Talking points

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 July, 2011, 12:00am

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

Hong Kong hosts soccer's Premier League

Hong Kong becomes a Premier League playground for the next seven days as Chelsea, Aston Villa and Blackburn parade their stars in the Barclays Asia Trophy, which also includes Hong Kong league champions Kitchee. Blackburn are the first team to arrive today, followed by Aston Villa tomorrow and Chelsea on Monday. Blackburn and Aston Villa open proceedings on Wednesday night at the Hong Kong Stadium, then Kitchee have their 90 minutes of fame against the Premier League runners-up, who have a galaxy of stars in their line-up, including Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, John Terry and Frank Lampard. The winners of the two matches on Wednesday will meet in the final next Saturday, while the two losers will play for third place.

Asean foreign ministers finish Bali talks

Foreign ministers of the Asean Regional Forum - including US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other members of the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear ambitions - wrap up meetings in Indonesia today. Clinton and top diplomats from Europe and Asia are gathering to discuss recent flare-ups in the South China Sea, North Korea's nuclear weapons programme and other issues that threaten to undermine regional security. A US official said Clinton would make a 'very detailed statement' at the regional security summit in Bali about the importance of the South China Sea to American and global commerce.

Social security ministry meets media

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security will hold its quarterly press conference on Monday. Of particular interest will be whether the ministry spells out details of a controversial policy requiring Hong Kong and foreign employees working on the mainland to pay into the mainland's social security fund.

Western regions' economies show rapid growth

China's Northwest University will issue a report today on the economy of western China. The economies of many central and western provinces grew faster than the national average of 9.6 per cent and surpassed some prosperous coastal provinces' growth rates in the first half of the year. For instance, Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan grew by more than 13 per cent in the first six months, while Guangdong grew by 10.1 per cent.

Tension as Sri Lankan cities vote after lull of decades

Sri Lanka's northern cities are holding local elections for the first time in many years, and though the civil war is over, fear and intimidation remain rife, poll monitors and opposition politicians say. In the separatist Tamil Tigers' self-declared capital of Kilinochchi and in Mullaittivu, where they were defeated by government forces in May 2009, voters will elect local councillors for the first time in 29 years. The northern Jaffna district, under military control in the latter half of the 26-year civil war, will be holding its first local government elections in 12 years.