Hong Kong Sevens

Talking points

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 February, 2012, 12:00am


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

Building inspectors to call on Kowloon Tong

Inspectors from the Buildings Department will visit 5A and 7 York Road in Kowloon Tong, which are owned by chief executive hopeful Henry Tang Ying-yen and his wife, Lisa Kuo Yu-chin (both pictured), after officials were refused entry on Tuesday. The controversy over whether Tang has flouted building regulations is gathering steam after a Chinese-language newspaper yesterday published a sketch of Tang's 2,400 sq ft 'underground palace' with gym, theatre and wine tasting area underneath 7 York Road.

UN assembly to vote on Syrian resolution

The UN General Assembly will vote on a resolution calling on Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to put a stop to deadly attacks on civilians. A draft of the resolution drawn up by Saudi Arabia and Qatar also expresses support for the Arab League's plan to end the 11-month crackdown in Syria and calls for the naming of a UN special envoy. The move comes after Russia and China vetoed a second Security Council resolution on the Syrian crisis on February 4, saying it was unbalanced. Russia and China are expected to oppose the new text but no one can veto resolutions in the 193-nation General Assembly, though they carry less weight.

FCC to host talk on Europe-Asia trade

European Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht (pictured) will give a talk at the Foreign Correspondents' Club on 'Europe and Asia: Where Next on Trade Policy?' Former lawyer and foreign minister for Belgium de Gucht will share his views on the 'atmosphere of anxiety [that] looms over the world economy. Developed countries fear competition from emerging economies. Europe's budgetary situation spreads uncertainty across the world. Stuttering growth and high levels of unemployment fan the risk of protectionism.'

Job cuts expected as Qantas unveils results

Qantas unveils half-year results, amid expectations that the embattled airline will announce job cuts. Qantas has been struggling to streamline operations in the teeth of union opposition, leading to the shock grounding of its fleet last year, stranding 70,000 passengers worldwide, including thousands in Hong Kong. From next month, it plans to end the Hong Kong-London leg of its Melbourne-Hong Kong-London route, citing tough competition.

Beijing mayor to lead visit to Taiwan

Beijing mayor Guo Jinlong (pictured) will start a five-day visit to Taiwan, leading a 500-member delegation that includes his city's officials and cultural representatives. Guo will meet Lian Chan, honorary chairman of the Kuomintang, Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin and Taichung mayor Jason Hu. Guo will focus on cultural exchanges.

Teams to be drawn for Hong Kong Sevens

For the first time, the Hong Kong Sevens draw will split the competition into two - one for the 12 core teams in the Sevens World Series (such as New Zealand, Fiji and England), and the other for the remaining 12 teams (such as Hong Kong, Canada and Tonga) - after the International Rugby Board restructured the event to give 'minnows' the chance to win promotion to core-team status. The 12 teams in each competition will be further split into three pools of four at the draw, to be held in The Rotunda, Exchange Square. The top two from each pool, plus the best two third-place finishers, will qualify for the quarter-finals in each contest, to be held from March 23-25.