Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Beijing plays diplomatic card with top delegate
Defence Minister Liang Guanglie will for the first time join hundreds of military officials, diplomats, spies and arms dealers at the informal Shangri-la Dialogue on security issues this weekend in Singapore. The People's Liberation Army has traditionally sent a relatively low-level delegation to the annual event. Liang's appearance is a further sign of intensifying military diplomacy by Beijing after a tough year in the region.
Environmental ministry meets the press
China's vice-minister of environmental protection is to hold a press conference today. The ministry vowed to stop approval of environmental assessment studies in any city with major pollution problems. But how effective the measure will be remains uncertain. The ministry recently ordered a rail service halted between Qingdao and Jinan due to lack of environmental approval, but trains are still running.
Curtain rises on Chinese Opera Festival
The second Chinese Opera Festival opens in Hong Kong today and will bring to the city some of the most respected opera troupes from around China. Organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the festival opens at the Cultural Centre's Grand Theatre, and runs until July 24 at various venues.
MGM China starts trade in Hong Kong
Investors who rolled the dice on casino operator MGM China will find out today if they placed a good bet when the company's shares trade for the first time on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The newly issued shares cost HK$15.34, the top end of the initial price range.
Mladic to face UN judges on genocide charges
Former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic is to appear before UN judges after spending the past 16 years on the run. A judge will ask Europe's most wanted man to confirm his identity and give him the chance to enter pleas to the 11 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Mladic, 69, may decline to enter pleas, delaying a formal response by up to a month.
Tennis aces set sights on French Open
The four best players in the world have plenty to play for in the men's semi-finals at the French Open today, with five-time champion Rafael Nadal playing Andy Murray and Roger Federer up against Novak Djokovic. Nadal is trying to equal Bjorn Borg's record of six French Open titles, while Murray will be looking for his first grand slam championship after three runner-up finishes. Federer is hoping to become a double grand slam winner and add to his record 16 major titles. But Djokovic, with a 41-0 record in 2011 and a 43-match winning streak, may have the most on the line. He can take over the number one ranking from Nadal by beating Federer.