Activists launch anti-Pyongyang leaflets
A coalition of South Korean groups comprising North Korean exiles and human rights activists plans to launch balloons carrying 200,000 anti-North Korea leaflets across the border as part of their campaign against Pyongyang, despite a strong warning from the North. If leaflets were dropped, a "merciless military strike by the Western Front will be put into practice without warning", the state news agency KCNA said on Friday. Pyongyang said it would target a tourist area in the border city of Paju, a few kilometres from the demilitarised zone. Activists sent balloons across the border with leaflets in April.
Lawmakers do battle over subsidy means test
A heated debate is expected at a Legco session to discuss the proposed monthly subsidy of HK$2,200 for senior citizens. Pan-democratic and union lawmakers have said they will vote against the scheme if the government insists on imposing a means test. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong said the asset limit should be relaxed instead. But welfare minister Matthew Cheung Kin-chung insists a means test is necessary because the subsidy is meant to ease poverty among the elderly.
Cycling union rules on Armstrong's seven titles
Lance Armstrong stands every chance of taking another huge plunge from the pinnacle of cycling he once commanded so completely. The International Cycling Union is to announce whether or not it will strip him of his seven Tour de France titles after revelations of the comprehensive doping programme the American apparently orchestrated to achieve his success.
Bo Xilai's case goes before top legislature
Lawmakers will discuss "the membership status of a certain delegate" when the standing committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, convenes tomorrow. This is widely believed to refer to disgraced Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai , who is expected to be expelled from the NPC during the four-day session. Bo, already expelled from the party and Politburo, is likely to face criminal charges after his NPC status is revoked.
Verdict on seven accused over Italian quake
The verdict is expected in a court case that accuses six Italian scientists and a government official of manslaughter for allegedly playing down the risk of the earthquake that devastated L'Aquila in 2009. Defence lawyers have condemned the charges, saying it is impossible to predict earthquakes. Seismologists say the technology does not exist to predict a quake. The 6.3-magnitude quake killed 308 people in and around the medieval town, which was largely reduced to rubble. Thousands of survivors lived in temporary housing for months.