Kenyans hold landmark elections
Kenyans head to the polls for the first time since a new constitution was passed in 2010 to reform the political system and ease ethnic divides. Leading the race of eight presidential candidates are Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, the sons of Kenya's first post-independence president and vice-president respectively. Vying to be its first female president is veteran politician Martha Karua. But old habits seem to die hard, with the campaigns marred by violence, hate speech and vote-buying.
Public-housing rule change is tabled
More than 125,000 Hong Kong households stand to benefit from proposed revisions to eligibility rules for public housing, which lawmakers discuss today. The housing panel will debate new income and asset limits for applicants, such as raising the income ceiling for a typical family of four from HK$20,710 a month to HK$22,140, which will allow more families to apply.
Kerry tours Gulf states
US Secretary of State John Kerry continues his first diplomatic tour with stops in the Middle East. He meets with Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud and leaders of the Gulf Co-operation Council in Riyadh. Meanwhile, he visits Abu Dhabi at a sensitive time, when 94 Islamists go on trial for plotting against the state - allegedly with help from the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, which Kerry has just visited.
China unveils beefed-up defence budget
China announces its defence budget for the year, which is expected to be the latest of a long string of double-digit funding increases. The figure is expected to be announced by the spokesperson for the National People's Congress, ahead of the country's annual parliamentary session, which opens tomorrow. China's defence spending rose by 11.2 per cent in 2012, amid growing regional concern over Beijing's increasing military might.
Ukraine, Russia battle over gas deals
Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovich meets Russia's Vladimir Putin for heated talks outside Moscow over the control of Kiev's gas pipeline network, which delivers Russian gas to the former Soviet state and the rest of Europe. The Ukraine also wants to renegotiate a deal on gas-import prices - but Russia is demanding that it first join its trade bloc. The meeting had been scheduled for December, but was cancelled at the last minute.
Fed official, bankers huddle amid gloom
Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome Powell addresses bankers at a Washington conference titled "Progress Towards Ending Too-Big-To-Fail". The forum on financial reform becomes all the more poignant in the backdrop of another economic nightmare for the United States - this time in the public sector, after President Barack Obama and lawmakers failed to avert US$85 billion in spending cuts.