Cathay reveals extent of profit slump
Cathay Pacific Airways releases its annual results, with the figures expected to show profits plunging by almost 90 per cent to HK$570 million. Chief executive John Slosar warned in November that the airline had experienced a "difficult" year. These headwinds continued in December. While Cathay and Dragonair reported a combined 2.5 per cent rise in total passenger numbers, passenger revenue per kilometre dropped 3.1 per cent.
Central banker briefs media in Beijing
Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan meets the media on the sidelines of the National People's Congress session in Beijing. Zhou, who turned 65 in January, is expected to stay at the helm of the People's Bank of China after the change of guard in the government later this week. His election as a vice-chairman of the CPPCC on Monday gave him the status of a national-level leader, which exempts him from compulsory retirement at 65 for ministers in cabinet-ranked jobs.
Stars of Sesame Street in town
Children and parents alike can enjoy some educational fun when the stars of one of the world's most popular and long-running television programmes pop up in town. The piazza at Times Square plays host to a preview of Elmo's Super Heroes, starring some of the lovable puppet characters from Sesame Street. The full-scale show comes to Kitec this summer.
Huge telescope network opens in Chile
The world's largest ground-based astronomy project, the vast ALMA network, is inaugurated in Chile's high desert. The US$1.3 billion project, bringing together funding from North America, Europe and Asia, involves 66 telescopes and is said to be 100 times more powerful than any previous telescope. Formally known as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, it will give unprecedented views of faraway galaxies formed shortly after the Big Bang.
Elite soldier appeals against sentence
A member of Britain's elite special forces unit, the SAS, has his appeal against an 18-month jail term for illegally possessing a firearm heard at London's Royal Courts of Justice. Sergeant Danny Nightingale pleaded guilty to possessing the Glock 9mm pistol, claiming brain injuries suffered in action had led him to forget that he had it. His sentence sparked a public outcry in Britain.
Unions rally against austerity
Trade unions across Europe take part in protests against huge austerity-driven cuts and in favour of more support for youth employment programmes. The European Trade Union Confederation is holding the protest on the eve of a regular European Union summit. The confederation says new government cuts are plunging the continent back into recession.