Talking points

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2012, 12:00am
 

Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...

Court hears Ai Weiwei's appeal against tax penalty

Chaoyang District Court in Beijing hears a request filed by dissident artist Ai Weiwei (left) to overturn the 15 million yuan (HK$18.42 million) tax-evasion penalty imposed by the city's tax office on the company that markets his work. The office had rejected his appeal against the penalty imposed on Beijing Fake Cultural Development, which helps produce his art and designs. Ai, 54, was released on June 26 last year after 81 days in detention, and posted a bond against the tax penalty raised from donations by his supporters.

Government tables C.Y.'s restructuring plan in Legco

The government tables in the Legislative Council a resolution for its restructuring plan under which the number of policy bureaus will increase from the present 12 to 14 and create the posts of deputy chief secretary and deputy financial secretary. Under the contingency plan announced by Chief Secretary Stephen Lam Sui-lung yesterday, ministers appointed to the new posts - the deputy chief secretary, deputy financial secretary, and chiefs of the new culture and technology and communications bureaus - will start service five days after Legco's Finance Committee passes the bill next month.

Grandson tells of missionary in Manchuria

Journalist Mark O'Neill discusses his recently published biography, Frederick: The Life of My Missionary Grandfather in Manchuria, at a lunch at the Foreign Correspondents' Club. In 1897, Frederick O'Neill (pictured with wife Annie) went to Liaoning to work as an Irish Presbyterian missionary for the next 45 years, except for a stint with the Chinese Labour Corps in France from 1917 to 1919. The elder O'Neill - 'better than any foreign journalist of the time', according to the FCC - reported on the Boxer rebellion, the overthrow of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), and the 1932 founding of Manchukuo, as Japan called its occupation of Manchuria, which included Liaoning. He was deported by the Japanese in 1942 and died in Belfast in 1952.

Retiring civil service chief bids media farewell

Civil Service Secretary Denise Yue Chung-yee hosts a farewell tea gathering for the media ahead of her retirement from the government at the end of the month. Among notable events during her career, Yue offered a public apology in 2010 for approving former housing chief Leung Chin-man's post-retirement job with New World China Land in 2008. Leung's appointment led to changes in government policy governing the recruitment of civil servants.

Record price expected for Renoir's bathing nude

Christie's auctions off 71 lots of Impressionist and modern art in London, including Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Baigneuse (left), which the firm estimates will fetch between GBP12 million (HK$146 million) and GBP18 million (HK$220 million). Christie's says the painting is being offered for sale 15 years after it was sold in New York for US$20.9 million, the current record price at auction for a nude by Renoir. The sale 'exemplifies the timeless demand for true masterpieces - a trend which continues to be demonstrated in the current market,' says Christie's, which estimates the sale will raise between GBP86.5 million and GBP126.7 million.

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