New chief for Taiwan's cross-strait forum
Taiwan's semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation, which handles relations with the mainland, will hold a board meeting at which its new chairman, expected to be Kuomintang secretary-general Lin Join-sane, will be elected. Chairman Chiang Pin-kung, and his deputy, Kao Koong-liang, announced their resignations last week. Kao agreed to stay on after an appeal by President Ma Ying-jeou.
Prison officers hear verdict on urine samples
Two officers from the Hong Kong Correctional Services Department who have admitted to replacing drug addicts' urine samples to suppress drug-relapse figures will hear their verdicts. The Eastern Court will decide whether Tang Kwai-man and Leung Siu-wing acted under instructions when they swapped the samples of released inmates with those undergoing rehabilitation at an addiction-treatment centre in Stanley Prison.
'Harry Potter' author turns to grown-ups
Author JK Rowling's first book aimed at adults will be published today. The Casual Vacancy, published by Little, Brown & Co, is reported to be "a gritty tale of poverty and politics in an idyllic English village". Rowling's seven Harry Potter books sold more than 450 million copies between 1997 and 2007. She told the BBC yesterday that her next book would be "for slightly younger children than the Potter books".
Toyota chairman has dinner date with Beijing
Japanese politicians were supposed to attend a state function in Beijing's Great Hall of the People tonight to mark the 40th anniversary of Sino-Japanese ties. Amid tensions over the Diaoyu Islands (called the Senkakus in Japan), Xinhua reports that the event has been delayed until "a proper time". However, Fujio Cho, chairman of the Japan-China Economic Association is expected to attend a dinner in Beijing tonight at which he will meet China's former foreign minister Tang Jiaxuan.
Court to hear Bin Laden doctor's appeal
A court in Peshawar resumes hearing an appeal by Shakil Afridi, Osama bin Laden's doctor, who has been sentenced to 33 years in jail for treason. Afridi's sentence has been seen as retailiation for helping the CIA track down Bin Laden to Abottabad, where the terror leader was shot dead by US special forces in May last year.
Last chance to name Mai Po's buffalo
The deadline for naming a water buffalo introduced to the Mai Po wetlands earlier this month by conservation officials and the global conservation organisation WWF expires tomorrow. The 10-year-old male was released into the area after the introduction of two other buffalos was found to have helped to increase the number of birds and species visiting the wetlands merely by their eating the grass.