, how are things in the iraqi capital now? >> reporter: right. i can say that it changed quite a lot compared to those worse days.
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it seems lively, at least on the surface, streets in baghdad are busy, especially in the center. roads are jammed with cars, and the shops are packed with people. residents who sought refuge elsewhere, in iraq or across the country, are returning. oil production levels are back to what they were before the war, about 3 million barrels a day. companies have built modern shopping malls to take advantage of the growing buying power of consumers. but iraqis still face the threat of violence. they are, on average, three terror attacks a day across the country. no one knows exactly how many civilians died in the war, and unrest that followed. a study estimates the violence may have claimed 120,000 lives. survivors are nursing wounds
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that have yet to heal. among them is a girl that we have met nearly a decade ago. she lost her parents who were killed by the american forces. i was able to track her down recently to find out how she's doing and ask her how her life has changed in the past decade. farah still calls baghdad home. she lived there in 2004 when we first got to know her. she's now 15 years old. i met her a year after the start of the iraq war. farah was taking an art class at a children's center. she had been drawing picture after picture of dead palm trees. she said the trees were dead.
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farah lived with her grandparents. we were told that her parents had been killed in front of her soon after the war broke out. the family was fleeing the fighting in a car. u.s. soldiers reportedly mistook them for insurgents. farah's mother shielded her daughter from the shooting. the teenager remembers staring at dead palm trees that stood nearby. during our reunion farah told us
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more about why she focused on drawing dead palms nearly a decade ago. >> translator: it was a way of expressing my grief. i was sad. i wanted to show the difficulty i had, my sadness and anxiety. >> reporter: farah misses her parents. when she feels lonely, she visits their grave. >> translator: my father took good care of me. he took me to the theater. my mother allowed me to have my way. she loved me. >> reporter: life has been tough for farah since she became an
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orphan. the u.s. military paid no compensation for her parents' deaths. making ends meet hasn't been easy. her grandfather fell ill and can no longer work as a car mechanic. her relatives help pay her school bills. in the future, she wants to help others who may face similar hardships. she feels a deep sorrow that no one took responsibility for what happened to her parents. >> translator: the u.s. military killed my parents and made many people suffer the same fate. i hope i can be a lawyer. i want to show the difference between right and wrong and help people protect their rights. that's how i truly feel. >> reporter: the iraq war in the sectarian conflicts took many
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lives. survivors have been moving on, but the scars of war remains fresh as does the sense of grief. the healing process will take more time still. >> sho, how common is farah's story? >> reporter: it's quite common, i'm afraid. iraqi officials hearsay that war has taken 4 1/2 million children to orphans, so one out of every seven iraqis has no parents. many of these children need assistance but they don't simply get it. people complain, politics are too busy dealing with internal disputes and neglecting the basic needs of the decisions. when a former bush administration launched the war it said that the then iraqi leader saddam hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction.
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this accusation proved false and the iraqis had to pay the price of the consequences. for many of them, this war is not yet over. that was nhk world's sho beppu in baghdad. at this time of year, people in some parts of the world are feeling the temperatures rise and fall as they say goodbye to winter and hello to spring. many welcome the changing of the seasons, but sometimes it can bring health problems. >> reporter: tokyo residents are happy to see the arrival of japan's iconic sign of spring, cherry blossoms. winter has come to an end. the transition of the seasons is under way. >> translator: i love this weather.
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>> it's warm, indeed. >> reporter: but this is if time of year when temperatures can resemble a roller coaster, it can climb quickly and then it may suddenly plunge back down. the rise and fall in tokyo this march has been more pronounced than usual. temperatures have dropped nearly 20 degrees on some days. that happens when air masses collide. cold fronts chase away hot air repeatedly. the frequent change can have a health impact. >> translator: when temperatures go up and down, it's hard for me. >> translator: i sometimes have pains in my joints. >> i think the cooler weather makes them catch a cold. >> reporter: a doctor at this tokyo clinic is seeing people every day with similar symptoms. he says the medical term for weather-related ailments is
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called meteoropathy. he says the number of patients suffering from constant throbbing headaches since the beginning of february has increased more than 60% compared to the same period last year. the condition isn't just linked to temperature. nhk world's weather adviser asaki says pressure and humidity play a role, too. all of it works together to aggravate other health issues. a weather change can also trigger various ailments like joint pain. symptoms such as asthma can get worse when temperatures plummet. turning air conditioners on could be helpful, so reducing their burdens on bodies will lessen the risk of symptoms. >> reporter: weather experts and medical professionals say people
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should welcome the changing of the seasons, but they say everyone should take precautions so they can continue to enjoy the transition and not end up sick. sayaka mori, nhk world, tokyo. perhaps adding to the problem is the increase in pollen this time of year. let's go to rachel ferguson. very nice day across parts of japan today. 25 degrees today, that is what we usually see in the middle of pay rather than the end of march. tomorrow it will be a different story. this was the scene today, our very own robert speta took these pictures on the way to work. you see the cherry blossom is out earlier than usual, and i'm sure plenty of people will take
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to the parks and enjoy the trees. if you're planning it for tomorrow, i urge you to reconsider because it will be a wet and wild day, one from the south of china, and that's going to be bringing thunderstorms up through western japan, a second storm is dropping snow in west korea. so, not wednesday, but the weekend will be a much better time to have these flower viewing parties. now up toward northern china, looking drier here now, but yesterday it was pretty cold. and take a look at this. warmer than average temperatures in the week gave way to a sudden burst of snow showers. the heaviest snowfall was three millimeters and the temperature here dropped to minus 17 through the overnight hours. many residents breathed a sigh
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of relief as the snowstorm moistenned the air and improved the air quality in the region quite dramatically. temperatures are going to be improving here toward the north of china. 18 in tokyo, that is quote a bit cooler than we were seeing today, and seoul also looking pretty cool as that snowstorm moves through. as we head into the americas, there are two storms, three in fact to talk about. out west, this one will be rain nap will serve to really melt that snow pack. that can result in flooding and avalanches, that is the warning out towards the west, and to the east, it's more snow. we're watching the system mauve through eastern canada and the united states. there is a half meter in the
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greatlakes when all is said and done. maine, you're going to see 35 centimeters of snow. this other storm which has been bringing severe weather through the southeast, we're talking about large hail, tornados, and injuries from the storms. here are your temperatures warming up in the mid-atlantic as well. i'm sure you will be pleased to know, but still a very frigid day in winnipeg. and then down in towards paris, it will be mostly rain here, france as well as thunderstorms and a quick moving storm bringing rain will head in towards italy, and quickly through into grease with thunderstorms. going to the east, this will all be snow, and it's fairly heavy
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as well. it really is a absolute split here. we have wet and unstable conditions to the south and west, where as in the east here, much more like winter. here is your extended forecast.
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that concludes this edition of "newsline," thank you for watching. .
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