Talking points

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 April, 2012, 12:00am


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

Golden monkeys make first public appearance

Two golden monkeys - Le Le and Hu Hu - make their long-awaited first public appearance in Hong Kong at Ocean Park. The rare monkeys came from Chengdu Zoo and arrived in Hong Kong on January 18. Le Le and Hu Hu will be one of the highlights of the park's Animal Month in High Definition, which runs throughout April. The monkeys have taken up residence in the Sichuan Treasures exhibit, which is next to the stamping ground of giant pandas An An and Jia Jia.

HKU institute makes forecast for second quarter

The University of Hong Kong's Institute of Economics and Business Strategy releases its macroeconomic forecast for the second quarter. Its prediction for real GDP growth in the last quarter of 2011 was 3 per cent, which matches official provisional figures, moderating to 2.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year. It also tipped the unemployment rate to rise to 3.5 per cent in the first quarter; the provisional figure stands at 3.4 per cent now. The institute expects the rate to rise as high as 4.5 per cent this year.

Li Keqiang and Italian PM give keynote addresses

The annual two-day Boao Forum for Asia opens in China's southernmost province, Hainan , with the theme 'Asia in the changing world: Towards sound and sustainable development'. Vice-Premier Li Keqiang and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (pictured together yesterday) will make keynote speeches during the opening session. The forum is designed to reflect changes taking place in Asia and beyond. This year, questions will be asked about how Asian countries can work towards closer integration and develop in a manner both sound and sustainable. The forum, inaugurated 10 years ago as a tropical equivalent of the World Economic Forum in Davos, has attracted many top business leaders, politicians and scholars this year, including World Bank president Robert Zoellick, 2006 Nobel economics laureate Edmund Phelps and New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger.

Annan briefs Security Council on Syrian situation

UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan briefs the United Nations Security Council on Syria, as pressure grows for more action to end President Bashar al-Assad's bloody year-long crackdown. Annan's six-point plan calls on the government to pull its forces out of cities and towns immediately and to abide by a two-hour halt in fighting every day to allow humanitarian access and medical evacuations. But US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said attacks had continued despite Assad's acceptance of Annan's plan.

Bin Laden's widows and daughters face charges

A court in Pakistan is expected to charge Osama bin Laden's three widows and two of his adult daughters with illegally entering and staying in the country. The charge carries a maximum five-year jail sentence. Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, bin Laden's 30-year-old Yemeni widow, has been co-operating with authorities, revealing details of bin Laden's life as a fugitive after the September 11 attacks in 2001. She, along with bin Laden's other two widows and several children, are believed to be confined to a house in Islamabad (left). They were arrested after the US raid that killed bin Laden in May in his Abbottabad hideout, in which Sada was shot in the leg.