Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
City's sporting future on Legco agenda
On the heels of revelations that a host of sports facility construction projects costing HK$33 billion are either under way or about to start, the Legislative Council panel on home affairs meets to discuss and plot the way forward for sport in the city. Among the topics for discussion are sports for all, community activities, sports venue construction and funding.
Licence decisions have jockeys on edge
Hong Kong's jockeys have another month to go to complete the current season but their nerves will be tighter today awaiting the announcement of riding licences for next season. The Jockey Club's licensing committee is likely to make some changes to the line-up for the 2011-12 season that starts in September. Several of the expatriate jockeys know it is a close call whether they will be in or out, and if they are out for next season it will probably have an effect on demand for their services for the remainder of this one.
China, Russia lay ground for gas pipeline
Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping and the Russian ambassador to China Sergey Razov are scheduled to hold a press briefing today. Media speculate both sides may announce a gas pipeline deal, ahead of President Hu Jintao's visit to Russia next week. Russia and China are, respectively, the world's leading exporter and consumer of energy. Cheng said on Tuesday he was confident that both sides would achieve a major breakthrough in co-operating over natural gas.
Health Ministry reviews rural medical care
The Ministry of Health will be talking about rural medical care today. A lack of qualified medical practitioners serving in China's rural areas has been a major problem, with some medical experts estimating that only 1.4 per cent of medical staff serving in rural counties and township clinics have university degrees.
Prince Philip's 90th just another day at the office
Prince Philip, the husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, turns 90 but will mark the occasion with little fanfare, in keeping with his famously no-nonsense style. The longest-serving consort in British history would have been forgiven a day off to celebrate, but the gruff patriarch did not want a fuss and will spend the day at work, hosting a reception and a colonels' conference.
Security Council takes up N Korea sanctions
The UN Security Council will renew the mandate of the panel of experts monitoring the application of sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear programme - assuming the council can get the consent of Beijing, which has been increasingly critical of the panel. Kim Jong-il's regime fuelled regional security fears in November by disclosing a uranium enrichment plant, which could give it a second way to make atomic bombs. Pyongyang says it is willing in principle to restart the six-party forum on ending the nuclear programme in return for diplomatic and economic benefits. But it has not said whether it is willing to discuss its atomic programme with the South.