1. Hong Kong people should not be greedy and must accept the government’s political-reform package – that is the interpretation of the fortune stick that Beijing loyalist Lau Wong-fat drew at Che Kung Temple today. While the temple’s fortuneteller predicted the Year of the Goat will be “average” instead of good or bad for Hong Kong, others read the message as a warning that a rough year is ahead.
2. Health authorities have reported the first death among children suffering from severe flu this year. Four adults have also died over the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 243.
3. The highlight of today’s celebrations will be the big fireworks display over Victoria Harbour at eight tongiht. Up to 300,000 people have gathered on both sides of the harbour to watch the spectacle – many had secured vantage points hours ago.
4. Earlier today, many families were out dining or shopping to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The second day of the Year of the Goat was marked by more traditional feasting.
5. European finance ministers will be holding a crucial meeting tonight to solve the crisis Greece is facing over its bailout deal. Greece is in need of urgent financing, but its proposal for a half-year extension of its loan programme has been rejected by Germany.
6. Efforts to revive a ceasefire are having no impact on fighting between government and rebel forces in eastern Ukraine. / Australia’s northeast has been buffeted by two major cyclones that damaged homes, knocked out power and forced tens of thousands to take shelter.