Talking points

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 November, 2011, 12:00am


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

Freddie still a champion, 20 years on

Freddie Mercury, the larger-than-life frontman of Queen, died 20 years ago today but his star has only burned brighter in the two decades since. The British rock group, marking their 40th anniversary this year, are among the world's biggest-selling artists - with most of their sales coming in the years since Mercury's death. Among the reasons is the arrival of a new generation of artists citing Queen among their influences, including Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, Foo Fighters and Muse. Mercury had been living with HIV for several years and died at the age of 45 of Aids-related pneumonia.

Abbas and Hamas in bid to revive reconciliation

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal meet in Cairo in a bid to cement a reconciliation deal stalled for more than six months. Fatah and Hamas, which respectively control the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed a surprise agreement in May to end their long-standing bitter rivalry, but it has yet to be implemented. It calls for the immediate formation of an interim government to pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections within a year. But the two sides have so far failed to agree on the composition of the caretaker government and, in particular, who will head it.

Heavy hitters to meet Italy's new PM

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (pictured) will meet German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the euro-zone crisis. The meeting is part of the new Italian leader's whirlwind first week, which began with a phone conversation with US President Barack Obama and a cabinet meeting during which he pledged speedy new measures to combat the country's debt crisis. Monti is under enormous pressure to boost Italy's stagnant growth and bring down debt which, at 120 per cent of GDP, is among the highest in the euro zone.

Question time for would-be bureaucrats

China holds the nationwide examination for civil servant recruitment on Sunday. Last December, more than 1.4 million people applied to sit the central government's civil service entrance examinations, down slightly from the previous year but still a staggering enough number to prompt questions about the nation's obsession with the so-called iron rice bowl, or a job for life. Candidates who pass the written test will be interviewed.

Last spin for legendary Mazda engine

The final version of Mazda's rotary-engined RX-8 will go on sale, targeting sales of 1,000 vehicles. The Japanese carmaker is to stop producing rotary-engined cars after a 45-year production run that included powering the first and only Japanese car to win the 24-hour Le Mans endurance race.

Language teacher's wife to discuss abuse

Kim Lee, the wife of Li Yang, founder of the Crazy English language schools, will speak at a forum against domestic violence in Beijing tomorrow to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Lee has suffered from domestic violence for years and the scandal was exposed only after she posted photos of her bruises online (left). She has since filed for divorce.