deadly crash. a hot air balloon carrying tourists falls from the sky in a popular destination in egypt. welcome to nhk world "newsline." people hop aboard hot air balloons daily but a morning soaring in the skies above this ancient city by the nile ended in disaster for one group. their balloon plunged into a field. egyptian government officials say 18 aboard died and three others were hurt. a witness told nhk he saw the pilot had a passenger jump out
after the basket caught fire. he said the balloon rose hire and was soon engulfed in flames and then crashed in a sugarcane field. associated press reports there was an explosion saying it plunged 300 meters from the sky. state-run media say casualties included people from hong kong, belgium, britain and france. it says the egyptian pilot is hurt. the travel coordinated says the operator of the balloon had had two accidents in the past two years. >> accident in the morning about 6:30. this company i call rubbish company and i tell the people this way. >> why is that? >> he have two fires before. >> hot air ballooning is popular with those who visit luxor.
people in a number of different countries have been involved in fatal hot air balloon accidents in the past. in january 2012 a balloon flying northeast of the new zealand capital got tangled in electrical wire. it crashed and burst into flames. 11 people on board died. in 2009 a leaking gas cylinder sparked a fire in southern china. four tourists decide and three others were injured. a couple of years earlier a balloon exploded immediately after taking off in the suburbs of vancouver, canada. to people died and 11 others were injured. and in 1995 strong winds forced a hot air balloon into the sea off the coast of new zealand. three of the nine people on board died. italian election officials say no clear front-runner has emerged in national elections. the center-left coalition is projected to win a majority in the lower house of parliaments but results in the upper house were less certain.
the country could be headed for political gridlock, raising concerns about the next leader's ability to tackle a number of economic problems. political analysts said the election amounted to a referendum on austerity measures imposed by the current government. officials have counted almost all of the ballots for the lower house. under election laws the political group with the most votes is given enough seats to claim a majority in that chamber. government officials say the center-left coalition captured 29.5% of the vote. in the lower house. its leader, pier luigi bersani, supports the austerity measures. former prime minister silvio berlusconi's group has come in second with 29.2%. his group has campaigned on revising spending cuts and other parts of the austerity program. officials said no political group is projected to win a majority in the uner house. a government needs a majority in both houses of parliament. well, berlusconi has become a fixture in italian politics. the election has given him another moment in the spotlight
less than two years after he was forced to leave office. nhk world's josho watanabe has more from rome. >> reporter: italians went to the polls in a test of their appetite for austerity. they felt the weight of economic hardships under european union demands for reform. silvio berlusconi failed to address the national debt when he last sat in the prime minister's office. so he had to step down in 2011. in the meantime, he's regained support by appealing to voters' frustrations. he promised to review austerity measures and slash taxes if he gets re-elected. italy's economy is the third largest in the eurozone.
and an uncertain outcome could put more question marks over the region. some fear a repeat of the drama in greece. lawmakers there failed to form a coalition government after an election last may. so, the next month voters were forced to head back to the polls. many italians hoped the election would deliver a stable result so their leaders could tackle the debt, a deep recession and rising unemployment. now, it appears their wishes will go unfulfilled. josho watanabe, nhk world, rome. investors have been keeping a close eye on this election. they, too, have expectations for italy's next government.
kaori nagao has more. >> the debt crisis has eased. ecb officials decided they would buy an unlimited number of government bonds from governments in serious financial trouble, however, investors are growing concerned in the wake of the italian election. they fear the european debt crisis may be reignited. no party has won a majority? the upper house and that political parties may try to form a grand coalition, but the differences among them, especially by austerity measures, are great. and they may not be able to form a government that strongly enough to implement reforms. this could trigger another election. they must carry out financial reconstruction and structure reform if they want the ecb to buy their bonds. if italian leaders fail to meet these requirements, they risk losing the confidence of the ecb and the markets. following the election, the euro
fell sharply against the dollar and the yen. some economists say this trend may be short-lived. investors believe the euro is likely to rebound while the yen will continue to fall as japanese prime minister shinzo abe pushes his policies forward, including stimulus measures and monetary easing. many agree this yen weakening trend will have a more lasting impact on the markets. italy has already saddled with a heavy debt burden and that could get worse. if its politicians can't set up a stable government, that could raise their borrowing costs and deepen their financial and fiscal quagmire. economists say, whichever party or coalition assumes power, investors will expect it to continue to carry out austerity and reform measures. stocks in many asian markets dropped after a rally yesterday. it had a lot to do about elections halfway around the
globe. ron madison is here with the details on that. >> quite a rally we had yesterday. what we're seeing today is investors are really concerned about how this is all going to impact the reforms that italy has been working so hard to implement. that really has sent global shares down across the board today. let's see how european stocks are trading at this hour. we have been seeing them sharply lower. they are continuing their downward trend at this hour. we're seeing the ftse 100 lower by 1.25%. dax is lower by 1.8%. seeing declines just over 2% for the paris market. banks post sharp decline on renewed worries about the eurozone debt crisis. asian shares also with a tumble today. nikkei shed 2.25% as rise prompted investors to dump. hong kong hit a two-month low. currency, you're row lost ground against other currencies. single currency hit a month and a half lower against the dollar.
seeing euro/dollar at 1.3095. they fell to the upper 1800 level. dollar/yen at 92.11. japan's diet approved supplementary diet for fiscal 2012 planning to use the budget to try to get the economy going again. the upper house passed the extra budget bill by 117-116 on tuesday, following approval by the lower house. members of some opposition parties joined ruling coalition parties to vote in favor. officials of the ruling liberal democratic party stressed that the budget will push up japan's real gross domestic product by about 2% and create 600,000 jobs. but the largest opposition democratic party said the government is ignoring efforts to cut the country's fiscal deficit. party leaders pointed out that the government is raising money
to fund public works projects by issuing deficit financing bonds. these projects will total more than $54 billion. government bond offerings will exceed tax offers during the fiscal year. they will repair tunnels and roads and also provide subsidies for businesses that install energy-efficient facilities. the extra budget brings this fiscal year's total general account budget to almost $1.1 trillion. that is the third biggest on record. to the u.s. now where president barack obama has renewed his call on congress to avoid automatic spending cuts scheduled to kick in on march 1st. >> these cuts do not have to happen. congress can turn them off any time with just a little bit of compromise. >> obama urged lawmakers to agree on a provisional measure that combines tax increases mainly on the wealthy and some reductions in government
expenditures. but the negotiations between republicans and democrats have made little progress. republicans have rejected the president's call. >> listen, the president says we have to have another tax increase in order to avoid the sequester. well, mr. president, you got your tax increase. it's time to cut spending here in washington. >> the white house warns the automatic spending cuts could curtail activities of u.s. troops deployed worldwide, cause 10,000 teachers to lose their jobs and hinder some patients from receiving medical treatment. the cuts are called sequestration. they were postponed when congress reached a compromise nearly two months ago to avert the so-called fiscal cliff crisis. a japan based free phone and messaging serve called line is teaming up with finland's nokia trying to expand into emerging markets. they said nokia's low-end
smartphones will carry a preinstalled line application. company officials are hoping the tie-up will boost the number of line users in africa, latin america and also asia. the service marked a milestone of 100 million users in january but more than 40% are here in japan. the use of smartphones is expected to spread rapidly in emerging markets spread by low-price models. the line/nokia tie-up will prove how they will do in these countries. japanese rice wine makers are trying to sell their wares overseas. the event was held in hanoi by ryan winemakers including those frommish ka what prefectures, famous for producing high-quality sake here in japan. they explained their products and served them to about 80 participants free of charge.
the makers consider the vietnamese market very promising because the country has a tradition of drinking beverages made from rice and they say it goes well with vietnamese cuisine. >> translator: it will become popular among women as it's weaker than vietnamese rice wine. >> translator: we think japanese rice wine is accepted globally. we have to tell more people worldwide how delicious and profound japanese sake tastes. that is going to wrap it up for this hour in biz. let's get you a check of the markets.
a video posted on the internet apparently shows a french family kidnapped in africa. a masked imagine in the video says his group abducted the family because of french military intervention in mali. the three adults and four children are believed to have been kidnapped in cameroon while visiting a national park. the video shows one of the family members saying they were taken hostage by boca that ran, based in northern nigeria. the hostage takers said france has launched a war on islam. they demanded the release of militants imprisoned in cameroon and elsewhere. syrian foreign minister says the president of bashar al assad is ready for dialogue but opposition forces are skeptical. they've been working to form a provisional government.
foreign minister met in moscow with his counterpartner saying syrian government will talk with anyone, even those holding weapons. he suggested the foreign minister is trying to buy time so syrian troops can continue their attacks. leaders of the opposition syrian national coalition insist president assad must be removed as a precondition for any talks. the conflict syria has dogged diplomats and governments around the world for nearly two years. the deputy secretary-general of the united nations calls the situation absolutely urgent and extremely critical. ellison is spending the rest of the week in japan after stops in japan and south korea. we spoke before he left u.s.
headquarters. >> reporter: the u.n. deputy secretary has servinged many years for the united nations in the field of peace and humanitarian affairs around the world. this is his first visit to japan since he took his post last july. one of the top concerns for the united nations is the crisis in syria. he says it's becoming more serious by the day. he says the pledges made at conference for syria in kuwait in january are slow in coming. >> the first one is how important it is for all nations, but particularly the security council, and the permanent mechanics of the security
council, is to come to a common position. a common position which would give our mediator a chance to more actively pursue what we want for the time, namely a negotiated transition. we have an absolutely urgent and critical situation in syria right now. 4 million people need assistance, 2 million are refugees. we take pledges at conferences and then takes a long time before it's dispersed. you know, the reality on the ground is so dramatic now. schools are closed, hospitals are closed and don't have equipment. electricity is out. they have now lost almost half of the clean water, safe water. >> reporter: eliasson's visit comes as tensionings run high in east asia, especially after the third nuclear test by north korea. >> well, the secretary-general
and i are extremely concerned about the situation. i notice from different directions the language taking on very vehment form. east asia is one of the most promising areas in the world in terms of security and prosperity, but these tensions are, of course, very damaging. >> reporter: he stresses the need to revive the six-party talks aiming to find a peaceful resolution to the north korean nuclear weapons program. the last talks took place in 2007. you are a very seasoned diplomat. you've worked inside the u.n. or outside the u.n. how would you -- >> right now -- right now the situation is very tense and we
have to handle the present, the critical situation, the nuclear test. what is important is that we do not see an escalation of threats, and that there is a process where the beginning of a political dialogue is possible. we hope very much there will be political contacts occurring between the actors in the region and the six-nations talk, that they will proceed. for the u.n., we will see whether the united nations. >> reporter: as nations in east asia go through a period of transition, eliasson hopes to get new signals from the new leadership and will want japan to work towards de-escalating tensions. japan's defense officials are taking steps to relocate
futenma air station. defense ministry officials visited the nago fisheries cooperation with papers for their approval. the officials will then file a permit with the government for land reclamation. it came after shinzo abe met with president obama on friday. abe promised to quickly relocate the air station. >> translator: we'd like to proceed steadily based on bilateral agreement in order to ease the burden of locals on hosting u.s. bases. >> futenma air station is located in a densely populated area. municipal officials are calling for it to be moved out of okinawa. they oppose the central government's plan to keep the base inside the prefecture. people in northeastern japan
are reminded daily on what they lost on march 11, 2011. the earthquake and tsunami took away loved ones, homes, entire communities. survivors are moving ahead but they still face obstacles at the damaged nuclear plant and all along the pacific coast. "newsline" will bring you their stories. don't miss "path to recovery: two years on." japanese researchers are pushing hard to conduct the world's first clinical trial of ips cells. the cells can develop into any type of body issue. the scientists want to help people overcome a serious eye disease. a research group led by the kobe institute will apply for license from health ministry on thursday. they plan to create retinale tissue from the cells. they'll transplant the krems
into six patients with a disease causing blindness. if they get approval from the ministry, they say they'll begin selecting patients and using ips cells to create the tissue immediately new lovers of japanese culture have a new must-visit item on their itinerary, reconstruction of a legendary ka buick theater called the kabukiza has just been unveiled in downtown tokyo. they built a replica within the 29-story structure. they were careful to reconstruct its famous facade. they gave a ritual prayer to open ceremony and then offered a sacred tree to the gods. luminaries mingled after the ceremony. kabuki actor is said the theater is like a home for his peers.
theatre goers will be able to visit from april 2nd for a year of special performances. blizzard-like conditions are being seen across the central u.s. meteorologist robert is here with details on who is being impacted and the forecast of this storm. robert? >> yes, gene, it looks like you'll see travel conditions deteriorating, not just here but extending up to the great lakes due to a very large comma shape here of a storm. it reminds you of last week's storm that rolls through here. similar conditions and impacts here are being seen across the heartland. want to show you a video coming out of kansas and across these states. interstates from kansas to texas were closed and air travel
canceled due to the heavy and drifting snow. some places experienceder in zero visibility such as amarillo, texas, up to 43 inches of snow and upwards of 30 to 35 centimeters is going to be expected as the storm continues to track off to the northeast. let's take a look at where it's going to be going here. as it does pull off into that direction. all due to this low pressure area. you can see all these lines close together towards the northwest and northeast. this is going to be accompanying that 50 to 70-kilometer-per-hour winds so the white-out conditions will continue to persist. as it extends to the north east we'll see freezing rain, especially across the appalachian mountains, even into southern portions of ail gain mountains, accumulating on the trees and hanging on the power lines so there's that risk of power outages on top of the travel conditions. we have severe weather, already tornado watches and warnings have been issued across the
florida panhandle. pushing off towards the east. if you're not under a tornado watch, still the risk of some mez zoe cyclones. definitely not a storm system to take lightly. dangerous one indeed. good news by wednesday, it will continue to push off to the east. meanwhile to the north, though, gradually improving in the central plains but ontario and new england, you'll feel this next. really the main thing that's fueling this storm system, just like the last several ones, all of that cold air coming in out of canada. take a look at the warm temperatures down towards the south. even miami, you're getting up to 13 here on your tuesday. now, let's take a look over towards eastern asia, the tropics at the very least, though, very dry at this point. we do have a frontal area starting to develop out of eastern china, bringing in wet weather going through tuesday evening into wednesday. a few areas could be seeing over 100, 120 millimeters of rain. generally about 30 to 50 is
expect as it pushes off to the east. higher elevations will be seeing snowfall. on the other hand, though, this is going to pull in a lot of warm air from the south. all that snow that's already on the ground, looks like it's going to start to melt because temperatures are going to be warming up. actually, in tokyo, getting up to 13 here on your wednesday. expecting to get warmer than that going into your thursday. but it's not going to be lasting too long because we have this cold air in northeastern china. that will start to sink toward the south. all those temperatures will be dropping back into the single digits. let's take a look at europe here. the british isles, really high pressure has been dominating, keeping things on the chilly side. we have a system continuing to spin across italy, northeastern balkans, seeing snow 20 centimeters, accompanied by gusty winds. good news, that will push off to the east on your thursday and friday, dissipating, unfortunately, it's a pattern. iberian peninsula, that will work to the east.