Talking points

Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 October, 2013, 1:41am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 October, 2013, 10:55am

Deadline for death penalty decision

US prosecutors are set to indicate whether they will seek the death penalty against Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Earlier a federal judge rejected a request from lawyers for Tsarnaev to allow the defence more time to prepare their arguments against execution. Twin explosions at the April 15 marathon killed three people and injured more than 260. Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 17 charges that carry the possibility of the death penalty.


Day to celebrate MTR expansion

A ceremony will be held today to celebrate the completion of major structural works on all three new stations on the West Island Line. Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong University and Kennedy Town will become Hong Kong's newest MTR stations when the line, an extension of the Island Line whose terminus is at Sheung Wan, is completed next year, five years after construction started. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will join other dignitaries for the ceremony in Kennedy Town.


Singapore match-fixing accused in the dock

Businessman Eric Ding Si Yang, who is accused of bribing three Lebanese referees with the services of a prostitute to try to fix an AFC Cup football match, is due back in court today. The referees were convicted in June of accepting sexual services in return for match fixing. Ding Si Yang, a local nightclub owner, has denied the charges. Two of the referees, who have since been deported after completing their sentences, have refused to return to give evidence for the prosecution.


Sudan or South Sudan?

The results of a referendum on what country a disputed region wishes to belong to are expected to be announced today. Thousands of residents of the flashpoint Abyei region, claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan, went to the polls in a bid break the deadlock. But some observers say the outcome of the three-day vote could trigger violence. Abyei's status was left undecided when South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in 2011 and a long-promised official plebiscite on its status has been stalled by arguments over who can vote, prompting the three-day local referendum, whose result is non-binding.


Shanghai hosts golfers in 'Asia's major'

World number three Phil Mickelson leads a star-studded field battling for supremacy at the US$8.5 million World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, which begins today in Shanghai.

Some 40 of the top 50 players in the world are making the journey to compete in what has been dubbed "Asia's major", co-sanctioned by the US PGA, European and Asian tours. On the fairways at Sheshan Golf Club with British Open champion Mickelson, who won this event in 2007 and 2009, will be current major champions Justin Rose (US Open) and Jason Dufner (US PGA). The 7,266-yard Sheshan layout opened in 2004.