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tv   Newsline  PBS  September 12, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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hello there. welcome to "newsline." it's friday, september 13th. i'm catherine kobiyashi in tokyo. syrian leaders seem to be taking steps to give up their chemical weapons. bashar al assad has endorsed a proposal. and he said his country is
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applying for membership in the international treaty that outlaws such weapons. assad made the comments in an interview with russia's state-run tv channel and outlined the government's plan to hand over its stockpile to international monitors but he said u.s. leaders need to stop threatening to attack his country. >> translator: within days, our government will start the necessary procedures to join the chemical weapons convention. >> assad said members of his government would start manding over information on their stockpiles a month after they sign the treaty but he said they won't follow through until the u.s. stops threatening syria and stops supplying weapons to what he called terrorists. members of his regime commonly used the term when refers to opposition forces. u.s. secretary of state john kerry has demanded that assad follow through on his promises. he traveled to geneva to go over
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the russian plan with foreign minister sergey lavrov. >> it has to be verifiable. it has to be credible. it has to be timely and implemented in a timely fashion. >> translator: i'm convinced our american colleagues, as president obama stated, firmly believe we should strive for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in syria. >> kerry and lavrov are discussing the feasibility of the plan and how to carry it out. kerry said there's nothing standard about the process because the syrian regime used chemical weapons on its own citizens and he said the words of the regime are simply not enough. syrian opposition activists say government fighter jets bomb aid temporary hospital and the alleged attack left at least 12 people dead and more than 30 wounded.
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the air strike reportedly occurred on wednesday afternoon in the northern city of aleppo. a clip posted on a video-sharing website showed many people trying to rescue those trapped under a collapsed building. in a civil war, scores of hospitals have been destroyed or forced to close due to a lack of doctors. the temporary hospital bombed on wednesday had been funded by civilian donations. and opposition activists told nhk that the same hospital had previously come under attack. the activists added that although the international community is debating the chemical weapons' issue, casualty numbers in general will continue to rise unless nationwide air raids are stopped. an iranian envoy to the international atomic agency says his country has a strong political will to strongly discuss its nuclear program. >> i also stressed that we would continue to cooperate with the agency in good faith to find
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agreed no dalties to overcome existing issues once and for all. >> he made the remark on thursday at the regular board meeting of the iaea in vienna and the envoy stressed that iran's new government is ready to faithfully engage with the international community and remove any ambiguity about its nuclear activities. he also said officials from the agency and iran should discuss their differences frankly and directly at the talks to be held late in september. he added iran hopes the differences can be resolved. western nations are displaying a certain degree of optimism for iran's change in attitude. however, he reiterated that iran's nuclear development is designed for peaceful purposes. observers say tehran has not significantly shifted its stance and they say finding a consensus will be difficult in the upcoming talks.
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the operator of the troubled fukushima daiichi nuclear plant says water used to decontaminate a drainage ditch may have reached the sea nearby. last month, more than 300 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from a storage tank. tokyo electric power company has been monitoring radiation levels at eight locations around the area to find out how the water has spread. utilities covered 80 becquerels per liter of cesium 137 in water samples at a location 30 meters from the sea. the density is close to the government's set tloesh hold allowed to be discharged. tepco says the decontamination work is under way at an upstream ditch. the utility concedes that tainted cleanup water may have flowed down the ditch and in to the sea. the power company says it had taken measures to prevent toxic water from escaping in to the
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sea but tepco admitted the steps were insufficient. it promised additional action to beef up inspection of the decontamination work. japanese embassy in france has launched a protest with the french newspaper over a political cartoon about japan. the illustration jokes about tokyo's successful bid for the 200 olympics and the ongoing nuclear crisis. wednesday's edition ran a cartoon showing sumo wrestlers with extra limbs. the caption says, thanks to fukushima, sumo is now an olympic sport. japan's acting embassy to france on thursday conveyed the protest to the newspaper editorial staff by phone. he said it's highly regrettable the paper carried a comic that hurt the feelings of people affected by the disaster and the embassy plans to file a written protester. the editors say it was never
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their intention to offend the disaster survivors. japanese prime minister has a big decision to make. whether or not to raise the consumption tax. ai joins us with more. who are the pros and cons of the hike? >> pro is that the government will have more income. the negative, the concern that that's going to weigh down consumer spending and of course defeat the purpose of a tax hike but it looks like the positives outweighing the negatives. prime minister shinzo abe is expected to decide on october 1st to raise the consumption tax but before making a final decision, he will look into economic data and a stimulus package to make sure the tax hike will not dampen economic growth. abe had instructed cabinet ministers to come up with the economic package by the end of this month. it's aimed at offsetting the impact of a tax hike. the package is expected to be worth at least $50 billion.
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abe and economic revitalization minister are calling for public works projects, tax reductions for capital investment and corporate tax cuts to be included in the package. but finance minister aso is cautious about cutting corporate taxes. he says it could result in a decrease in tax revenue and hinder fiscal rehabilitation. the first phase of the sales tax hike is scheduled next april. the tax will go up to 8% and that's up from the current 5%. well, u.s. stock markets ended lower halting three days of gains for the dow jones. it fell 25 points to 15,300. investors took a step back ahead of the key federal reserve's meeting next week. and the nasdaq, that wept don't .25% to end the day at 3715. well, let's go to ramin at the
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tokyo stock exchange. you can tell us how stocks here are e acting. so, it is friday the 13th but we're not likely to get any big surprises today, are we? >> not likely, ai. because markets primed to see what the federal reserve will do at the poll say board meeting next week so we may find the stock markets trading in a bit of a range today. let's look at the opening levels for friday the 13th and both indexes in the positive. 14,396. marginally higher for both indexes. the nikkei fell yesterday on a stronger yen weighing on exporters and after three days of gains in the key index. i would expect little cheer for that sector today and given where the dollar-yen is at. i'll come to that in a second. the australian index hit a five-year closing high yesterday. as you can see on the screens, coming up there, that's a
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commodity heavy index and may have a baring on related sectors here in japan and australia's new prime minister-elect indicated his desire for stronger and closer trade links with japan and both countries are involved in the transpacific partnership talks. now, other areas to keep track of sharp which is planning to raise cash with sale of new shares to boost its finances. electronic firm's shares yesterday fell about 6% so that's another focus to keep track of. ai? >> ramin, as you say, seems like they're focusing on the fed decision. how is the dollar-yen faring right now? >> we saw fluctuations up to today and of course, up to and including next week's policy board meeting. right now 99.64-65. if to the u.s. central bank announces plans, the yen may face more selling pressure but until the meeting, the dollar will likely remain in a bit of a
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range. traders seem to be cautiously waiting for further direction next week. that's a big focus, of course, and we'll see how it trade pans out today but really for now, just marginal gains for both the nikkei and the topix and seeing how some of the key electronics and exporters trade, as well, given the dollar-yen levels. back to you. >> thank you, ramin, for that update. indonesian central bankers moved to stave off a currency crisis. they have raised the key interest rate for the fourth month running and they've downgraded their growth outlook. policymakers decided on thursday to hike up the benchmark rate a quarter of a percentage point to 7.25%. u.s. central bankers have caused worry with talk about scaling back stimulus. indonesian leaders are trying to reverse a widening current account deficit and hoping to
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shore up the currency. it dropped this week against the dollar. bank officials also lowered their annual economic growth outlook between 5.5% and 5.9%. they said below 6% for the first time in almost 4 years. analysts say policymakers are determined to stabilize even at the cost of economic slowdown. that's all for now in business news. i'll leave you with a check on markets.
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u.s. researchers say a north korean nuclear reactor that had been shut down for years may be back up and running. the researchers say the facility is capable of generating weapons' grade plutonium. it shows the reactor north of the capital pyongyang and the reactor generates power but the scientists can use the spent fuel to make plutonium. the image shows steam rising from a building believed to house turbines. the researchers say the color and amount of steam suggests the reactor is working. north korean officials blew up the reactor as part of international as part of their program but in april they announced plans to restart the facility. japanese and u.s. officials have said that the reported react evaluation of north korea's nuclear reactors is a matter of concern. they agreed to continue monitoring the country's moves.
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u.s. special envoy on north korea glyn davies and the director of the japanese foreign ministries and ocean affairs bureau met in tokyo. they reaffirmed that pong i don't think needs to take concrete action toward denuclearization before the talks can be held and agreed the governments will continue to press the north to observe u.n. resolutions that call for abandoning its nuclear program. >> if it turns out these reports are true, that north korea has restarted the five megawatt plutonium or reactor, this would be a very serious matter. >> davies also said the north wants to discuss its right to possess nuclear weapons at the six-party talks and said that's unacceptable for the u.s. ongoing security concerns in egypt forced the interim government to extend its state of emergency for an additional
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two months. in response, muz lick brotherhood members calling for nationwide protests on friday. the government originally declared a one-month state of emergency on august 14th. in an attempt to quell violent cla clashes. clashes spread across the country after security forces force bring removed demonstrators from encampments. most of the protesters were members of the muslim brotherhood. observers say a series of attacks targeting the military and security forces may have been behind the government extension. last week, a bombing in cairo targeted the interior minister. however, he managed to escape unharmed. on the sinai peninsula, extremists are stepping up the activities. state of emergency allows police and the military to detain people without a warrant. the measure was also used under the administration of former president mubarak to crack down
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on the muslim brotherhood. armed rebels in the southern philippines continue to hold dozens of civilians hostage. thursday was the fourth day of this standoff on the island. the insurgents are demanding independence from the predominantly catholic country. afp reports that rebels from the national liberation front or mnlf opened fire on thursday as government forces tried to approach. the confrontation began earlier this week when 180 militants landed on the island. the militants are holding dozens of civilians hostage, possibly as many as 180. at least 12 people have died and 13,000 are taking refuge at the stadium. the government of philippine president last october reached an agreement with the larger rival militant group known as the moral islamic liberation front.
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they pledged to create an autonomous government in muslim-dominated areas by 2016. but the mnlf opposed the deal. armed conflicts since the 1970s have killed more than 60,000 people and forced 2 million from their homes. the island has been left behind as other parts of the philippines enjoy robust economic growth. in southern thailand, a group of islamic insurgents carried out a deadly attack on thursday. at least ten people have been killed over the last three days. the rebels are demanding autonomy for muslim-dominated provinces in the otherwise largely buddhist country. an internal security operation's command spokesperson says three soldiers were killed and another was injured in the province. insurgents apparently opened fire as the soldiers were helping villagers repair their homes. a series of assaults which began on tuesday have left at least five soldiers and five police officers dead. the thai government and major islamic militant groups have
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been talking since march to try to resolve the conflict. despite the recent violence, the national security council says the dialogue will continue in the first half of next month. muslim separatists have been fighting for more than a decade demanding autonomy for three provinces in thailand's extreme south. more than 5,800 have been killed since 2004. emerging economic powers still struggling with poverty. emboldened citizens still demanding democracy. the threat of violence. the push for peace. the shadow of conflict. get news and insight on south and southeast asia every weekday live from bangkok only on nhk world "newsline." so people in japan are concerned about the number of cats and dogs to be put down. last year, 175,000 unwanted cats and dogs had to be exterminated
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but a new animal rights law has come in to effect making owners responsible for their pets until they die. and now, volunteers in one community are doing what they can to save stray animals from an early end. >> reporter: a group of citizens just outside tokyo has started a new campaign to protect stray cats. they have the animals spade or neutered to keep them from reproducing. >> translator: i see that more and more people are abandoning pet cats that haven't had the operation. >> reporter: when they reach the age of about 8 months, cats are able to have kittens. their litters range in size from 4 to 6 kittens.
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one cat can have two to three litters a year and when they reproduce at the same rate, 30 new kittens will be born in a single year. as japan's stray cat population increased, more residents complained about their screeching and the smell of waste. often local governments have had no choice but to put the animals down. in 2012, the number of cats extreme nated in japan amounted to just over 131,000. about 60% were kittens. often they were ferel. to end the exterminations officials decided to support the neighborhood cat movement. its members look after stray cats in their areas. >> translator: our ultimate goal is to eliminate the need to kill
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cats. >> reporter: the prefecture gives financial assistance to citizens groups and local community that is arrange for the neutering and spaying. after the procedure, the cat can no longer reproduce so there will be no offspring to put down. >> translator: i'm sometimes asked if it's okay to deprive cats of their natural instincts. but i want people to think about whether the stray kittens that result would lead happy lives. all things considered, i think it's best to go ahead with these operations. >> reporter: cats that have been operated on become neighborhood cats. volunteers look after them. one of their ears is notched. it's a safe procedure so that everyone knows the animals can't reproduce. the food and kitty litter is
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paid for out of the assistance from the prefecture. group members decide when and where cats will be fed. the volunteers also manage sanitation. the volunteers are trying to get locals to support their plan. >> translator: if you see a cat without a notch, let us know right away. >> translator: i will. >> translator: i hope that the neighborhood residents, the local government and volunteers like us will all pitch in together to do whatever we can to solve this problem. >> reporter: more people are looking out for stray cats. citizens are teaming up with the prefecture to find a humane way to deal with sprays. time now for a check on the weather. there's a storm heading towards japan. sayaka mori gives us the details in world weather. >> yes, catherine, the tropical
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storm is heading toward central japan. the system is minimal tropical storm and likely severe. the sea surface temperatures are warm enough and there's no land masses, obstacles to make the system weaken. so it should intensify. we'll likely make landfall or close to central japan by monday morning local time. tokyo will probably be stormy sunday going in to monday. heavy rain, strong winds and rough seas are a very major risk across japan. across the rest of east asia, thunderstorms and showers with the korean peninsula and china and surrounding areas, very not good news because across the region we have very high levels and worsen the situation. widespread heavy rain for the indochina peninsula. temperatures will be hotter than
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usual. shanghai, 34. 30 degrees for chongqing and up to the north, only 9 for you. now across the atlantic, we have a hurricane. this is humberto. humberto is not going to affect any land masses and that's good news. it should weaken to a tropical storm within the next 24 hours. more of a concern is going to be tropical storm gabrielle which is now located off the east coast of the continent. now, this one would weaken to a tropical depression by friday. however, it's going to interact with the cold front and producing stormy conditions for atlantic canada on friday going in to the week. we are forecasting gusts reaching 90 kilometers an hour and rain about 70 millimeters and stormy conditions likely starting friday. in fact, the system is already affecting much of southeastern canada as well as the
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northeastern u.s. severe weather is likely for the next several hours. but as we go in to friday, much fresh air moving in from the north and creating some dry and nice conditions on your friday. now, out towards the west, flooding rains once again for the four corners region. it caused massive flooding. take a look at the situation in colorado. flash floods caused by torrential downpours in colorado killed at least three people. a road collapsed near boulder sending three waters in to rushing water. hundreds were forced to evacuate to higher ground. about 400 university students were moved from ground floor campus housing. rising waters caused the buildings to collapse. extremely severe conditions in the area, but unfortunately, rain is not going to dissipate across the four corners region any time soon. now, respects are going to be extremely high in los angeles at
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30 degrees. 27 degrees in seattle. meanwhile, much cooler compared to what wefb experiencing over the past several days. chicago, only 18 degrees for you and 15 degrees in toronto. here's your extended forecast.
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before we go, we'd like to show you how traditional japanese symbols of good luck are getting people excited. crafts people are making these dolls in the five colors of the olympic rings. they work in the city that the country's main center of production. they'd be making the dogs in various colors for the past 15 years. >> translator: we hope our dolls will help people feel a bit closer to the olympics. >> even the price of these dolls
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has an olympic theme. the games are coming to tokyo in 2020. so a set of dolls cost 2,020 yen. that is all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobiyashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us.
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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: secretary of state john kerry met today with his russian counterpart in geneva, as both searched for a diplomatic solution to securing syria's chemical weapons. >> woodruff: also tonight, the remarkable life story of an internet genius, who was almost certainly the first victim of 9- 11, murdered as he tried to stop the hijackers on one of the planes to hit the world trade center.


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