European Central Bank

Talking points

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 May, 2012, 12:00am


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

Police watchdog reports on vice-premier's visit

The Independent Police Complaints Council briefs the media on its interim report on the policing of the visit by Vice-Premier Li Keqiang (left) in August. Police were accused of using heavy-handed tactics against demonstrators, but the force's director of operations said the security measures were justified on the basis of a risk assessment. A report by a University of Hong Kong panel, released in February after a four-month inquiry, found police used unjustifiable and unreasonable force on protesters during Li's campus visit.

Microchip implant restores woman's sight

The Eye Institute of the University of Hong Kong's medical faculty introduces a woman whose sight was restored with the help of a microchip implant. The patient had suffered for several years from retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable, degenerative condition that leads to blindness, but thanks to the implant could once again 'feel the touch of light again in her life', the faculty says. The procedure was performed in Asia for the first time and will be discussed at a briefing attended by the patient and her family.

Iraq tries fugitive vice-president over death squads

The terror trial of Iraq's fugitive Sunni vice-president begins. Supreme Judicial Council spokesman Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar said it would focus on three charges out of 150 cases in which Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi (left) has been linked to death squad activities against Shiites and government officials. Hashemi is in Turkey and has vowed not to return to Baghdad to face what he calls politically motivated charges. The Shiite-led government issued an arrest warrant for him in December, touching off a continuing political crisis.

ECB reviews rates amid concerns over Spain

The European Central Bank reviews interest rates at a time when concerns over the strength of the Spanish economy are mounting. With the benchmark interest rate already at 1 per cent, the ECB is seen as having little wiggle room. The central bank has already been injecting liquidity, and in two special measures in December and February it lent more than Euro1 trillion (HK$13.4 trillion) to banks at a rock-bottom rate of 1 per cent for three years.

Nations mark World Press Freedom Day

Today is World Press Freedom Day, which was first declared by Unesco and the United Nations Department of Public Information in 1991. The occasion is marked by countries around the world, from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. According to Unesco: 'Media freedom faces significant pressures across the world. Last year, Unesco condemned the killing of 62 journalists who died in performing or in direct relation to their work.'

Boris Johnson in lead as Londoners go to polls

London Mayor Boris Johnson (left) leads the polls as he seeks re-election despite the unpopularity of his party, the Conservatives. Johnson, 47, who is seeking a second four-year term in charge of one of the world's top financial centres and the host of this year's Olympics, is being challenged by ex-mayor Ken Livingstone, 66, of the Labour Party, Brian Paddick, 54, a gay former police chief, and four other candidates. London voters will also choose candidates for the city's general assembly.