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tv   Newsline  PBS  December 8, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

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europe on the edge. european union leaders meet to chart a way forward on their debt crisis. leaders from across europe are trying once again to stop the bleeding. they've struggled for months to heal their debt problems. now they're gathered in brussels for an emergency summit on their fiscal union. the leaders kicked off two days of meetings with an informal dinner and european union head are the qua equarters of presid government bonds of countries with huge deficits continue to decline in value. the leaders want to find a way to bring some confidence back to the markets. the key item on the agenda, how
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to tighten fiscal discipline. some imposed proposing penalties, others have suggested changing constitutions or writing national legislation requiring countries to balance their budgets. still others want to revise the eu treaty and draw up a new government or rather draw up a new agreement. all these suggestions aim towards stricter rules for member nations. the leaders will discuss a plan to issue common eurozone bonds for the first time. they're studying possible cooperation with the international monetary fund to expand the eurozone bailout fund. the european central bank was also holding a meeting over in frankfurt. they have the power to buy bonds of troubled eurozone nations to stabilize markets. ai uchida from the business desk joins me now their policy decisions. so ai, what are the chances of them doing something like that? >> catherine, after what we saw overnight looks like the chances of that is pretty slim, and that's because european central bank preside mario draghi
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appears cautious about buying more of the region's government bonds. draghi told reporters on thursday that he's surprised by the market's speculation that the ecb may increase its bond purchases. market participants are reportedly concerned that the european debt woes may engulf italy and that europe's bailout fund may run short of money to buy up government bonds. draghi stopped short of declaring that the central bank would step up sovereign bond buying when their prices decline. >> i was kind of surprised by the implicit meaning that was given by not all of the press, but some, to that other elements will follow. >>en at same day ecb policymakers decided to cut its key interest rate by a quarter percentage point, that brings it down to 1%. the move was intended to prevent the debt crisis from eroding the economy. following the statement by the ecb chief, yields on italian
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government bonds jumped in the european markets overnight. the yield on italy's ten-year bond shot up to the upper 6% level, while the yield on spain's ten-year bonds rose to the high 5% level. draghi's statement also unsettled european stock markets. germany's dax closed down 2%, while france's cac40 lost 2.5%. let's see how all of this is factoring in to japanese, into japan's nikkei. tokyo stock prices are down sharply this friday morning. the nikkei currently at 8510, that's down over 150%, a loss of 1.8% almost. the topix is also down 1.1%, currently trading at 736. the ecb president's failure to commit to more bond purchases disappointed market participants. this refueled concerns over the eurozone debt crisis. overnight weakness in new york stocks also dampened market
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sentiment. let's take a look at currencies as the dollar is moving within a tight range in tokyo trading. the greenback is currently at 77.68-69 yen. the euro at 103.68-73 yen. participants are refraining from active trading as they watch the progress of the eu summit. here's a look now at the latest long-term interest rates. the year on the ten-year japanese government bond down over 1.5 basis points. japan has revised down its economic growth for july to september. the figure is now 5.6% in annual terms. that's down 0.4% from the previous estimate. the cabinet office released on friday its second preliminary estimates for the country's gross domestic product. the adjustment to the gdp figure comes as corporate capital spending and private consumption fell short of previous
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forecasts. capital investment declined due to worries about the strong yen. meanwhile compared with the previous quarter, growth in the three months through september was revised downward slightly to 1.4%. back to the main news now catherine. >> thanks very much, ai. iran has released a tv image of what it says is a downed u.s. stealth drone. if true, this would be a rare chance to examine u.s. military technology. the plane is believed to be an rq-170 stealth craft. it shows no significant damage to the streak.
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iran announced on state media had shot down on unmanned u.s. spy plane that entered over its eastern border with afghanistan. u.s.-led international afghanistan forces admitted an unmanned drone was missing. iran's foreign ministry denounced the intrusion to the swiss ambassador, who represents u.s. interests in the country. a move follows last month's report by the international atomic energy agency t said iran's nuclear program could have military applications after the country tested explosives that could be used to trigger nuclear weapons. jap japan has decided to strengthen its current financial sanctions and apply further pressure on iran in coordination with other countries including the u.s. and britain. the two have already announced new sanctions. japan's added sanctions would freeze assets of 106 organizations and one individual suspected of ties to iran's nuclear development. japan will also ban three iran-related financial institutions from transacting business with japanese financial firms. it excluded the central bank of iran from the new sanctions, however. the bank handles most of the settlements for japan's oil
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imports from iran. japan relies on iran for nearly 10% of its oil imports. the central bank is included in the new u.s. and british sanctions. russiaprime minister vladimir putin has accused u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton of inciting his opposition forces to protest alleged election fraud. putin made the statement in a meeting with his supporters in moscow. clinton had commented that she has serious concerns about the results of the recent russian parliamentary elections. the prime minister said the u.s. secretary of state called the elections unfair even before election monitors submitted their report. putin said the demonstrations escalated after clinton's comments signaled to protesters that the u.s. state department supports them. he also said demonstrations would be allowed if they are permitted by authorities. unauthorized protests would be stopped. putin's accusations reflect increasing tensions between the u.s. and russia.
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next we go to patchari raksawong in bangkok to find out what's making headlines in the region >> the president of an began stand plans to confront the government on tuesday. karzai believes it onch nated on pakistani soil. afghan president, hamid karzai, visited a hospital to comfort the people who were injured in the suicide bombing at a shiite shrine in kabul. he criticized a militant group that reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack. >> translator: la lashkar-e-jhangvi, which is active in pakistan, has assumed responsibility for this
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anti-human and anti-islam action. we will investigate this issue and will talk to the pakistani government about it. >> the bombing was targeted at shiite worshippers on ashura, the holiest day in their calendar. afghanistan shiite community makes up about 20% of the population of 30 million. the bombings have raised concern that the violence wracked country may be falling into a divisive religious conflict as well. pakistan's relations with the united states have also entered a difficult period. the country's ties with the u.s. have soured since nato's cross-border attack last month. pakistan has taking retaliatory measures. the government's hard-line policy is backed by growing anti-u.s. sentiment among pakistanis. they are angry about the u.s. military operations and the civilian casualties, those especially caused by the u.s. drone attacks.
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nhk world's hideki yui reports from pakistan. >> reporter: anti-american demonstrations are continuing across pakistan. the protesters are demanding an end to the u.s. drone raids. the u.s. military has stepped up its drone attacks, suspecting residents of harboring armed insurgents, but this has led to the killing of civilians. this town of dera ismail khan is some 150 kilometers from the border with afghanistan in northwestern pakistan. many refugees have come here to escape the drone attacks. this man lost his three sons in the u.s. drone attack. he fled here with his relatives.
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>> translator: many innocent people, including women and children, have died. some of the victims may have been terrorists, but too many civilians have been killed in these attacks. >> reporter: 6-year-old farooq became a refugee two years ago. he says the sound of the drones are still disturbing him. he stays at home all the time and doesn't go to school. >> translator: the drones make a terrible noise. i still have bad ringing in my ears and i sometimes have headaches. >> reporter: a local psychiatrist warns that more people like farooq are suffering from mental problems because of the increase in the number of drone attacks. >> translator: 70% of refugees
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have depression and other mental problems because of scares from drone attacks. >> reporter: about 200 residents in the border areas took part in the rally in the capital islamabad. they demanded an immediate end to the drone attacks. >> translator: i lost three of my family members and both of my legs in a drone strike. >> reporter: the participants strongly protested the u.s. attacks and they also vented their anger against the pakistani government that has turned a blind eye to the problem for many years. >> translator: the pakistani
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government is not capable of protecting our safety and our basic human rights. >> anti-u.s. sentiment is spreading among pakistanis and is beginning to cast a shadow on the antiterrorism operation itself. hideki yui, nhk world, islamabad. >> that wraps up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. workers at the fukushima daiichi plant are rushing to meet an impending deadline. they want to bring reactors there to cold shutdown by the end of the year. the fuel inside three reactors has melted to the bottom of their surfaces.
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today's "nuclear watch" plant operators try to identify where all the fuel has gone. they can't check it firsthand, that's too dangerous, so experts are consulting a wide range of data. >> reporter: tepco built reactors at fukushima daiichi to power thousands of homes and businesses. now there's rot inside number one. analysts estimate all the nuclear fuel has melted through the furnace, much of it into the containment vessel. concrete covers the bottom of the vessel. it was up to two and a half meters at its thickest point. but the high temperatures have eroded parts of it. in the worst case the fuel may have melted 65 centimeters into the concrete. in some places that would leave just 37 centimeters before a steel shield, the final barrier. company spokespersons insist the concrete in all three reactors has stopped eroding. >> translator: the bottom of the vessel is filled with water, so i don't change my view that the fuel in the reactors has been cooled down.
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>> nuclear experts have come up with several scenarios to describe what's going on with the reactors. nhk noriyuki mizhuno told us how the recent analysis will affect the work to decommission the damaged reactors. he spoke in japanese so we'll guide you with simultaneous interpretation. >> translator: the most important data is the temperature of melted fuel, but there's no thermometer there so there's no way of knowing it firsthand. the government says the two conditions must be met to declare the state of cold shutdown, one is that the temperatures of the bottom of the reactor are kept under 100 degrees celsius and the release of radioactive material has been substantially reduced, but if much of the fuel has melted at the reactor the temperatures at the bottom of not have much meaning.
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tepco says the air temperature in the containment vessel is 40 degrees celsius so the fuel must be cool enough, but i don't know if such a statement can assure the people of fukushima. after all the cold shutdown is the state of a healthier nuclear department, not the crippled plant like fukushima daiichi. tepco and the government should explain the status inside the reactor more in detail, by releasing such data as the gas concentration rates in the containment vessels. melted fuel is emitting high levels of radiation so it must
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be taken out from the reactor with remotely controlled robot arms. if fuel melts into the concrete shield of the containment vessel, tepco would need to develop new technology to remove the concrete around the fuel, experts estimate it takes 15 years to remove the fuel and another 15 years to decommission one unit of the reactor, a total of 30 years, or it may take longer. japan may need help from other countries as well so i believe tepco should release more precise data to get support from overseas. >> nhk commentator noriyuki mizhuno there. in japan, concerns on energy safety since the accident at the fukushima nuclear power plant in march have led to demand for cleaner power. a new law takes effect next year
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that will require utilities to buy energy from renewable sources. companies here and abroad are trying to get a piece of this growing market. nhk world's michitaka iyamaka reports. >> reporter: exhibitors are promoting their cutting-edge technologies powered by the sun. a range of firms showcase their products at the tokyo international fair. more than 200 companies from around the world are taking part in the event. they are displaying the latest products such as a cell that can be on car roofs. this particular cell is very efficient as it generates a lot more power than other solar panels. >> i think in general terms the market is looking very, very attractive for solar and alternative energy. >> reporter: a new taxi in next
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july will require utilities to buy power from renewable sources such as solar power and wind. i july will require utilities to buy power from renewable sources such as solar power and wind. firms here are banking on new customers. people who are china's biggest cell maker are hosting to cash in. thinker farm has the world's largest market in sales. they say this year they hit an all-time high, and there is more to come. the chinese maker formed another relationship with a leading home appliance chain. recently, consumers are earning money by selling extra power they produce back to electric companies. more than 80% of the panels the firm sells are for use in the home.
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consumers use them as backup power sources to save energy. >> translator: solar power is clean energy, so i feel like i'm helping the environment. what's most important is that i can sell the electricity i produce to utilities. >> translator: most japanese people still put their trust only in japanese products. i think it will take some time to catch up with companies here. we'll step up efforts to increase market share in japan. >> reporter: european makers are also turning to japan. many are struggling with the debt crisis there. european countries used to provide grants for buying alternative energy products. now they are cutting those
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subsidi subsidies. demand is decreasindecreasing. leaders of a german solar company have grand visions. they're developing a large scale power plant they call mega solar. now they aim to convince local governments in japan to use abandoned farmlands for power projects. they are already having some success. a japanese company put in an order for mega solar panels. they are highly waterproof and they suffer almost no salt damage when installed in areas near the sea. >> generally speaking the japanese market is not easy to enter, not only in solar, also in other industries so we have to develop everything and just take some time, i think. >> reporter: demand for solar batteries in japan is rapidly
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increasing, and makers aim to catch a surge in market size and boost their share. michitaka yamaka, nhk world. >> currently more than 30 overseasmakers have entered the japanese market. they still have to get over some hurdles, though, as regulations make it difficult for them to buy land for big solar projects. let's take a quick look at where the markets are this hour. and that's the latest in
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business. >> all right, thanks, ai. there's some light drizzle this friday morning. for the bigger weather picture here and elsewhere, we go to sayaka mori who has the global weather forecast. >> hello, welcome back to your weather update. let's take a look at what's happening across east asia. a high pressure system is bringing cold northerly winds to china, the korean peninsula and japan, bringing sea and rain-snow across the western half of japan, particularly wet and windy in the tohoku area. blowing snow conditions are occurring here. we're expecting as much as 30 centimeters of snow by saturday morning and strong winds are creating high waves along the coast. across the korean peninsula, a wintry mix should taper off across the eastern portions on saturday. as for china, rain and mountain
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snow will develop over the inland area. down towards the south, heavy rain will continue in vietnam and southern thailand throughout the day, that is raising the risks of flooding as well as landslides. temperature wise, expecting 8 degrees in tokyo, some showers are still lingering but that should taper off by this afternoon and zero degrees in seoul and one degree in beijing. across the south, 33 in bangkok and 17 degrees in hong kong. heading over to europe, a powerful winter storm has been battering northern europe. as you can see the isobars are close together, meaning that extremely fierce winds are blowing over the british isles, the southern scandinavian peninsula and the northern section of central europe, and on thursday the northern british isles were hit the hardest. we have some footage coming out of this area. coastal areas off the uk saw high waves and rough seas.
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hurricane force gusts well over 150 kilometers were recorded in scotland. the strong winds prompted bridge closures as well, not just winds but flooding rains and snow also affected parts of the uk and island. now the storm is headed toward the scandinavian peninsula and as it moves inland, it should weaken a bit. however though the strong winds will likely prevail across the wide area over the weekend. a bout of precipitation, heavy snow is moving northward over the scandinavian peninsula and mix of rain and snow moving over continental europe toward the southeast and about the british isles, heavy snow showers are lingering in the northern portions but that should ease by friday morning. however, another round of snowy weather is expected to impact the same region again starting saturday. down towards the south, turkey is still dealing with
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thunderstorms, hail, damaging winds as well as mountain snow and that will continue on friday. temperature wise, we're expecting zero degrees in moscow and kiev, two degrees. we may see some snow and out west, seven in london and 11 in paris, and getting up to 18 degrees in rome and 15 in athens. all right, i will leave you now your extended forecast.
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and that concludes this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us.
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