Park Geun-hye is the daughter of South Korea's former dictator, the late president Park Chung-hee. On December 19, 2012, Park - a Conservative - narrowly won the election to make history as South Korea's first female president. Born on February 2, 1952, she was the chairwoman of the conservative Grand National Party (GNP) between 2004 and 2006 and between 2011 and 2012 (the GNP changed its name to Saenuri Party in February 2012). Park has already served as South Korea's first lady, after her mother was killed in the 1970s.
Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
S Korea swears in first female president
Park Geun-hye is officially headed to the Blue House as the country's first female president. Park, the daughter of a former strongman, has already faced a test over Pyongyang's recent nuclear missiles testing. But the cloud of the crisis may for the moment be far from the minds of 70,000 people expected at her inauguration, the highlights of which include a performance by rapper Psy and, later, a meeting with foreign dignitaries.
Court battle over radical's UK residency
The British Court of Appeal hears the government's challenge against a decision to allow radical cleric Abu Qatada to stay in the country instead of being deported to Jordan, where he was convicted in absentia of terror charges in 1999. Leading the push to boot him out is Home Secretary Theresa May, who has called him a "dangerous" man. Local media claim Qatada's stay will cost British taxpayers millions in legal aid, security and government housing.
Pope to hasten successor's election
Outgoing Pope Benedict XVI, who leaves in three days' time, is expected to issue a law to change election rules, allowing the earlier selection of a new leader. Traditionally, the papal conclave has to wait 15 days after the seat is vacant before convening. The pope will also meet cardinals who made a dossier on the "Vatileaks" scandal.
N Korea opens up to Skype, Twitter
Tourists and expatriates in isolated North Korea can now tweet, Skype and use popular search engines using their cellphones and iPads, once they register with the government's communication centre. The internet service, which costs up to €400 (HK$4,000), was made possible by a Korean-Egyptian telecoms firm. But don't expect any North Korean Twitter friends just yet - as it has for decades, the general public's access is restricted.
Thai PM in town to boost trade ties
Thailand's prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, arrives in Hong Kong for a two-day visit, when she is expected to emphasise more trade and investment opportunities. She meets with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying tomorrow. Meanwhile, Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing hosts a special spring gathering for Leung and the city's top officials, including members of the Executive Council.
BP faces civil suit over spill
British Petroleum sails into another big battle as it faces New Orleans federal court over the extent of its liability in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Though the company has forked out billions of dollars in damage payouts and a criminal case settlement with the American government, it stands to lose billions more in penalties if it loses this civil lawsuit over the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed several workers, released four million barrels of oil and wreaked havoc on the environment.