Father of 'soft power' tours the region Joseph Nye Jr, American political scientist and former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, will discuss "soft power" during the Nu Skin Master Forum at the Asia World Expo, Lantau. Nye is credited with pioneering the theory of soft power, where nations use their culture, political values and foreign policy to influence other countries. After Hong Kong, Nye will travel to Beijing and Taipei to give similar talks. Nobel laureates have their day on the podium The 2013 Nobel Prizes are handed out this week at twin ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway. Highlights will include Nobel lectures by the previously announced recipients in the categories of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. Consulate opens doors for Mandela condolences The South African Consulate in Wan Chai will open its doors to members of the public so they can sign a condolence book for Nelson Mandela, the country's former president who died last week. Princess on the mend in time for big birthday Japan's Crown Princess Masako celebrates her 50th birthday, with her health having improved significantly in recent months, leading to more public appearances, including a high profile visit to the Netherlands in April to attend the coronation ceremony for Dutch King Willem-Alexander. In 2004 doctors said the princess was suffering from an "adjustment disorder", also described as depression. Brotherhood leaders on trial by military The trial begins of Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohamed Badie and other senior figures from the group on charges of "incitement to murder" in the Cairo neighbourhood of Bahr al-Aazam, after deadly clashes erupted in the area in July. The trials are part of a crackdown on the Brotherhood since the Egyptian military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Mursi on July 3. Merkel's party ready to sign off on deal German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats will hold a conference to sign off on their deal to form a new government with the country's main centre-left party, the Social Democrats (SPD). Two months after Merkel won the election but fell short of a parliamentary majority, the two sides agreed on a blueprint for a right-left government that still has to be approved by SPD members. Population policy topic of fertile debate A series of seminars on population policy for Hong Kong continues at the University of Hong Kong. Speakers Celia Chan, assistant professor in social work at HKU, and Susan Fan, executive director of the Family Planning Association, will address the topic of fertility.