Messi prepares for court date on tax evasion
Lionel Messi, widely regarded as the best footballer of his generation, is due before a judge in Spain tomorrow with his father to answer tax evasion charges. The Barcelona star, rated by Forbes as the world's 10th-highest-paid athlete, is accused with his father, Jorge, of defrauding the Spanish tax office of US$5.3 million. Prosecutors claim income from the sale of Messi's image rights was hidden using a complex web of shell companies. Messi, 26, has denied wrongdoing and has been backed by Barcelona president Sandro Rosell.
China focused on Central Asia relations
Vice-Premier Wang Yang will address the opening of the Euro Asia Economic Forum in Xian , Shaanxi province, today. Organisers said this year the forum would focus on developing co-operation between China and Central Asian countries. The move follows President Xi Jinping's so-called "Silk Road" push, which saw him pay state visits to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan earlier this month. Wang is to make a keynote speech to representatives of more than 75 countries and regions at the opening session of the three-day, biennial event.
Nuclear talks with Iran resume amid optimism
A new round of talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency kicks off tomorrow in Vienna as the country's relatively moderate new president, Hassan Rowhani, signals a new direction with relations with the West. He said at the UN this week that "peace is within reach" and today US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York - the countries' highest-level formal talks since Iran's 1979 revolution. The Vienna meeting will examine allegations of Iran's nuclear weapons research.
Get ready for a steamy night
Residents and businesses in Hong Kong are being urged to go without air conditioning tonight in a city-wide push to save energy. The 12-hour-long event, which starts at 7pm, has already garnered support from more than 200 schools and colleges, organisers claim. Environmental charity Green Sense, which is behind the initiative, said the Hong Kong No Air Con Night is designed to "promote the wise use of air conditioning in order to lower the emission of greenhouse gases".
Retrial to start, minus Amanda Knox
The appeal over the acquittal of US citizen Amanda Knox for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher is set to get under way on Monday without her. The 26-year-old has said "common sense" told her to stay away from Italy, where she was imprisoned for four years. Kercher's half-naked body was discovered in the their shared apartment in Perugia. Knox and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were acquitted in 2011 and she returned to the US. However, if her previous conviction is confirmed on appeal, Italy could request her extradition.