Talking points

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 March, 2012, 12:00am


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

Hong Kong's new cardinal meets the press

Cardinal John Tong Hon (left), the head of the Hong Kong diocese of the Catholic Church, meets the city's media at a briefing at the Catholic Diocese Centre. Tong became the church's seventh Chinese cardinal and Hong Kong's third after the late John Baptist Wu Cheng-chung and Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, following his installation in the Vatican's College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict on February 18. A thanksgiving mass celebrating Tong's elevation will be held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Caine Road tomorrow.

Construction starts on US$24b Kenyan port

Work starts on rebuilding Kenya's ancient port of Lamu, to enable exports of oil from South Sudan and to provide Ethiopia with access to the sea. Both countries are landlocked by unfriendly neighbours. The ceremonial start of construction work will be attended by leaders of Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia. While the old port was only used by sailing dhows, the new one will be big enough to accommodate 32 supertankers being fed from a pipeline flowing with oil from South Sudan, much of it destined for China, a big investor in the fields of both Sudan and South Sudan. Locals on the Kenyan coast fear the new development will destroy their way of life. The project will cost more than US$24 billion and will be completed by 2030.

Hardliners get a grip on Iranian poll

Iran holds elections for its legislature, the first national polls since the disputed 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which triggered eight months of violent protests. With leading reformist groups staying away from the vote, the contest will see the hardline backers of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, hoping to capitalise on widespread economic discontent to defeat Ahmadinejad's allies.

Minister to talk on mainland's new air standards

The Vice-Minister for Environmental Protection, Wu Xiaoqing, gives a media briefing in Beijing about the central government's new air quality standards. A State Council meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday endorsed a new set of standards, which includes a benchmark for PM2.5, a category of extremely fine particles that can penetrate deeply into the lungs. The new standards are the result of public pressure.

Official previews annual session of CPPCC

The spokesman for the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Zhao Qizheng, gives a media conference in the Great Hall of the People on the coming annual session, which opens tomorrow.

Peace envoy Annan on the road to Damascus

Kofi Annan (left), the former United Nations secretary general appointed as the international envoy on the Syrian crisis, heads for the Middle East to meet the head of the Arab League, Nabil el-Arabi, in Cairo. Annan may also hold talks with other regional players before heading to Damascus. President Bashar al-Assad's government has said it needs more information on the goal of Annan's mission before it will allow him into Syria.