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tv   Newsline  PBS  September 1, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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hello and welcome to newsline. i'm katherine kobayashi in tokyo. u.s. president barack obama has gone on the offensive to speaker suede lawmakers to approve a military strike against syria. he and other members will be challenged to win other members of congress and american public. secretary of state john kerry says government officials have
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proof a nerve agent was used in the suburbs of damascus. >> we have evidence from hair and blood samples from first responders in east damascus, the people who came to help, we have -- we have signatures of sarin. >> kerry built his case speaking on a number of talk shows. but he did not say whether government officials had proof of whether syrian government or opposition forces were responsible. kerry said president obama has it right to take military action with or without congressional approval. >> this goes to the core of american credibility in foreign policy and i believe the congress of the united states will understand that and do the right thing. >> members of the administration are releasing other information too, including classified intelligence. they are hoping it will convince enough lawmakers in the republican of republicans. >> we heard a lot of
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information, a lot of pros and cons. i have to tell you, it's -- in my mind it's far from settled. i don't see how anything changes. >> members of both chambers are expected to vote after they return from the summer recess next week. syrian president bash ar al assad hopes u.s. lawmakers will make a rashl decision. iran's state run broadcaster reported that assad welcomed a group of iranian lawmakers to the syrian capital damascus. assad told them that opposition groups have used chemical weapons. he said what he called a conspiracy against syria will be buried. syrians have been waiting for news of a decision from the u.s. some expressed the disappointment with the delays. >> translator: i was hoping other countries would help us, but they have done nothing. many syrian people have already died. >> one resident of damascus
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outlined his fears about the scope of the military strike. >> foreign ministers from arab league nations met in cairo. they urged leaders of other countries to take action against the syrian government. members of the french parliament are scheduled to hold an emergency session on wednesday to discuss military action. interior minister said in a radio interview that france cannot go in alone. he and other members of the government are wait for the outcome of the vote in the u.s. congress. prosecute hollande has the authority to decide on military action without approval. opposition leaders are calling for a vote on whether to sanction a military strike and say the government should wait for a resolution from the united
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nations security council. former south african president nelson mandela has left the hospital after three months of treatment for a lung infection. he'll continue to receive intensive care at his home. the presidential office said in a statement that mandela was discharged from the hospital in the capital pretoria and returned to his home in johannesburg, an ambulance arrived at his home amid tight security. the office describes his condition as critical and sometimes unstable. mandela will receive the same level of medical care as he did in the hospital. the office calls on people to allow the former 95-year-old president and his family the necessary private space so his continuing care can proceed with dignity. myanmar has been highlighting its recent reforms but the long shadow of the
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military lingers in the background. the government is full of former officers and one quarter of the seats in parliament are reserved for the armed forces. in the late 1980s, young people who demanded democracy were arrested. some were forced into exile. but this year they received permission to visit their homeland. nhk world followed one former activist on his return to myanmar and filed this report. >> reporter: a former activist arrives. was one of former leaders returning to myanmar this month. the 48-year-old exile lives in the united states. he can meet his mother for the first time in 70 years. >> translator: i'm happy to see my friends and family and get myself refreshed and get myself for a new fight for democracy. >> reporter: he was a leader of
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the pro democracy movement in 1988. he was later arrested twice for -- served a total of eight years in prison. on his release, he left myanmar and sought asylum in the u.s. the government has allowed him to return on a temporary basis using his american passport. he's reunited with his former comrades before the ceremony marking 25 years since demonstrations. he is amazed by myanmar's economic growth, high rise buildings and roads jammed with traffic. but they tell him the government is still operated by the military. my yan march's democratization
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is only halfway complete. >> translator: democratization is happening in urban areas but not in countryside. people are still afraid of the government. >> he feels myanmar is still far from democracy. he and his old comrades dreamed of. several thousands gathered for the ceremony to commemorate the protest of 1988. political exiles are taking part for first time. high ranking government officials also make a rare appearance. apparently wants to show the international community an open attitude to events of the past. another former leader of the democracy movement, is optimistic about the government's reforms. >> translator: they used to deny us democracy. but now their showing a willingness to work with the
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people to move forward with democracy. >> he hopes he and other former leaders can reunite for reform in myanmar. the country is scheduled to hold elections in 2015 but the constitution was drafted under military rule. he wants it amended to allow for a proper democratic vote. >> translator: we need free and fair elections so that we will be able to establish a new government chosen by the people. only a popularly elected government can carry out free and transparent measures and realize true democracy. >> reporter: 25 years ago, activists in myanmar demanded democracy and forced to flee
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abroad. they want to see democracy take root in the homeland remains challenged. the last two reactors still online in japan soon will be shut down for regular inspections. that will leave all of the country's nuclear power generators idle for first time in about 14 months. kansai will start on monday, bringing the unit to a complete stop early on tuesday morning. the number four reactor will be halted in about two weeks. ohi is one of six plants being scrutinized by the nuclear regulation authority before their reactors are given the green light to be restarted. it's unclear whether the authority will grant resumption requests filed by utilities. a panel of experts plans to discuss on monday whether a fault running underneath the ohi
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plant is active. japanese government officials want to take a leadership role in solving issues vofling municipalities. it is made of min stri and agency ee fishls and they will help them draw up evacuation plans in the event of a nuclear accident. officials in 150 municipalities within 30 kilometers of the nuclear plant have been rewriting their plans. they are taking into account what they learned from the accident in fukushima two years ago and hope panel members will help them map out how to transport elderly patient and hospital patients from a disaster zon and hope to get residents to cooperate in helping evacueeses. they caught up in other elements of the plans. they haven't been able to finalize which municipalities will accept evacueeses from other feprefectures. they are just as crucial as the
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safeguarding of nuclear plants based on new safety guidelines. the oscar winning director miyazaki will no longer make films. they announced his retirement at the venice film festival q the wind rises is competing for the top prize. he has created a series of hit movies and known for the sensitivity and unique way of seeing the world. his 2001 production spirited away set a all time box office in japan. it won a u.s. academy award for best animated feature. "the wind rises" is his first
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work in five years and his 11th feature length movie. the main character is based on the designer of imperial japanese's army's zero fighter planes and struggles for the great earthquake, world war ii and its aftermath. he told nhk in july he always thinks the feature length movie he's working on will be his last. many people find it relaxing to gaze out over open water. but scientists from around the world are flocking to one japanese lake for a different reason. they believe it contains a key to unlocking the past. >> the lake lies in on the main island, hon schu. researchers have been studying a core sample of the lake's floor. they have discovered that the sediments consists of horizontal
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stripes known as valves, layer that's go back centuries. the dark stripes are sediment from leaves that fell each autumn, the lighter stripes, layers of plankton that accumulated each spring. together they measure one year of time. researchers can accurately tell in which year each layer of sediment took shape. the oldest formed 70,000 years ago. the 521st layer from the top came into existence 521 years ago or 1492, the year columbus discovered america. the 2,234th layer is from the year 221 b.c., the year in which china's imperial dynasty first originated. they have begun to restore dates of historical events. this is japan's oldest clay
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object. until recently it was believed to be 16,900 years old. however, using the method of dating, researchers say it is 16, 652 years old. how do they go about determining the age? they measure the leaf matter and then he compares the amount to the level of carbon 14 in earthenware objects. if the amounts are the same, the object and the sediment layer are from the same year. so he is able to determine the age of the clay object. this method is now the most accurate available. >> translator: sediment is well preserved. the resolution of each layer is extremely fine. lake's chronology is easier to work with than other time lines.
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>> reporter: they were formed and preserved because the sediment was never disturbed. the water is mostly calm and the lake is deep so at the bottom, there is no oxygen or life. usually years of sediment deposits cause a lake to fill up. but in this lake, the sediment level is dropping because of downward moving fault line. so the lake never fills up. the combination of these environmental and geographical conditions helped create an effective and natural way to date the origin of old objects. last year radio carbon, a carbon dating service in the u.s. made lake suigetsu's valves the benchmark. in the future information from the lake will be used to date objects and materials from around the world. some researchers point out that
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they can also provide information about earthquakes. whenever a quake strikes nearby, the whole lake vibrates and creates a thick sediment layer. researchers found 12 layers affected by earthquakes that occurred during the past 30,000 years at intervals of roughly 2,900 years. scientists believe they can estimate the force of the earthquake based on the thickness of the layers. >> they really help us in making accurate historical records of when earthquakes took place. >> the valves of the lake have become the world's measuring stick for dating relics. new measurement may rewrite dates of some historical events. >> they can also tell them more
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about climate change through the ages. chinese in many parts of the country are trying to recover from floods and other setbacks caused by weather. the second worst flooding on record killed people and live stock and ruined homes and destroyed crops. >> reporter: the heihe river flows between the north and southeast china. the level started rising in june triggering floods in several regions. the city of heihe and the surrounding area were hit especially hard. this road is flooded and we can't go any further. the water has cut off the area. we were able to visit on august 21st and august 23rd.
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a farmer described his ordeal. >> translator: that's where my farm is. i had about 1,000 chicken and ducks, now most of my farm is under water. water started rising quickly up to our hips. we couldn't take many belongings with us. >> reporter: the man now lives with relatives, every day he comes to check his farm. but the water still reaches the roof. he can't say when he'll be able to return. northeastern china is usually prone to dry weather but this year, some regions have seen the worst rainfall in 50 years. 190 people are dead or missing in the provinces of gee ling and yaoening. the inundags affected 3.7
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million people. there's also concern about the extent of the crop damage. the region is known for its high production of corn and soy beans. the floods have affected an estimated 790,000 heck ters of land. farmers were to begun harvesting corn at the end of september. water covers six heck ters of land and 100 tons of corn. this year there will be no harvest. >> translator: that's my land over there. we've already suffered about 25,000 dollars in damages. this year we're not going to earn much at all.
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>> reporter: his son sought help from local authorities. >> translator: the government needs to look at things from our point of view, otherwise, i'll be forced to move somewhere else to earn money. we need to eat and support our family. >> reporter: but the authorities struggled to respond. they've sent armed police to the affected areas to help rescue residents and do whatever else they can. government officials in beijing decided to set up a temporary program to help farmers plant new crops. the united nations food and agriculture organization or fao, is advising the government. >> translator: the government must work with society to support flood victims. it also needs to improve the permanent insurance system to
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compensate farmers who lost crops. this would allow them to get back on their feet sooner. if officials don't act, the damage will spread and the situation will get worse. >> reporter: after experiencing the worst floods in decades, the farmers of northeastern china hope for two things, getting help from their government and getting their life back to normal. nhk world, heihe, china. pushing ahead, china's rise, wealth power and problems, an income gap dif its people and pollution threatens its health and disputed seas on "newsline." it's time to look at the weather around the world with
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mai sho gi. it seems people in taiwan are dealing with the aftermath of a storm. what's the latest there? >> good morning, there has been a lot of tropical storm development over the past week. there's another one over the water as of now but the previous storm system has hit taiwan. and take a look at this incredible footage from taiwan. a driver filmed this dpra mattic moment with a camera mounted on his dash board. the boulder fell down a hill onto the road as this white car passes by. fortunately the car and driver were safe because the huge stone stopped right at the right side of that car. as you can see there, the landslide was triggered by relent less rain and people are dealing with the afternaj still but the clouds are moving away and dry skies will be clearing across northern taiwan. we have another tropical storm development. this was a tropical depression now it just became teragi, named
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system. it is now slowly moving in a northeasterly direction, possibly hitting mainland --. this is a heavy rain maker and already kyushu is finding 300 within the past few hours. possibly targeting the area where the land is very well saturated, not good news. we already have flood gs -- more flood warnings and heavy rain warnings posted widely across kyushu and the southwestern part of the country. and no more rain is welcomed. fortunately it looks like as we progress through this week, we'll get more rain. this is due to this stationary boundary that is forming over the country and providing ample moisture from the pacific and
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east china sea. indirectly this storm is feeding it, we're talking 200 millimeters and possibly about 150 millimeters into tuesday morning. temperaturewise in tokyo, we're looking at 33, another sizzling hot day. things are tapering with temperatures in the high 20s across much of the rest of the continent. here across the americas, we have a low pressure system that is very well developed and swinging this cold front just along this we'll see strong to severe thunderstorms. they will be moving into the new england states from eastern texas. on your labor day weekend, unfortunately commuting could be very difficult. it's still quite sizzling hot across phoenix at 41 degrees. do watch out for flammable items. the wildfires are still burning. now, across europe, another system is incoming atlantic system will bring gusty conditions. take a look at the isobars close
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to each other. we're talking about a guflt of 85 kilometers per hour into germany and poland as well. northern british isles will stay very unstable conditions because of that but dominating is the high pressure system across the western half of the continent. we're looking at temperatures in the high 30s across the peninsula already. but the high pressure system will be bringing dry and hot weather into the later half of the week. up to 33 degrees in bordeaux and munich, from 19 degrees into 26 on your wednesday. i'll leave you now for your extended forecast.
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a southern new zee lands city is celebrating the return of one of its land marks. a service was held in christchurch to mark the completion of a temporary cathedral designed by a japanese architect, replaces the one damaged by an earthquake in 2011 that claim the lives of 185
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people. the new church consists of 98 tubes made of paper and wood. each tube measures 60 centimeters in diameter and 16 meters in length. the building is expected to serve as a symbol of the city's recovery. >> i rejoice in it. i think it's thrilling. i think it's particularly lovely for the younger generation. >> i love it. i love it. it's like a new beginning. >> the cathedral's design was the work of sheeg who did other contemporary housing after major earthquakes in japan. >> i was very pleased not because of the quality of space but the reaction of the general public. >> the cathedral was constructed across the street from the former site of a building whose collapsed killed many people including japanese students. 250 people attended the service
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to offer prayers and express gratitude for the completion of the new cathedral. that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm katherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us. 
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- coming up, new technology and new moral challenges. - these are questions we need to think about before we have the technologies. so, we have to engage in what i call prophylactic ethics. we need to think about what this means for us. - nasa's paul root wolpe talks mind-reading, cerebral privacy, health in the space station, and more from the cutting edge of bioethics. it's just ahead on "global ethics forum." - today's guest has spent his career examining the ethics underlying tomorrow's scientific breakthroughs. as one of the nation's most prominent bioethicists, paul root wolpe encourages scientists to reconsider not only what they can do, but what they should do. dr. wolpe is the asa griggs candler professor of bioethics and the director of the center for ethics at emory university.

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