The fiscal cliff involves US$600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts effective in early 2013 if US lawmakers fail to agree on reducing the budget deficit.
Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Japanese, Chinese markets react to US deal
The Japanese and mainland Chinese markets get their first chance to react to the fiscal cliff deal in the US as they open for the first time since the New Year holidays. Markets in the US and elsewhere in Asia showed a strong bounce after US President Barack Obama signed bills agreed by the US Congress and Senate to end the threat of huge tax rises and spending cuts.
First chance to apply for low-cost flats
People hoping to get their hands on a low-cost second-hand Home Ownership Scheme flat get their first chance to submit their applications. Some 5,000 buyers with a household income of less than HK$40,000 who are renting in the private market will be able to buy flats without paying a land premium, substantially reducing the cost. Applications can be submitted until January 18.
Wuhan lawmakers meet - briefly
Wuhan convenes what the media has dubbed the shortest-ever annual plenary sessions of its Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and legislature, amid calls from the new national Communist Party leadership to curb pomp and bureaucracy. Both meetings will be cut from five days to four. The city's CPPCC vowed to cut its plenary expenses and shorten members' speeches by 30 per cent each, as well as cancelling flowers, banners and delegate stationery sets.
Couples marry on lucky day
About 5,000 couples in Shanghai are to tie the knot, while more than 500 in Hong Kong are also due to marry, in the hope that the date will prove to be lucky. The pronunciation in Chinese of 2013/1/4 is considered by some to sound similar to the phrase "lifelong love". Chinese couples often choose to wed on a day they consider to be lucky - most recently the nation saw a rash of weddings last month on the 12th day of 2012's 12th month.
Ex-HK husband, wife face jail for test scam
A former Hong Kong couple will learn their fate for masterminding an elaborate scheme that helped more than 500 non-English speakers cheat their way to obtaining a New York state commercial driver's licence. Phillip Ng Ying-wai and his wife Ng Pui-kuen, who ran a Brooklyn driving school for more than a decade, pleaded guilty to using tiny spy cameras and secret pagers to coach applicants through the multiple-choice test. In exchange, each applicant paid the Ngs US$1,800. They face up to 20 years in prison.
Spanish king gives first TV interview
Spain's king gives his first nationally televised interview with the state broadcaster, hoping to put behind him a year of controversy for the cash-strapped European nation's royal family. King Juan Carlos, 74, has been criticised for an extravagant elephant-hunting safari which left him in need of a hip replacement, while the king's son-in-law has been at the centre of a corruption investigation.