. hello there. welcome to "newsline." it's wednesday august 10th, 8:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. the reserve board said it will keep interest rates at its current levels until the middle of 2013. the bank was ready to do more easing if necessary. the decision was made at the federal open market committee meeting on tuesday afternoon. the central bank said in a statement that u.s. economic growth has been considerably weaker than expected. it predicts a slower pace of economic growth over the coming
quarters and says the unemployment rate will decline only gradually. this marks a change from previous statements when the feds predicted the slowing economy was due to temporary disruptions in the supply chain following the march 11st disaster in japan. they said the u.s. economy would gradually pic up in the latter half of this year. the government is preparing to act flexbly depending on the monetary policy meeting. >> translator: the feds' moves will have an impact on japan. the government and the bank of japan need to respond flexibly over the outcome. >> the market committee began its scheduled summer meeting in washington. the nikkei went down.
this was a four and a half month low. >> translator: i was impressed with the recovery in the late trading hours. but we still need to watch. >> he says they will closely watch the market moves. now let's look at some market figures. japan's prime minister naoto kan is likely to step down this month as they are are expected
to pass two bills as he passes as his resignation. executives of me main opposition liberal democratic party and naoto agreed on tuesday to vote for a bill to issue deficit-covering bonds. this came after the governing democratic party agreed to review a waiver program and subsidies for farmers. the opposition parties are also likely to vote for another bill aimed at promoting renewable energy. kan also made progress with his pet projects. the government will revise its energy policy to reduce dependence on nuclear power. it's also working to desperate the nuclear agency from the economy agency. kan is said to be preparing to announce his resignation soon after the two bills are approved.
>> the democratic party is considering holding a leadership election around august 28th and a vote to choose his successor on august 31st. likely nominations include noda, mabuchi, and ozawa. "newsline" is the place to turn to for the latest on japan post-march 11th. we have two segments offering two unique perspectives on the fallout from the earthquake and tsunami. "nuclear watch" brings you insight and information on the impact of the fukushima daiichi crisis. and "the road ahead" examines japan's efforts to recover and rebuild. don't miss "nuclear watch" and "the road ahead" on "newsline. the operator of the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant has reported a $7.4 billion net
loss for the three-month period up to june. this was due to the cause of the crisis at the nuclear power plant. on tuesday tepco released its earnings report for the quarter. earnings came to $14.7 billion a drop of 7.2%. when calculated in yen. tepco also booked an extraordinary loss over $5 billion to cover compensation for people effected by the nuclear accident including evacuees and farmers. the government is planning to establish a legal entity to help the utility pay for -- rather the utility to pay out damaging. tepco president said that once a government entity has been set up, the utility's liabilities are unlikely to succeed its assets. many doctors traveled to the
devastated areas of the disaster to offer services. as the days past, the number of doctors there has gotten smaller. that means medical care can be hard to come by. however, people in the town of ogatsu are the lucky ones. a doctor travels every weekend to operate a clinic. >> reporter: just a stone's throw away from the ruins, a small clinic opened at the end of may. dr. nakoshi operates this facility as well as running her own clinic in tokyo. a lot of the town's elderly suffer from chronic ailments like high blood pressure and diabetes. the doctor works at the clinic every sunday and monday. >> translator: i feel relieved now that i'm receiving medical care here from the doctor.
>> translator: i don't have much equipment here but i take the time to examine my patients. i want them to feel secure with a doctor in town. >> reporter: for ten days after the disaster, no doctors were available. the closest hospital was shut down because of the tsunami. the wave reached the hospital roof killing two doctors and most of the patients. so doctors and nurses traveled from all over japan to care for patients at emergency shelters. three months later, there are still no firm plans to rebuild local medical services. at her tokyo clinic, dr. ishi examines about 100 patients a day. from tuesday right through to saturday.
right after the earthquake, dr. ishi began commuting to the devastated area on her days off to volunteer. on march 21st, she visited a town shelter. she saw that the people there were receiving no medical care. >> translator: no one had taken their blood pressure for ten days. i was shocked that everyone had such high readings. i couldn't leave them like that, so i came back. >> reporter: as for her decision to open the clinic, dr. ishi says it was due to the incredible warmth of the locals. >> translator: people always give me something hot to eat. even though they didn't have enough for themselves. they were all so kind. when i think about it, i'm deeply touched. i really wanted to do something for them. >> reporter: every saturday evening, after finishing her work in tokyo, dr. ishi makes
the almost-five hour commute to ogatsu. on this day, she visits temporary housing units to let the residents know about her new clinic. while he was still living in an emergency shelter, hiro was examined by dr. ishi. after more than two months in the shelter, his blood pressure had soared. >> translator: i didn't think i could stay here. then the doctor came each week. then we heard she was opening a clinic. now i think i can stay. >> reporter: the next day, ito arrives to have his blood pressure taken. now the elderly eagerly await their visits with the doctor.
>> translator: i just offer one tiny service. but i want to do as much as i can. if people stay in town, they will be able to rebuild it. i want to help make that happen. in other news, a group of lawyers and evacuees from fukushima prefecture has called from the abolition of nuclear power plants across the country at a symposium held in tokyo. about 350 people took part in tuesday's event including more than 20 residents from near the fukushima plant. the event was organized by lawyers who plan to take legal action in all prefectures hosting nuclear plants to shut them down. an evacuee from a town within five kilometers of the plant talked about his brief visit to his hometown when he didn't see a single sparrow.
>> translator: i realized that i might never be able to return to my home or live in my hometown again. i wonder if the tokyo electric power company really understands what safety means. >> a former resident of a town within 15 kilometers of the fukushima plant says the government and tepco should fully disclose information. >> translator: they need to stop the operation of nuclear power plants. riots are continuing in britain despite a government pledge to quell unrest that went into a fourth night.
no major disturbance were reported in london on tuesday night, but young people are vandalizing shops and setting cars on fire in the central city of manchester. and the second largest city of birmingham. one young person has died in the violence that began with a protest rally on saturday against the fatal police shooting of a 29-year-old man. they also say more than 100 people were injured and 500 arrested. an emergency cabinet meeting was held and they decided to double the officers in london. unrest is spreading across britain because they are believed to be contacting each other through mobile phones and social networking sites. singapore has showed new
military weapons to celebrate. singapore holds a military parade every year on august 9th. tuesday's parade featured the latest models of fighter jets as well as tanks, missiles, and unmanned high speedboats. the country allocated $9.9 billion for defense spending this year. that's one quarter of the national budget and equivalent of 5% of its gdp. it now has one of the largest militaries in southeast asia. analysts say the military buildup in southeast asia is in response to china's military action and its action in the south china sea. they say the expansion is likely to pick up speed. u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon has sent troops to help
in south sudan. at a meeting in tokyo on tuesday, ban thanked japan for its participation in the peace-keeping mission in haiti following the devastating earthquake there last year. ban also requested japan to send a personnel to help build roads and other infrastructure in south sudan which became independent last month. kitasawa told him -- after the disaster in japan and must complete their mission in haiti. but he said japan hopes to hold talks with japan on deploying officers to sudan to help with peace keeping operations. ban hoped japan will consider sending troops to the african country. in china, bicycles used to
be the main mode of transportation. today the country is the world's biggest auto market. thanks to heavy government investment, the country's inland cities are industrializing and increasing numbers of people are driving cars. the trend is causing big problems, though, like traffic jams and air pollution. in an attempt to reduce car use, the city is encouraging citizens to get back on their bikes. >> reporter: wuhan, is home to 10 million people. with a booming economy pushing up incomes, the number of cars clogging the streets is growing by over 10,000 a month. the city is building subways and bridges to try and satisfy demand, but wuhan's traffic jams have become legendary. air pollution has become quite serious. to help save the environment, one solution seems simple.
a return to the bicycle. when you walk around the streets of wuhan, you notice people ride thee of bicycle like this one. that's because the city provides rental bicycles for free. wuhan launched a bicycle share program two years ago with a flt of 3,000 two-wheelers. it now provides some 50,000 bikes making it one of the world's largest bike share systems. for cyclists' safety, there is a network of bike paths. it serves 180,000 users a day. >> translator: not only does it help cut gas exhaust emissions, bicycling helps me lose weight. it's good exercise too. >> translator: china used to be a kingdom of bicycles. when i ride a bike, i can stay in shape and i feel good. >> reporter: to get on a bike in
wuhan is quite easy. all you need is an i.d. card issued from a bike rental station and you're free to ride. to ensure your fellow citizens can also enjoy the system, you have to return your bike within two hours of use. but there are more than 1100 rental stations throughout the city each within a five minute ride of another. users can pick up or return a bike to any station they like. a mechanic at each facility keeps the bikes maintained and the tires full of air. the system is funded by the advertisements brightly covering the bicycles and facilities. to further enhance their ecofriendliness, some rental stations are powered by solar panels. this man uses the public bicycle
sharing program for commuting. through the heavy morning rush hour, it used to take him over an hour to get to work. now on a bicycle, he can make it in just 20 minutes. he no longer has to worry about the traffic making him late. he says the return to old fashioned transport not only changed his lifestyle, but it has raised his awareness about the environment. >> translator: air pollution is very bad here. but i can do my bit to cut emissions which is good for me and society too. >> reporter: creating a bike share program cost wuhan more than 18 million u.s. dollars. but it's saving about 250 liters of gasoline a day. with many other booming chinese
cities facing similar probs, the bike share system is focusing interest. >> translator: our bicycle sharing programas had a nationwide impact. many cities are trying to emulate our approach. the key is how to get citizens to buy into the program. it's one of various ways to raise awareness of the importance of building an ecofriendly society. >> reporter: the city is planning to build 100 more rental stations by august with an eye to increase the number of bicycles to 100,000 in the near future. as cities in china grow with enormous speed, people need a better environment and well-planned development. but for china to become an environmentally friendly country, improving people's consciousness is important. creating a better city environment is up to everyone. nhk world, wuhan.
time to check on some of the stories we've gathered from broadcasters around asia. we begin with this item sent by slrc sri lanka. sri lanka's first solar power plant was inaugurated on monday. the 500 kilowatt project has been funded by south korea at a cost of $3.8 million. the electricity is expected to save 200, of fuel a year and cut carbon monoxide emissions. by 2020, the government intends to increase the share of renewable energy in the national grid from the current 6% to 20%. and is planning several solar powered plants in other parts of the country. malaysian cargo ships -- to protect them from pirates as
this move through. a ceremony was held on monday to launch the second container ship to be modified to serve as an auxiliary vessel. in 2008, the malaysian navy deployed five ships to combat piracy. in china august 8th has been designated as national fitness day to mark the start of the 2008 olympic games. visitors of all ages went into the birds nest stadium and the olympic culture center to participate in a range of events including roller skating and soccer. the two weeks sports festival will include an international sports movie week and student soccer matches.
hello there. time now for your weather update. we're still looking quite wet and windy for the northeastern corner of asia. a low pressure system still with us bringing rain to parts of southeastern russia. the rain will weaken in northeastern china. the rest of japan will be looking at clear skies. to the south we've got this very large powerful high pressure system. that continues to bring a lot of moisture in from the south. south korea as much as -- watch out for isolated heavy rain of course. flooding and landslides not out of the question. temperatures stay hot in chongqing today. 37 degrees. tokyo rising to 34 degrees.
in fact across much of japan, things really hotting up here. 33 in aomori. and coming in at 36 in kyoto. for the americas we've got widespread thunderstorms impacting the great lakes regions. that's really impacting the northeastern corner of the u.s. as well as southern ontario, canada, throughout the night. also some thunder clouds organizing themselves over the central plains. cool air ushering from the north and that's colliding with the humid air from the gulf of mexico. that will be creating this widespread thunderstorms in and around nebraska into kansas as well. watch out for strong to damaging winds, large hail, severe thunderstorms as well as intensive rain. it will be developing a bit more as we head into your wednesday as well. so kansas city in at 24 degrees. looking much cooler today.
it does stay hot across much of oklahoma as well as texas here into louisiana as well. now for europe. very unsettled conditions for the northwestern section of europe. persistetish isles. heavy at times. down in the south staying dry and sunny. for the northern end of europe, you're looking at widespread showers here looking quite gusty as well across the northern end of poland, germany, into norway and sweden. then down in the southeastern corner dealing with the system moving slowly. showers to watch out for in places like ukraine, romania, and bulgaria. out towards the west, it will be generally settled for spain and portugal. it will stay warm in places like madrid and lisbon. fairly cool for the majority of europe today. 18 in kiev. here is your extended forecast.
video footage has been released of a japanese astronaut's experiment at the international space station. >> the experiments were carried out and proposed by members of the public. he tried to put the tips of his two index fingers together. he did it with his eyes open but failed when his eyes were closed. the brain needs to process information about the weight of the arms to put the fingers together, but it cannot fully
recognize weight in zero gravity. another experiment looked how body size changes in space. his head, wrists, and chest are the same size in space. but his kal s and waste are s centimeters thinner. this is because blood moves to other parts of the body due to the lack of gravity. >> a video of the experiments will be uploaded on the japan aerospace agency. that wraps up this edition of "newsline." do join us again at the top of the next hour for more of your updates. "