Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Industry code meant to help telecom customers
The Office of the Telecommunications Authority will announce today the implementation details of a code of practice for the telecommunications industry to improve consumer protection. The code includes the requirement that operators list clearly all the charges and terms in terminating contracts. Issued by the Communications Association of Hong Kong, the code also allows a cooling-off period for customers who have signed contracts during promotional visits to their homes, during which they may cancel the contract without penalty. Since 2006 complaints about telecoms services have topped the list of reports received by the Consumer Council. In 2008 a total of 9,759 complaints were received, even surpassing the 9,300 related to the Lehman Brothers minibond saga. The council received 9,054 complaints about telecoms companies last year.
Mainland academy reports on new media
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is issuing its annual report today on the development of new media on the mainland. The number of microblog users on the mainland topped 230 million as of May, state media reported - a 'cultural phenomenon', the US magazine Fast Company said, that is 'taking China by storm'.
Coal trade fair opens in Dalian
The city of Dalian is hosting the Northeast Asia Coal Trade Fair today and tomorrow. Industry players will discuss issues ranging from power plants' fuel to coke supplies. China last week announced new export controls on coke in defiance of a recent World Trade Organisation ruling that it was breaching global trade rules on raw materials shipments.
WikiLeaks' Assange starts appeal against extradition
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will start his appeal against a British court ruling that he be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of rape. The 40-year-old Australian will take his legal battle to the High Court in London for a two-day hearing, in the hope of reversing the February ruling. A judge rejected arguments by Assange's defence team that he would face an unfair trial in Sweden that would breach his human rights. Assange was arrested in December after two Swedish women accused him of sexual assault, allegations that he denies, as his whistle-blowing website was in the process of releasing a huge cache of leaked US diplomatic cables.
Private service for an admired first lady
A private memorial for former first lady Betty Ford will be held in Palm Desert, California, with a eulogy to be delivered by former first lady Rosalynn Carter, before her remains are flown to Michigan and buried beside her husband. Ford, 93, died of natural causes on Friday afternoon, surrounded by family members. Her husband, former President Gerald Ford, died in December 2006.
HSBC to unveil quarterly update
With economies in Europe and the US sending mixed signals, HSBC is set to unveil its latest quarterly economic update for China. Its chief economist for China, Qu Hongbin, will give the details at a media briefing today.