Barack Obama

Talking points

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 June, 2011, 12:00am


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

WikiLeaks solicitor speaks out on free speech

Mark Stephens, solicitor for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and a champion of freedom of speech, will be in town delivering the keynote address for the Society of Publishers in Asia Awards for Editorial Excellence tonight. He will follow that up with a public lecture at the University of Hong Kong tomorrow, discussing the media and policy environment in the wake of WikiLeaks. The big question may be where does China - with its recent rebuke of Google's hacking accusations, and ever-present Great Firewall - fit into the trail of free speech Stephens would like to see spread across Asia.

National land zoning to mark development areas

Xu Xianping, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, will hold a press conference today on national land zoning. Beijing is hoping to prioritise land for development depending on an area's population, resources and current economic development. Some places will become priority areas for property or industrial development. But in areas unsuitable for further development, especially in ecologically vulnerable areas, new projects will be banned.

Nerves on edge as Chinese students sit exams

More than 9 million candidates are sitting the three-day national university entrance examinations that began yesterday. Due to the one-child policy, most parents' hopes are riding on their only child, making these three days nerve-wracking not only for many students, but for the parents, too.

Obama, Karzai to discuss troop reduction

President Barack Obama will hold a video conference with his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, as the US administration considers a calendar to pull out troops. It comes a little more than a month after American commandos killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at his hideout deep in Pakistan. The killing fuelled calls for a major withdrawal when Obama acts on a vow to begin pulling out troops in July, a promise he made in December 2009 before deploying a 'surge' of 30,000 extra personnel to Afghanistan.

Opec meeting likely to keep oil production steady

The oil producers' cartel is expected to keep production levels unchanged when it meets in Vienna later today, despite calls for it to help global economic recovery by boosting oil supplies to push prices convincingly below US$100 a barrel.

Yoga here for a stretch at convention centre

The annual Evolution Asia Yoga Conference opens today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, showcasing more than 60 styles of yoga. The conference runs until Monday and is open to the public, with sessions running from 6.30am to 9pm. Practitioners from around the world will be hosting 200 sessions, with a limited number free of charge.