Boxing Day launch for high-speed railway
The 2,298-kilometre Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway, the world's longest high-speed line, opens on Boxing Day. Trains on the line run at an average speed of 300km/h, cutting the travelling time from 24 hours to about eight. A second-class ticket on the line, which passes through major cities, including Zhengzhou, Wuhan and Changsha, costs 865 yuan (HK$1,062), and first class costs 1,388 yuan.
Eliana Burki brings alphorn to Hong Kong
Funk, jazz and blues musician Eliana Burki brings one of the world's longest instruments to Hong Kong. Used by shepherds in the 15th century to communicate across the Alps, the four-metre-long alphorn is usually used to play folk tunes today, but the 29-year-old Swiss musician lends the rich timbre of the horn to blues and even Latino rhythms. Burki plays at New Town Plaza, Sha Tin, tonight.
Acrobatic troupe tumbles into Sha Tin
The Wuhan Acrobatic Troupe of China continues its Hong Kong tour at Sha Tin Town Hall on Wednesday. The acrobatic troupe is one of the mainland's finest and has won more than 50 national and international awards. Tickets priced from HK$120 to HK$250 are still available for the two-hour show.
Poll assesses confidence in job security
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong today releases the results of a telephone survey of 400 people on their confidence and satisfaction with their employment. The survey was designed to test the public's feelings on job security at a time when the economy is forecast to slow down.
Putin touts for new arms deals in India
Russian President Vladimir Putin travels to India today on a visit expected to focus on sealing deals for Russia's arms industry and boosting ties with one of its oldest allies. The trip is Putin's first to South Asia since his return to the Kremlin in May. India is Russia's biggest arms buyer, with 70 per cent of its military equipment made by Russia. Many potential deals involve the Sukhoi aircraft maker, including a US$3.77 billion deal for 42 Su-30MKI fighters, a US$1 billion refurbishment of the Indian Air Force's older Su-30MKIs, and a deal to produce the fifth-generation Sukhoi fighter.
Sydney-Hobart weather likely to aid big yachts
The 68th Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race begins on Boxing Day. Weather will be a key factor as the 77 boats run the 628 nautical miles down the New South Wales coast and across Bass Strait to the Tasmanian capital. Forecasts are for headwinds at first, which should benefit the larger craft. Super maxis Wild Oats XI and Investec Loyal, last year's line-honours winner and now renamed Ragamuffin Loyal, have finished first and second in the past two years, swapping positions from 2010 to 2011, and will renew their duel.