Talking points

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 July, 2012, 12:00am


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

Legco finance panel debates restructuring motions

Legco's finance committee, chaired by Democrat Emily Lau Wai-hing (pictured), continues to debate whether to allow pan-democrats to table, one by one, hundreds of motions on the government's funding request for its restructuring plan. Requests to move more than a dozen motions were vetoed at last Friday's meeting, but at least 120 more motions are expected. Only after all motions have been dealt with can lawmakers vote on the funding request. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's revamp plan also requires the approval of the full council.

Russia and China shun 'Friends of Syria' talks

The French government hosts a 'Friends of Syria' conference after UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan said a ceasefire was imperative. The meeting, attended by 50 Arab and western states, is aimed at co-ordinating Western and Arab efforts to stop the violence. Russia, a key Damascus ally, said it would stay away from the meeting after accusing the West of meddling. A foreign ministry spokesman in Beijing said China would also not attend. The organisers say the meeting's aim is to support the opposition and prevent the civil war spreading to neighbouring countries.

Leaders meet in Tokyo for Afghan conference

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde (pictured) arrives in Tokyo for a two-day visit and will meet Japan's Finance Minister Jun Azumi. Tomorrow, she will take part in a donor conference on Afghanistan's reconstruction, which will also be attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, plus officials from about 70 countries and international organisations. A 'Tokyo Declaration' is expected to pledge US$15 billion in aid for Afghanistan.

Marco Polo Bridge touches a nerve, 75 years on

Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. The clash between Japanese and Chinese soldiers on the outskirts of Beijing, also known as the July 7 or Lugouqiao Incident, marked the beginning of the second Sino-Japanese war (1937-45). Although some small-scale official commemorations may be allowed, the mainland is expected to play down the anniversary as the government worries that protests may escalate.

Murder verdict due for Red Army terrorist

A Stuttgart court is expected to give its verdict in the murder trial of Verena Becker (pictured), a former member of the Red Army Faction and once considered one of Germany's most dangerous terrorists. Becker has been accused of complicity in the 1977 murder of German prosecutor Siegfried Buback, who was investigating the far-left militant group and was one of 34 people killed in its 28-year terror campaign. Becker, 59, was convicted of being a member of the Faction in 1977 and jailed for life, but pardoned in 1989.

US employment data to show jobs slowdown

Employment data from the United States is expected to show the rate of job creation is slowing in the world's biggest economy, with the jobless rate expected to remain at 8.2 per cent in June. After a strong start to the year, job creation slowed sharply, pointing to a faltering economic recovery.