Talking points

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

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 January, 2013, 2:49am


Novelty licence plates go under the hammer

Is your name EV1TA, do you live in SA1KUNG1 or are you just 2S1MPLE? Today could be the day you pick up your personalised vehicle licence plate at an auction organised by the Transport Department at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. Perhaps the biggest source of interest will be the auction for the plate reading LOCUST - a pejorative nickname for mainland visitors. Other plates available include TIME OUT, EGOTIST and CUCUMBER.


Czechs vote in presidential poll

Austerity-weary Czechs conclude a two-day vote today in the country's first-ever direct presidential election, with numerous woes including recession and graft scandals bedevilling the nation. Two ex-prime ministers, both former communists, are tipped as favourites to top a list of nine first-round candidates - including an artist tattooed from head to toe  - and enter a run-off slated for January 25-26. Polls suggest left-winger Milos Zeman is the strongest candidate, but he is unlikely to score a majority.


Gay marriage opponents set for huge Paris rally

Paris mobilises for a massive demonstration against gay marriage, expected to be the biggest street protest in a decade. The government's "marriage for all" bill is one of the key electoral pledges of Socialist President Francois Hollande but it has run into fierce opposition in the predominantly Catholic country, where Islam is the second-biggest faith. Preparations for tomorrow's rally are gaining steam, with protesters nationwide hiring coaches and trains.


Costa Concordia tragedy remembered

Commemorations take place in Italy tomorrow to mark the anniversary of the capsizing of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, with the loss of 32 lives. The ship capsized after hitting a rock 300 metres off the Tuscan island of Giglio just as many of its 4,229 passengers and crew were sitting down to dinner. Captain Francesco Schettino has been accused of multiple manslaughter and abandoning ship before all passengers were safely ashore.


Charity ride to benefit hospital

Charity fund-raisers get pedalling for the annual HSBC Pok Oi Cycle for Millions. Tomorrow's event, which benefits the Pok Oi Hospital charity, is also intended to raise awareness of cycling and to promote cycle safety. The event has raised millions for the charity, which says its services benefit some 500,000 people every year.


Taiwan's opposition rallies against Ma

Taiwan's main opposition Democratic Progressive Party bids to mobilise over 100,000 supporters for a rally tomorrow. The party is demanding President Ma Ying-jeou hold a national affairs conference to discuss various crises, including the economy, which the opposition says is lagging behind its neighbours. The party is also demanding reform of the national finance and pension schemes.