Barack Obama

Talking points

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 March, 2012, 12:00am


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

Iran top of agenda for Obama-Netanyahu meeting

US President Barack Obama meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, but peace talks with the Palestinians that dominated their meeting last year will probably barely warrant a mention. The US, Israel and much of the world are trying to figure out how to deal with Iran's nuclear programme. Netanyahu has insisted Israel has the right to self-defence. In an apparent nod to him before the talks, Obama said that if sanctions failed to curb Tehran's ambitions, US military action against its nuclear facilities should not be ruled out.

Events commemorate a soldier's selfless example

Commemorative activities take place across the mainland to mark the 49th anniversary of the day Chairman Mao Zedong coined the phrase 'Learn from Comrade Lei Feng'. Lei, a People's Liberation Army soldier, was turned into a propaganda icon and example of self-sacrifice and devotion to the Communist Party after his accidental death in 1962. The party has launched a major campaign this year to commemorate Lei in an apparent effort to foster such values in society.

Congress provides clues on leadership manoeuvring

China's parliament, the National People's Congress, opens its last annual session under the present leadership amid what analysts say may be an intense power struggle ahead of the key leadership transition in autumn. Comprising more than 3,000 delegates, the NPC has limited power. The meeting in the Great Hall of the People serves more as a grand rally exalting the Communist Party than a forum for real parliamentary debate. But it is a chance to see the nation's most influential players under one roof, and analysts will be looking for clues about who may ascend to the top echelons of power at the 18th Party Congress in autumn.

Mainland couple in court over maternity documents

A mainland married couple on travel visas and three other women - two local and one from the mainland - appear in Kwun Tong Court to face charges. The couple were arrested on Thursday at United Christian Hospital, Kwun Tong, for allegedly using fake documents to book maternity services. The others were arrested later in connection with the case.

Iceland's ex-PM faces trial for 2008 economic collapse

Geir Haarde, who quit as prime minister of Iceland more than three years ago amid protests demanding his resignation, goes on trial over the country's financial collapse in 2008. A parliamentary committee accused him of failing to protect Iceland and said he should have forced lenders to reduce balance sheets before they swelled to 10 times the economy's size.

HKEx takes another bite out of stockbrokers' lunch

Lunchtime shrinks for Hong Kong's stockbrokers, who now have just an hour to bolt their midday meal, down from 90 minutes. But brokers are not giving up, with another protest scheduled for today. The cuts - brokers' 21/2-hour lunch break was cut by an hour last year - bring trading hours into line with bourses elsewhere, but small brokers complain they will not have enough time to talk to clients, research stocks or attend listing presentations.