Karzai skips UN for China state visit Afghan President Hamid Karzai pays a four-day state visit to China, where he will attend the opening ceremony of the Euro-Asia Economic Forum 2013 in Xian. China's envoy to the UN Liu Jieyi said last week that Afghanistan has entered a critical stage in its peace-building and reconstruction, and that China will continue to contribute to the country's transition. Karzai skipped a trip to New York for the UN General Assembly meeting in favour of China. New Bond book covers familiar ground Novelist William Boyd will launch his new official James Bond book in London. Solo , published by Random House, is set in West Africa in 1969 and follows 45-year-old Bond on a freelance mission that takes him across the continent and to Europe and North America - via a multitude of drinks and two different women. Boyd is the third author in recent years to write a fresh addition to the Bond series. More than 100 million Bond books have been sold and the films have grossed more than US$6 billion around the world, with more than half the world's population having seen a Bond film. Former ICAC head to explain 'discrepancies' Legco's public accounts committee will conduct a four-hour grilling of former ICAC commissioner Timothy Tong Hin-ming, who will have to explain to lawmakers inconsistencies between his testimony provided in earlier Legco hearings and the findings of a recent independent review. The new report detailed Tong's lavish spending on official entertainment, gifts and official visits during his tenure, which amounted to HK$724,000. It will be the sixth hearing by the Legco committee to probe the extravagant spending of public money on gifts and officials trips during Tong's five-year tenure in ICAC. Soyuz ferries crew to space station A Soyuz spacecraft carrying Commander Oleg Kotov, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy and Nasa astronaut Michael Hopkins is set to blast off from the Baikonur cosmodrome for the International Space Station. They will join three crew members currently on board the ISS, and will remain in space until March next year. The Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft will take four orbits of the earth on its way to the ISS, in a journey lasting six hours. Modern take on Bard's classic comedy London-based theatre group Shakespeare Global brings its all-female production of the classic Shakespeare comedy The Taming of the Shrew to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in Wan Chai. In Elizabethan times the play was performed by an all-male cast. Shakespeare Global was founded by the late American actor Sam Wanamaker, whose goal was to build a replica of the Globe Theatre from the time of William Shakespeare. Wanamaker died before he could see it completed.