stage, the primary next week in the state of south carolina. romney garnered 20% of the vote, following his win last week in iowa. he's a moderate. ron paul is an advocate for small government. he won 23 bank account. former speaker of the house of representatives, newt gingrich, and former senator rick san tore r -- santorum tied at 6%. over the past 30 years, the winner of this primary ended up clinching the party's nomination every time. romney's the front runner and will close in on the nomination with another win. iranian authorities see it as an ominous pattern and say foreign agents are to blame. the government says a car bomb wednesday killed another of the country's nuclear scientists. nhk reports from the capitol,
tehran. >> reporter: this area in central tehran was a site of a huge explosion today. >> iranian security authorities say a moving car suddenly blew up. a 32-year-old university professor and another man died. a third person was hurt. investigators say a motorcyclist placed a bomb on the vehicle. >> translator: after a huge blast, i saw black smoke coming from a car and a man was lying on the street bleeding. >> the dead professor wasn't just a university lecturer, he was also a nuclear scientist. he'd worked at iran's uranium enrichment facility. investigators blame israeli intelligence agents for the attack. this isn't the first time iranian nuclear scientists have been targeted.
a car bomb killed a university professor and nuclear expert in november 2010. at that time the iranian government blamed agents from countries opposed to its nuclear program. the united states and israel denied the allegations. nhk world, tehran. chinese leaders have rejected the idea of taking part in new u.s. sanctions against iran. >> translator: problems cannot be solved by applying pressure or imposing sanctions. dialogue is the only way to solve them peacefully. we oppose sanctions. >> he said iran is a major oil supplier to china. he said his country hopes it will not be affected by the sanctions. his remarks come as american and eu leaders increase pressure on tehran over its nuclear program.
they are trying to ban imports of crude oil. investors in tokyo have just started another day of trading. >> a favorable federal reserve report on regional economy activity did help boost sentiment, though markets did end mixed on wednesday. for more on how stocks are training in japan, good morning, it seems like a tug of war right now between economic activity in the u.s. and developments in the euro zone. >> yes, very much so. a bit of a tug of war there, the federal reserve regional economic report came in more favorably, which also highlights some of the upbeat economic activity and numbers we've seen out of the u.s. recently and also with earnings season kicking off in the u.s., a lot of investors keen to see how corporate america is progressing
into 2012, however, there's still a very keen eye going on in euro zone economies and that's keeping markets a little bit hesitant and if we look at the opening levels, little bit of hesitation in the opening levels, both indexes a touch lower. the nikkei has traded in quite a tight range in the last couple of days, which highlights what we're seeing how government bond auctions in italy and spain go ahead this week and also, of course, later this day we have the european central bank, which is meeting. so a couple of factors there holding markets back. still, we continue to see gains in the banks and brokerage. numeral holdings up over 3%, pretty much shrugging off the news of one of its higher directors quitting. also a lot of japanese blue chip
electronic companies there in the focus as well. >> good news for the united states economies supporting the dollar but not so much good news for the euro. where are these currencies trading this morning? >> let's have a look at that. again a bit of a tug of war developed in the currency markets as well, the euro there continuing to see a bit of softness and 97.75 to 80, so trading below the 98 level. dollar yen holding steady, 76.87 to 88, but the euro losing out to the dollar as well, so a lot of activity there, but as i said earlier, the nikkei and topix trading lower this thursday morning in tokyo. back to you. >> that was our reporter from the tokyo stock exchange. let's stay on the topic of
euro. fresh data out of germany shows its economy has started to slowdown. this indicates the country's becoming more vulnerable to the euro zone debt crisis. germany's federal statistical office said gross domestic product shrank by a quarter of a percent last year. the country's gdp grew 3% in 2011, following the sharpest rise in personal consumption in five years. strong capital investment also stimulated the economy, specifically autos to emerging economies. concerns are growing the slowdown of the largest euro zone economy could have a major impact on other parts of the region. the european union to take action against hungary. if the sanction goes ahead, it will be the first time following the revision of the fiscal requirements.
>> hungary has also taken measures, but these are unfortunately not sufficient to correct the deficit in a sustainable and credible manner. >> the european commission has been examining the fiscal conditions of its member nations since a new eu system took effect last month. the mission allows sanctions for violations of fiscal discipline. the commission says hungary's fiscal deficit is expected to exceed 3% of its gross domestic product last year, even though it plans to stay below that level. the commission will recommend the sanction,luding withholding development funds from hungary. the sanction is expected to be proved january 4th. surplus fell for a ninth straight month. the finance ministry said in a
preliminary report on thursday the current account balance fell 85.5% in yen terms from a year earlier to about $1.8 billion. it was in the red for a second straight month. exports fell 3.1%, while imports were up 14.1%, that's due largely to a price hike in crude oil and natural gas. the income surplus, however, grew 13%, helping the overall account balance to stay in the positive. let's see how the numbers are affecting the markets once again.
that's the latest in business. back to katherine now. people in taiwan are heading to the polls this week. here on "newsline" we'll tell you more about the main candidates and the issues at play. nhk world reports from taipei. >> as election day is approaching here, many rallies are being held throughout the city and it seems to be a fierce battle between the current president and his rival from the largest opposition. the three candidates vying for the presidency are incumbent president of the ruling nationalist party. and james soong of the people first party. according to surveys conducted by media outlets, it's a close
race. and the key point of contention here is how close taiwan should be to china. i explored people's views on this issue. he's to appear any minute, and the entire crowd of nationalist party supporters are waiting to hear his voice. he says that better relations with china under his administration have led to economic growth. >> translator: the people of taiwan need a government that can bring stability to the island, the economy, politics, and ties with china. if you want such stability, vote for me. >> half of the visitors to taipei 101, a popular tourist
spot in taipei are from mainland china. there were 1.6 million such tourists in 2010. >> i think the open policy if they continue to have this policy, i think they will have more and more chinese tourists here. >> stronger economic ties have helped taiwanese businesses expand their businesses in china. they have boosted the population of taiwanese living in china to more than 1 million. one such person went to china 20 years ago and runs a factory that produces belt buckles. wong thinks if the president is reelected, businesses such as his will consider to receive favorable treatment from the chinese government. wong has organized a meeting of 1,300 employees of taiwanese
companies. >> translator: china is taiwan's greatest partner right now. let's elect mao. >> vying to become taiwan's first female president. tai claims that only a limited few have benefitted from economic growth created by closer ties with china, leaving many people dissatisfied. >> translator: our incomes have dropped, while the wealth gap has widened. society's resources are not being distributed fairly. >> in taiwan, unemployment among young people is high, exceeding 10% for individuals aged 20 to 24. chang is a 24-year-old graduate of national taiwan university, a top school.
although there were jobs available in his industry of choice, he felt the salaries were too low. he's now working a part-time job with irregular hours. >> i don't expect much more from the government anymore. who ever the party is, we should change who runs the government. >> now i'd like to bring our bureau chief into the conversation. so, president mao and wen have very different positions on china, don't they? >> that's right. in 2010, taiwan's economy grew by 10.7%. president mao claimed this was because of his policies regarding china. however, recent trends have not been so favorable for the president. europe's credit crisis, which has slowed the global economy, is beginning to impact taiwan.
many people do not feel the benefits of the deepening ties with china and that a change in government is necessary. >> and how does the chinese government view this election? >> well, they are saying publicly that it will not interfere in the election. the chinese government is keeping a close eye on it. beijing is heard to be in favor. if mao wins reelection, taiwan's relationship with china is expected to deepen further. by contrast, concern in taiwan's business community that if tai wins, china will take a second look at its expanded relations with taiwan. this could adversely reflect taiwan's economy. the outcome may change relations between china and taiwan.
if this happens, it will have an impact on the economy and security issues in the east asia region. >> thank you for your analysis. that was our taipei bureau chief. members of a south korean think tank say they expect north korea will test a nuclear or long-range missile. they say the north will conduct over the next year and a half to solidify the rule of new leader, kim jong-un. the south korean institute of foreign affairs and national security made the prediction in a court. the think tank is affiliated with the government. north korea will likely carry out another provocation by the end of the year or early next year. the military launched an attack in 2010. the north has historically allowed tensions with the south to rise at times of uncertainty within the regime. the report says the nuclear or missile tests could be timed to
coincide with presidential elections later this year in the u.s. and south korea. the north may test a more sophisticated uranium-type nuclear weapon to stress the leadership abilities of kim jong-un. the military used plutonium-based weapons in 2006 and 2009. the report says the north will try to consolidate the new regime by reopening dialogue with the u.s. and returning to the six party talks on its nuclear development. but it predicts the stalemate will continue as the north increases criticism of the government of the president. the u.s. has offered to send vitamin tablets and biscuits to north korea, but the north has instead asked for rice and corn. some experts say kim jong-un doesn't want his people to know the food shipments are foreign aid. a statement was released last
may saying the u.s. offered to resume food shipments. the u.s. has suspended assistance for more than two years, but the statement said the u.s. has drastically changed the types of food being sent. analysts say the ministry aims to underscore a promise made by the u.s. to deliver the remaining 300,000 tons of grain. a nationwide monitoring system malfunctioned last month, sparking widespread concern.
the operator says the system stopped operating due to poor maintenance. the emergency response and support system failed to transmit data to terminal screens at the nuclear and industrial safety agency for more than 24 # hours from december 30th. the agency also failed to notice the problem for more than one hour. the system monitors pressure, temperature, and other real-time conditions of reactors around the country as well as radiation levels in surrounding areas. an investigation by the government affiliated corporation that manages the system revealed that the data processing functions malfunctioned because of poor maintenance. the corporation says it will increase its maintenance of the system by rebooting its server software twice a year and introducing an automated alarm system.
2012 is an olympic year and for london, of course, it's a par olympic year too. they have always struggled to get the kind of public support and funding that the olympics has, but now in the uk, the birthplace of disabilities sport, that's changing. nhk world's erica stevenson reports. >> translator: this promotional video for the paraolympics is being aired on british television. the stars are all british athletes, who have their sights set on winning medals on home turf. the aim of the video is to show them as elite athletes without focusing on their disability. it was made by channel 4, a public broadcaster in the uk. the success of the paraolympics depends on generating greater
public interest, since it doesn't have such a high profile as the olympic games. >> it's one of the challenging perceptions of the uk audience in the profile that disabled people get. if we can make the nation sit up and pay attention and realize the sport is as elite as able-bodied sport, that's what we want to do. >> drive, nothing else is in my mind. >> reporter: 18-year-old johnny p peacock is vying for a spot on the team. the video has given him a new level of exposure. he was just five when he contracted a form of meningitis and had to have his right leg amputated. this did not stop him taking up sport.
in 2009, he was picked as a candidate for the british paraolympic team. since then, he's been working with an olympic coach and using world-class training facilities. >> the parao lilympians want to accepted as athletes. if you are motivated and want to train with the best. >> his training environment isn't the only thing that's changed. he now lives with other paraolympic athletes, thanks to the sponsorship he gets from the government and private organizations, he's able to make a living as a professional athlete. >> i think our hope for london is obviously something that you
think about weekly, daily, whenever you're training. but in all honesty, i think the sport itself is getting more competitive. everyone at home watching this, watch 2012, and you'll find out. >> i will. interesting. the paraolympics has been steadily growing in the uk and tickets for some events are already sold out. a big storm is moving through australia, let's go for more on that and the rest of the world weather picture. >> hello, time now for your weather update. let's take a look at what's happening across australia. we can see clockwise circulation right here. it looks rather compact, but it's tropical cyclone heidi, it's now a category 2 system,
packing wind gusts of 155 kilometers per hour. it's expected to weaken to a low pressure system today as it moves further inland towards the southwest. winds are impacting the coast, so do be careful of a dangerous, high tide. in terms of precipitation, because it's a very slow-moving system, it has been bringing very heavy rain across the same area. more than 120 millimeters of rain are possible across these red zones, but some of the areas may see up to 250. again, it's on the weakening track, so winds may die down today, however, heavy rain will likely continue, so the risk will continue for the next few days. heading over to east asia, the southern philippines and northern malaysia peninsula will continue to so thunderstorms as well as heavy rain. the ground is already well saturated, so any additional
rain could trigger flooding, as well as landslides. meanwhile, monsoonal rain is still affecting vietnam and some of the rain will move to southern china as well as taiwan in the next 24 hours, but the precipitation is not on the severe side. up towards the north, northern china and the korean peninsula are involving very high weather, as for japan, the pacific side is still enjoying gorgeous, sunny skies, but it's a different story for the opposite side of the nation, heavy snow again. and, in fact, snow could intensify starting tonight. a cold wave is covering japan and we're expecting minus 6 degrees in tokyo and 1 degrees in seoul and as we look towards the south, 31 in mania and the same goes for bangkok with morning fog. now moving on to the americas, it's mostly dry across the west, but very active in the east. a couple of systems are bringing
heavy precipitation as well as thunderstorms in much of northwestern portions of the u.s. and blowing snow conditions from the east and canada all the way down to the central plains. and the eastern carolinas continue to see a threat of severe weather throughout tonight, severe thunderstorms, large hail, damaging winds, and even tornados here. as those systems push on to the east, many of the great lakes and the north eastern states will start to see a wintery mix in the next 24 hours. back behind the storms, things will get drier. however, very cold winds are blowing, so that will push down performs. we're expecting minus 17 degrees in winnipeg for thursday's high and minus 2 in chicago and 3 in oklahoma city, but the eastern seaboard is still on the warmer side. 6 degrees in new york and 13 degrees in washington, d.c. all right, i will leave you now