Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
South Korean president in energy talks
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will hold meetings with major crude suppliers Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates until Friday, as his country looks for alternatives to Iranian oil. Iran is facing toughened US sanctions that make it difficult for buyers to pay for the crude. The United States has pushed Asian countries to cut crude supplies from Iran in an attempt to pressure Tehran to rein in its nuclear programme, which Washington suspects is aimed at making weapons. Iran says it is for peaceful uses.
Arts academy to discuss its year ahead
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts will hold its spring reception, at which it is expected to discuss its plans for the year ahead. The academy, established in 1984 to produce artists in fields including music and dance, has been allocated a subsidy for this financial year of more than HK$236 million.
Happy birthday, Charles Dickens
Legions of Charles Dickens' fans around the world will mark the 200th anniversary of his birth in events including a wreath-laying at Westminster Abbey in London. An orphanage in Buenos Aires, the Argentinian capital, will host readings from his works, which include classics like Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Bleak House and A Tale of Two Cities. The public library in Philadelphia, the US city which Dickens twice visited, will display its collection of Dickens memorabilia, including manuscripts, rare first editions and artwork.
Three states beckon Republican front runner
The race to win the Republican Party's nomination of its presidential challenger heads to three more states today, with front runner Mitt Romney hoping to solidify the growing sense of inevitability surrounding his candidacy. Buoyed by back-to-back victories in Nevada, Florida and Maine, Romney is now preparing for Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri. His main rival, Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, brushed aside talk of abandoning his White House bid, despite losing badly in Saturday's Nevada caucuses.
Glencore to unveil Xstrata merger
Commodities trader Glencore International may unveil an all-share deal as early as today to seal a U$88 billion merger with global miner Xstrata, of which Glencore already owns 34 per cent. Xstrata said last week it had been approached by Glencore, the world's largest diversified commodities trader, and was in talks over an all-share 'merger of equals', a deal that would be the largest in the sector since Rio Tinto's takeover of Alcan in 2007. Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg will be the largest single shareholder in the combined entity.
Beijing to brief the media on a cold topic
The Meteorological Administration in Beijing will brief the media on the cold wave that has swept northern parts of the country since Sunday. Among incidents blamed on the severe weather, almost 600 people were stranded for 13 hours during a blizzard in Xinjiang, while in Shanghai temperatures are expected to plunge to minus five degrees Celsius.