Talking points

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 February, 2012, 12:00am

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

Xi Jinping begins two-day visit to Turkey

Vice-President Xi Jinping arrives in Turkey for a two-day visit, the last leg of the 10-day overseas trip on which he has already visited the United States and Ireland. Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and China. This year has been designated in Turkey as the Year of Chinese Culture, and next year China will mark the Year of Turkish Culture. China is Turkey's third-largest trading partner.

Legco panel discusses proposed stalking law

The Legislative Council's constitutional affairs panel discusses stalking legislation, the subject of a three-month consultation that ends on March 12. Stalkers would face up to two years' jail and fines of up to HK$100,000 under the law. Media have expressed concern about its impact on news-gathering. Some 22 groups and individuals will attend the meeting to voice their views.

Chinese academy issues report card on rule of law

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences issues its 'blue book', or annual report, on China's rule of law. A finding last year was that administrative transparency was one of the government's biggest 'shortcomings' and needed immediate improvement; 51 out of 59 government administrations under the State Council and more than two-thirds of 43 selected city governments failed to pass an administrative transparency evaluation.

Brussels meeting votes on Greek rescue package

After months of often acrimonious negotiations, Greek hopes are rising that today's meeting in Brussels will endorse the rescue Athens needs to avoid bankruptcy on March 20 when major debt repayments fall due. The Greek cabinet approved on Saturday a final set of austerity measures sought by the European Union and International Monetary Fund as a condition for the Euro130 billion (HK$1.3 trillion) rescue package, raising the chances of a deal next week to avert a chaotic default. The approval was largely a formality after Athens last week unveiled details of the extra budget and public sector wage cuts worth Euro325 million. Lingering doubts about whether Greece can cut its mountain of debt to a manageable level in coming years could still hold up the rescue package. Some officials in the 17-nation currency union warn that chances of a deal at a euro-zone meeting today are little better than 50-50.

US marks 50th anniversary of its first manned orbit

The United States marks the 50th anniversary of its first manned space flight around the earth. But the landmark is bittersweet - the first nation to land people on the moon now depends on Russia for its manned space flights. At 9.47am on February 20, 1962, on the eleventh attempt, John Glenn took off from Cape Canaveral aboard an Atlas rocket (left) to make three orbits in just under five hours. The flight followed by nearly a year the first manned trip into space by the Soviet Union's Yuri Gagarin. Nasa is depending on private enterprise to develop systems to replace the space shuttle programme. Glenn, 90, who served as a Democratic senator from 1974 until 1999, says the George W. Bush administration sacrificed US space ambitions by cutting Nasa's funding.

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