Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Vice-Premier Li Keqiang to open Boao Forum
Vice-Premier Li Keqiang (left), Premier Wen Jiabao's heir apparent, will deliver the keynote address at the annual Boao Forum, which opens on the resort island of Hainan at the weekend. The forum's theme is 'Asia in the changing world: moving toward sound and sustainable development', the Foreign Ministry said. The forum is Beijing's version of the World Economic Forum held each year in Davos and gathers international chief executives, financiers and academics to discuss socio-economic issues.
Applications open for cross-border driving
Car owners may apply to the Transport Department from today for permits to drive across the Shenzhen border. Only 50 permits will be issued to private car owners each day under the first phase of the cross-border driving scheme. Residents who own cars with a capacity of not more than five seats may apply for a permit valid for up to seven days' driving on the mainland.
Consultation on columbariums closes
The government's public consultation on a licensing scheme for private columbariums ends today. In December, the government proposed a system for licensing private columbariums - places where funeral urns are stored - under which all operators of private urn facilities will be required to obtain a five-year, renewable permit from a statutory licensing board to be established under the Private Columbaria Ordinance.
Birthplace of the Titanic opens visitor centre
The ' million (HK$1.2 billion) Titanic Belfast interactive visitor centre, in the Northern Irish city where the ship was built, opens tomorrow, two weeks before the centenary of the liner's sinking. The centre, built with the help of government funding, promises visitors 'an amazing story of Belfast in the 1900s' and a chance to help 'solve some of the many mysteries surrounding that fateful night' on April 15, 1912, when more than 1,500 people died. The centenary is also being marked by a 3D version of Titanic, which opened this week in London, 15 years after the original by director James Cameron (left at the London premiere with his wife Suzy Amis).
Estate agents offered a guide on ethics
The Estate Agents Authority makes public a practical guide for estate agents jointly published with the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The guide is a best-practice checklist designed for the real estate industry. The authority's chief executive, Rosanna Ure, will attend the ceremony.
Clinton on a mission to pressure Assad
United Arab Emirates
Persian Gulf States
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sets out on a tour to raise pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end his deadly crackdown on opposition. In the second such push in a month, Clinton travels to Riyadh for talks today and tomorrow with Saudi and other Gulf Arab leaders before joining broader meetings on Sunday with Arab, Turkish and Western officials in Istanbul. In Riyadh she will meet Saudi King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal as well as ministers of Saudi Arabia's five Gulf Arab neighbours - Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.