Thursday, April 10, 2014

Talking points

Indian elections move to the capital

The world's largest and most complex elections are held today in New Delhi and 13 other states and territories. The polls started on Monday in Assam and Tripura. They will climax in mid-May in the populous northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The elections pit the favourite, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi, against the Indian National Congress of Rahul Gandhi. Modi is strongly tipped to win. If he does, he will replace the current prime minister, Manmohan Singh.

US defence secretary visits Mongolia

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel travels to Mongolia for the final leg of his Asian tour. He visited both Japan and China, where he was given a tour of the aircraft carrier Liaoning and held talks with his host, Defence Minister Chang Wanquan . He came in for criticism in Beijing over the US stance on arms sales to Taiwan and his call for Beijing to respect its neighbours over territorial disputes.

Maid in court over HK-born socialite's killing

Indonesian maid Dewi Sukowati appears in a Singapore court on a charge of killing Hong Kong-born socialite and artist Nancy Gan Wan Geok last month. The 69-year-old mother of two, who was the ex-wife of former Hong Kong politician Hilton Cheong-Leen, was found in the swimming pool of her home, dressed in her pyjamas. She had suffered head injuries. If found guilty, Dewi will face the death penalty.

FCC focuses on press freedom fears

The Foreign Correspondents' Club hosts a discussion on whether press freedom is under attack in Hong Kong. The speakers are Chan King-cheung of the Hong Kong Economic Journal, commentator Ching Cheong and Hong Kong Journalists Association vice-chairwoman Shirley Yam Mei-ching. They will focus on concerns about press freedom after the stabbing attack on former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau Chun-to.

Academics debate technology and law issues

Technology and the law will be the topic of debate at a conference hosted by the faculty of law at the University of Hong Kong. Speakers include Privacy Commissioner Allan Chiang Yam-wang and the Legislative Council's IT representative, Charles Mok, as well as Canadian and US academics. Participants debate such issues as privacy and freedom of expression and intellectual property and social justice.

US Masters golf tournament starts

The four-day US Masters tournament, the first major of the 2014 golfing season, begins at the Augusta National Golf Club. Observers say that Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy is the favourite after Tiger Woods pulled out following back surgery. Phil Mickelson and Jason Day have also been struggling with health issues. The tournament climaxes on Sunday.

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