Talking points | South China Morning Post
  • Thu
  • Jan 29, 2015
  • Updated: 8:42am

Talking points

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 June, 2011, 12:00am
 

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

Weather a hot and wet topic on the mainland

The China Meteorological Administration will hold a press conference today. China has seen extraordinary weather in the past two months - from drought that hit several provinces to floods that inundated large parts of the country. Pressure is mounting on how to improve weather alerts and how to cope with the extreme weather.

Chinese social security law primed to dip into wages

China's Social Security Law will take effect tomorrow. While the new law provides improvement in the domestic social security system, its coverage also extends to Hong Kong citizens and foreign nationals working on the mainland, making them pay up to 22 per cent of their wages into the social security fund.

William and Catherine take on first royal role

Travelling by land, frigate and seaplane, Prince William and Catherine's first official foreign trip will be both casual and action-packed with military displays, a cooking class, aboriginal games and a rodeo. The nine-day tour of Canada will also mark the first real test for the newest member of Britain's royal family, a sort of initiation for the Duchess of Cambridge, as well as being joint training for the future king and queen of England. The young couple, is expected to arrive in Ottawa to start the tour.

Britons protest against austerity measures

Hundreds of thousands of British teachers and civil servants will strike over pension reform today in the most serious challenge to the coalition government's austerity drive. Thousands of schools will close as teachers skip classes and travellers will face delays at ports and airports as immigration officials join the protest. Public sector workers in Britain are already facing a pay freeze and more than 300,000 job cuts as the Conservative-led coalition seeks to virtually wipe out by 2015 a budget deficit that peaked at more than 10 per cent of national output. Pension reform has proved to be the final straw for some workers.

Defence Secretary Gates calls it a day

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who oversaw attempts to salvage troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, retires after a stint that won him praise across the political spectrum. The 67-year-old Washington insider rose through the ranks of the CIA during the Cold War to become the spy agency's director before returning to government to take over as defence chief at a fraught moment in the Iraq conflict. After a career that spanned eight presidents, Gates hands over to Leon Panetta, the outgoing CIA director.

US figures to shed light on economic direction

US jobless claims figures due out later today may provide a clue as to whether last month's rise in unemployment to 9.1 per cent was a blip or if it signalled that the world's largest economy was still struggling to recover. Policymakers at the US Federal Reserve raised their forecast for unemployment, predicting it would average 8.6 per cent to 8.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of this year, up from an earlier prediction of 8.4 per cent to 8.7 per cent in April.

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