Wen Jiabao

Talking points

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 June, 2011, 12:00am

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

Legco digs deeper into Godfrey allegations

The Legislative Council's panel on information technology and broadcasting meets today after the release of documents intended to shed new light on a row between ex-civil servant Jeremy Godfrey and the government. He claims pressure was applied in the awarding of a HK$220 million internet learning contract to ensure the pro-establishment Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong gained some 'political advantage'. A raft of top officials are expected to appear before lawmakers.

New electricity regulator will have hands full

Beijing has just appointed Wu Xinxiong chairman of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission. Analysts want to see if the new chairman can revitalise the mainland's electricity sector, which has shown little progress in moving from a state-owned enterprise, upgrading the power grid or research and development and is threatened by a new round of power shortages.

Aide's move a sign of Wen's retirement plans

Premier Wen Jiabao , whose term ends in 2013, may be making preparations for his retirement. Qiu Xiaoxiong, who has been chief secretary to Wen, was yesterday appointed deputy director of the State Administration of Taxation. It is usual practice for senior leaders who are retiring to name key aides to good government positions, and Qiu's appointment may shed light on further reshuffles to come in Wen's office.

Security Council weighs second Ban term

The UN Security Council is expected to make a recommendation to the General Assembly that Ban Ki-moon be appointed for a second five-year term as UN secretary general. Ban, who took office on January 1, 2007, for a five-year term, announced his bid for a second term last week. Ban's current mandate ends on December 31, but diplomats say that with no challenger in sight, the Security Council should quickly approve his second term. The UN General Assembly can then follow up with a formal vote before the end of June.

Bashir faces verdict on terror charges

A Jakarta court is expected to deliver a verdict for firebrand Islamist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir on charges he provided funds to a terrorist group. In court last month prosecutors admitted they lacked evidence to prove the 72-year-old cleric provided firearms and explosives for terrorist acts, which carries the death penalty. Prosecutors alleged Bashir raised at least 350 million rupiah (HK$315,000) and funnelled some to a militant training camp in Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra.

Euro-zone inflation likely to rise slightly

Euro-zone consumer price index data is expected to show prices rose by 2.7 per cent in May, slightly less than the 2.8 per cent rise recorded in April but above the 2 per cent inflation target set by the European Central Bank. The core consumer price index is expected to rise 1.6 per cent, the same as in April. The bank is the only one of the world's four major central banks to have raised interest rates to combat the threat of rising inflation.