European Central Bank

Talking points

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

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 September, 2012, 1:22am

Panda diplomacy lands in Singapore

Two giant pandas loaned from China are due to arrive by plane in Singapore on a 10-year loan - Beijing's latest use of panda-diplomacy to strengthen ties overseas. "It is a sign of the friendship between our two countries, and the pandas will be very popular. There is a lot of interest in Singapore in Kai Kai and Jia Jia," says Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. France received a pair of pandas in January this year, a month after Scotland welcomed two to Edinburgh.


ECB meets to discuss debt crisis

The European Central Bank holds a key meeting to discuss measures to tackle the region's debt crisis. Markets will be watching closely to see what the central bank's president Mario Draghi has to say and whether any imminent action will be announced. Draghi has this week been apparently laying the groundwork for the meeting by reportedly making clear his plans to buy short-term government bonds on secondary markets. By intervening in the secondary market, the central bank could help Italy and Spain limit their borrowing costs, which at times have neared levels considered unsustainable in the long term.


Amazon launches new Kindle Fire

Amazon holds a press conference at which it is expected to unveil an updated version of its Kindle Fire tablet. The first edition of the tablet has become the best-selling item for the world's biggest online retailer and the company announced last week that the original product had sold out after just 48 weeks.


Green group campaigns against Shenzhen influx

Environmental group Green Sense begins collecting signatures for a petition calling on the authorities to scrap plans to allow Shenzhen's 4.1 million non-permanent residents to apply for multi-entry permits to visit Hong Kong. The scheme, which was due to come into effect last Saturday, has been put on hold while the Shenzhen and Hong Kong authorities discuss it.


Solar dispute comes to a head

The European Commission has until today to decide on a complaint by European solar-power panel manufacturers against their Chinese rivals. The European firms complained in July that Chinese manufacturers were selling their products at below-cost prices. German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel said last week that the European Union and Beijing should hold talks to resolve the dispute.


Looper opens Toronto Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival gets under way in Canada with a screening of the new science-fiction film Looper. The festival is one of the biggest events in the film calendar and is considered a launch pad for Oscar contenders. This year's event incorporates the first Toronto Asian Film Summit, featuring Hong Kong's own Jackie Chan, as organisers build links with the Asian film industry.