Wong Kar-wai leads Berlin jury Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai leads the judges as the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival gets under way in the German capital. Nineteen films from countries as diverse as Iran and Kazakhstan will vie for The Golden Bear, awarded to the best film shown at the event, which runs until February 17. Seventeen of the main features are making their world premieres. Activist learns fate in national flag case Activist Koo Sze-yiu learns his fate on four charges of desecrating the national flag at Eastern Court. Koo, 66, was seen displaying a national flag partially covered in black and a damaged Special Administrative Region flag at the January 1 march calling for the ousting of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. He denies all charges. Koo was among 14 activists whose voyage to the disputed Diaoyu Islands in August sparked tension between China and Japan. Ping An deal poised to go through Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group is due to complete its controversial US$7.4 billion purchase of HSBC's stake in Ping An Insurance. The deal fell into doubt after China Development Bank pulled its funding, but Thai tycoon Dhanin Chearavanont went as far as securing a letter from Thailand's frail King Bhumibol Adulyadej to back the deal and secure regulatory approval. Taiwanese cabinet steps down Taiwan's outgoing Premier Sean Chen and his cabinet formally resign en masse. President Ma Ying-jeou is expected to appoint Vice-Premier Dr Jiang Yi-huah as the new premier, with his cabinet expected to take office on February 18. Analysts say the reshuffle should help salvage Ma's sagging popularity and prevent him from becoming a lame duck in the remaining three years of his term. Tycoon Lebedev in 'political' trial Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev goes on trial for slapping an opponent during a television talk show in what he believes is an act of political retribution. Lebedev, owner of Britain's Independent newspaper insisted that his anti-corruption crusade had begun to irk the Russian authorities. If found guilty on charges of hooliganism and battery, he could face up to five years in prison. Princess faces torture charges The trial begins of a Bahraini princess accused of torturing pro-democracy activists in the Gulf island kingdom. Noura Bint Ebrahim al-Khalifa, a member of the island's police Drugs Control Unit is accused, alongside another officer, of torturing three people in detention, including two doctors. Hundreds of protesters were detained as Bahrain struggled to put down a popular uprising that began in February 2011. Noura al-Khalifa, 29, denies the charges.