Talking points

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 10:58pm


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

Make-or-break moment looms for Mars mission

Nasa's Curiosity rover, the most advanced robot yet sent to another world, is expected to land on Mars on Monday (as depicted in this artist's impression). The key objective of the two-year mission is to determine whether microbial life ever existed on the Red Planet. The previous existence of life on the planet could be proven by the discovery of indicators of water, sources of energy or sources of carbon. The rover, launched by the Mars Science Laboratory from Florida's Cape Canaveral on November 26, will land in Gale Crater, which scientists believe held water billions of years ago.

Vietnam holds its first gay pride parade

Vietnam's first gay pride parade takes place tomorrow in Hanoi. The country is socially conservative, but the government restricts the kind of politicised religious movements that push back against same-sex marriage in other countries. Gay pride events also seem to pose little threat to the Communist Party. The Justice Ministry has also proposed including same-sex couples in its overhaul of marriage law, which could make it the first country in Asia to allow same-sex couples to marry or legally register and receive rights.

UN human rights envoy tours Myanmar

Following this week's visit to Myanmar by the World Bank's vice-president for East Asia and the Pacific, Pamela Cox, United Nations human rights envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana holds a news conference in Yangon today on his latest mission to the country. News agencies report that the UN special rapporteur on human rights will meet a range of government officials, lawmakers, judicial officials and presidential advisers. Quintana's next report to the General Assembly is due to be submitted in October. Cox announced on Wednesday that the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank had reopened their offices in Yangon.

Final act for Super 15 rugby competition

The Super 15 rugby competition reaches its climax in Hamilton, New Zealand, with the Waikato Chiefs (New Zealand) and the Sharks (South Africa) clashing at Waikato Stadium. The final, which starts at 3.30pm (Hong Kong time), will be refereed by Australia-based referee Steve Walsh, assisted by South African Craig Joubert and New Zealander Keith Brown.

HK$2 fares for the elderly and disabled

The second phase of the HK$2 fare scheme for the disabled and elderly, part of a HK$670 million package announced by Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung (left), starts tomorrow. All people over 65, and those aged 11 to 64 with 100 per cent disability and receiving a disability allowance, are eligible for the fare any day of the week using their Octopus cards on KMB, New World First Bus, Citybus and Long Win Bus services, but not on A routes to the airport nor racecourse routes. The first phase began on the MTR on June 28.

Firm provides free seminars to recruit sleuths

A local firm of private detectives, Global Investigation and Security Consultancy, runs free seminars on the industry today at Central Plaza, Wan Chai, to be followed in a week by a recruitment day to fill 30 positions.