cover the news. the president of mongolia is the first foreign head of state to visit north korea, says the country's leader kim jong-un. but kim did not hold what would have been his first summit meeting during the mongolian leader's visit. he began his four-day state visit to north korea on monday. this year marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries. the mongolian president met with members of the north korean leadership, including kim yung nam who is second in command. many analysts predicted kim jong-un would meet with him but there's been no word on whether they met. north korea's state-run media said he asked kim to give a president to the north korean leader. observers think pyongyang might have refused the mongolian request for a summit. they say the leadership may believe that kim should first meet with the leader of china, the country's key supporter.
a german politician says edward snowden is willing to testify in an investigation that u.s. agents monitored the cell phone of german chancellor angela merkel. the lawmaker met the former u.s. intelligence contractor in moscow. german media say the legislator of the opposition green party hans christian strobella spent three hours with snowden. snowden reportedly said he's ready to speak before german prosecutors and members of parliament. he told german tv that snowden appeared to have a lot of information about the eavesdropping issue. observers believe his testimony will help shed light on the alleged spying but they also expect washington to oppose the move. the u.s. government demands that moscow return snoweden to face charges. he now lives in russia under asylum. representatives of an
international monitoring organization are reporting progress in the first phase of their efforts to rid syria of chemical weapons. officials with the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons say the government has destroyed all of its production facilities. >> the syrian government has completed what we call the functional destruction of its entire chemical weapons making apparatus and what are mixing filling equipment for use with sarin gas. >> officials with the group report the government has destroyed all the equipment used to produce chemical arms from 23 sites. they say workers completed the process before a friday deadline. they said in a statement that inspectors are satisfied with the government's efforts. the inspectors will now switch their focus to destroying the stockpile of about 1,300 tons of chemical agents. group leaders will drop a detailed plan to destroy all of syria's chemical agents and production equipment by the
middle of next year. the regime lacks the proper facilities to destroy the materials so the organization's leaders are considering taking them outside the country to be destroyed. more than 100,000 people have died during 2 1/2 years of fighting in syria. the diplomats are trying to bring representatives of the government and opsigposition together for the peace conference in geneva but they have been unable to get both sides to agree. organizers with unicef are worried about the impact the civil war is having on children. nearly 3 million are at risk. many lack safe drinking water, health care and education. 2 out of 3 children have had to leave school. more than 1 million have fled the country with their families. 2 out of 5 of those children have no access to education. now together in this studio is edward chiban, unicef's
director for emergency programs. he's in charge of coordinating assistance in and outside of the country. thank you for coming to the studio today. you have just heard those numbers. what's the reality behind them? >> well, the reality behind those numbers is really children are at the center of this crisis. we have over 4 million that have been directly affected by the conflict. that's more than twice the population of tokyo's children. imagine, each one of them affected by the conflict. we're talking about children that no long ver access to health services, that have not been immunized in two years. children that have dropped out of school. we estimate inside syria more than 2 million children have dropped out of education. and behind those numbers, each of these children is an individual. i was in a camp in jordan in august, and i met a young girl called hiba. she's 16 years old.
and she said to me that before the conflict, her dream was to be a pharmacist. now she just is worried about what's going to happen next. what's going to happen day-to-day with her and her family. >> how about children facing life-saving needs. >> there are a number of needs for children. the most urgent right now is to access those children both inside syria and the sub region with health services. making sure those health services can go cross line to reach children wherever they are. we have had cases of polio that have been documented in the province which makes it even more urge tonight begin an immunization campaign that is currently under way with the support of world health organization, unicef and other actors working with the local authorities in the region. we also have a situation where winter is coming. like in much of asia, it's getting very cold in the middle east.
and there's an estimated 500,000 children that we don't have regular access to. and they need children's clothing. they need blankets as we speak. and then very important because wire looking at a chronic crisis now in its third year is how to avoid having a lost generation. these are children who need to be in school. these are children who need to be in a protective environment. and if we don't take steps now to get them back into school, the 2 million children i mentioned that have dropped out inside syria, 500,000 outside syria, then they will not be in a position to help rebuild the country in the future. when they become the adults of the future, it's extremely important that we do everything possible today to focus not only on life-saving needs, which are critical, but also on education and protection so we don't have a lost generation. >> so the most urgent is this preparation for winter. and in the long run, it's
worth -- we have to think about this chronic situation as a lost generation? >> that's correct. that's correct. we need to deal with some immediate needs related to winterization, related to immunization. and at the same time, we need to understand that we're facing a crisis that is in its third year that children who have dropped out of school need to get back into education, back into learning so that we can have them be able to contribute to the future of syria and the sub region so that they have a sense of normalcy and what it's like to be a child again. and so that they are protected from violence with the school should be a safe haven and should be exempt from violence, from any of the parties in the conflict. >> how about people here in japan and across asia, what can they do? >> firstly, i have to say, the people of japan and people across asia have already been extremely generous in responding to the crisis.
the government of japan, led by prime minister abe announced another $60 million at the general assembly in support of this crisis. unicef has benefited from the support both from the government 5 japan and other countries and it's extremely important the people and the government in the region ton support the humanitarian operation financially. second is the importance of advocating with those that have influence on the parties that allow access for humanitarian aid workers. you mentioned the chemical weapons inspection team that have been able to access 18 sites inside syria for the purposes of chemical weapons inspection. we as humanitarian need that same access. population trapped in downtown homes in downtown aleppo, in parts of rural damascus that need our support now. if it's accessible to the chemical weapons inspection team it should be accessible to humanitarian workers.
and then thirdly, what the subregion needs, what syria needs is peace. so, really, again, advocating with the parties to the conflict or those with influence over them. regional governments like iran, qatar, but also russia and the u.s. to get the parties to the peace conference that is being planned for geneva so that we find the political solution to this. there is no military solution to this conflict. >> thank you very much, mr. chaiban for your insight. >> thank you for having me. japanese electronics companies used to be world le leader and they are showing signs of get something strength back. panasonic and sony have both released encouraging figures for the midterm period. panasonic executives posted a net profit of $1.7 billion. that's a record for april to september. they suffered a loss of almost
$7 billion in the same period last year. panasonic spurred the turnaround by shifting focus from individual to corporate users. they've been sending high resolution tablets to medical and construction companies. panasonic executives have also made some cost-cutting maneuvers. they decided to give up on making plags ma tvs as they were losing money. and sony officials slashed their half year net loss to $160 million. they lost more than double that over $400 million a year ago. more people bought sony smartphones in japan and across europe. they were inspired by the smartphone's high performance camera technology. sony officials are kicking into gear for the year-end shopping season by preparing new models of smartphones and digital cameras. japanese engineers have come up with a breath of fresh air for people with disabilities. they have created a computer that's operating by breathing into a tube.
researchers developed the machine. users blow softly to move the cursor down and forcefully to go up and they inhale sharply or gently to move right or left. some students tested out the system. the researchers said they were using it easily in a week. people with severe mobile iity problems can kunccurrently oper some with eye movement. they are hoping within two years some disabled users will be breathing more easily about their i.t. difficulties. the people in charge of the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant may soon find themselve working under different conditions. officials at japan's industry ministry have taken steps to turn tokyo electric power company into a holding company. they want to separate the operations and create units to deal with specific areas of work. ministry officials want tepco
executives to review how their company is organized. then they hope to split it up. they want to create one company for the decommissioning operation and others for nuclear power generation, thermal power generation and transmission. the ministry officials believe that would make it easier to manage the work at the nuclear plant and deal with the reactors. they also say forming a holding company would allow tepco to better manage each unit and make it easier for them to cut costs. diplomats from japan and china have seen some tough times in relations between their countries. japan nationalized the senkaku islands a year ago but china claims the islands in the east china sea. experts from both countries are trying to make some inroads. nhk world reports from beijing. >> reporter: experts on japan/china relations met in beijing several days ago.
they wanted to improve understanding between the two countries through frank discussions. >> translator: provocation from either side would open pandora's box. bringing that situation under control would be impossible. that's the nature of a territorial dispute. >> translator: i want both governments to discuss this issue thoroughly and create an environment that prevents the dispute from worsening. >> reporter: a private japanese think tank and a chinese media organization hosted the forum. it's the latest in a series. the meeting place alternateernates between tokyo and beijing. was initially scheduled for august. but the chinese had asked for a postponement. the president of genron and npo hosted the meeting. he senses that at long last, china has returned to favoring
bilateral exchanges between companies. >> translator: the chinese side has come to recognize the significance of private sector talks. my feeling is this will hopefully create huge momentum. >> among the chinese delegates was yang bochan. he's the vice director for a think tank affiliated with china's government. >> reporter:. >> translator: public opinion and the social environment will be fostered, so as to push both governments toward a negotiated settlement. >> reporter: the business communities are also taking their own steps to improve bilateral ties. for example, this trade show in chengdu, sichuan province. 1,700 businesses and organizations took part. they came from more than 70 countries and territories. the participants were targeting
china's huge market. last year, the japanese companies didn't participate fearing possible anti-japan protests. but this year, 30 japanese businesses and local governments took part. some chinese customers said the issue of nationality didn't matter to them. >> i frequently shop at japanese affiliated retailers in chengdu. no need to talk aboutpolitics. >> translator: ethnic sentiment has no place here. if products are technologically advanced, we should accept them. >> the territorial dispute has cooled relations between china and japan. but that does not stop businesspeople from those countries from finding ways to keep the door open.
>> and kuranda joins us from beijing. why do the chinese want to promote private sector exchanges? >> chinese leaders would like to prevent tensions from escalating to the point where there's no resolution as well better relations between the two countries would permit leaders to concentrate on other pressing matters. china has to grapple with potentially destabilizing problems. for example, an incident that is thought likely a sign of minority dissent, a crash into people at tiananmen square, killing several people. in japan's case, worsening relations with china might hurt japanese business prospects in the world's biggest market. japanese scholars have formed a study group on bilateral relations. they hope to submit proposals to the two governments. they feel that a military confrontation has to be avoided by any means possible.
>> how has this affected the chinese position in the territorial dispute? >> well, the chinese have been sending their ships into japan territorial waters off the senkaku islands. the leaders tell their people that the government is standing up for its territories. it's almost a year since x xi jinping took power. the conference is schedule forward the 9th. chinese authorities appear determined to maintain stability at home. they want to consolidate its political base and it's expected they'll make no diplomatic compromises. will clearly be some time before relations with japan show any great imp provement. >> thank you for that. that was kurado, nhk world, beijing. time for a check on the weather. people in eastern parts of the united states are dealing with stormy weather conditions.
mai shoji gives us the latest. >> not quite a happy halloween for some people across these regions. let me first show you video coming up from texas. a powerful frontal system has caused flooding, multiple road closures and power outages in texas. up to 380 millimeters of rain fell overnight wednesday and thursday in some areas. in austin, the rain has caused a creek to swell more than five times its normal size. the bad weather prompted some cities and churches to consider postponing the halloween trick-or-treating and the conditions are improving, but severe weather could actually make a return next week. so another round of severe weather to come. but this system has already touched down numerous tornadoes in texas, louisiana and in missouri. and that's going to be moving all the way towards the eastern seaboards as it will be spawning -- possibly more tornadoes, as well as large hail, damaging gusts. this low pressure system is very active. and the cold front sagging all the way down into the gulf
states region. anywhere below this you can probably find a very bad severe weather. this is a very severe weathermaker. not only that, it will be as that cold front passes your area. chicago, from 18 degrees on the report thursday down to 10 degrees on your saturday. take a look at new york where the new york city marathon will be taking place on sunday. looks like you'll be having 12 degrees for the high here. not too bad for the marathon runners. and sunny skies. but it is a huge drop so do watch out for that. across the western areas and the central regions looking fine and nice. but we have snow to be piling up in the pacific northwest. about 35 centimeters of additional snowfall could be well possible. vancouver at 10 degrees for your high. take a look at the summer temperatures. midsummer temperature range in los angeles at 28 degrees with plenty of sunshine. different story here. very much like winter in winnipeg at 5 for your high. all right, then. we'll move on to eastern
continental asia. talking about this typhoon system. looks like it's going to get a little bit stronger over the warm sea surface temperature of the south china sea. and then a little bit weaker as it moves toward the indochina peninsula over the weekend and into next week. the wind gusts are already packing up to 180 kilometers per hour and kurosa will likely bring high waves and storm surges. it will also be indirectly affecting eastern taiwan and possibly hinder the recovery process after the earthquake. southwestern islands of japan will see some thunderstorms. meanwhile, high pressure system will dominate much of northern china. the korean peninsula and rest of japan. i want to show you a video coming out from fukui prefecture where people could enjoy this beautiful scene. this time of the year when people like to visit. the fall foliage is at its best.
it's surrounded by mountains and visitors can enjoy the colored leaves reflecting on the water off the pond. about 400 hikers enjoy the beautiful sight and crisp air yesterday. the gorgeous fall colors will continue until early next month. on that note, i'll leave you with your extended forecast for selected cities around the globe.
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with mary steenburgen. she has costarred in back to the future and "the help." she is costarring with robert deniro, a comedy about lifelong friends coming to terms with getting older titled "last vegas." and we talked to george wallace who wrote a book called "laugh it off." coming up, right now.
new comedy called last vegas. the screen with deniro, freeman, douglas, kline. it opens this friday. >> you're getting married tomorrow. what are you doing here with me? >> what are you doing here with me? >> i do have an answer. i like you. >> no, no. no! [yelling] quacks i knew you would like it. -- >> i knew you would like it. tavis: where else do you start
this conversation? five academy award winners. all the leads are oscar winners. >> it was amazing and a privilege to hang out with those guys. it was a total joy. i really felt like the luckiest person on the planet. tavis: and the only girl? >> i was the angie dickens in the rat pack. you manage that? >> very well, thank you. i love them all. they are all different. and yet, there was so much chemistry i think, among all of us. we just had the best time. there was something beautiful about acting with people like that in this moment of my life. nobody is rushing off to see what their next job is.
people were just absolutely enjoying working together and the fact that we all kind of survived this crazy business and we are in this wonderful comedy that also has something to say about friendship and aging. it just felt like a privilege. tavis: ted danson must really trust you or trust them, letting you out of the house with four guys all day long. ted have tried to make danson jealous, but he is way to secure. tavis: that is the way you want to be in a lifelong relationship like that. do your point that it was a joy to do this, i got the sense that what you're saying to me was that this group of actors are settled. >> it is not about