30-year-old American Edward Snowden, a contract employee at the National Security Agency, is the whistleblower behind significant revelations that surfaced in June 2013 about the US government's top secret, extensive domestic surveillance programmes. Snowden flew to Hong Kong from Hawaii in May 2013, and supplied confidential US government documents to media outlets including the Guardian.
Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Rally in support of Edward Snowden
Hong Kong human rights groups come together to rally in support of whistle-blower Edward Snowden, with a march from Chater Garden in Central to the US consulate in Garden Road. The march is being organised by In-media, a website that supports freelance journalists. "We call on Hong Kong to respect international legal standards and procedures relating to the protection of Snowden," the group said earlier this week.
World Cup warm-up tournament begins
The countdown to the 2014 soccer World Cup begins in earnest as host nation Brazil kicks off the warm-up event, the Confederations Cup. The two-week event will test six of the stadiums due to host matches in next year's soccer extravaganza, including Rio's world-famous Maracana Stadium. The hosts kick off the competition against Asia's representatives Japan in the capital, Brasilia.
Discussion over PLA berth plan
Independent lobby group The Professional Commons holds a public forum at Polytechnic University today on controversial plans to allow the People's Liberation Army to take over an area of the harbourfront in Central. The government says it must zone the 30,000 sq ft site for military use, but campaign groups say public access to the area should be maintained when it is not in use by the military.
New URA boss takes the reins
The new boss of the Urban Renewal Authority takes office today at the start of a three-year term. Victor So Hing-woh, a supporter of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, takes over the top job at the URA from Barry Cheung Chun-yuen, who stood down as chairman after police began investigating his failed Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange. So is a former chief executive of the Link Reit and the Housing Society.
Japanese regulator checks on nuclear reactors
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority conducts an inspection at the only two reactors still operating in the country, ahead of a new safety regime coming into force next month. The new requirements have been implemented in the wake of the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake that triggered a nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima province. A team of 20 inspectors will examine two reactors run by Kansai Electric Power at Oi in Fukui prefecture.
Big names of the film world in Shanghai
The increasing prominence of China in the international film industry comes into focus as the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival begins tomorrow. Among the big names from the West due to appear are Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper, who serves as chairman of the judges, and Helen Mirren, the British actress. Oliver Stone (pictured) will preside over a showcase of his films and take part in an on-stage discussion with Hong Kong director Johnnie To Kei-fung.