Vladimir Putin
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Talking points

Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...

CE candidate to outline housing policy

Would-be chief executive Leung Chun-ying (pictured) will unveil his blueprint on housing policies. The former Executive Council convenor has said that he will increase the provision of public housing flats to 35,000 in 'one of the future five years' if elected. He has also said that the government should consider land reclamation instead of encroaching on green areas. Despite strong support from the public, Leung is under pressure to get 150 nominations from the 1,200-member Election Committee that will choose the next chief executive.

No more tears for Kim Jong-il

Top North Korean officials are expected to attend a mass meeting to pay tribute to former leader Kim Jong-il after his funeral yesterday. Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il's son and successor, is expected to attend. Mourning will officially end today with a nationwide memorial service including a three-minute silence, at the end of which trains, ships and other vehicles will sound their hooters. Hundreds of thousands of mourners braved freezing conditions in Pyongyang to bid farewell to Kim Jong-il, who died of a heart attack on December 17, aged 69.

Jail sentence triggers call for anti-Putin rally

Hundreds of protesters are expected to attend an unscheduled rally on Moscow's Pushkin Square after Sergei Udaltsov, an ultra-left wing activist, was sent back to jail for another 10 days on completing a sentence for taking part in a rally against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (pictured) and his plans to return to the presidency. Udaltsov's new sentence prompted 1,900 people to vow on Facebook that they will protest 'for the release and life of Udaltsov and all political prisoners'.

Briefing on China's space programme

Zhang Wei, a spokesman for the China National Space Administration, will hold a news conference in Beijing to report on 'China's Space Activities in 2011'. China has seen several breakthroughs in its space development in recent months, including November's successful redocking (pictured) in orbit of the Shenzhou VIII unmanned spacecraft with Tiangong-1, a module of China's space laboratory, which is planned to be in operation by 2020.

HK export figures to reflect euro's impact

Hong Kong's export figures for November are expected to show signs of further decline, reflecting the impact of the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis, according to the Trade Development Council. The council warned that growth in the value of Hong Kong's exports could slow to one per cent next year, with exporters to the US and Europe the most gloomy about their prospects.

Germany to report on CPI

Consumer price index figures from Germany are expected to show that Europe's biggest economy is still outperforming the rest of the euro zone, helped by relatively strong economic growth and exports. Germany's CPI is expected to show a 2.5 per cent rise year-on-year.