welcome to "newsline." it's friday, august 26th, 8:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. an audio message purported to be from muammar al gadhafi has called on his supporters to fight while opposition forces continue to hunt for him. the opposition transitional council forces are searching for him with nato's help after taking control of the regime's
core facilities. on thursday amidst heavy gunfire, about 1,000 soldiers surrounded buildings near the compound in tripoli where they claimed gadhafi and his family might be hiding. later in the day a satellite tv station run by regime loyalists broadcast an audio message reported to be from gadhafi. the man claimed in the message that he is in the capital and calls on his supporters to purify the city of rebels who he calls rats. >> gadhafi forces have continued their resistance by deploying snipers throughout the city. they also stepped up their defenses in the eastern city of benjarwat. the council is working to launch a transitional government and asking for international
assistance. while battles continue in the libyan capital of tripoli, the ulrich city has lost its luster. >> reporter: the economy boom raises money. but now one of the largest cities in north africa is almost like a ghost town. clashes continue but there is hardly anybody walking the street. i don't see any stores open for business. this morning i went to the square in the center of the city. the square is a symbolic place for gadhafi's loyalists where they gather every day. scorched cars lay abandoned here and empty gun cartridge litter the ground. residents were sweeping up.
a gadhafi port above the square once looked down upon everybody below but it has been removed and they fired at the spot. check point, a new addition across all the city streets. as the soldiers loyal to him are on the run, they are searching each passing car. and as the city is now quiet, tensions remain here. there is still speculation that gadhafi loyalists might launch a desperate last stand. nhk world, tripoli. the syrian government has intensified its crackdown on demonstrators following the virtual collapse of the gadhafi regime in libya. more than 20 people are dead.
antigovernment demonstrations took place on wednesday night through thursday morning in the capital damascus and other parts of syria to demand the withdrawal of president bashir al assat. 20 people have been killed in the recent days. the united nations says that more than 2,200 people have been killed in e government crackdown that started in march. the u.n. security council is studying a sanctions resolution against the country. however, the government continues its military oppression. its feared the situation will deteriorate on friday as large antiasset rallies are being called for after muslim prayers.
sri lanka says it will lift emergency laws since 2005. the president told parliament on thursday that his country no longer needs laws as it has suffered fewer terrorist attacks since the end of the civil war against the tigers. the sri lankan governments declared victim in 2009 putting an end to a civil war that lasted more than two decades. but the emergency laws remained in place allowing authorities to detain suspects for lengthy periods without trial. as a result, sri lanka had been criticized by western nations and neighboring india for infringing on human rights. the move is a bid to rehabilitate the country's international image as the government hopes to attract foreign investment to reconstruct the war-torn nation. japan's foreign minister has
protested the latest intrusion of two chinese patrol boats into japanese waters near the senkaku islands in the east china sea. matsumoto summoned the chinese ambassador to the ministry on tuesday. he said japan cannot tolerate the repeating claims into water. chen said they are chinese territory. but he said next year marks the 40th anniversary of bilateral relations and that china wants to join hands with japan to strengthen ties. matsumoto agrees that the 40th anniversary is a key milestone and urged china to refrain from engaging in similar action. japan says chinese boats have approached waters off the
senkaku islands 12 times since last december. the incident sparked a major political rile between the two counties. the japanese government says it has lifted all bans on contaminated beef. >> translator: we decided to lift the bans as measures have been taken to ensure the safety of cattle rearing and shipping. radiation tests are also being carried out on all cattle. >> he said on thursday that the government has instructed the prefecture governments to left bans on the transfer of cattle to other prefectures. the bans have been in place since july 19th.
>> translator: since beef prices have slumped, i'm worried about whether they will return to the pr time for "nuclear watch," tepco is proceeding with a two-stage plan to bring the plant under control. once it happens, the next challenge is to decommission it. >> reporter: tepco released its timetable in april. the first part focused on stabilizing and cooling the reactors. lowering their temperature. the government and tepco announced in july that stage one had been completed. the second stage is now in progress. it aims to significantly reduce
the amount of radioactive materials released from the plant. it emphasizes decontaminating water that has built up at fukushima daiichi and recycling it to continue the cooling process. workers are aiming to achieve a cold shutdown by january. with reactor temperatures being kept below 100 degrees celsius. if that happens, the biggest challenge remains. decommissioning the reactors. the government's atomic energy commission have set up a panel of experts to discuss a timetable. their first meeting was on august 3rd. here's what the government and tepco have put together as their plan. work would start in 2014 to remove the spent fuel rods stored in pools. in 2021 the process to extract fuel from the reactor cores would begin.
removing all the fuel along with dismantling and removing the reactor buildings is expected to take decades. the panel plans to finalize a timetable by january. the deadline for bringing fukushima daiichi under control. the actual work to decommission the reactors will continue according to this timetable. the panel will draw up the timetable using the 1979 three mile accident in the united states as a reference. sosoda is a former member of the government safety commission. he was involved in the restoration of three mile island. in the three mile island accident, loss of cooling water resulted in a meltdown of 70% of the core.
soda thinks japan has a lot to learn from the restoration at the three mile island as it tackles the crisis at fukushima daiichi. >> translator: fuel rods have melted. all are scattered into pieces. i assume the situation at the fukushima plant is pretty much the same as it was at three mile island. >> reporter: extracting fuel from reactor cores is believed to be the toughest part of the decommissioning process. after the three mile island accident, it took a long time to design a machine that could handle the fuel. it wasn't until 11 years after the accident that all the fuel was finally removed. the situation at fukushima daiichi is even more serious. no one knows where the melted fuel is or what condition it is in. >> translator: in the three mile island accident, we knew that
the fuel was being held in a container. in fukushima, we don't know where the fuel is or if it's inside the containers. that's the biggest difference. >> nhk's osaki gave us an insight on the process. here's that conversation with simultaneous interpretation. >> translator: the timetable for decommissions the fukushima plant is using the three mile accident as a reference. does the panel think it'll take longer time to decommissioning fukushima than the three mile island? >> translator: that's right. it's more serious than it was at three mild island. consequently the decommissions process will probably take longer. let's review the process of the post disaster works at the three
mile island. it took tlehree years to see th damage into the reactor. then it took them six years to start extracting the fuel and 11 years to remove all the nuclear materials. in comparison, tepco said they would have to wait ten years just to start removing the fuel. >> translator: why does the process take longer time at fukushima daiichi plant? >> translator: the biggest difference between the two accident is the condition of the collapsed fuel. in the three mile island accident, all the modern fuel was held in the reactor. therefore, that the work was inside of the vessel. even that, however, was challenging for modern fuel to
irregular shapes. so they have to remove operations depending where they work on. in fukushima fuel has pierced through the reactor causing scientists to believe some has leaked into the outer container vessel. the huge amount of water contaminated is believed to be spilled outside of the container vessel. normally the nuclear fuel is removed in a water-filled container for water shields the radioactivity. however, the container vessel won't be able to hold water in fukushima. so how can they identify exactly where and how much the fuel is. how to proceed the operation in the environment of the high level of the radioactivity, the specific plans of these crucial operations are yet to be formulated. >> reporter: so how long does it take for the decommissioning on
the fukushima daiichi plant? >> translator: it is said to take decades. >> translator: in three mile island the meltdown took place in only one reactor compared to fukushima's three. needless to say, the fukushima situation is more dire than in three mile island. as long as the fuel stays inside the reactors, consequently the residents around the plant have to live in fear if they can ever return home. the specialist panel of the nuclear energy commission should work hard to produce a clear road map leading all the way to the successful decommissioning as quickly as possible to allay the angst of the local people. >> translator: thank you. i was talking to mr. osaki of
the plant in fukushima. "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 vietnam war ended decades ago, but many vietnamese suffer from the harsh chemicals used in the conflict. this month marks 50 years since the u.s. military is first believed to have used the defoliant called agent orange. it continues to cause problems even among the young. >> reporter: 1961, when vietnam
says u.s. forces first spread agent orange. a ceremony was held to mark the anniversary. >> translator: the pain of people affected by agent orange is a pain shared not only by the vietnamese, but by the whole world. >> reporter: koa is from vietnam. he called for about seven years in areas of the country where large amounts of agent orange were used. his son who is now 31 was born after the war. he developed a problem when he was as young as five.
>> translator: warts started to spread all over my body. even now i still go to the hospital to be treated for pain and itchiness. >> reporter: thine also lost vision in his right eye and depends on his wife to support the family. he has been marked as a victim of agent orange. he receives about $20 per month in government aid. but that's less than the quarter of the average monthly income. even the grandchildren of people exposed to the chemical are affected. his 10-year-old son is beginning to show symptoms.
>> reporter: he also has a speech impediment and also mentally disabled to where he can't go to school. >> translator: i can't do anything for my son because of my own problems. if he could grow up half as much as other children, i'd be happy. >> reporter: at this hospital, about 50 patients including babies are being treated for disabilities believed to be caused by agent orange. doc was borned with his lower body conjoined to his twin. an effect of the defoliant. the brothers were separated by doctors when they were young.
doc is married and has two children. he's e spreading awareness of agent orange and to support those effected. >> translator: 50 years is a good opportunity to raise international awareness about the damage agent orange has caused. >> reporter: half a century since agent orange was first used in vietnam. its bitter legacy is a heavy burden to other generations. nhk world, hanoi. in a sign of the warming ties tweep the enemies, the u.s. started to help remove toxins in the soil. it has yet to pay compensation
couple of tropical storm systems. one near the end of the philippines and showing signs of developing. we're seeing an eye start to go here. this one typhoon nanmadol. and it is getting close to the northern end of the philippines. trying to impact this corner of the philippines. as it heads towards the north, we could continue to see some more stormy weather for much of sectionings of luzon. looks like it's going to maintain that slow speed. lingering in the area, that means continuous winds and heavy rain. gradually though as the system heads towards taiwan. and the southern taiwan may feel its effects towards the weekend as well. off in the pacific we also have tropical storm talas. but still forecast taking it really not quite sure where it's
headed. and maybe -- we need to keep a close eye on its progress. doesn't look like it's moving in any direction too quickly. . but showing signs of intensifying as well. meanwhile japan has been dealing with the rainy front and it's with us again today. it's more towards the south. and that will mean showers and heavier downpours. this morning focusing on southern areas. then in the afternoon, central sections including the tokyo area. and possibly heavier downpours are going to be found as well. friday's highs looking at 30 degrees in tokyo and coming in at 27 degrees in shanghai. also dealing with hurricane irene and the eastern coast of the united states also will need to start bracing for this system. it's starting to leave the northern bahamas and rides northward. it starts aiming for the carolina coastline this weekend.
sometime around saturday, warnings have been posted already. take precautions before these conditions start up. along with that heavy rain that's going to be moving through the mid-atlantic states and through the region this weekend. watch out for the rough sea conditions all up and down the coastline too. rip currents could really produce some very dangerous conditions here. and finally a look at europe. looking messier out towards the west. got a couple systems here that are all going to combine and bring in showers and gusty weather in towards the british isles through western europe and into parts of central sections. that rain is going to be heading northward tonight. mostly for norway looking like it's going to start getting pretty well. london coming in at only 14 degrees. 20 degrees also pleasant in paris. meanwhile in berlin, 33 your high. vienna 35.
our lead story this hour. an audio message purported to be from libya's muammar al gadhafi has called on his supporters to fight while opposition forces continue to hunt for him. the opposition national transitional council forces are asking for nato's help after taking control of the regime's core facilities. amidst heavy gunfire, about 1,000 soldiers surrounded the
compound in tripoli where they claimed gadhafi and his family might be hiding. later in the day, a tv station run by loyalists ran a message purported to be gadhafi. the 3457b saman says he calls o supporters to rid the city of rebels who he calls rats. >> gadhafi forces have continued their resistance by deploying snipers throughout the city. they also stepped up their defensive in benjawat which is near gadhafi's hometown. the national transition council is working to launch a transitional government and asking for international assistance. and that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us.
this week we're introducing social network services. a traveler going to romania. and a film on killer whales. the documentary series asia in view focuses on outstanding people in the region. the latest episode spotlights key players of indonesian social network services and looks at how society is evolving with technology. somewhere street looks at cities worldwide as seen by a walking tourist. this time we visit brasov in romania, a beautiful time with a medieval atmosphere. you'll enjoy the beautiful view of architectures. the next documentary features rare images of the unusual hunting behavior of killer whales living in argentina.