Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Land auction could break city records
The government will auction two pieces of land today, including the Borrett Road luxury residential site in Mid-Levels that is likely to set a record land price for the city. Surveyors expect the 1.05-hectare site to fetch between HK$12 billion and HK$15 billion - or HK$27,500 and HK$34,500 per square foot. This is one of the few large development sites in the Mid-Levels area still available for sale. The other is the 65,401sq ft lot at Ping Kwai Road, Ping Shan, Yuen Long, valued at between HK$181 million and HK$300 million.
Lagarde seeks Beijing backing for IMF post
Christine Lagarde is holding a press briefing today in Beijing, wrapping up her two-day lobbying trip on the mainland in a bid to become the International Monetary Fund's next managing director. Lagarde failed to secure public endorsement from India. Beijing earlier said the IMF's management should be chosen on the basis of 'impartiality' and 'merit,' and that developing nations should be represented. It is yet to be seen if Beijing will give any open blessing to Lagarde.
Anti-Gaddafi coalition meets in Abu Dhabi
The NATO-backed coalition against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is meeting in Abu Dhabi to accelerate the campaign to end his rule. The talks come after US President Barack Obama said NATO's mission in Libya was forging 'inexorable' advances that meant it was only a matter of time before the defiant Gaddafi was forced to depart.
Independents raise hands for local congress polls
Most county and township level People's Congresses across the mainland will hold re-elections next month and in recent days, a growing corps of independent candidates has emerged and declared campaigns via the internet and micro-blogs. Analysts estimate that 900 million voters are eligible to vote for their county congress deputies. Some provinces have pledged to reduce the proportion of officials who can serve in congress.
Three more visitors for international space station
The Russian Soyuz spacecraft is scheduled to link up with the International Space Station. The spacecraft carrying American Mike Fossum, Russian Sergei Volkov and Satoshi Furukawa of Japan was launched on Tuesday from Kazakhstan. The trio will join Russians Alexander Samokutyaev and Andrey Borisenko and American Ronald Garan aboard the ISS where they will spend the next six months. Fossum is a veteran of two shuttle flights while Volkov has already had one stint aboard the ISS in 2008. Furukawa is making his first space flight. The launch comes just a month before NASA is scheduled to launch the space shuttle for the last time before it is taken out of service.
Japan stats likely to show shrinking GDP
Gross domestic product figures from Japan due out later today are expected to show that the world's third-biggest economy shrank by an annualised 3.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2011, worse than the 1.3 per cent contraction in the previous quarter.