Talking points

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 December, 2011, 12:00am


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

Physicists poised to unveil the 'God Particle'

Physicists are bracing for news that the most sought-after fundamental particle of modern times has been glimpsed at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva. Team leaders at the Cern European physics laboratory spearheading the hunt for the Higgs boson, also dubbed the 'God Particle', will unveil their findings at a special seminar today. They will describe progress in the search for the missing particle, sought since its existence was predicted in 1964 from equations drawn up by Peter Higgs (pictured) at Edinburgh University. The Higgs boson is the last remaining piece of the Standard Model, a set of mathematical rules that describe how all the known particles in nature interact with one another.

Computer animators to enliven convention centre

Movers and shakers in the computer graphics and interactive technologies industry - including the minds behind the graphics for Harry Potter and Kung Fu Panda - are in town this week for a conference at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. The fourth ACM SIGGRAPH Asia Conference will showcase robots, the latest in virtual and augmented reality and wearable art. Some 7,000 participants from 45 countries are expected. Pixar, Lucasfilm, Green Forest Animation, Disney and Dreamworks will be joined at the three-day event by fledgling graduate school designers.
Power firms to report on tariffs

CLP Power and Hongkong Electric will release tariff adjustment details for next year. Talks between the Environment Bureau and the two firms on charges have been clouded with pessimism. CLP Power has said fuel costs and spending on generation and transmission investment will drive up rates, but environment secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah vowed to scrutinise any proposed rise. This year, the firms raised tariffs by about 2.8 per cent.

Policy for columbariums unveiled

The Food and Health Bureau will release a public consultation document on a proposed licensing scheme for private columbariums, which are used to store funerary urns. Officials will unveil details of the document to lawmakers today. It will focus on how to deal with at least 65 private columbariums found in breach of planning and land-lease rules, and whether exemption should be given to religious bodies operating urn niches.

Cross-strait forum to discuss pharmaceuticals

Vice-Health Minister Huang Jiefu and Deputy Commissioner of the State Food and Drug Administration Wu Zhen will attend the first cross-strait conference on development and co-operation in the pharmaceutical industry. Taiwan's Health Department said both sides would discuss setting up a fast-track approval system for new medicines and clinical trials.

Ailing Khmer Rouge accused may go free

Cambodia's Khmer Rouge tribunal will announce whether Ieng Thirith (pictured), the UN-backed court's only female suspect to face genocide charges, will be released from detention. The former social affairs minister, 79, who is married to former foreign minister Ieng Sary and was Pol Pot's sister-in-law, was recently ruled unfit to stand trial due to dementia.