Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Putin in Beijing for state visit and regional summit
Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) starts a three-day state visit to China, including his attendance at the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation's summit in Beijing tomorrow and Thursday. Beijing's ambassador to Moscow, Li Hui, said Putin's visit would boost the co-ordination of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has said Putin was unlikely to reach an agreement, long awaited by Beijing, on natural gas supplies and prices during his trip.
Asia's top computer fair opens its doors
Computex, Asia's largest trade fair for the information and communications technology industry, opens in Taipei, offering the computer industry a forum for touting its wares before the typical increase in second-half demand. The five-day event, held by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and the Taipei Computer Association, is now in its 32nd edition. Organisers expect more than 120,000 visitors, drawn by exhibitors including Hon Hai, AMD, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Realtek Semiconductor, Sanyo Denki, SanDisk, and Samsung. The conference is expected to reveal fresh challenges to Apple's iPad, with Bloomberg reporting that Acer, Toshiba and Asustek will unveil tablets running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.
Here comes the sun, with Venus in tow
It's time to get out your welding goggles to view the transit of Venus, when the planet passes across the face of the sun tomorrow morning. Weather permitting, those of us in eastern Asia will have some of the best views, with the transit starting at 6.12am (Hong Kong time), about half an hour after sunrise. It will end more than six hours later, according to the Hong Kong Observatory, which is forecasting partly cloudy and sunny weather. The last time a transit of Venus occurred was in June 2004 (above) but if you miss it today, you will have to wait until 2117 for its next appearance.
Singapore hosts Islamic banking conference
The Monetary Authority of Singapore hosts the World Islamic Banking Conference's annual Asia summit, or WIBC Asia 2012. Islamic finance, which offers ways of accommodating a religious ban on charging interest, is a business from which Hong Kong has been hoping to benefit, with Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah proposing in late 2007 that the city become a centre for Islamic finance. Tax amendments aimed at encouraging Hong Kong firms to issue Islamic bonds were released for consultation in March but have yet to be passed into law.
St John's gives thanks for queen's jubilee
St John's Cathedral in Central holds a thanksgiving service for Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee. Although Britain's Elizabeth II was, at one time or another, queen of countries from Australia to Tuvalu, the name 'Hong Kong' seems never to have been used in her official titles. However, her post-colonial presence lives on in the city, if only, for example, in the name of a hospital, two schools, a stadium, a horse race, post boxes not yet replaced by Hongkong Post and coins minted before 1993.