Leung Chun-ying

Talking Points

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

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 November, 2012, 3:14am

Old-age allowance back on the table

An application to approve funding for the old-age living allowance goes back before the Finance Committee for the third time following a stand-off between the government and lawmakers. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying says a means test for applicants is non-negotiable. Some pan-democrats want everyone 65 and over to be eligible, while other lawmakers want the means test scrapped for those 70 and over. In the meantime, the city's elderly poor must wait for the HK$2,200 allowance.

Airline staff brace for mass lay-offs

A restructuring plan that could see up to 7,000 job losses is expected to be revealed by Spanish airline Iberia at a meeting with labour unions. Business at Iberia, part of International Airlines Group together with British Airways, has been hit by recession in Spain, which remains at the centre of the euro zone sovereign debt crisis. "The only thing we know is that they want to announce a massive staff lay-off plan," said one union spokesman.

US$500,000 expected for Dorothy's dress

The original gingham dress worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz is expected to fetch the equivalent of about US$500,000 when it goes under the hammer in the United States. Other items on sale at the auction in California include Steve McQueen's distressed jeans from the 1966 drama The Sand Pebbles, Pierce Brosnan's James Bond suit from Goldeneye, and Christopher Reeves' costume from Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

Phantoms of the Chinese opera

Taoist death rituals, spooky excerpts from Chinese opera, and scary movies are on the agenda as the Ghost Cultural Festival kicks off. Held by the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Centre for Humanities Research at Lingnan University, it also includes an academic conference on ghosts in religion, literature and film.

Germans pack a punch for Russian trip

The Bundestag is to vote on a motion that urges German Chancellor Angela Merkel to adopt a more critical stance towards Moscow - a week before she heads off for a state visit to Russia. The motion is to be tabled by lawmakers from Merkel's own centre-right coalition who are alarmed by what they perceive as "a confrontation course against government critics" since Vladimir Putin returned to power as president of Russia.

Egypt's Islamists call for sharia law

A mass rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square, focal point of the revolution that toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year, calls for Islamic sharia law to be enshrined in Egypt's new constitution. The issue has led to a struggle between the country's liberals and Islamists. Islamist supporters want sharia law to be the primary source of legislation and Egypt to be declared an Islamic country.