Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Beijing envoy to attend African Union summit
Jia Qinglin , head of Beijing's top political advisory body, will attend the 18th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa to inaugurate the union's new headquarters. Jia will be the most senior official from Beijing to attend the summit. The building (pictured), which reportedly cost US$200 million, was entirely funded by the Chinese government and is the tallest building in the Ethiopian capital. The Foreign Ministry said Jia would also hold talks with Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the president of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea and current holder of the union's rotating presidency.
HSBC staff plan sick-day protest, union says
Some HSBC staff are planning to phone in sick en masse in protest at the bank's lay-off plans, according to the chairman of the Hong Kong and Kowloon Trades Union Council, Lee Kwok-keung. Lee said the union had heard some employees were planning the protest but did not know how many. Late last year the bank, which employs about 30,000 people, said it would axe about 10 per cent of its local workforce by the end of 2013.
Thai prime minister to discuss trade in India
Thailand's prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra (pictured), will meet her Indian counterpart, Dr Manmohan Singh. Yingluck, who arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday for a visit timed to coincide with India's Republic Day celebrations, will discuss the completion of a Thai-Indian Free Trade Agreement this year and the establishment of regional co-operation through culture, religion, education and tourism, the foreign ministry in Bangkok said before her departure.
Sai Kung welcomes year of the dragon
Dragon, lion and unicorn dances will be performed outside the Tin Hau Temple in Sai Kung. The event, sponsored by Sai Kung District Council and organised by the Sai Kung Rural Committee and community groups, is part of their HK$200,000 cultural activities to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.
US defence chief to announce budget cut
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to outline a 5 per cent cut in the defence budget - the first since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The details will not be formally released until President Barack Obama unveils his budget next month, but some details have begun to emerge. Officials say the cuts will end the US Air Force's long-range surveillance drone known as the Global Hawk, but keep the US Navy's version of the unmanned aircraft. The cuts exclude operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Karzai in Paris as France reviews Afghan mission
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (pictured) will visit France tomorrow to sign a co-operation treaty, as French officials travel to Afghanistan to assist in an investigation into an attack by a 21-year-old Afghan soldier who turned on French soldiers in eastern Afghanistan and killed four of them, apparently in anger at a video purporting to show US marines urinating on the bodies of Taliban insurgents. The attack prompted French President Nicolas Sarkozy to halt training programmes for the Afghan military and threaten to pull French forces out of Afghanistan earlier than planned.