Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Macau court to rule on Ao's corruption charges
Macau's Court of Final Appeal will hand down its verdict on corruption charges against Ao Man-long (pictured), the city's former chief of public works now serving 28 1/2 years in jail for similar offences. Ao denied receiving HK$20 million from Hong Kong tycoons Joseph Lau Luen-hung and Steven Lo Kit-sing for the acquisition of land on which the HK$20 billion La Scala luxury residential project is being built. A guilty verdict for Ao may lead to the forfeiture of the property, opposite Macau's airport. Lau and Lo have been charged with bribery and money laundering in connection with the case.
Ireland to vote on Europe's fiscal pact
Irish voters are expected to approve the European fiscal compact in a referendum in what is likely to be the only popular vote on the German-inspired pact for stricter budget discipline. Ireland's Finance Minister Michael Noonan warned earlier this year his country's budget for 2013 would be 'dramatically more difficult' if voters rejected the compact, which has been signed by the leaders of all EU members except Britain and the Czech Republic. The pact is to take effect once 12 out of 27 countries have ratified it.
Blind activist Chen to discuss his options
Dissident blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng (pictured), who escaped from house arrest in Shandong province and arrived in New York just over a week ago, will give a talk at the Council on Foreign Relations on 'What's Next for Chen Guangcheng?' The New York Times yesterday published an opinion article by Chen, in which he wrote that 'the fundamental question the Chinese government must face is lawlessness. China does not lack laws, but the rule of law.'
Auditor to report on officials' travel bills
Audit Commission director Benjamin Tang Kwok-bun will submit a report to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen on whether Hong Kong's leader should stay in luxury hotel suites when abroad. The report is also expected to advise the government on how arrangements for senior officials travelling abroad should be approved. Tsang invited the commission to review current procedures after it was reported that he had incurred a bill of US$6,900 for a one-night stay in a hotel in Brasilia, the Brazilian capital.
Law Society's new leaders meet the media
The new president of the Law Society, Dieter Yih, along with vice-presidents Ambrose Lam and Stephen Hung, will hold a media briefing following the annual reshuffle last week. The new leaders are expected to express their opinions on pressing legal issues, including the right of abode for mainland babies and, possibly, the widely tipped appointment of barrister Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung (pictured) as the new secretary for justice.
Thousand flock to 'Woodstock of the Mind'
The Hay Festival starts today in Hay-on-Wye, a town on the Wales-Engand border known for its bookshops. Billed as the 'Woodstock of the Mind' by former US president Bill Clinton in a reference to the 1969 concert, the 10-day festival is expected to draw thousands of visitors eager to see writers including Ian McEwan, Doris Lessing, Orhan Pamuk, Hilary Mantel, Salman Rushdie, Stephen Fry and Jung Chang.