Chinese vessel starts unprecedented US visit
China's most advanced marine patrol vessel, the Haixun 31, arrives in Hawaii for the start of an unprecedented five-day visit to the United States. The helicopter-equipped vessel will be involved in joint exercises with the US Coast Guard intended to improve co-ordination in future search-and-rescue missions and on environmental protection issues affecting the world's oceans.
Quebec separatists poised for election win
A separatist party is on course to win Quebec's election today but is not thought likely to push through a referendum on splitting the province from Canada. Led by Pauline Marois, the Parti Quebecois took the lead in the last leg of the campaign, according to opinion polls, while the ruling Liberals fell behind the upstart Coalition Avenir Quebec. But support for independence is low, with only one-third of Quebec's six million voters keen to revisit the question of national identity after twice rejecting independence in 1980 and 1995.
New Syria mediator reports to UN
The new United Nations-Arab League mediator on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, addresses the UN General Assembly on the conflict. Brahimi will also meet Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Brahimi's predecessor, Kofi Annan, to discuss his strategy to end the conflict. With Syria marking the bloodiest month yet in the civil war and fears mounting of turmoil in surrounding countries, few expect the former Algerian foreign minister to have more success than Annan.
Nasa probe departs asteroid for dwarf planet
The Nasa probe Dawn is due to leave the giant asteroid Vesta to begin a 2-1/2-year voyage to the dwarf planet Ceres as it continues its mission to explore the asteroid belt. The probe, which is powered by a groundbreaking new system known as ion propulsion, took off from the earth in 2007 and has spent more than a year monitoring Vesta from orbit.
Taiwan bases annual drill on Fukushima crisis
Taiwan begins its annual nuclear emergency drill, with the scenario based on the disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in March last year. The test will simulate the effects of a typhoon causing mudslides and flooding in the mountains of northern Taiwan, leading to a total power outage at the Jinshan nuclear plant.
Fine Art Asia organisers reveal plans
Organisers of Fine Art Asia reveal more details of next month's event, which is expected to draw 20,000 people to the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai between October 4 and 7. Asia's only major fine arts fair will feature works by Monet and Van Gogh. Gallery boss Andy Hei founded the show in 2006 and it has benefited from a growing interest in fine art in Asia, especially on the mainland.