Hollande cements ties with Israel French President Francois Hollande is in Israel as France wins praise from the Jewish state for taking a tougher line than its Western partners last week in Geneva talks aimed at resolving the impasse over Iran's nuclear programme. Hollande, whose approval rating has fallen to just 20 per cent as new figures show France's economy is once again shrinking, will also use his three-day visit to try to boost French trade with Israel. Badminton Open gets under way The Hong Kong Open Badminton Championships 2013 are being staged this week at the Hong Kong Coliseum. The event, one of the Badminton World Federation World Grand Prix tournaments, offers prize money of US$350,000. Hong Kong players include Hu Yun, Ng Wing Yung and Ho Wai-lun. Alleged terror killers go on trial Two men accused of murdering British soldier Lee Rigby, who was brutally hacked to death on the streets of London in broad daylight, go on trial today. Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, both Britons of Nigerian descent, deny murder. Adebolajo is also accused of the attempted murder of two police officers. The three-week trial will place take under tight security, amid fears of a repeat of tensions following the murder. Hong Kong, the luxury capital The latest seminar in the South China Morning Post Redefining Hong Kong series of debates focuses on the city's luxury economy today. "Hong Kong: The Luxury Capital of the World?" will ask how Hong Kong, which boasts the world's highest per capita luxury goods consumption, can maintain its edge as mainland luxury consumers travel farther afield, and the mainland economy slows. Back to work for Kirchner The Argentine President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, returns to work today after recovering from surgery to drain a blood clot near her brain. She's expected to announce economic measures to slow a decline in international reserves and make changes to her cabinet. Her illness last month forced her to abandon campaigning for midterm congressional elections and her allies suffered heavy losses in the October 27 vote. Maven blasts off Nasa's newest Mars spacecraft, the robotic explorer called Maven, is due to blast off today on a 10-month journey to the red planet. The US$671 million mission will study the atmosphere to try to understand how the planet became cold and dry.