Obama gives state-of-the-union address
US President Barack Obama will lay out an agenda on jobs, the economy and the environment during his state-of-the-union speech to Congress today. Obama will also serve notice that he intends to bypass Congress whenever necessary to regain initiative after a year of debilitating legislative logjams, aides said on Sunday. The speech might be Obama's last chance to reclaim political momentum before midterm elections, after a disastrous year locked in battle with an obstinate Congress and struggling with the bungled launch of his signature health care reforms.
IFJ releases annual China press freedom report
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) will hold a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Central today to launch its annual China press freedom report. Titled "Back to a Maoist Future: Press Freedom in China 2013", the report aims to provide an insight into the state of press freedom both in Hong Kong and on the mainland.
Bernanke prepares to leave the Fed
Ben Bernanke will preside over his last policy meeting as chairman of the Federal Reserve today and tomorrow, before Janet Yellen takes over on February 1. Bernanke's efforts to drive down interest rates and stimulate the economy are credited with aiding the United States' recovery from financial crisis and leaving its economy poised to take off this year. Yet those policies have also helped deepen economic inequality in the country.
Taiwanese detail MAC chief's visit to mainland
Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council is briefing the press today on its chairman Wang Yu-chi's forthcoming historic visit to the mainland, which is expected sometime after Lunar New Year. Wang will meet the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office director Zhang Zhijun in an unprecedented encounter between the two officials from Beijing and Taipei.
Mata ready to make Old Trafford bow
Manchester United's £37 million ($HK473 million) record signing, Juan Mata, could make his debut for the struggling champions when Cardiff City visit Old Trafford in the English Premier League (kick-off 3.45am tomorrow). The 25-year-old Spaniard left Chelsea, where he was player of the year for the past two campaigns, after failing to secure a regular place under manager Jose Mourinho this season.
French court rules on expelled Roma girl
Leonarda Dibrani, the teenage Roma girl whose expulsion from France sparked days of rioting last year, awaits a court ruling that will decide if the entire family can return to the country. Leonarda was taken by police from a school field trip and sent to Kosovo with her family, where they have remained since October 9.