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tv   Newsline  PBS  September 19, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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hello and welcome to nhk. it's friday, september 20th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. a rebel group affiliated with al qaeda has overrun a northern syrian town following heavy clashes with western backed opposition forces.
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>> translator: we had fierce battles with al qaeda linked militants in the town of asaz and around the border checkpoint. >> an official of the free syrian army said the militants killed several of their men in the northern town. they said fighting began when the al qaeda group attempted to detain a german doctor. they also said asaz is now almost entirely controlled by islamic militants. the ssa had controlled the town since last year. officials said the militants also attacked an area near a checkpoint on the furcalish border. the fsa has led the al qaeda forces but recently extremists clashed with fighters. the united states and other western countries have been providing military aid but observers say the situation may become complicated as al qaeda rebels increase their presence there. the russian president vladimir putin says he is not
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sure it will be successful but he says he hopes a plan to destroy syria's chemical weapons will work out. russian and u.s. officials reached an agreement last week on collecting and disposing of the syrian stockpile. u.s. leaders believe syrian government forces killed hundreds of civilians last month with poison gas. they wanted to carry out punitive military strikes. russian leaders proposed their plan to avoid that. >> i can't be 100% certain that we will bring it to an end, but what we have seen in the past few days has given us confidence that it will be accomplished. syrian leaders have agreed to cooperate. they've applied to join an international agreement banning chemical weapons and putin said he has grounds to believe that syrian opposition forces were responsible for the poison gas attack last month. he said the rocket used had a soviet made insignia.
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he called it a rebel provocation, and he said it's unrealistic to believe the syrian government is using out dated weapons. u.s. secretary of state john kerry said members of the u.n. security council must be prepared to act on syria. he tried to persuade chinese foreign minister wang yi to support a resolution to include the threat of source if syrians fail to follow through but they failed to narrow their differences of opinion. >> we do have devins and disagree sharply over how the international community should respond to the syrian regime's use of chemical weapons. >> wang said he welcomes the agreement to hand over syria's chemical weapons to international monitors but ultimately he said what's happening in syria needs to be resolved through political means. they also turned their attention to another source of friction, north korea's nuclear program. wang encouraged u.s. negotiators
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to resume the six-party talks on denuke arizing the korean peninsula. >> we believe we can reach a new understanding with u.s. officials. >> kerry expressed his concern over reports that authorities in north korea have restarted a nuclear reactor capable of generating weapons grade plutonium. they insist concrete steps be taken before the six-party talks can resume. caroline kennedy says if she becomes the u.s. ambassador to japan, she'll work to bolster bilateral ties in line with the wishes of her father, the late president john f. kennedy. kennedy said her father hoped to be the first sitting president to make a state visit to japan. >> if confirm as ambassador i would be humbled to carry forward his legacy in a small way and represent the powerful bonds that represent our two societies. >> she testified in front of the senate foreign relation's
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committee prior to her confirmation as u.s. envoy to japan. this is the first time she's publicly discussed policies on japan. in 1978, she visited hiroshima with her uncle, the late senator edward kennedy. she said she would think of no other country she'd rather serve than japan. she said the u.s. alliance with japan remains the cornerstone of peace, stability, and prosperity in asia. she pledged to activate youth exchanges. >> i'll work to increase exchanges between american, japanese students scholars and citizens so future generation also understand and bind our nations closer. >> if approved by the senate, kennedy would be the first woman to become ambassador to japan as early as next month. time for the latest in business news. investors were surprised at fed
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chairman ben bernanke is not changing his stance on monetary policy but the head of the international monetary fund was unphased. good morning. tell us more about that. >> not only was she unphased. she agrees with him. christine lagarde said the u.s. federal reserve decision to maintain stimulus measures is in line with her organization's stance. she called on the fed to take a cautious approach that doesn't upset global recovery. >> opposition has been that the exit from unconventional monetary policies that were needed and helpful for the recovery of the economy should be gradual, linked to progress in the recovery. >> lagarde said the fed's move should be based on economic data such as employment and market sentiment and also said the fed should be transparent in how it approaches changes to monetary policy. the fed's top officials decided
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on wednesday to keep the easy money policy. thaiy'll wait for more solid economic data before making any reductions. on to markets now. the dow-jones industrial average snapped its recent winning streak. let's go to the tokyo stock exchange to tell us how stocks here are reacting. good morning. a bit of a pull back in the dow i see. but how is the nikkei opening this friday? >> good morning to you. actually a little bit of a pull back in the nikkei as well. let's go to opening levels. the nikkei marginally in the negative and the topix almost a quarter percent in the positive. a bit of a mixed opening here. looks like investors consolidating positions. as we saw in the u.s. also overnight the dow fell about a quarter percent following the record closing highs we saw the previous day. that's after of course the u.s. central bank unexpectedly decided to maintain its current course of pumping cash into the u.s. economy to the tune of
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around $85 billion worth of u.s. bonds. the dollar has also recovered as i've noted, which means it should be really supported for some of the key exporters here in japan. i'll keep track of some of those stocks which have really under performed in the last couple days. now another quick point i want to make is keep an eye out for telecom shares today because today is the big day here in japan. apple releases its iphone 5 c and 5 s series and competition really is heating up among the three major mobile phone carriers. japan's biggest mobile phone carrier is also onboard now to sell apple iphones here in japan along with of course soft bank and kddi. all three carriers are going to be holding major events at their stores across tokyo today. that is going to be a big focus. >> that will be interesting to watch. also, tell us about currencies. the yen is weakening which may be helping exporters. what can you tell us there? >> definitely.
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let's have a look at some of the currency pairs. there has been a big shift. 99.38-41 right now dollar/yen. that's steadily risen, when i said earlier, had actually broken below 98 yen temporarily yesterday. if you remember. but now in the lower levels. economic data in the u.s. helped lift the dollar figure. the figures showed economic activity jumped to the highest level in two years with the philly fed manufacturing index jumping to 22.3 from 9.3 in august. quite a big jump. euro/yen. it also jumped higher. in the 134.48-55 levels. that compares to upper 131. just on wednesday. investors appear to have more risk appetite and are buying assets like the euro amid receding worries about a slowdown in the global economy. chinese markets will be closed today as well as south korea. so no direction from there. however, indonesia might be a bit of a focus. it did out perform yesterday.
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i'll keep track of those as well. back you to. >> all right. thanks for that update. executives at the biggest bank in the u.s. have agreed to pay almost a billion dollars in fines after their traders already lost $6 billion. jp morgan chase will pay the penalties to u.s. and british financial authorities for the trading scandal known as the london whale. the bank posted $6.2 billion in losses last year on derivatives trading conducted at its london office. last month prosecutors filed criminal charges in a new york federal court against two former traders. they accused them of trying to hide the losses. regulators at the securities and exchange commission condemned executives for failing to quickly inform financial authorities about the trades in question. chief executive officer james dimon took a rare step of accepting responsibility for the
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wrongdoing. he said they've learned from their mistakes and have worked to fix them. that's all for now in business news. i'll leave you with a check on markets. thousands of residents are still waiting to go home. vast tracts of land are still waiting to be restored.
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and more than half the fishing ports on the pacific coast must be rebuilt. people in northeastern japan still face challenges following the 2011 disaster, but step by step, they're moving forward. see their stories every wednesday on "the road ahead" right here on "newsline." >> japan's prime minister has called on the company in charge of the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant to decommission all of its reactors including the two not currently scheduled to be taken apart. abe's appeal comes amid growing concerns of radioactive water leaks at the plant but executives at tokyo electric power company have not given abe a firm answer about what they'll do. nhk world reports. >> reporter: prime minister shinzo abe inspected fukushima daiichi on thursday and afterwards told reporters about
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his request to tepco executives. >> translator: i urge tepco executives to dismantle the number 5 and 6 reactors, to concentrate their work on dealing with the series of problems including leaking radioactive water. >> four reactors are already set to be scrapped. three have suffered meltdowns after the march, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. the other two, number 5 and 6, survived the disaster because of an emergency electricity system. tepco officials say both reactors are still stable, but local community leaders have demanded the company decommission them, too. people around the plant have mixed feelings about abe's words. >> all of my town's residents
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did come. it is natural for the leader of the country to ask for all the reactors to be dismantled. >> translator: that is natural. the world will laugh at us if we let the reactors restart after such a tragic disaster. >> translator: i do not think the situation in fukushima is under control as abe said. once he says it, he should make that happen. >> reporter: abe's aim is to follow through on a pledge he made to the international olympic committee earlier this month. it held tokyo to secure the 2020 summer games. >> some may have concerns about fukushima. let me assure you that situation is under control.
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>> reporter: but since that statement, tepco has released new details of radioactive water leaks at the plant. abe's aim now is to focus on how to control the problem. he instructed tepco to set a deadline to decontaminate radioactive water stored at the site. 400 tons of ground water seeps into the damaged buildings and gets contaminated every day. abe said tepco's president told him the company plans to decontaminate the water by march, 2015. tepco officials have said they are taking the prime minister's request to dismantle all reactors seriously but have made no promises to do so, saying they'll make a decision by the end of the year. nhk world.
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egypt's interior ministry says a police officer has been killed after security forces exchanged gunfire with an armed group. the gunmen are thought to be supporters of the muslim brotherhood. security police stormed a neighborhood in the suburbs of cairo on thursday morning. they were searching for militants who they say attacked a police station in the area last month. the neighborhood is dominated by supporters of the muslim brotherhood. the group is the power base of former president morsi, who was overthrown by the military in july. egypt's military backed interim government is clamping down on the brotherhood, which it calls a terrorist organization. the brotherhood is criticizing the move as a crackdown on muslims. u.n. human rights officials are trying to track down a thai woman who has been missing 35 years. they suspect agents from north korea abducted the woman to
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their country. they've been interviewing some of her relatives to try to figure out how she was taken and where she might be. members of the u.n. commission of inquiry met the brother and nephew of the woman and spoke for three hours before closed doors. she went missing in 1978. testimony by a former american soldier who defected to north korea raised the possibility she was abducted. >> translator: i wonder where my sister is every day and what kind of life she is leading. >> we believe my aunt will come back. >> commission members say they have ample evidence to believe her disappearance was a north korean abduction. they've already investigated what they suspect were abductions of people from south korea and japan. they'll present their final report to the u.n. human rights council next march.
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heavy downpours triggered by tropical storm manuel and hurricane ingrid have hit many parts of mexico since sunday. the death toll from landslides and flooding in the country has risen to 80. government officials say a massive landslide occurred at a village in the southern state, leaving at least 58 people missing. a wide urban area of the beach resort of acapulco in the same state was hit by flooding. many residents tried to evacuate or called for help from roof tops. the government sent a military aircraft to the city to rescue about 40,000 tourists who became stranded after main roads were cut off. an alligator emerged in an urban area on wednesday setting off a panic. it is believed to have been carried there by an overflowing river.
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shopping in japan can be a challenge for people who wear larger sizes. but we find out next some people in the fashion business see this as an opportunity. this is a photo shoot with models dressed in chic fashions, but there's a difference. the models are not rail thin. this model may not have the type of body usually featured in fashion magazines. until recently, japanese fashion magazines featured only slender wom women. this magazine dared to be different by featuring models with more curves. the magazine gives them fashion tips. some models weigh over 100 ki
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kilogra kilograms. the magazine publishes the height, weight, and bust/hip/waist ratio of each model. the first issue came out in march. it sold 100,000 copies. that was twice as many as the publishers expected. this is the founder and editor. she is surprised by the success. >> translator: there were many consumers who could not enjoy fashion because they had bigger builds, so when we came out with this magazine, it was a hit with them. >> that inspired people in a major talent agency and one of japan's top fashion magazines. they decided to hold a joint audition for plus sized women. the organizers are confident these aspiring models and actresses will fill a niche in
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japan. clothing stores for plus sized women are opening in major cities. sales of this brand are up 10% over last year. >> translator: before, i couldn't find anything i wanted. but recently, i have been finding more clothes that i like in my size. >> sake has been hired for a shoot for a fashion magazine and says she used to feel bad about her figure. >> translator: i was always large. kids bullied me during junior high school. i never smiled no matter what i did i wasn't happy. >> reporter: but her modeling work has given her new confidence. when saki is not on a shoot, she works at a nursing home.
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the residents say her smile has grown brighter since she began modeling. saki's mother has noticed the change, too. >> translator: as a parent, i'm so glad she's smiling and becoming a cheerful person. >> i became the opposite of the depressed person i used to be. fashion changed my life. >> reporter: women of all body types are interested in dressing well. people in the fashion industry are waking up to this fact, and that's bringing smiles to more women's faces. time for a check on the weather. a typhoon is making its way to taiwan, and as it does, it is delivering heavy rain to parts of the philippines. >> good morning. we have been keeping an eye on this typhoon. you can see a massive swirl of
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clouds. talking about the eye you can actually see a defined eye moving all the way toward the northwesterly direction toward taiwan. it is a large and violent status. you don't really see this combination. it's quite rare. it shows you the intensity. gusts reaching up to about 300 kilometers per hour, wind speed sustained, 200 kilometers per hour. these winds could uproot large trees and damage houses. so before the system approaches, residents in these viareas shou take precautions. rain will top up to about 300 millimeters due to the swirl of the clouds, carrying moisture and dumping it to taiwan into the next 48 to 72 hours. certainly, this will up the risk of flooding, landslides, as well as mud slides. we really must keep an eye on
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this. another storm system we have been tracking is this. it's a tropical depression and is still a tropical depression over land. the intensity hasn't changed. now it will be affecting the western region of indochina peninsula. this has a history of generating about 300 millimeters of rainfall in taiwan. that's going to be closer to the western regions. we actually have another storm system, which will be developing into a tropical storm in the east of the mariana islands, to a tropical storm status into the next 24 hours. to the north we have high pressure covering much of the continent and japan also is seeing very clear skies, autumnal skies actually provided favorable conditions for moon viewing last night. let me show you pictures from tokyo. clear skies last night provided ideal conditions to watch the harvest full moon. many people gathered at one of the three great gardens in japan to watch the moon and listen to
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japanese traditional music. meanwhile, other people enjoyed the view from a boat together with food and beer. the celebration typically takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. we'll be seeing clear skies again today with 30 degrees in tokyo and plenty of sunshine. all right. now moving over to europe, the north is still looking quite messy especially the scandinavian peninsula. heavy downpours have been affecting sweden. we have yellow alert for flooding in place across the area. severe weather will now be moving into western russia. moscow at 12 degrees down from 17 yesterday. berlin looking at 15. paris recovering in the normal range at 20 degrees. now, here across the americas and mexico, manuel is still a tropical storm system steadily moving inland. this has created devastation in and around acapulco, which is one of the main resorts of this country. looks like this will be
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providing even more rain, about 15 millimeters of additional rainfall on top of the very well saturated land and flooding conditions. here the low pressure system has formed over the gulf of mexico. it's quite hugging the eastern coast where the line is still very loose. this is likely to become a tropical cyclone in the next 24 hours. we'll keep an eye on this. now to the temperatures, oklahoma city is down to 25 from 34 yesterday. quite a drop with that cold front passing through the area.
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that is all for this edition of "newsline." thanks very much for joining us.
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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: battling over budget issues took center stage on capitol hill today, with lawmakers fighting over how to avoid a federal government shutdown and a debt-limit crisis. >> ifill: plus, pope francis declared the catholic church's moral authority could fall like a house of cards, if it doesn't stop obsessing about issues like abortion and homosexuality. >> woodruff: and hari sreenivasan reports on a california town's unique plan to stem the damage from the housing downturn, by taking control of underwater mortgages.


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