Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Tsang gives last policy address as chief executive
Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen delivers his last policy address before he retires next year. Housing and the property market are expected to take up major parts of the address, which will define his political legacy. His leadership has been much criticised for failing to tackle the widening wealth gap and for unaffordable housing prices.
Australian Parliament expected to pass carbon tax
Australia's biggest business groups made a last-ditch plea for the government to recast a controversial carbon tax set to pass Parliament today, and which beleaguered Prime Minister Julia Gillard hopes will boost her fortunes. The minority government is expected to see carbon laws approved by Parliament's lower house, after a decade of debate and two previous defeats by lawmakers, then go through the upper house with the backing of Green allies. The laws will force about 500 big polluters to pay for carbon emissions through a carbon tax of A$23 (HK$175) a tonne from July next year.
Minister focuses on mainland's water shortage
Deputy water resources minister Jiao Yong speaks on the nation's water resources and related five-year planning. Water is an increasingly scarce commodity in mainland cities, including the capital. Beijing has only 100 cubic metres of water available per person - just 10 per cent of the international standard - according to Xinhua, and local authorities have to divert water from reservoirs in nearby Hebei and Shanxi provinces, and promote the use of recycled water to keep the taps running.
Putin meets Hu after deals worth US$7b signed
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (pictured with Premier Wen Jiabao ) continues his two-day visit in Beijing, meeting President Hu Jintao and National People's Congress chairman Wu Bangguo. Chinese and Russian officials signed deals worth US$7 billion yesterday. The Foreign Ministry said the pacts were 'in the fields of technology transfer, research and development and mineral development', but gave no details. Observers say Putin may lay out his foreign policy priorities for years to come during the trip. Despite warming ties, the two countries have struggled to increase trade and agree on sales of Russian gas to fuel China's booming economy.
Rio throws 80th birthday bash for statue
Brazilians celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio de Janeiro from Corcovado Mountain. The figure of Christ with outstretched arms, the largest art deco statue in the world, was inaugurated on October 12, 1931. Its anniversary will be celebrated with concerts, exhibitions, religious services and social events.