Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI was born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn, Germany. He was the 265th Pope, having been elected in April 2005 following the death of Pope John Paul II. At 14, Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth, a legal requirement. In 1945, he deserted the German army and was taken prisoner by the U.S. Army. Ratzinger received a doctorate in theology at the University of Munich in 1953, having been ordained as a priest two years earlier. He is a Conservative who during his papacy advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many developed countries. On February 11, 2013, he became the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to resign.
Draw held for subsidised homes
Almost 60,000 applicants are eagerly waiting to find out if their number has come up in the ballot for flats in the Housing Society's latest project. Some 988 flats will become available at Greenview Villa in Tsing Yi. Families earning no more than HK$40,000 and single people earning HK$25,000 or less were eligible to apply. The flats are priced at 30 per cent below the market rate.
Details expected of papal conclave
More details will emerge of when a successor to Pope Benedict XVI will be elected as the pontiff formally ends his near eight-year spell in the Holy See. Traditionally, the conclave of cardinals, which chooses the new pope, does not start for at least two weeks after a pope's death. But, after announcing on February 10 his intention to resign today, Benedict made a last-minute change to the rules, allowing the conclave to start earlier on the assumption that the cardinals had been given sufficient notice of his departure and enough time to make their travel plans.
India expected to table an austere budget
India's finance minister delivers what is expected to be its most austere budget in years. Palaniappan Chidambaram is likely to curb public spending to rein in a bulging fiscal deficit and stave off a sovereign ratings downgrade. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh must go to the polls by May next year.
New model Golf hits Hong Kong
The seventh-generation model of the Volkswagen Golf will be launched in what has been billed as one of the biggest days in the city's motoring calendar. The Golf has been popular with Hong Kong families since its launch in 1974. First presented in Berlin in September, the latest Golf has been given a full makeover.
Short-selling rules for mainland brokerages
A handful of mainland brokerages will be allowed to borrow shares from institutional investors for use in short selling under a new scheme launched today, as regulators move cautiously to develop domestic derivatives markets. A group of 11 brokerages will be able to borrow shares in a pre-qualified pool of 90 listed "blue chip" companies representing 9.3 trillion yuan (HK$11.5 trillion) in tradable capitalisation, nearly 50 per cent of the mainland's A-share market.
Local riders take on the world in Masters
Leading local riders Kenneth Cheng Man-kit and Raena Leung Hou-ling rub shoulders with the world's top equestrians as the inaugural Longines Hong Kong Masters gets under way at Asia-World Expo. A field of 25 riders will be competing for US$1 million prize money in Asia's first CSI five-star showjumping event. International riders taking part include Olympic gold medalist Ben Maher, from Britain, and the world's leading female rider, Australia's Edwina Tops-Alexander.