Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Perfume heir faces verdict on racism charge
A court in Paris is to decide whether Jean-Paul Guerlain (left), for decades the 'nose' behind the famous perfume brand, was being racist when he said in an October 2010 TV interview that he 'worked like a negro'. Guerlain, 75, allegedly used the phrase when asked how he created the Samsara scent and implied that black people were lazy. He faces up to six months' jail and a fine of Euro22,500 (HK$233,000) if convicted. In the family for five generations, it made over 300 fragrances since doctor and chemist Pierre Francois Pascal Guerlain opened his first perfumery in Paris 183 years ago. Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy bought the firm in 1994 and Guerlain remained master perfumer until he retired in 2002.
Council to report on energy saving
The Council for Sustainable Development will release its report and recommendations on combating climate change through saving energy in buildings. The report is based on a consultation that began in August on policy and behavioural changes, of which carbon audits and the electricity tariff review were seen as the most controversial.
Japan's envoy to discuss N Korean launch
Shinsuke Sugiyama, Japan's chief negotiator in the stalled six-party talks on the Korean peninsula's nuclear disarmament, is expected in Beijing for a meeting with Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei . Sugiyama, the director general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau at Japan's Foreign Ministry, said he would ask China to press Pyongyang not to launch a satellite on a long-range rocket deemed by Tokyo as equivalent to a long-range missile.
Rich mainlanders' top buys identified
A study by the Shanghai-based Hurun Report and the mainland's Industrial Bank has identified travel, education and health care as among the top spending priorities for the nation's wealthiest individuals. The report, published this week by its founder Rupert Hoogewerf (left), estimates that the mainland has 2.7 million individuals with personal assets of around US$1 million. The study also identifies 63,500 ultra-high-net- worth individuals on the mainland - defined as those having assets of more than 100 million yuan (HK$123 million) - up from 60,000 last year. Thirteen per cent of them want to buy private planes, it said.
ICBC expected to post healthy profit rise
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's most profitable lender, is expected to report a 14 per cent rise in earnings, according to a Bloomberg poll. Separately, Bank of China, the country's fourth-largest lender, is expected to post a 2 per cent profit rise.
BlackBerry's maker to report on earnings
Research In Motion, maker of BlackBerry smartphones, will report its first quarterly earnings since new chief executive Thorsten Heins (left) took over in January. RIM, whose shares have lost more than 90 per cent of their value since mid-2008, is expected to report its slowest growth in subscriber numbers. Short sellers have been betting Heins won't be able to reverse RIM's fortunes as it struggles to staunch market-share losses to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android software.