One in eight youths has sent or received nude photos or sexually explicit information over their mobile phones within a month, a survey has found. Thirteen percent believed it is normal to share such things. Some said they are influenced by singers and actors. A social work supervisor worker said youngsters are easily affected by peer influence and they can easily obtain information via smartphones.


The Financial Secretary, John Tsang, pointed out that an ageing population is exerting growing pressure on the public coffers, as the labour force continues to shrink and welfare expenditure goes up. He said taxes may have to be raised at some stage in the future to cover increased public spending.


A survey found that employers' opinions on major aspects of performance of sub-degree graduates were the lowest in 10 years. Tertiary institutions vie with each other in rolling out courses. Some less competitive institutions admit students with poorer results in public examinations. Consequently, the qualities of sub-degree students vary greatly among institutions.


Police arrested a 53-year-old woman who tried to deposit 10 counterfeit $1,000 banknotes at a North Point bank. They found that the banknotes included counterfeits of those issued by HSBC and the Bank of China (Hong Kong). The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said that the counterfeit situation in Hong Kong was not serious and called on the public to stay calm.


An 80-year-old man yesterday became the first person infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu to die in Hong Kong. The man, who had been suffering from other underlying medical conditions, had been taken to hospital after returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen. One leading scientist said the bird flu virus was more likely to cause complications in a patient with pre-existing conditions.


Police have urged the public to be on guard against fake Bank of China HK$1,000 banknotes. They say the counterfeit "2003 series" BOC notes bore a fair resemblance to the genuine one. Several banks have put up notices on their cash deposit machines that they are not accepting notes from the bank's 2003 series.
警方呼籲市民警惕中國銀行1,000港元偽鈔。他們說,假冒中銀香港"2003系列" 仿真度較高。多間銀行貼出告示,表示存鈔機不接受2003年版中銀香港的1千元鈔票。


A 41 year-old woman altered the date of birth on a copy of her identity card to claim that she was only 27 years old , and in doing so, she misled her former employer who hired her to work for a cafe. She was order to carry out 120 hours of social service. The case came to light after police and Labour Department officers conducted a spot check on the cafe.


Police have warned of a surge in the number of young people falling victim to blackmail over the internet - known as "naked chats." Police advise young people to make friends on the internet with utmost caution, and not to trust those in the cyber world. In particular, they should avoid naked chats, and should not exchange naked photos or clips.


A survey found that ninety percent of low-income parents believe their children's physical and mental development is being affected by the poor living environment. The Alliance for Children Development Rights urged the government to provide special extra-curricular allowances for students from low income families.


The Court of Final Appeal's ruling on the seven-year residence requirement for CSSA application may cause a chain reaction. If other social welfare policies, such as the application for public housing, are to follow suit and rescind the seven-year rule, public resources will be put under huge pressure. One cannot help but worry that the CFA's ruling may not just be another governance bomb for the administration, but indeed a nightmare for Hong Kong people.


Hong Kong Television Network is going to launch internet TV programming in July. There will initially be up to five channels including an integrated Cantonese channel and a round-the-clock news channel. They could be accessed by smart phones, tablet computers, personal computers and smart TV sets.


The Consumer Council said that it has found evidence suggesting that the two major supermarket chains in Hong Kong have been engaging in anti-competitive behaviour. The Consumer Council accused ParknShop and Wellcome of imposing harsh conditions on suppliers in order to manipulate prices. It said such moves would have a negative impact on consumers.


Legislators questioned the effectiveness of the ban on idling engines. But the government said the idling engine ban has been effective, citing a 40-percent drop in the number of complaints. The Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said the main source of pollutants in the city came from commercial diesel vehicles and regional pollution.


The Court of Final Appeal has declared it unconstitutional to deny social security to new immigrants. The ruling means new arrivals will no longer be required to live in the city for at least seven years before they can apply for welfare benefits. The court said the seven-year residency requirement is counterproductive and irrational.
終審法院宣布剝奪新移民社會保障屬違憲。這裁決意味著新來港定居人士將不再需要居 港至少七年,才可以申請福利。法院認為,居港滿七年的要求是適得其反和不合理的。


The government's plan to build an incinerator at Shek Kwu Chau has run into opposition at the Islands District Council meeting. Many members voiced opposition to the plan and asked why more was not being done to reduce waste at source. They also questioned what the government would do to address the health and hygiene concerns of those living close to the proposed incinerator.


A study finds Hongkongers who do mind-body exercises may reduce the risk of mood disorders. Exercising at least twice a week may prevent the onset of mood disorders. Tai chi, qigong and yoga are more effective than cardio exercises such as running and cycling in reducing the risk of mood disorders.


The Secretary for Health, Ko Wing-man, says the two-can baby formula export limit will remain in place for now. The restriction measure was implemented in March this year. However, it has brought about pros and cons. Some accused the Government of intervening in the market and undermining Hong Kong's reputation of being a free economy. People on the Mainland were so unhappy with the control that the conflict between China and Hong Kong was intensified.


Yesterday was the 76th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre. Thomas Rabe, a German, was invited to talk to over one thousand Hong Kong students at Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Kwai Chung) about the story of his grandfather John Rabe, who helped to shelter 250,000 Chinese people from slaughter during the massacre. "Historical truth should not be forgotten!" said Professor Rabe.


A survey shows women are the happier sex. The happiness score for men was 68.1 this year, down from 69.1 last year, while for the women it went up from 70.3 to 71.4. An academic said that most men face more pressure as they are the family breadwinners. The survey also found that rich people were happier than the poor. The score for Hongkongers' satisfaction with the government’s policies and living standards dropped significantly.


IKEA planned to change the translation of Lufsig, a stuffed toy wolf, and regretted the previous rude-sounding Chinese translation. Lufsig became a hit after protesters threw the toy at Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying at a forum last week. It has become an anti-government symbol in Hong Kong. IKEA said product names should not contain abusive language nor reflect politics or religion.


According to Chinese City Competitiveness Rankings 2013, Hong Kong has fallen behind Shanghai in overall competitiveness after staying at the top for 11 years. The ranking was based on competence, which includes economic, financial and trading factors as well as manpower and education. Hong Kong is still ranked first in the quality of assets. But in terms of competition for growth, it ranked 11th, dragging its overall competitiveness.

10/12/13 Hong Kong is losing its attraction as a place to work and live. A survey of leading accountants and financial professionals found that nearly one-third are considering moving their business elsewhere, with Singapore and the mainland among the most attractive destinations. The poll also showed that 60 percent of the respondents expect local home prices to fall by 30 percent next year.

A survey of students studying for sub-degree programs found that 75 percent believe their courses are not cost-effective. They have little faith in securing a university place after completing the sub-degree program. Most of them said tuition fees for the associate degree were a burden to them and their family. Although 74 percent want to pursue a bachelor's degree, only 31 percent plan to.


Rich parents, often from the mainland, hire private detectives to find out if their student children are mixing with the wrong crowd. Parents fear that their children are involved with drugs or being led astray. Stalking is legal in Hong Kong. When children are being followed or photographed, some might argue that their privacy is being infringed. But they would have difficulty proving that the monitoring is unlawful.


Hong Kong's second case of H7N9 flu virus inside a week was confirmed last night. An 80-year-old man, a long-time resident of Shenzhen, crossed the border on Tuesday to treat a diabetes-related complication at Tuen Mun Hospital. He did not develop a fever and other flu symptoms until yesterday. He was in a stable condition in Princess Margaret Hospital's isolation unit.


Fitness centre chain California Fitness has been accused of collecting excessive amounts of personal data from 220,000 customers. The Privacy Commissioner has ordered the company not to make and store photocopies of members' identity cards and not to ask customers to supply birth dates. The fitness centre chain stressed the practice was necessary for auditing and contractual reasons, but the Privacy Commissioner said it was excessive and completely unnecessary.


The Health Secretary, Ko Wing-man, says the first case of H7N9 bird flu in Hong Kong has indicated that the public is still not aware of the danger of the fatal virus. Dr Ko said this was highlighted by the Indonesian domestic helper who culled a chicken which she had bought in Shenzhen without taking precautionary measures. Dr Ko said the government would step up publicity among ethnic minority groups about the health risks.


According to the survey by the Programme for International Student Assessment, Hong Kong's secondary students ranked second in science and reading and held their third place for maths. The assessments also showed that just 12 per cent of pupils in Hong Kong were top achievers in maths, well below the 30.8 per cent for Shanghai and 19 per cent in Singapore. Hong Kong needs to nurture more bright students so as to boost her competitive edge.


An unmarried mother who claimed her six-month-old daughter was abducted has been arrested for illegally handling a dead body. The woman told the police she threw her daughter's body into a bin after finding her dead in bed. She said she panicked and invented the abduction story because she did not know how to tell the baby's father about the death.


Dozens of hikers walked through Tai Long Sai Wan to show their support for the government plan to incorporate the area into a country park. They want to conserve country parks and protect the scenic area. But villagers will stand firm against the government plan, saying that turning private land into a country park is a breach of villagers' property rights.


A survey of 1,182 pupils by the Asian Children Education Association on happy learning has found students in Hong Kong could not get happiness just from learning knowledge, but only when they also achieved good exam results. The association recommended that teachers praise their students more and punish less. It also urged parents not to focus only on exam results.


Kowloon Motor Bus has applied for a 4.3 percent fare increase - just eight months after imposing a 4.9 rise. The company says it is seeking another increase because of inflation and higher operating costs, including fuel and wages. It also says 70-percent of its routes are losing money.


A legislator urged the government to review its policy that seeks to identify better-off public housing tenants. Such tenants are supposed to move out of their flats if their assets exceed a certain limit, so that the units can be given to those in need. Although there are more than 700,000 households living in public housing, in the past five years less than 600 well-off tenants each year have moved out of their units.


Lisa Kuo Yu-chin, wife of former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen, was fined HK$110,000 over the illegal basement at their Kowloon Tong residence. Kuo said she was extremely remorseful for violating the law and publicly admitted responsibility, adding that she was attempting to create a comfortable home for Tang and their four children. The magistrate said the judgment should reflect the severity and the size of the illegal structure.


According to a survey, about a third of Hong Kong students place actor Andy Lau Tak-wah before a list of celebrities as their target for achievement. He was followed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Dad, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Mom. Andy Lau is widely respected as a hard-working star and he has a wholesome image both on and off the screen.


Debt-restructuring companies are "no better than loan sharks," according to the Democratic Party. Such companies help clients secure loans from banks or financial firms in return for an administrative fee of up to 18 percent of the amount borrowed. Many debt-restructuring companies harass clients to pay the fees, even if their loan applications are rejected.


Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society accused Ocean Park of providing a biased and one-sided curriculum to visiting schoolchildren. Ocean Park fails to mention the cruelty involved in training dolphins or the disadvantages of captive breeding. But Ocean Park says without a park, many of its visitors would have no opportunity to learn about marine mammals first hand.


Police are hunting for a middle-aged woman suspected of snatching a six-month-old baby girl from her stroller outside a park in Kowloon City. The woman, who wore a black top and blue jeans, had a strong mainland accent. While she was asking the baby’s mother directions, a man took away the baby from the stroller.


The Civic Party has called on the government to readjust the official poverty line at 60 percent of the median household income, instead of at 50 percent. The party says the current level is too low, and leaves about 500,000 less well-off people without the prospect of help.


Amnesty International says thousands of Indonesian women are being trafficked to Hong Kong where they work in slave-like conditions as domestic workers. Its study found that Indonesian domestic helpers worked 17 hours a day and two thirds had been physically or mentally abused. Almost all the helpers had their passports confiscated by local agencies or employers in case they attempted to run away to escape exploitation.


Overall ratings for TVB's anniversary gala fell below 30 points for the first time in a decade amid a boycott by netizens. TVB has been accused of hegemony by opposing the government's issuance of new free-to-air television licences. But industry experts said the drop was likely a result of a new rating survey with an expanding sample size of households and comparison with last year's 34 points is unfair.


To protect the health of public and prevent children and youth from smoking, the Council on Smoking and Health has urged the government to increase tobacco tax to at least 75 percent of the retail price. Raising taxes on tobacco is one of the effective means to combat the smoking prevalence in Hong Kong. COSH advocates the Government to increase the resources for smoking cessation services, smoke-free education and promotion and combating illicit cigarettes.


A study has found that children who take the school bus to school have weaker lung functions compared to classmates who walk. The amount of dangerous pollutants found in some of the buses is more than double the standard set by the World Health Organization. Researchers also found higher than usual levels of carbon dioxide inside the classrooms of five of the schools because of poor ventilation.


Hong Kong's poor elderly had just one wish on Senior Citizen's Day yesterday – raising their welfare payment. The Against Elderly Abuse of Hong Kong offered the city's senior citizens various treats to mark the day, including a free hotel buffet lunch, a new hairdo and a bus ride. Its spokesman said many elderly people live hand-to-mouth since the government allowances do not keep up with inflation.
香港貧困老人在昨天的「長者日」只有一個願望- 提高他們的福利金。香港防止虐待長者協會提供長者各種款待來紀念這一天,包括免費酒店自助午餐,換個新髮型,乘坐巴士。其發言人表示,很多老人生活僅能勉強維持,因為政府津貼並沒有跟上通脹。


An outspoken presenter on Commercial Radio's morning current affairs programme has been moved to an evening slot -- raising concerns that the station is trying to avoid antagonising the government before its broadcasting licence comes up for renewal in 2016. From next Monday, Commercial Radio's Chief Executive, Stephen Chan, will replace Lee Wai-ling on the morning show -- "On a Clear Day".
一個直率的商業電台早晨時事節目的主持人被調往晚上時間 - 令人擔憂該台在2016年廣播牌照續前試圖避免與政府對立。行政總裁陳志雲下周一起將代替李慧玲主持早上節目《在晴朗的一天出發》。


A Hong Kong man was sentenced to 12 months in prison for entering into a bogus marriage with a pregnant mainland woman to enable her to give birth in Hong Kong. On the strength of her marital relationship with the defendant, the woman successfully obtained a Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking from a private hospital for giving birth in Hong Kong. The defendant admitted that through a middleman, he had accepted 60,000 yuan as reward to contract a bogus marriage with the mainland woman.


The Consumer Council is warning that some plastic and wooden toys intended for young children may not be safe. Tests conducted on 27 toys and children's products found seven contained excessive levels of plasticiser. The substance makes plastic flexible and durable. Chronic exposure could damage a person's liver, kidney as well as reproductive system.


Legislators have voted down a motion opposing an increase in the number of foreign workers who can be brought into the territory. The government recently proposed bringing in more foreign labour to tackle a shortage of manpower in certain industries. Labour sector lawmaker Kwok Wai-keung, who put forward the motion, said the move would further undermine the bargaining power of local workers.


More and more children in Hong Kong are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the youngest is only 7 years old. There are about 7 new cases of childhood diabetes in Hong Kong every month. Obesity and the low level of physical activity are the risk factors for developing diabetes. The Hong Kong Juvenile Diabetes Association has called for schools to adopt individualised diabetes care plans for every student with the disease.


Chief Executive CY Leung says the Government has handled free television licence applications in accordance with the existing system, legal requirements, and procedural justice, and its decision has met various requirements. Mr. Leung stressed that Executive Councillor Lam Woon-kwong was not suggesting they should re-examine the television licences issue but the process for making future decisions.


A survey has found that cyber bullying among adolescents has risen sharply over the past three years. The poll revealed that 55 percent of local respondents said they had been exposed to or had taken part in cyber bullying. The most common type of cyber bullying involved victims repeatedly receiving offensive and insulting messages or having their secrets, personal data or digitally altered photos posted on the internet.


Thousands of people took part in the annual Gay Pride Parade to fight for LGBT rights. The theme of the Hong Kong Pride Parade this year is "We stand for love, we stand for LGBT". Meanwhile, more than a dozen Liberal Party members collected signatures in Wan Chai to oppose same-sex or transgender marriages. They said Hong Kong is a society that upholds traditional family values and this culture should be maintained.


A survey has revealed that the number of young boys who smoke has more than doubled compared with a similar poll two years ago. More than 4,000 primary schoolchildren polled said they had smoked – and 1,800 of them said they had done so before the age of seven. The government would conduct an education campaign in kindergartens in a bid to prevent young children from smoking.
一項調查顯示,男童吸煙的數目較兩年前類似的調查增加一倍以上。4000多名受訪的小學生表示他們吸煙 - 1,800人表示,他們在7歲之前已吸煙。政府會向幼稚園學童推展禁煙教育,防止幼童吸煙。


Educators and parents have slammed a direct-subsidy school for giving young children difficult homework. The general studies worksheet of Ying Wa Primary School was recently circulated on the internet. Primary One students were asked to answer questions concerning the free-TV license and the shortage of kindergarten places. An educator said the school should focus on topics that interest primary students.


The Office of Communications Authority received more than 20,000 complaints against TVB's Scoop programme. The programme compared the three free-to-air TV license applicants and concluded that Hong Kong Television Network lagged behind the other two competitors in every aspect. The complainants accused TVB of presenting inaccurate information and being biased against Hong Kong Television Network.


According to new global rankings of English proficiency, Hong Kong is classified as having moderate proficiency in English, to the same level of Vietnam, Indonesia and Korea. Experts said mother-tongue teaching had had a very negative influence on the efficiency of English learning. English skills must be improved if job-seekers are to remain competitive with mainlanders, whose English skills are improving.


The government is considering imposing a new fine against shop owners who illegally obstruct pedestrian walkways with their goods. The Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Raymond Young, said officials had carried out more than 900 operations in the past two years to tackle the problem, but the results had been unsatisfactory. He said the existing fine lacked a deterrent effect.


The Hong Kong Medical Association has voiced strong opposition to the "Rescue Drug Testing Scheme" to give the police more powers to test any person suspected of drug use. It said the concept could be a violation of human rights and go against the common law spirit that one is innocent until proven guilty. Combating drug trafficking and controlling the source of drugs is a much more effective way, it added.


The director of health yesterday stressed that patient safety was the prime concern behind a proposed tightening of regulations governing beauty treatments. Dr Constance Chan Hon-yee explained that the decision to only allow doctors to perform high-risk beauty treatments did not consider the commercial interests of the industry.


A new study that includes quality of life as a factor raises the number of people living in poverty in Hong Kong to 1.47 million, more than the government's estimate of 1.31 million. About one in five Hongkongers lives a poor and deprived life, struggling to afford three square meals a day and shut out of normal social interaction, the study reveals.


The DSE examination report published yesterday said that in the English composition paper, candidates made many mistakes in spelling and tenses. It said weaker candidates also had difficulty in forming simple sentences accurately. In the Chinese comprehension paper, some students did not understand the questions, while the use of wrong phrases and quotes spoiled their articles.


The Legislative Council has voted down a motion moved by People Power legislator, Raymond Chan, calling for a law to allow transgender marriage. In May, the Court of Final Appeal declared that people who have undergone sex change surgery are entitled to marry in their new gender to the opposite sex. The court gave the government a year to amend the marriage law.


A survey has found that up to 20 percent of children from ethnic minority backgrounds don't receive pre-primary schooling. The study also revealed that secondary school students from minority groups have a higher drop-out rate than other students. Without sufficient education and Chinese-language skills, it would be very difficult for them to find jobs, thus creating cross-generational poverty.


There has been a sharp rise in the number of children receiving medical consultations for emotional problems, an expert said. She believes a major reason for the increase is probably due to the interviews the children undergo to enter a primary school. Many of the children seeking treatment say they have encountered great pressure in their studies or are having problems in their peer relationships.


Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said the government will offer tax incentives to encourage the middle class to buy medical insurance and make more use of private medical services under the voluntary health insurance scheme. The scheme is expected to be implemented about four years later. The premium for hospital plans will then increase by 10 percent.


The Chief Secretary, Carrie Lam, said the government would focus on training local manpower before considering the need to bring in foreign labour. Meanwhile, Professor Francis Lui Ting-ming, said bringing in overseas workers could salvage struggling industries, which would in turn boost the local job market. By importing workers this way, it could help these industries and might avert closures.


The Federation of Trade Unions slammed the government's suggestion that the territory could import more foreign workers to combat Hong Kong's labour shortage. Legislator Alice Mak Mei-kuen said there are still many locals who could boost the labor market, including housewives. She urged the administration to devise family-friendly policies to encourage these women to get jobs.


The government has launched a public consultation exercise on its population policy, as Hong Kong faces a shrinking workforce, an aging population and a low birth rate. It is seeking views on whether to import foreign workers to fill labour shortages. The government is also considering whether to introduce direct subsidies or family friendly workplace practices to encourage people to have more children.


Twenty-seven complaints have been received against TVB show Scoop, which called on ex-TVB employees laid off by HKTV to go back to the station, the Communications Authority said. Most complainants said it was inappropriate for TVB Jade to broadcast its own recruitment in the entertainment program. Some also complained that the program amounted to "product placement" and had disgusted viewers.


Among the 15 places in the Asia Pacific region, the SAR ranked 11th in the healthy living survey. Around two-thirds of local respondents admitted they were addicted to online activities and social networking, so they lacked sleep. On average, Hongkongers normally slept 6.5 hours per night. Interviewees regarded sufficient sleep as most important for a healthy life and a happy frame of mind came second.


Inflation in Hong Kong rose in September to 4.6 percent on 12 months earlier. The rise of inflation was driven by an increase in vegetable prices after a typhoon. Among all categories, utilities accounted for the biggest increase, up 9.2 percent from 12 months earlier. Food came second, rising 6.7 percent, while only the durable goods category saw price declines.


Thousands of marchers protested against the government's decision to refuse a free-to-air broadcast licence to Hong Kong Television. They accused the government of operating within a black box. A Chinese newspaper reported that the application of HKTV was rejected mainly because its plans to provide 30 channels in 6 years were too aggressive and it would disrupt the market order.


The Development Secretary Paul Chan has admitted that the government has not yet secured sufficient land to meet the housing target set by the Long Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee. The committee had said Hong Kong would need 470,000 units in the next 10 years but Mr Chan said the government is 60,000 to 70,000 flats short.


Next Media announced it will cease publication of its free daily newspaper Sharp Daily so as to consolidate its print operations in Hong Kong and to focus on its profitable operations. An academic believed that its closure reflects that the free newspaper market is close to saturation.


Hollywood director Michael Bay was injured yesterday in an attack by a suspected triad member in Quarry Bay during filming of his latest Transformers movie. Two brothers attempted to extort HK$100,000 from the director as a payment for allowing the crew to shoot there. Bay suffered a minor facial injury in the incident, and the two brothers were arrested on suspicion of assault and attempted extortion.


About 200,000 construction workers will get pay rises ranging from 5 per cent to 20 per cent after November. Concreters will receive the highest pay rise, going from HK1,500 to HK1, 800 a day. The wage increases are designed to attract new blood to less popular jobs to replace ageing workers. Although Hong Kong is still lacking construction workers, the union strongly opposes the importation of foreign labour.


The government announced it has given new free-to-air television licences to PCCW's Hong Kong Television Entertainment and i-Cable's Fantastic Television. But the application from Hong Kong Television Network was rejected, as it did not think Hong Kong could support five free-to-air TV stations. The two new operators would introduce competition to a market that had remained virtually unchanged for the past 40 years.


For the Manila hostage tragedy, the Democratic Party has proposed imposing 5 sanctions to put pressure on the Philippine government. These include suspending cultural exchanges and trade negotiations, and boycotting Philippine goods. The Democratic Party said the aim was to give the Hong Kong government a strong bargaining position in any negotiations with the Philippines.
針對菲律賓人質事件,民主黨建議採取5項制裁措施,向菲律賓政府施壓。5項措施包括停止兩地政府文化來往及貿易談判,以及罷買菲律賓貨。民主黨表示,  制裁目的是讓香港政府與菲律賓政府談判時,處於有利的談判地位。


The Environmental Protection Department has launched a collection service for schools to recycle waste electrical and electronic equipment. The collected items will be transferred to three recycling programmes supported by the EPD. This can encourage students to follow the 'Use Less, Waste Less' message by recycling replaced computers when they buy new ones.


A survey has found that there is a shift in the usage of Facebook for students. Facebook is losing its popularity as a communication tool among Hong Kong teenagers and is increasingly being used for self-promotion and information gathering. Many now use smartphone apps such as WhatsApp and Instagram for communication.


The Chief Executive, C Y Leung, denied a Manila newspaper report that he had agreed with the Philippine President, Benigno Aquino, to put the row over the Manila bus hostages tragedy behind them. Mr Leung criticised the Philippine media for taking his comments out of context and misinterpreting them.


A former pet shop owner was given a suspended jail sentence for animal abuse and fined HK$70,000. The woman kept 60 cats and dogs in terrible conditions in a flat after her shop closed. More than half of them fell ill because of a lack of food and water. The magistrate described her behaviour as disgusting and told her not to keep animals again for the rest of her life.


The People Power Party plans to move a bill in Legco to ban Filipina maids from working in Hong Kong, in a bid to force the Philippine President to apologise for the Manila hostage tragedy. But the plan has drawn harsh criticism, saying that such a move could hurt local people. Asian Migrants' Coordinating Body spokesman said it would be "racist" to ban Philippine maids.


The Education Bureau and kindergarten principals have agreed that local kids get priority in school places. The decision comes as increasing numbers of mainland parents flock to border schools in search of places for their children. Most principals have also supported the option to use internet applications and there will be measures to prevent multiple applications.  


Secretary for Education Eddie Ng yesterday assured parents there are enough kindergarten places in North District. In 2014-15, it is estimated there will be 12,400 students aged three to five in North District while there will be 12,500 school places. Ng said the demand and supply strike a balance. But education lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen doubted that the figures had no estimation on cross-border students.


Environmental group Greeners Action has urged the public to boycott overpackaged fresh fruits and vegetables sold in Hong Kong supermarkets. It had found that seven out of eight supermarkets had very serious overpackaging problems, with 70 percent of fruit and vegetables being wrapped. The group is calling on supermarket operators to show social responsibility and to reduce the production of waste from their bad overpackaging habits.


With the enforcement of the Tourism Law on the Mainland, the number of tours to Hong Kong dropped instantly as a result. The Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone started to operate officially a few days ago. Six major economic activities will be liberalized. If the competitiveness of tourism and finance weakens, what Hong Kong industries can emerge to take their places? If Hong Kong is to break out of the economic doldrums, it must promote the development of high technology and high value-added services.


The University of Hong Kong officially appointed Peter Mathieson as its new vice-chancellor yesterday despite reservations expressed by students, alumni and senior academics, one of whom called him "ignorant, incapable and unmotivated". Responding to criticism about his lack of knowledge about the local culture and of China, Mathieson said he saw this as an advantage because he would be able to "start afresh with no predefined standpoint or baggage".


Several elite schools are taking advantage of loopholes in the Education Bureau's guidelines to test students seeking Primary One admission. At the Diocesan Girls' Junior School, about 2,800 girls competed for 140 places. Some children said they were asked to repeat English stories told by teachers and to answer multiple-choice questions. At another school, children were given an iPad to answer questions.


A survey has found that most people support the Government's measures to cool the property market. Over 62 percent of the respondents said there should be no exemptions to the special stamp duty, buyer's stamp duty and double stamp duty. A further 14 per cent think they should be tightened. Developers, property agents and some lawmakers have called for relaxation or removal of the "refining property cooling measures".


Mainland tourists said they were happy to comply with new rules on how to behave when travelling. The rules, which went into force yesterday, urged travelers to behave and abide by the norms of civilized tourist behaviour. General guidelines include not spitting on the streets, not shouting in public areas, not throwing rubbish and not picking their noses.


Hong Kong's first electric minibus is expected to hit the roads next month. The battery-run public light bus is said to be 50 percent more fuel efficient than conventional minibuses that run on diesel. The manufacturer says the vehicle is designed for local road conditions, and could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent.


More than 3,000 people joined the first parents' day at the University of Science and Technology. Parents who attended said they found the activity a good way to understand campus life. But the parents' event was ridiculed for 'babysitting' university students. Some people also criticized the university students for being too dependent and their parents overly protective.


Hong Kong's first official poverty line has been set at 50 percent of the territory's median monthly household income. The 2012 poverty line for one-person households is set at $3,600, and $14,800 for four-person households. After deduction for tax and welfare subsidies, 15.2% of Hong Kong's population, or more than 1.02 million people, were living in poverty.


Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen said Hong Kong's legal system plays a crucial role in maintaining the city's competitiveness and status as one of the leading global financial and commercial centres in the world. Hong Kong will continue to be a good gateway into the Mainland, and a springboard to the rest of the emerging cities in the region, he added.


A survey by the World Green Organisation has found that half of the respondents supported the introduction of a waste disposal charge. The number in favour of the charge was double those who oppose it. Nearly sixty percent of those polled also said they were willing to pay HK$30 a month. Nearly 65 percent want households to be charged by volume, saying it is fair, and that it effectively reduces waste and encourages recycling.


The Council for Sustainable Development yesterday launched a four-month consultation on household rubbish disposal charges which could range from HK$30 to HK$74 a month. It has put forward three proposals -- including charging households according to the amount of rubbish they produce. This measure has more direct incentive to reduce and recycle waste.
可持續發展委員會昨推出為期四月垃圾徵費諮詢,建議家庭每月徵費由三十至七十四元不等。委員會提出三個建議 - 包括每個住戶按棄置垃圾的體積收費。這項措施有更直接的激勵,減少和回收廢物。


The Environmental Protection Department has raised by $3 billion its proposed subsidy to phase out pre-Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles, to a total cost of $11.71 billion. Secretary for the Environment KS Wong said the proposal strikes a balance between transport trade concerns and public health. He appealed to the industry to phase out the vehicles as soon as possible to improve roadside air quality.


The Equal Opportunities Commission has unveiled its plans for the next three years. Its five priority areas include seeking legal protection for sexual minorities, and advocating equal education and employment opportunities for ethnic minorities students and students with special educational needs.


Severe Typhoon Usagi, packing winds up to 165 kilometers an hour, is said to be the strongest storm to hit Hong Kong since 1979. Hundreds of flights were cancelled or delayed at Hong Kong airport stranding many passengers. Bus and ferry services were also disrupted. There were also reports of flooding and fallen trees.


Secretary for Food & Health Dr Ko Wing-man said powdered formula demand is expected to increase during the October 1 Golden Week, and the Government will run a stress test to see whether the supply chain can cope with the fluctuating demand. It will test suppliers' and retailers' preparation work and examine whether they can withstand a sudden increase in demand for powdered formula.


Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said the minimum wage and the poverty line have different policy goals. Lam said that the poverty line was aimed at identifying society's poorest, while the minimum wage was to protect the working class. She said the poverty line should not dictate the minimum wage level.


The Communications Authority has fined TVB HK$900,000 for engaging in anti-competitive behaviour that 'artificially impaired' the ability of rivals to compete with the broadcaster. An investigation concluded that TVB had abused its dominant position by restricting other broadcasters' access to local artists, driving up their costs and impeding the production of high quality programmes.


A couple were jailed for the 'cruel and vicious' abuse of their Indonesian maid over a two-year period. The wife was sentenced to 5 years and her husband got 3 years. The pair tied the maid at night, beat her with hangers and bicycle chains and burned her with a clothes iron. The judge said employers should be patient and tolerant, and should not use violence to solve problems or regard their maids as targets to vent their anger.


Seven sporting stars have been admitted to a part-time bachelor's degree programme that will allow them to pursue their studies while training at the same time. The Institute of Education president Stephen Cheung Yan-leung said high scores in the DSE should not be the only criterion for enrolment. Young people who have devoted themselves to sports and music deserve a chance.


A survey shows that nearly 20-percent of parents have admitted spying on their children's social media accounts. Their tactics include adopting other people's identities or even fake ones. The survey also found that 46 percent of children do not like their parents checking on them. A research officer said that spying on children is not the answer to better communication.


Government officials and politicians attended a memorial service yesterday to pay tribute to a "Victoria Park Uncle" Hui Kam-chee. Uncle Hui was a regular member of RTHK public affairs programme City Forum. He was never afraid to share his views on the talk show, but listened to opposing viewpoints. He decided to donate his body to medical science two weeks before he died.


Housing Secretary Anthony Cheung said that the government would not dilute measures intended to cool the property market, despite growing protests from estate agents. An alliance of property agencies was formed to ask the Government to make amendments and scrap some of the cooling measures. But Cheung said any exemptions could create loopholes and threaten the effectiveness of the cooling measures.


As the Mid-Autumn Festival approaches, the Environmental Protection Department  encourages every family to cherish food and avoid wasting it while celebrating the festival. After the celebration, lots of food often remains uneaten and will end up in the landfills. The EPD calls on the public to donate excess food which is still fit for consumption to food recycling organisations.


A survey has found that over 70 percent of people agree that the government needs to increase spending on public housing, education, health-care services and retirement protection. Only about one quarter of the respondents believe the government should increase spending on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance. Almost half of the people believe that the tax rate is too low for Hong Kong's highest earners.


Secretary for Labour & Welfare Matthew Cheung calls on employers to adopt family-friendly employment practices. Employers should adopt measures to increase employees' sense of belonging and strengthen their dedication to work. Such measures could include creating a people-oriented corporate culture, allowing employees to participate in decision-making, and giving them adequate opportunities to develop their potential.


Operators of tourist attractions on Lantau are organizing a series of activities to boost tourism on the island. The Lantau Development Alliance hopes to turn Lantau into a major tourist destination. First Lantau Fiesta will offer a series of events in October and November -- ranging from a music festival, theme park attractions, a carnival, an Eco expo, to an introduction to the Tai O fishing village.
大嶼山旅遊景點的營運商將舉辦一系列活動,以促進島上旅遊業。大嶼山發展聯盟希望把大嶼山變成一個主要的旅遊目的地。首屆「大嶼山節」將在10月和11月提供一連串的活動 - 從音樂節、主題公園景點、嘉年華會、國際環保博覽到介紹大澳漁村。


Central government liaison office director Zhang Xiaoming warned Hong Kong is lagging behind in its innovative development. He said while it was nice to see that Hong Kong was rated the seventh most competitive region in the world, the SAR's innovative competitiveness ranking is not satisfactory. His message to young people is to widen their vision and be an innovative dreamer.


The Development Secretary, Paul Chan, has suggested that land in country parks could be used for housing in the future. But this suggestion was rejected by Green Sense, saying that country parks are for everyone to enjoy. Green Sense suggested that the government should tighten the lax immigration policy to control population growth in order to meet housing pressure problems.


Experts said irresponsible media reporting of suicides encourages copycats and may even trigger an epidemic. It also caused additional hurt and put pressure on victims’ families. New media in the form of animation and videos are more intrusive. There needs to be a balance between press freedom and the right to report, and the social obligation to respect life.


Members of the government's Poverty Commission are divided over whether to include public housing subsidies as part of family income when it calculates the number of people living in poverty. The number will drop by almost half - from 1.29 million to about 680,000 - if the subsidies are counted. Some members of the commission think using the subsidies to calculate the poverty line would distort the real picture.
在計算貧窮人數時,是否將公共住房補貼計算在家庭收入的一部分,扶貧委員會成員意見分歧。如果補貼計數,數目將下降近一半 - 從1百29萬降至約680,000。一些委員會成員認為,使用補貼來計算貧困線會扭曲真實的狀況。


The government has been criticized for not understanding the needs of the homeless. Two Sham Shui Po district officials said free meals given by kind-hearted people to street sleepers would make them less willing to change their lives and would attract more street sleepers to move to Sham Shui Po. The restaurant owner who gives free meals to street sleepers criticized the officials for not understanding the reality.


A survey shows that Hongkongers consider wealth the most important criterion to define "middle class." More than 56 percent believed that middle class individuals should own private property worth between HK$2 million and HK$8 million. Some also said it was crucial for middle class people to have "taste" as well as to be actively involved in social and political issues.
一項調查顯示,香港人認為財富是最重要的標準來定義「中產階級」。 超過五成六的人認為,中產個人應該擁有價值二百萬至八百萬元的私人物業。也有人說,中產階級最重要是有生活品味,以及積極參與社會和政治問題。


The Long-Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee proposed setting a target of building 470,000 flats in the next 10 years to address Hong Kong's housing problem. The proportion of public and private housing is six to four. The committee suggested providing transitional housing on vacant government land. The committee also proposed a licensing system to regulate sub-divided flats.


Two freshmen with uncommon life experiences said they were grateful for the chance to start their new journey at university. Tsang Tsz-kwan, who is visually and hearing impaired, hopes to enjoy university life like any ordinary student. Lui Wing-ho, a former drug addict, is grateful that he had been given a chance to turn over a new leaf in life despite his criminal record. He hopes his personal experience will encourage other young people with similar backgrounds to correct their mistakes.


A survey of the DAB party found that half of the parents interviewed said school expenses of the new academic year accounted for 20 to 30 per cent of their monthly household income. Spending on textbooks had the biggest increase. The DAB party has called on the government to tighten its scrutiny on the pricing of school textbooks. It also called on the government to raise subsidies for low-income families.


Secretary for Food & Health Dr Ko Wing-man says hospital management has responsibility for clinical quality and patient safety. The Hospital Authority has set up an independent committee to help settle a dispute between a heart specialist and the Prince of Wales Hospital. The row was sparked off after the hospital suspended Professor Yu Cheuk-man from carrying out complex heart surgery that he allegedly has not been trained to perform.


About 20 ethnic minority children and parents staged a protest outside the government headquarters, calling on the Education Bureau to institute a comprehensive 'Chinese as a second language' curriculum and providing adequate and effective support. The group chanted "we are not lazy, we are helpless", and said they want fair treatment.


A survey of the Equal Opportunities Commission has found that most companies turn a blind eye to the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. 43 per cent of the companies that responded do not have a policy statement on sexual harassment. Only one in nine companies admits it has the problem. The most common harassment is physical contact, followed by dirty jokes, non-verbal sex cues, hostile work environment and cyber harassment.


A survey has found that the public's confidence in the effectiveness of the Mandatory Provident Scheme has dropped. Respondents felt MPF was not sufficient to enable them to have a good retirement life. The study also found that just 3 per cent of MPF account holders had transferred their accounts to other service providers, under the Employee Choice Arrangement.


The Education Bureau is considering the idea of making Chinese history a compulsory and independent subject for junior secondary students. It plans to ask the Curriculum Development Council to study the mode of teaching and the subject's content. Traditionally, an independent Chinese History curriculum model is teaching students to learn the change, the rise and fall of the dynasties. The council will study whether this method is still appropriate.


An Indonesian domestic helper was tied to a chair for five days without food and water when her employers were going on a trip to Thailand. The helper suffered a series of maltreatment from her employers since arriving in Hong Kong to take up the job in 2010. She was not given any salary or days off. She was often beaten for doing something wrong or even without reason.


Customs officers say they have broken up a syndicate selling counterfeit mobile phone cases. Five people were arrested. Officers seized more than 7,500 counterfeit cases and computer equipment worth a total of $650,000. The syndicate was said to have been selling the items via a website registered overseas, making it hard for law enforcement officers to trace.


A poll conducted by the University of Hong Kong's Public Opinion Programme has found that more than 57 percent of the respondents support the planned expansion of the territory's three landfills, but 30 percent of respondents living on the landfill area oppose expansion. The Undersecretary for the Environment, Christine Loh, reiterated that the matter needed to be addressed urgently.


Asia Television has been fined HK$1-million after the Communications Authority found it had breached the Broadcasting Ordinance. The Authority requested ATV's Executive Director, James Shing, to step down within seven days because he was no longer a "fit and proper person" to run the station. The Authority also ordered the broadcaster to stop its majority investor, Wong Ching, from exercising de facto control of the station because he is not a director.


Teacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze was given a verbal warning by her school for swearing at the police in public. In its statement, the school said teachers should maintain their virtues and be objective, and it hopes Lam can learn a lesson and be more cautious in future. It also condemned her conduct, which it claimed has damaged the professional image of teachers and seriously harmed the reputation of the school. But Miss Lam said the wording of the statement is too harsh.


Miss Lam -- the teacher who sparked controversies after telling police officers off with abusive language in public -- will face disciplinary action by the school in which she teaches. The Board of Directors of her school said in a statement that Ms Lam's conduct had damaged teachers' professional image and caused serious harm to the school's reputation.


A new report by the World Wildlife Fund has found that Hong Kong’s Ecological Footprint is considerably larger than the global average. Hong Kong has the second-worst ecological deficit in Asia, after Singapore. An ecological deficit means people consume more resources than their environment can provide. The report predicts that if the situation remains unchanged in the future, by the middle of this century, we will need the equivalent resources of 3 Earths to satisfy our daily needs.


A survey of the Junior Chamber International in Hong Kong has found more than six out of 10 people polled are willing to pay a maximum of 200 dollars a year to tackle Hong Kong's waste disposal problem. 55 percent do not support the expansion of the landfill mainly because they regard it as a short-term solution. The group says feasible solutions to solve waste problem include construction of incinerators, waste reduction at source, plastic articles levy, supporting waste recycling industry and enhancing the quality of education.


Twenty transplant patients from the SAR won a total of 37 medals at the World Transplant Games. The youngest athlete So Tsz-ling won 3 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze. The Eleven-year-old girl, who received a liver transplant from her mother when she was just seven months old, said she has learned to treasure life since her experience. The aim of the Games is to advocate organ donations and encourage patients who have recovered to exercise in order to maintain good health.


The Travel Industry Council received more than 180 complaints from visitors on package tours in the first half of the year - up 40 per cent from the same period last year. Complaints often related to the conduct of tour guides or arrangements for hotels. The council took all possible measures to ensure that complainants received prompt replies informing them of what action had been taken.


The Centre for Health Protection is warning people only to buy honey from reliable sources after three people developed "mad honey poisoning". A 49-year-old man, his mother-in-law and a female friend suffered symptoms such as dizziness and seizures after eating honey bought in Nepal. The poisoning is caused by a toxin contained in nectar from certain plants which can affect nerves and muscles.
衛生防護中心呼籲市民應向可靠來源購買蜂蜜,三個人進食蜂蜜後患狂蜜病。一 名49歲男子,他的岳母及朋友進食從尼泊爾購買的蜂蜜後,出現頭暈及發病等徵狀。中毒是由某些含有毒素的花蜜引起的,可能會影響神經和肌肉。


Customs officers arrested seven people for using unscrupulous pricing tactics to cheat customers buying abalone and ginseng. The arrests, the first under the revised Trade Descriptions Ordinance, were made at three stalls in Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei. Seven storekeepers are suspected of misleading customers about the price of goods.


A beautiful ironwoman braved strong winds and big waves to rescue a drowning mainlander who tried to commit suicide. She was running along the Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront Promenade when she saw the man struggling in the water. She immediately dived into the sea and eventually dragged the drowning man ashore.  


A smartphone application providing background checks for users has been seriously breaching the personal privacy law. The "Do No Evil" app allowed employers to check against a database of about two million records if a person had been involved in any lawsuits or declared bankrupt in the past.


A minibus driver suffering from long-term liver disease was killed in a traffic accident when his vehicle collided with a coach at a junction in Kowloon City. Police found that Wong's seatbelt had been clipped to make it slack. Whether the driver's death was caused by the loose seatbelt or his long-term liver disease is still unknown, pending forensic death investigation.


The police were promised the full support of the chief executive yesterday as he ordered a report into obscenities yelled by a primary school teacher. "The Education Bureau should submit a report that is fair and impartial on whether the series of incidents would have an effect on our teachers, teaching quality and youngsters," Leung said.


Economist and Long Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee member Dr Kwan Cheuk-chiu suggested that five or six private golf courses, with about 700 hectares of land, should be designated for housing. He admitted that this might shock the market and it is possible to drive property prices down 20 to 30%.


Guangdong authorities have alerted Hong Kong to a suspected human case of avian influenza A (H7N9) involving a 51-year-old woman in Huizhou. Centre for Health Protection Controller Dr Leung Ting-hung said measures to prevent the importation and spread of the disease in Hong Kong in recent months will continue, such as enhanced surveillance in hospitals, temperature screenings, and public health education.


Former Development Secretary, Mak Chai-kwong, and an Assistant Highways Director, Tsang King-man, were yesterday sentenced to eight months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, for cheating the government out of HK$560,000 in housing allowances. The judge described the gravity of the offenses as on the low side and he took into account their contributions to society.


New guidelines for dealing with conflicts of interest involving top officials have been made public by the Chief Executive, C Y Leung. The guidelines state that potential conflicts of interests don't necessarily have to involve financial affairs, and can also be related to the interests of a minister's relatives or friends. Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said the guidelines were grossly inadequate, and created more questions than answers.


The ICAC has charged a man and his sister with defrauding the pay-TV station NOW-TV out of 350-thousand dollars, by cheating on a popular quiz show. The duo are accused of giving an assistant broadcast engineer a 46-thousand dollar bribe, in return for the correct answers to questions for the game show, "Action-to-Money".
廉署起訴一對兄妹詐騙收費電視now TV一個流行的遊戲節目35萬元獎金,二人被指控向一名助理廣播工程師提供46000多元賄款,作為透露一個遊戲節目「撳錢」的正確答案的報酬。


Infant formula maker Cow & Gate has partially recalled New Zealand-linked products in Hong Kong over fears they contain a deadly bacteria. There are about 87,000 cans in the Hong Kong retail market. It was found that drinks and baby formula containing products made by Fonterra were contaminated with bacteria that could cause botulism.


Scuffles broke out in Mong Kok yesterday, between supporters and opponents of a primary school teacher who yelled abuse at police during an argument last month. Organizers were forced to cut short the assembly. Confrontation between the two sides in the pedestrian zone lasted over four hours, during which there were more foul language and crude gestures between the rivals.The event affected businesses, with shops lowering their shutters amid the chaos.


Green Sense has expressed reservations about an Environmental Impact Assessment Report for the proposed North-east New Territories Development area. The group is concerned about possible conflicts of interest, as the plan’s public consultation, engineering design and environmental assessment are conducted by the same company. The group also believes that the environmental impact of the project could be very high - as 12,000 trees would have to be cut down, affecting about 200 bird species.
環保觸覺對新界東北發展計畫環評報告表示保留。環保觸覺擔心有潛在的利益衝突,因為計劃的公眾諮詢、工程設計及環境評估都是由同一間公司負責。環保觸覺認為,該項目對環境的影響可能是非常高的- 12,000棵樹被砍倒,影響約200種鳥類。


A construction worker was jailed for three months after being convicted of animal cruelty. The man tied a string around the cat's neck, dragged it around and beat it with a stick until it died. The sentence was criticised as "disgracefully light" by animal lovers. The offence warrants up to three years in jail and a HK$200,000 fine under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance.


According to a study of the Hong Kong Institute of Education, about 1.3 million Hongkongers are living in poverty, of whom 500,000 are in severe poverty. About 41.1 percent of the elderly are living in either poverty or severe poverty. An academic suggested that the government should establish a sound retirement protection system, and universal retirement protection should be considered.


A bullied worker attacked eleven co-workers with a chopper on a company bus taking him to his last day at work yesterday. Colleagues said the man claimed he was bullied by women workers at work. To make matters worse, some openly suggested holding a party to celebrate his resignation. It appeared that the attack was sparked by revenge.


A think tank has warned that Hong Kong is wasting both water and public money because of the government's current water strategy. Civic Exchange says the government's attempts to get people to use less water aren't working because charges here are so low that little attention is paid to conservation.


Home affairs minister Tsang Tak- sing expressed dismay over the poor state of the Hong Kong Stadium pitch. He blamed torrential rain and intensive competitive events for ruining the pitch. He said the government will consider whether returfing work is needed.


Police have charged a 38-year-old man for allegedly killing his girlfriend and their two children before trying to take his own life. The mainland man tried to reunite with his girlfriend and came to Hong Kong, but the woman refused. Villagers described the man as "being easily agitated, addicted to gambling and reluctant to work."


Around a dozen protesters from women's groups protested outside the government headquarters, demanding executive councillor Cheng Yiu-tong retract his earlier comments about future chief executive elections. Last week, Mr. Cheng said a pre-screening process was necessary to bar people like porn stars to be elected. The women's groups accused Mr Cheng of making discriminatory remarks and being sexist.


The Environment Secretary, Wong Kam-sing, has rejected claims that 300,000 tonnes of imported waste have been dumped in local landfills since the beginning of the year. The recycling industry says it has been blocked from selling processed imported waste to the mainland, since China tightened regulations. They say this has resulted in it ending up in Hong Kong landfills.


Foreign domestic helpers have urged the government to scrap its policy requiring maids to live with their employers. The Mission for Migrant Workers says domestic helpers should be given the option to live elsewhere, in light of the persistent problem of workers being given inadequate accommodation.


Four of the Modern College students disqualified from the Diploma of Secondary Education Chinese examination for plagiarism have broken their silence, blaming their teacher for telling them to copy reference materials without citations. The teacher said the Chinese project only plays a very small part in the scores of public exams and he would mark the projects casually.


The Education Bureau has rejected an application by St Paul's Secondary School to join the direct subsidy scheme. Education lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen welcomed the bureau's rejection but said the government should consider why more and more prestigious schools are joining the DSS - which gives schools more leeway in deciding curriculum, entrance requirements and tuition than government-funded schools.
教育局否決聖保祿中學申請加入直資計畫。教育議員葉建源歡迎教育局的否決,但他表示,政府應該考慮,為什麼越來越多的名校加入直資計畫 - 直資學校比政府資助的學校有更多的靈活性決定課程設置,入學要求及學費。

23/7/13 Legislators have expressed support for a proposed law that will require all ocean-going vessels to switch to cleaner fuel while at berth in Hong Kong. Authorities say this could reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide city-wide by 14-percent. The legislation is expected to take effect in 2015.

A survey by the Hong Kong Sustainable Development Research Institute has shown that local elderly are less active than their peers in Europe and the United States. Hong Kong ranks lower compared to America and Europe in terms of `active aging' . The government has a key role to play in encouraging the elderly to have greater participation in the community.


Hutchison Whampoa is conducting a strategic review that could lead to the sale of its ParknShop supermarket chain. Billionaire Li Ka-shing said yesterday he has no plans to withdraw his investment from Hong Kong. Li denied it was related to the political situation or public opinion of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.


The amended Trade Descriptions Ordinance came into effect yesterday. It will become an offence for businesses to provide misleading information in order to persuade people to buy their goods or services. The latest revision of the Ordinance aims to win back consumer trust by plugging the loopholes and cracking down on unfair trade practices in order to boost consumption and tourism.


Friends of the Earth says a quarter of waste being dumped in landfills every day is recyclable. It urges the government to directly subsidise the recycling companies. As many companies only choose to recycle higher value materials, the government should subsidise these firms to process low-value waste to help alleviate the burden on the territory's landfills.


The claim by Modern College that a teacher was "too honest" in reporting plagiarism by its students is an insult to the education sector, according to Examinations and Assessment Authority secretary general Tong Chong-sze. He believes every teacher should have integrity. He clarified that the authority found out about the 23 students because it took the initiative to check and not because of the three earlier reports.


Tsang Tsz-kwan, the visually impaired student who earned 5** in three subjects in the Diploma of Secondary Education Examination, is urging the government not to reduce class numbers in special schools. Although there is a growing trend towards inclusive education, Tsang said special education is vital for disabled students and enables them to acquire certain skills before they enter mainstream schools.


A visually impaired student got level 5** in Chinese, English and liberal studies and Level 5* in Chinese and English literature in the Diploma of Secondary Education Examination. She has to use her lips to read braille because she has lost the sensitivity in her fingers. She is also hearing impaired. Despite her poor hearing, she insisted on taking an oral exam. "If I try to escape from the difficulties, they will follow me through life," she said.
一名視障學生在文憑試中英文及通識教育科取得5**,中國及英國文學科各取得5*佳績。她要用嘴唇讀盲文,因為她已經失去了她的手指的觸覺。儘管她的聽力不好,她堅持參加口試。她說: 「如果我選擇逃避困難,這些困難會終生跟住我!」


Twenty-three students from a private school were disqualified for plagiarism in a Chinese-language exam, and will not be able to enter a Hong Kong university. Modern College said it will introduce a multilayered monitoring mechanism to prevent similar incidents from recurring. The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority will further strengthen the guidelines to avoid similar incidents in the future.
一所私營教育機構的二十三名考生在中國語言考試抄襲被取消資格, 涉事考生失去入讀本港大學資格。現代書院表示,該校將設立多重審核機制,以避免相關事件再次發生。香港考試及評核局會進一步加強指引,避免類似事件發生。


Chief Secretary Carrie Lam says the Government will not give up plans to expand the three landfills. In the coming months, the Government will visit affected districts and villages to listen to residents’ needs and opinions on the progress of improvement works.


The government has been forced to delay its plans to expand the landfills at Tuen Mun and Ta Kwu Ling, after legislators voted to adjourn funding debates for the controversial projects. Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing expressed disappointment at the outcome, arguing that there is a pressing need to expand the landfills.


The wife of former chief secretary, Henry Tang, admitted building an illegal basement in the couple's Kowloon Tong home. But she denied another offence of "knowingly commencing building work". Tang said the affair was blown out of proportion because it occurred during the chief executive election.


Legco's Public Accounts Committee has expressed serious dissatisfation and disappointment over the failure of the government's kindergarten voucher scheme. Councillors criticised the scheme, which has cost more than HK$8-billion, for not achieving its aim of raising the quality of kindergarten education and alleviating the financial pressure on parents.


A survey has found that young people in Hong Kong have low job satisfaction, mainly because of low job income, long working hours and unclear promotion system. It recommends that young people should try more, adjust their attitude and work hard; employers can give more opportunities to young people to enable them to have more room for creativity.


The results for Secondary School Places Allocation are to be announced today. Nearly 90 per cent of students were allocated the first three choices while 76 per cent were allocated the first choices. The Education Bureau urges parents and students to accept the allocation results with a positive attitude.


The Environment Secretary, Wong Kam-sing, said dragging one's feet on the government's proposal to expand two landfills will do Hong Kong no good. He said even if more effort is put into cutting waste at source, landfills are still necessary for Hong Kong to dispose of its solid waste. Some legislators are reported to be planning a filibuster to delay the funding application.


Chinese University reseachers warned that children who suffer from mild hearing loss should be treated as soon as possible. Mild hearing problems could significantly affect speech, and the ability to learn and communicate. Some parents refused medical treatment for their children, and would not let them wear hearing aids because they worried that their children would face discrimination.


A High Court judge sentenced former fung shui practitioner, Tony Chan, to 12 years in prison for forging the will of the late tycoon Nina Wang. The judge described Chan’s conduct as "shameless and wicked as well as borne of unparalleled greed". He said Chan had never shown any remorse for his conduct, adding that the forgery was "extremely well planned".


The government has unveiled a revised blueprint for the development of two new towns in the northeastern New Territories. The Development Bureau will first develop Kwu Tung North and Fanling North. The plan will cost about HK$120-billion, providing 60,000 flats for 170,000 people. However, plans to develop Ping Che and Ta Kwu Ling have been shelved because of a lack of railway services.
政府公布新界東北發展計劃新修訂方案,發展局將會先發展古洞北和粉嶺北,該計劃將耗資約120億港元,為170,000人提供60,000個單位。然而,由於缺乏鐵路服務 ,發展坪輋及打鼓嶺計劃已被擱置。


The government has rejected billionaire Lee Shau-kee's offer of a donation of farmland for building affordable homes and instead suggested he work with non- profit organizations. It is believed to be a move to avoid giving any impression of collusion. Lee said he would talk to NGOs and he plans to build 10,000 small flats priced at HK$1-million for first-time buyers.


On Monday, Beijing passed a law requiring people to visit or keep in touch with elderly parents or risk being sued or face penalties. But experts believe that protecting elderly parents should not be enforced by law, but must come from the heart. The government should reinforce community and school education to teach children to respect their parents.


Tens of thousands of protesters braved torrential rain to clamour for universal suffrage on the 16th anniversary of the city's return to mainland rule. Hong Kong University researchers say between 88,000 and 98,000 people took part. Demonstrators began gathering in Victoria Park long before the official start of the march at 2:30 - holding aloft banners that spelled out their grievances.


Newly crowned Hong Kong road race champion Cheung King-wai said the return of veteran Wong Kam-po for the National Games would be a great boost for his team. Cheung won yesterday's Hong Kong Road Race Championships. Wong, 40, who announced last week he would come out of retirement for the National Games in September, finished seventh. Wong admitted he was a little rusty but was confident of being fully fit for the Games.


Last week the Sunday Morning Post reported that police were investigating Hong Kong International School after it expelled 11 pupils and disciplined others for drug use. An academic was surprised by the school’s action, saying that it is usually a last resort. He said the stigma attached to being a drug user was particularly harmful in Hong Kong, where so much emphasis is placed on academic achievement.


Ocean Park announced a 14 percent price hike from September, with the adult ticket price rising from HK$280 to HK$320 and the child’s, from HK$140 to HK$160. Hong Kong residents can enjoy an 85 percent discount in September and October, when the new prices take effect. The park said operating costs had risen by a third because of additional staff and a sharp increase in costs due to its new attractions.


Two activists were convicted of trying to set fire to the regional flag during a protest. The magistrate said the offence was serious, noting that setting the flag on fire in a crowded place was an irresponsible and dangerous act. He also said it was unacceptable for the defense to use civil disobedience as a counterplea. But one of the activists says he may resort to more extreme means of conveying his political ideas after receiving a suspended four month jail term.
兩名社運人士在抗議行動中企圖焚燒區旗被判有罪。裁判官表示,罪行是嚴重的,並指出,在擁擠的地方焚燒區旗是一個不負責任和危險的行為。裁判官又說,無 法接受辯方提出,以公民抗命作為抗辯。但其中一人在被判入獄4個月緩刑兩年後表示,他可能採取更極端的手段傳達他的政治理念。


The government has withdrawn a funding application to expand the landfill in Tseung Kwan O because of a lack of support. Two other proposals to expand the landfills in Tuen Mun and Ta Kwu Ling also hit a snag due to insufficient time to put them to a vote. The Secretary for the Environment, Wong Kam-sing, noted that lawmakers and the public wanted to see more concrete progress of improvement measures. These included the introduction of fully-sealed garbage trucks and the cutting in half of their trips to the Tseung Kwan O.


A survey shows that 63 per cent of the principals polled disagreed that subjects in the new senior curriculum had brought their pupils enjoyable learning experiences. However, they agreed that offering a range of OLE opportunities on five areas, including moral and civic education, community services, career-related experiences and aesthetic and physical development could provide pupils with more opportunities to develop in different fields.


Former development secretary Mak Chai-kwong and an assistant highways director, Tsang King-man, were found guilty of cross-renting their flats to each other. They were convicted of cheating the government out of HK$700,000 in housing allowances. The judge said it was an important general principle that applicants for housing allowances should not have a financial interest in the flats they leased.


A survey conducted by the Federation of Medical Socieites showed close to 80 percent of people polled don't have a good understanding of obesity. Approximately 50% of respondents did not know breastfeeding can reduce the chance of obesity. Approximately 40 percent of respondents did not know insufficient sleep can lead to obesity. Three percent of respondents did not know obesity could lead to children suffering from mood disorders.


Officiating at the opening ceremony of Food Safety Day, Permanent Secretary for Food & Health Marion Lai reminded shoppers to choose fresh and hygienic food. When choosing ready-to-eat, cooked or perishable food, consumers should choose properly stored and non-expired items, and should avoid damaged or swollen canned food, Mrs Lai said. A series of food safety publicity initiatives will be launched, including TV and radio announcements and posters.


Measures will be introduced to reduce the adverse effects caused to nearby communities by the proposed extension of Hong Kong's three landfills, Secretary for the Environment KS Wong says. To reduce the odour from garbage trucks, it is proposed that the extended Tseung Kwan O landfill only take in construction waste. The government would spend more than HK$10-million on refitting rubbish trucks, so that they would be fully sealed to reduce odour.


Seventy per cent of young people who take drugs say they have been given them for free, a survey found. Social workers were concerned that drugs may be provided free to young people as a way to lure them into addiction. The survey also found 63.1% of the young drug users took drugs at home and 74.8% at a friend's home, 20 to 30% higher than the previous drug "hot spots" Internet cafes or karaoke. It shows that youth drug abuse tends to be hidden.


A global survey has found that working people in Hong Kong are happier than their counterparts in the West. The Regus Work-Life Balance Index also shows local workers are finding a better balance of work and daily living, despite being known for putting in long hours. The survey results show that “Hong Kong is a great example of a hard-working, productive market where people feel content with the amount of time and energy they have for their lives outside work.”


The Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society says there has been an alarming 60 percent decline in Chinese white dolphins in Hong Kong waters. The number dropped from 159 in 2003 to just 61 last year. The society's chairman, Samuel Hung Ka-yiu, said various construction and reclamation works had ruined the dolphins' natural habitat. He urged the government to conduct an environmental impact assessment to discover how they will affect the dolphins.


Customs officers say more young people, including university students, have been caught selling counterfeit goods online. There is a rising trend of young people turning to such crimes because they are frequent internet users and have experience of shopping online. Selling fake goods, no matter online or in real life, is a criminal offense, and will leave criminal records.


The Hong Kong Institute of Family Education director Dick Tik Chi-yuen said the best way for fathers to improve their relationship with children is to take them out and leave their work-related stress behind. Parents should not ask whether the children have done their homework when they get home after work. He encouraged fathers to share their personal experiences with their children, teach them a sense of responsibility and self-management skills.


Fourteen groups have joined together to create a network of "animal protection commissioners" to report on animal abuse. About 20 volunteers from the Alliance for Hong Kong Animal Police will pursue abuse cases spotted by the public or by fellow volunteers. Each district will have a commissioner. Although they have no legal power to prosecute abusers, they will try to help the animals by reporting the cases to the media, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the police.


Legco's environmental affairs panel has backed a HK$400-million plan to install emission-reducing devices on aging buses. The government says it is an effective interim measure before the old buses are totally phased out in 13 years' time. The devices can cut nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80 percent. Bus companies will have to meet the operational and maintenance costs.


The Philippine Football Federation has asked FIFA to investigate allegations that Filipino supporters were subject to racist abuse during last week's friendly match in Hong Kong. The complaint contains statements from Filipino fans who said they were called "slaves," and that Hong Kong fans threw bottles at them and booed the Philippine national anthem. The Hong Kong Football Association last week condemned inappropriate behavior and said it was investigating the incidents.


The Kai Tak cruise terminal was officially opened yesterday. The Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Sea sailed into Hong Kong last night to open a new chapter at the historic site. Cruise passengers were generally satisfied with the operation of the cruise terminal, especially its clear instructions and smiling staff, but were dissatisfied with its lack of exchange shops and poor connection to the city.


The Acting Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, has dismissed claims that the government only considered private-sector pay trends when setting civil service salary increases. She said the Government seriously considered other factors, including civil service morale, the economic situation, and changes in the cost of living. She promised to enhance communication between management and staff in future, to better respond to civil servants’ concerns on matters like manpower resources, work pressure and welfare.


The US intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden, who leaked details of a massive secret surveillance programme by the United States has disappeared from his hotel in Hong Kong. He said he selected refuge in Hong Kong because of its "strong tradition of free speech," and because he believed it was among places in the world that could and would resist the dictates of the US government. US agencies are reported to have gathered millions of phone records and monitored internet data.


A survey has shown that 70 percent of secondary students believe they are not ready for a romantic relationship while 30 percent said they are. Students who believe they are ready for a relationship said it is mainly because they know how to care for their partners, are faithful and have good communication skills. The main reasons why many feel they are not ready are the allocation of time and economic capability.


The Centre for Food Safety will step up tests of rice dumplings ahead of the Dragon Boat festival on Wednesday after media reports the leaf wrappings contained copper. The Secretary for Food and Health tried to play down dumpling leaf wrappings copper fears. He said copper was not usually harmful, so there were no official standards on its intake.


The Chief Executive of CLP Power, Andrew Brandler, says electricity is far too cheap locally to motivate consumers to adopt more energy-efficient habits. Mr Brandler told a forum that raising the price of electricity would be an effective method of reducing energy wastage, but it was unlikely to happen in Hong Kong. Mr Brandler also said the government should rationalise franchised bus routes to improve air quality.


Accepting restaurant gifts worth HK$5,000 has cost a police superintendent his freedom, his job and up to HK$6 million in pension. He was jailed for a year for accepting free food and drinks from a restaurant in return for turning a blind eye to its liquor license violations. The magistrate said the accused had tarnished the reputation of the police and he had shown no remorse.


Green groups want restrictions put on the number of mainlanders allowed to enter Hong Kong. They believe such measures are necessary to avoid overpopulation and, in turn, further reclamation. Increasing population poses a growing threat to the environment and to the endangered Chinese white dolphins as a result of reclamation work.


According to a poll by the University of Hong Kong's Public Opinion Programme, Manila tops the list of governments that Hong Kong people do not like. Many also have bad feelings against Tokyo and Beijing. It is believed the bad feelings toward Manila and Tokyo are mainly due to territorial disputes with the mainland. Some 37 percent do not like the central government, reflecting intensified conflicts between Hong Kong and the mainland.


Seven out of 10 nongovernmental organizations are using social networking websites as a primary channel to communicate with youngsters. The approach is more popular than using traditional channels such as by telephone and face-to-face interviews or home visits. The top three reasons for using social networking sites to promote their causes included faster responses, easy acceptance by youngsters and convenience.


Health authorities in Hong Kong are on alert for potentially harmful starch-based food products from Taiwan. It has been reported that vendors in Taiwan had been using an industrial chemical in snacks and drinks made from starch. The affected products include flat rice noodles, rice cakes, tofu puddings, dumplings, and tapioca balls used to make the island's popular pearl milk tea.


The results of the allocation for primary-school places were released yesterday. There were mixed emotions for parents. Only 68 per cent of the 27,000 children who will start primary education in September are allocated to schools of their first three choices, a 12-year low. Some parents who live in North district criticised the government for poor planning, as their children were assigned to schools in neighbouring Tai Po amid an influx of cross-border pupils.


The Consumer Council unveiled details of a 3-year strategic plan inaugurating a new realm of consumer protection and empowerment. The Council hopes to strengthen compensation mechanism and fairness of markets, advocate class actions and introduce an arbitration center in Hong Kong.


Eight of 10 Hong Kong women stalk potential dates on the internet, a recent poll shows. Some 43 percent do not care if partners earn less than them. But they do prefer their men to be tall and they hate going Dutch on the first date. The survey shows the reasons why people remain single have hardly changed. The top answers are not meeting the right person and difficulty in finding someone who shares the same values.


The prosecution dropped a charge against a Filipino maid who was accused of cheating her employer of HK$15. The magistrate described the case as ridiculous and asked whether the police had nothing better to do. The maid was told to buy HK$50 worth of pork but bought only HK$35 worth and pocketed the balance. The employer reported the rake-off to the police. The maid was arrested and charged with theft.


The Youth Quality of Life survey has found out that youngsters are generally happy with their lives and appreciate educational opportunities available. Most are also satisfied with their material well-being and financial conditions. They have a positive self-image and are satisfied with their appearance and work ability. However, most youngsters are not satisfied with government performance, saying it does not properly address their concerns.


According to the first quarterly household survey for 2013, women in Hong Kong are earning an average of just two-thirds of what men are paid. The median monthly wage was HK$12,000 with the average male earning HK$15,000 a month, compared with HK$10,000 for women. Economic activities in Hong Kong are dominated by men and the belief that women are catching up is a myth, the statistics suggest.
根據2013年首季的家庭每月入息調查,香港女性的平均收入只是男性收入的三分之二。每月工資中位數為12,000元,男性平均收入每月15,000 元,相比女性的10,000元高。統計數據顯示,香港的經濟活動主要由男人支配,婦女正趕上的看法是一個神話。


According to a survey, the average child in Hong Kong drinks only 5 glasses of water a day, compared to the recommended eight glasses. A lack of sufficient liquids may result in dehydration that can lead to poor short-term memory and impaired language ability and concentration. Dehydration of more than 2 percent of their bodyweight may also lead to other problems like constipation and bad breath.


The Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing has warned that it won't be long before Hong Kong is "surrounded by rubbish" if landfills are not expanded. The current three landfills, in Tuen Mun, Ta Kwu Ling and Tseung Kwan O, are expected to be full by 2020 and the territory needed to expand the current three. Mr Wong called on residents living near the landfills, who are opposing the expansion, to consider Hong Kong's overall interests.


The Commission on Poverty urged the Government to formulate policies promoting upward social mobility to mitigate poverty causes, and has decided to adopt this as the commission's future work direction. The commission also discussed ways to support low-income working families not in the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme.


A superintendent of police was convicted of misconduct in public office for getting discounts and gifts from a restaurant. In exchange, he turned a blind eye when the restaurant served alcohol without a liquor licence. The Police Commissioner, Andy Tsang, expressed disappointment, but he stressed it was an isolated incident. He said the police would learn a lesson and prevent similar incidents from happening.
一名警司被裁定公職人員行為失當罪成,他收受一間食肆的折扣優惠和禮物; 作為交換,他對該店無牌賣酒視若無睹。警務處處長曾偉雄對事件感到失望,但強調只屬個別事件,警隊會從事件中學習,不會重蹈覆轍。


Queen Mary Hospital apologized for a medical blunder in which a woman transplant patient was given a heart that did not match her blood type. The rare mistake was realized halfway through the operation when a nurse realized that the donor's AB blood type was not compatible with the patient's type A. The-58-year-old patient remains in serious condition in intensive care.


A survey of the Family Planning Association found that the number of one-child families outpaced two-children households for the first time. Of married or cohabitating women surveyed, 38 per cent had one child and 32 per cent had two children. The average number of children per household reached a record low of 1.12 last year, compared with 1.6 in 2002. Economic pressures, tough working environments and late marriages were all contributing factors.


The Government unveiled a blueprint on waste management, with a target of reducing solid waste by 40 percent in ten years' time. The action plan includes the construction of a major incinerator on the outlying island of Shek Kwu Chau. Other measures include solid waste charges and producer responsibility schemes. There are also plans to expand three existing landfills as well as increasing the scale of food waste recycling.
政府發表本港十年減廢藍圖, 目標是在十年內減少四成固體廢物。該行動計劃包括在離島石鼓洲興建一個大型焚化爐。其他措施包括固體廢物徵費及生產者責任計劃。亦有計劃擴大現有的三個堆填區,以及增加廚餘回收的規模。


According to a study by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Hong Kong is still the most competitive city in China. However, the academy predicts that Hong Kong's lead is diminishing and its service industry will be overtaken by the mainland. The academy attributed Hong Kong's narrowing lead to a lack of progress in the innovative technology sector, expensive housing and an overreliance on financial services.


Reducing food waste is a priority of the Government, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam says. She said 40% of daily waste dumped in landfills is food. Mrs Lam discussed ways to reduce food waste in our daily lives, such as by finishing the food on our plates, making use of food trimmings to cook another dish, and by only buying what we need when shopping.


The MTR says it is investigating the cause of Friday's light rail train derailment in Tin Shui Wai, in which more than 70 people were injured, four seriously. One passenger said the train was going quite fast and was making a turn on Ping Ha Road when the derailment occurred. The accident forced the suspension of light rail services in the area.


A taxi driver was taken to court for overcharging a woman passenger by 50 cents. The woman didn't ask for the 50 cents back that day but went to the Transport Complaints Unit. The unit referred it to the police. Incredibly, police took up the 50 cents case and summoned the taxi driver to court. Fortunately, the Department of Justice decided to drop the charge after considering the trivial nature of the offence.


A 16-year-old youth who was found trafficking ketamine for a reward of $1,000 was jailed for 10 years. He made some bad friends in Form Two and became depressed over his weak performance at school. The teenager was persuaded to become involved in the drugs trade as he wanted to earn quick money. The judge said he had to pass a severe sentence to deter others.


A woman who posted a video on the internet showing a cat chasing several panicked hamsters inside a cage has been arrested for suspected cruelty to animals. The terrified hamsters were trying to hide in a corner as the cat scratched and bit the animals. A woman could be heard laughing as the hamsters squeaked and ran around the cage. Netizens accused the woman of being cruel, inhumane and insane.


A transsexual woman won a groundbreaking appeal in the Court of Final Appeal yesterday allowing her to marry her boyfriend and forcing the government to rewrite marriage laws. Legal experts said the victory by the transsexual redefined the meaning of the word "woman" in the Hong Kong marriage system. It also implied changes to associated legal rights including divorce, inheritance and adoption.


Children's academic work is the greatest source of stress for local mothers, a survey by the Salvation Army has found. Children's health and financial needs came second and third. As for how to relieve stress, 35% of mothers prefer to talk with friends and family. Eating, drinking and shopping can also help reduce stress.


A collective bargaining law would not help the working class if the economy did not look good, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said yesterday. Citing a pay rise given to construction workers, Leung said the business outlook was the key to better pay. His comment dealt a severe blow to dockers and unionists, who were calling for such legislation.


Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying warned that Hong Kong is facing a "fiscal cliff" due to the delayed passage of the budget caused by filibustering in the Legislative Council. Leung said that if the budget is not passed by the middle of this month, the consequences will be dire and irreversible. Relief measures for needy families will be affected and it will deal a severe blow to Hong Kong's reputation abroad.


A survey shows that most children want to dine, chat and go out with their parents. The survey found nine out of 10 children believe that eating together is the ideal platform for parent-child communication. While children would like to talk about their friends and daily habits, most parents use family dinners to discuss homework. Children also enjoy going out with their parents and watching television together.


A survey commissioned by the Hong Kong Institute of Education has found that Hongkongers are more concerned with social order and livelihood issues than the attainment of democracy. Nearly half of the respondents said maintaining social order came ahead of giving people more say in key political decisions. The survey also shows that Hongkongers valued freedom of speech more than democracy.


The Police will conduct a territory-wide campaign on safe cycling to raise public awareness of cycling safety. The campaign involves the distribution of leaflets at various locations. The Police will also take tough action against cycling offences. Bike accidents and injuries to cyclists rose markedly during the first four months of the year compared to 2012.


Striking dockers voted in favour of a 9.8 percent pay rise, ending the 40-day long strike. The workers had initially sought a 20 percent pay rise, but later lowered their demands to any double-digit rise after negotiations failed to make progress. The contractors promised not to hold the strikers responsible, and to provide appropriate breaks for meals and the toilet.


The government is conducting a review on body check requirements for commercial drivers. Drivers aged 60 or older may be subject to periodic health checks to renew their licenses if this is recommended in the review. Government figures show that from 2009 to 2012, there were 55 traffic accidents that could have been related to the health issues of the drivers.


Hundreds of striking dock workers voted down a 9.8 percent pay rise offered by the contractors. They are still insisting on a double-figure increase and direct talks with the employers. However, a spokesman for one of the contractors repeated that it was final and that there would be no more talks. He also said the company had started recruiting new staff to counter the impact of the industrial action.


The Legislative Council Finance Committee approved a HK$100-million government donation to help victims of the recent earthquake in Sichuan province. Many pan-democrats said they were concerned the money could be misused by corrupt mainland officials and opposed the donation. Some members think we should not oppose the funding because of past corruption events. The Chief Secretary, Carrie Lam, had reminded them of the urgency of providing the aid.

3/5/13 A No.3 alarm fire broke out in Tai O yesterday afternoon, destroying 11 stilt houses. A group of fearless students from a nearby secondary school rushed into burning houses to rescue eight elderly residents before firefighters arrived. The brave youngsters also put their lives at risk to remove 50 liquified petroleum gas cylinders.

As many as 10,000 people took to the streets in two Labour Day marches. They came from different walks of life, but were united in their demand for better working conditions. They called for the adoption of a universal retirement scheme, the right to collective bargaining, standard working hours, as well as an annual review of the minimum wage level.


The Commission of Inquiry into the ferry disaster off Lamma island has severely criticised the Marine Department. The inquiry's report highlighted serious long-term 'systemic failures' in the Department's regulation of local vessels. It called for wide-ranging reforms, particularly with regard to attitudes towards responsibility and transparency.


Oxfam Hong Kong's study found that many poor working families with children to support were often worse off than those receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance. Oxfam Hong Kong has urged the government to introduce a Low Income Family Subsidy to help these poor working families maintain a basic standard of living.


A survey found that about 40 percent of parents spent two hours or less each day after work with their children because they needed to take work home or attend to household chores. As for the activities they do with children in weekdays, 35% of parents said that they would spend most of the time accompanying their children to do homework and revision and the topics of conversation were around the children's studies and future.


Why does the Hong Kong society need an infusion of positive energy? There are 5 deep-rooted contradictions which remain unresolved in our society, covering areas such as politics, economy, livelihood and education. Negative energy, continuously released, feeds the chaos in society, and manifests itself in the eruption of numerous governance problems. The Government should have the courage to shoulder the responsibility by diagnosing the real cause of the negative energy and then remedy accordingly.


The government has started a three-day city-wide cleaning campaign to raise awareness of personal and environmental hygiene, in view of the emergence of a new strain of bird flu on the mainland. The Chief Secretary, Carrie Lam said the Government will spare no efforts in environmental hygiene, but every citizen must participate to carry out preventive measures, and keep Hong Kong clean.


A survey has found that almost 40 percent of university students are unable to control their spending, with trendy goods being the main attraction. Nearly 30 percent said they could not resist the temptation of owning a trendy article such as a mobile phone or handbag. The survey findings also reveal that three-quarters of Hong Kong students believe that financial management should be incorporated into the general studies curriculum.


A study shows that less than half of 15-year-olds in Hong Kong expect to complete a university education. Students from middle-class backgrounds expect to go to university, while those from poorer families have lower expectations. Wealthy parents put a lot of learning resources into their children, so their children have high expectations of their own. The financial burden on poorer families could explain the poor expectations.


A study found that Hong Kong children had a high narcissistic index. Hong Kong children rated themselves a lot more highly than youngsters in the West. "Monster and helicopter parents" have contributed to it. Parents should focus more on developing their children's ethics and empathy so that they will learn to appreciate and respect others.


Half of the Hong Kong women interviewed in a survey said they had suffered sexual harassment, yet only 20 percent of those went to the police. Those who worked in the catering industry were the most vulnerable, with 80 percent claiming abuse. Of those who chose not to tell the police, 51.5 percent cited shame as their main reason and 31.6 percent feared they would be blamed.
半數受訪婦女表示曾遭受性騷擾,但只有20%的受訪者向警方報案。那些任職餐飲業是最易受攻擊的,有80%的人聲稱受到性侵犯。那些選擇不報警,51.5%的主要理由是感到羞辱, 31.6%是擔心他們會被指責。


Hundreds of diners yesterday flocked to a 62-year-old cha chaan teng in Sheung Wan on its last day of business. Ngau Kee Food Café was forced to close down because its rich second generation owner regarded the restaurant was featureless. The restaurant was a family business. Its owner suspected that the landlord wanted them to move so that he could lease the space out to high-end boutiques for higher rent.


The Hong Kong Observatory indicated that an earthquake of magnitude 7 occurred at around 8am yesterday morning, with its epicentre about 40km north of Ya'an City. It has caused serious injuries and loss of lives. Chief Executive CY Leung expressed his deepest sympathies on behalf of the Government and Hong Kong people to the victims of the earthquake in Ya'an City in Sichuan Province. Mr Leung also extended his condolences to the victims' families.


About a thousand people braved heavy rain to join a rally outside the Cheung Kong Centre on Friday evening to support a group of striking dockers who are demanding better pay and working conditions. Protesters urged tycoon Li Ka-Shing, who controls Hongkong International Terminals, to hold talks with the dockers' union over their demands. The strikers say their wages have remained unchanged for years and have demanded a 20 percent pay rise but so far with no result.


A contractor at the centre of the dispute with striking dockers is closing down in June, saying it is unable to continue operating. Global Stevedoring Service said that it couldn't afford the 20-percent pay rise the workers are demanding. The dockers, who earn around HK$18,000 a month, are seeking a pay hike of 20 percent, but the employers are sticking to a 7 percent offer.


Pop singer Sita Chan Hei-yi died in a car crash yesterday, just three months after winning TVB's best new female singer award. Her car went o19/4/13ut of control and hit a kerb before crashing into a central road divider. She sustained injuries to her neck and was declared dead less than two hours later. Hundreds of fans left messages of condolences on her Facebook page.


The Court of Final Appeal rejected a bid by a transexual woman to be allowed to marry her boyfriend. The woman has undergone sex change surgery and has had her gender changed on her ID card. But the Registrar of Marriages says she is still biologically a male, and is therefore not allowed to marry a man. Her lawyer said she was treated as a woman in every other aspect of life, so it was wrong for the marriage law to view her differently.


The Consumer Council has criticised food firms for not revealing in labelling that their products contained genetically-modified ingredients. It said 12 of the corn and corn-based food products it recently tested had some GM content. The findings have prompted the Consumer Council to call for a mandatory GM labeling scheme for GM food in Hong Kong, despite a lack of evidence to suggest that such food is harmful to health.


A study has found that nearly 85 per cent of Hong Kong people suffer from anxiety because of inflation, and it is likely to get worse as prices climb. It found a close link between inflation and mental health. The condition, if displayed for at least six months, is known as generalised anxiety disorder, with symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, irritability and difficulty concentrating.


Crime thriller Cold War triumphed at the Hong Kong Film Awards last night, winning in nine categories. Cold War won most of the big awards: best film; best director; and best actor. Alex Tsui Ka-kit, who was sacked by the ICAC 20 years ago, won best newcomer at the age of 65 for his role as a graft-buster in the film. Tony Leung Ka-fai, who plays a deputy police chief, won his fourth best actor at the awards.
犯罪驚悚片《寒戰》在昨晚香港電影金像獎獎禮上贏得9個獎項,《寒戰》贏得了大部分的大獎項: 「最佳電影」、「最佳導演」「最佳男主角」等獎。20年前被廉政公署解職65歲的徐家傑,憑《寒戰》飾演廉政專員贏得「最佳新演員」獎。梁家輝演副警務處處長,贏得他的第四次最佳男主角獎項。


Little progress was made during a second round of talks between port contractors and two unions over the dispute at the Kwai Chung container port. Both the Federation of Trade Unions and the Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions were taking part in the negotiations. The FTU stormed out of the meeting after calling a seven-percent pay rise offer unacceptable. However, one of the contractors, Everbest, described as "rational and positive" union demands for a 12-percent increase.


A fourth alarm blaze broke out in a flat on the 17th floor at South Horizons yesterday morning. Five people were injured, two seriously. The blaze took 160 firemen three hours to put out. It was difficult for the large fire engines to get close to the building because of the narrow passage. A malfunctioning water pump is being blamed for the slow response of firefighters.


Smartphone addiction could affect the healthy development of the next generation. A study has found that 53 percent of the smartphone users suffer from anxiety, or the fear of losing contact, if they leave their phones at home. And a third just cannot live a day without a smartphone.  Researchers warn the addiction could eventually weaken family ties and friendships, and urges the public to engage in more face-to-face communication and interact more with the real world.


A poll has found that Hong Kong's income gap continues to worsen. The poorest 20 per cent take up just 6 per cent of society's income share, while the richest 20 per cent take up 43 per cent. The poor tend to have lower self-confidence. More than 60 per cent of the bottom tier did not believe they would achieve their goals in life, while more than half of the top tier believed they would attain their goals.


Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the "Iron Lady", died of a stroke at 87. In December 1984 Thatcher signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration settling the future of Hong Kong. She wanted a continuation of British administration in Hong Kong. But when this proved impossible she saw the opportunity to preserve most of what was unique to Hong Kong for 50 years through the "one country, two systems" formula.


Striking dock workers and their supporters marched from Victoria Park to Central on Sunday in support of demands for higher pay. The organisers said 4,000 people took part in the protest march. The strikers hope representatives from Hutchison Whampoa will take part in negotiations, rather than leaving the discussions to contractors. The protesters also accused the government of being ineffective in mediating the dispute.


Most Hong Kong employees care more about long-term job security than pay or promotions when choosing to work for a new company, according to a new survey. Salary was the second most important factor, followed by a pleasant working environment, having a good work-life balance and opportunities for promotion. More than two-fifths of Hong Kong employees said location was important. Other factors included a firm's good financial health, interesting work and training.


HK is on high alert as H7N9 infection spreads on the mainland. Starting next week, the government will conduct random H7 tests on imported poultry at Man Kam To Control Point. Additional manpower will conduct random temperature tests on visitors at checkpoints. Meanwhile, the government will enhance sterilization in schools, elderly homes and shopping malls.


According to a survey, 76 per cent of Hong Kong children do not know how to dress themselves, and about 60 per cent of them do not know how to take a bath on their own. The survey also found that 62 per cent of the city’s children aged between four and 12 did not help out with household chores at home. An educational psychologist said that doing housework can enhance children’s organisation ability, independence and self-confidence.
據一項調查顯示,76%的香港兒童不懂得自己更換衣服,60%不知道如何自己去洗澡。該調查還發現,62% 4到12歲的兒童不會幫忙做家務。教育心理學專家表示,做家務可以增強孩子的組織能力,獨立性和自信心。


The Hong Kong Shippers' Council has urged shippers to stay alert of the labour strike at the Hong Kong International Terminals. As a busy seasonal trading period will start soon, it might be necessary to divert some freight to other regional ports to meet deadlines. This would increase freight costs and could result in consumers having to pay higher prices for goods.


A growing number of people in Hong Kong are suffering from hypertension. The percentage of Hong Kong people with hypertension grew to 11% in 2011-12, from 9.3% in 2008.The Director of Health, Constance Chan, said high blood pressure is a silent killer, but it is preventable. She said people should maintain a healthy lifestyle, and reduce salt intake to help prevent the condition.


The High Court granted an injunction last night barring hundreds of strikers and protesters from entering the Kwai Tsing container terminals. Hong Kong International Terminals sought the injunction on the fifth day of an industrial action. The company argued that the increasing size of the crowd posed a danger at the port and the event was getting out of control.


A survey of over 6,000 DSE candidates by Hok Yau Club found that their pressure index was 7.4 on average, higher than that of 6.9 last year. Nearly 22% reached the unbearable pressure of 10, an increase of 5% from last year. They said the pressure stemmed from the lack of time, further studies and their parents' expectations.


A survey found that more than 65 per cent of university students had worked on the mainland as full-time employees or interns, or wanted to seek such opportunities. That was five percentage points higher than a similar study it conducted in 2011. More than twenty percent of the respondents believe that working on the mainland helps career development and has better opportunities for promotion.


The Confederation of Trade Unions staged a protest in Central, calling on the administration to standardise the number of statutory holidays in Hong Kong. At the moment, the majority of white-collar workers enjoy 17 days of public holidays each year. Most blue-collar workers only get 12 days statutory leave. The CTU says this is hugely unfair and has called on the government to introduce a fair and equal working environment for all.


A survey has found that 63 per cent of primary and secondary students receive private tuition. A quarter of pupils said they had after-school tuition in order to maintain good academic grades. They spent an average of 5 hours on extra tuition every week. Over half of them paid more than HK$1,000 each month for the classes. English and Mathematics are two popular tutorial subjects. Up to 65 per cent of the students did not like tuition, but they still do it because competition is becoming fierce.


Baptist University students have apologized to a restaurant that sells low-priced meals to the needy after being roundly criticized for taking resources away from the poor. The owner of the restaurant had been approached by the students to provide free food during their school activities. They purchased meal coupons of over sixteen hundred from the restaurant, and then distributed to the needy.


Disputes over medical and travel insurance climbed 18 percent last year. The Insurance Claims Complaints Bureau said it just reflected the fact that more people were buying insurance and there was no indication that more companies were using unscrupulous sales tactics. People must fully understand the terms and conditions before purchasing travel insurance.


The Court of Final Appeal has dismissed an appeal by two Filipino domestic helpers who were seeking permanent residency in Hong Kong. The two Filipinos had lived in Hong Kong for more than seven years and argued that they are qualified to stay in the territory permanently. But the judges ruled that their admission to Hong Kong is for the purpose of employment and not settlement.


Organ transplants are usually performed on donors and recipients who belong to the same blood group, but two patients at Queen Mary Hospital have successfully received liver transplants from living donors of different blood types. The breakthrough increases the chance of survival for liver disease patients. With the new technique, an additional 20 percent of live-donor liver transplants could be conducted every year.


The lights of more than 3,800 buildings and landmarks in Hong Kong were turned off for an hour last night in support of "Earth Hour". The international event, organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature, was to raise awareness about energy conservation. It is a symbolic event aimed at getting people to think about the ecological impact they make on the world.


Primary schools in the northern New Territories are to set up 14 classes and increase the size of existing ones to address a shortage of primary one places in the area. Despite this, some 400 local students will still be forced to attend schools in neighbouring Tai Po. There is keen competition for school places in the Northern District because of an influx of cross-border students.


More and more young drug users are staying hidden and refusing to seek help, the commissioner for narcotics says. Students who have taken drugs while they were alone increased from 15 percent in 2008 to 21 percent last year. Nearly 80 percent of student drug takers said they had never sought help. The trend reveals the increasingly hidden nature of youth drug abuse.


A large property agency yesterday warned staff they had better improve their performance or face the axe. "Those unproductive and low quality agents should go and open the space to new blood," Midland Holdings told its staff in a text message. The Midland text came after transactions in the secondary home market plunged over the weekend.


A study has revealed that Hong Kong has one of the worst light-pollution problems among cities around the world. The night sky over urban areas was between 100 and more than 1,000 times brighter than internationally accepted levels. The investigators urged the government to regulate outdoor lighting for commercial use at night.


The Consumer Council has appealed to shoppers to avoid buying products with excessive packaging. The council said the use of containers which are bigger than necessary, and multiple layers of wrapping, is wasteful and misleading. The Council calls for manufacturers to take the environment into their consideration when designing the packaging of their products.


Kowloon Motor Bus began raising fares yesterday, with an average rise of 4.5 per cent. KMB said it was under financial strain due to higher costs. A District Council member described the hikes as unreasonable because its income from related TV channel - Roadshow has not included. He made a call for concessions. KMB plans to reorganize about 55 percent of its routes to reduce costs.
九龍巴士由昨天開始提高票價,平均漲幅為4.5%。九巴表示,由於成本較高,九巴財政壓力很大。有區議會議員認為加價不合理,因為九巴沒有將相關的電視頻道 - 路訊通收入包括在內。他要求九巴提供優惠價。九巴計劃進行重組約55%路線,以降低成本。


Celebrity Millennium carrying 2,158 passengers docked at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal yesterday. The Immigration Department conducted boarding immigration formalities for passengers. The visitors offered mixed appraisals of the new, yet incomplete terminal. The new terminal is spacious but there are no public transport links to the terminal. Passengers have to take long coach rides from the terminal to attractions.


The Health Secretary, Ko Wing-man, has conceded that the ban on mainland women giving birth in Hong Kong might have pushed private hospitals here to increase their fees. Some private hospitals are planning to raise charges by up to eight percent because of a drop in demand for obstetrics services. He also said the government would continue to develop the private healthcare market to try to make it more competitive.


Police say the kidnap attempt outside a Ho Man Tin school was actually just a misunderstanding. After checking the video footage police found nothing suspicious. Police believe the woman was merely trying to help the girl board a bus. The girl's father posted a message on a social media website to relieve the concerns of parents.


A kindergarten in Ho Man Tin has stepped up security after a woman's attempt to kidnap a four-year-old student. Plainclothes police officers are also patrolling on Pui Ching Road. The girl's grandmother told police that the girl was picked up outside the school and carried onto a bus by a woman. The suspect has been described as a middle-aged woman with short hair.


A construction worker was jailed for six weeks for assaulting three police officers by whistling loudly at them during last year's July 1 protest march. The magistrate said imprisonment was needed because the accused had two previous convictions of police assaults before. The defense lawyer said the man is an alcoholic and had consumed alcohol before the protest, affecting his decision-making ability.


A prominent athlete said there are certain qualities that make a champion. Angel Wong Hiu-ying, who was Hong Kong's first female gymnast to qualify for last year's Olympic Games, said courage is important for setting goals. One should also have the courage and the positive attitude to deal with failure.  "Don't be afraid to dream and aim high. Self-belief and confidence are very important, " the 25-year-old said.


Language Fund plans to revitalize a vacant industrial building in Northern District or Tuen Mun and transform it into an "English City" where English is the only language. People would have to speak in English when they use the facilities. Some offices there could be rented to educational institutions to offer English courses. The scheme aims to create an off-campus learning platform for students to use English.


A survey shows HK lags Asia in corporate gender diversity. Hong Kong women in business hold about 30 per cent of senior management positions, lagging behind the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan. China leads the world with 51 per cent of senior management positions held by women.


The Women's Commission hosted a cocktail reception to celebrate International Women's Day 2013. Commission Chairperson Stella Lau said the theme 'gender mainstreaming' is a global strategy the United Nations adopted for promoting gender equality. "It seeks to ensure women and men have equitable access to, and benefit from, society's resources and opportunities," Mrs Lau said.


Chief Executive C Y Leung has insisted that the new two-can limit on the export of infant milk formula does not target visitors from mainland China. He said the law was needed to ensure a stable supply of infant formula in Hong Kong. He said the government had rolled out the measure only reluctantly. The new law prompted scathing criticism from the mainland, calling the measure too drastic.


Former fung shui master Tong Chan was baptized. He has been charged of forging the will of the late Chinachem billionaire Nina Wang. He has renounced fung shui, describing it as the work of the devil. He has changed his name to Peter Chan to reflect his new belief. "This is the happiest day in my life, and I could tell everyone that I am a Christian," Chan said.


A study has revealed that half of the students surveyed are exposed to some form of sexual harassment. Harassment includes sexual jokes, indecent gestures, inappropriate touching and the showing of pornography.  And nearly all the culprits are their boyfriends or girlfriends. Nearly 60 percent of the victims chose to keep silent. Schools have adopted an "ostrich policy" in dealing with the incidents.


A survey has found that many Hong Kong people may be dropping their guard against infectious diseases. Fewer people are wearing face masks and washing their hands regularly. Those in the 25-29 age group showed the biggest lack of hygiene. This is worrying as this age group is most active in social activities, so diseases can spread rapidly.


Rust was found at the broken points of all four cables of a lift involved in a sudden plunge in North Point on Saturday night. Saturday's accident was a rare occurrence as not only the cables were broken but the safety protection system also failed to function and stop the lift. The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department did not rule out human negligence in the maintenance process.


To ensure a quality teaching force, the Financial Secretary proposed in his 2013-14 Budget to set up 20 scholarships for outstanding local students to take degree courses or teacher training programmes at overseas universities. Those studying English and child education would be given priority. Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen said the money should be spent on training local teachers.


James Tien, chairman of The Hong Kong Tourism Board, stressed that developing tourism was vital to maintaining Hong Kong's long-term competitiveness. He said there was a need to establish a Travel Advisory Authority to better regulate local tour operators to avoid a repeat of the incident regarding 3A Holidays.


A man was jailed for 20 months for helping his 15-year-old girlfriend to escape as she was being taken to a juvenile court. The girl's lawyer said that at her young age, she was "blinded by love" and believed that her boyfriend's attempt to free her demonstrated his devotion to her. But the judge described the escape attempt as an open challenge to the rule of law.


The budget was strongly criticized yesterday for a lack of vision and failure to plan for the long term. Despite a HK$64.9 billion surplus for this fiscal year, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah failed to provide any long-term solution in the budget on how to fix the deep-rooted social problems of an aging population and poverty, apart from introducing one-off relief measures.


Nine Hong Kong tourists died after a hot air balloon exploded in Egypt. The balloon was carrying 21 people when it caught fire and plunged 300 metres to the ground. Only the pilot and one passenger survived. The Hong Kong victims were from three families. The balloon ride costing US$190 per person was an optional activity of the 10-day package tour.
九名香港遊客在埃及乘坐熱氣球時發生爆炸後死亡。氣球載有21人,起火後,由300 米高空墜下地面。只有駕駛員和一名乘客倖存。香港遇難者分別來自三個家庭。氣球之旅是為期10天的旅行團的自費活動,每人花費190美元。


CLP Holdings has warned that it may increase electricity tariffs by up to 40 percent over the next few years. The electric company reported an 11 percent drop in annual earnings last year. CLP blamed an increase in the cost of natural gas plus a need to use more of it for clean energy production. CLP said it would work to minimise the impact on consumers.


At least 37 runners were sent to hospital and 2 in serious condition after taking part in Standard Chartered Marathon. About a dozen participants fell over each other at the start of the 10-kilometres race because one of them had stopped to take pictures with a smart-phone. The annual mega event drew 72,000 applicants - with 65,000 showing up.
至少37 跑手參加渣打馬拉松後,在被送往醫院,2人情況嚴重。在十公里挑戰組賽事,起步時有十幾人一齊跌倒,因為一名參賽者以手機自拍引起。一年一度的盛事吸引了72,000參加 - 65,000出席。


The Secretary for Housing, Anthony Cheung, warned that when interest rates rise, the crash in Hong Kong property prices could be no less severe than it was in 1997. He stressed the new measures to cool the property market were aimed at deflating the bubble that is built up in real estate. He said the government wanted potential home buyers to be aware of the risks involved in purchasing flats.


The government has extended its curbs on property prices from home purchases to offices, shops, hotel suites, factories and car parking spaces. It has raised the stamp duty on property transactions, doubling the highest rate from the current 4.25 percent to 8.5 percent. But local permanent residents, who are first-time buyers, will be exempted.


The Travel Industry Council has suspended the membership of 3A Holidays, a week after the travel agency left some members of a mainland tour group to sleep overnight on a coach. 3A Holidays failed to comply with an ultimatum to deliver an explanation to the Council. The incident has seriously jeopardized the Hong Kong tourism industry's reputation and image.


The Housing Department will step up action to tackle tenancy abuses. Department staff will keep a close eye online to check for posts offering to sub-let public rental flats. The Housing Department will conduct intensive patrols in older estates which are more prone to tenancy abuse. Over the last five years, 400 flats had been taken back from tenants who had abused the system.


Cheung Kong Holdings has been criticized for selling its hotel rooms in Kwai Chung as individual units. Land Watch chairman Lee Wing-tat said purchasers may be subject to unnecessary risks because of unknowns about whether the land lease allows such transactions. Development secretary Paul Chan warned that if the developer is found to have violated any land lease regulations, the government could confiscate the property.


A nurse has accused the Taipo Hospital of turning a blind eye to repeated cases of sexual abuse and violence in its psychiatric ward. The nurse said she had repeatedly made complaints to the hospital over the past two years regarding three separate cases, but to no avail. A legislator has been helping the nurse bring the abuse to light.


Political and charity groups converged on government headquarters yesterday to urge Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah to use the huge surplus to help lift the city’s most vulnerable out of poverty. The list included increasing rent subsidies, waiving rates, establishing daycare centres to allow mothers to work, and providing job placement services for the unemployed.


No more mainland cities should be added to the individual visit scheme until Hong Kong has the infrastructure to cope with them, Tourism Board chairman James Tien Pei-chun said yesterday. In the latest incident, at least five mainland tour groups were left without adequate accommodation because their agencies failed to secure hotel rooms before their arrival.


Around 100 people held a demonstration outside the government headquarters, demanding that children living in poverty be given equal opportunities to education. The rally was organised by the Society for Community Organisation. The group says education has become elitist in Hong Kong as students have to pay to join extra-curricular activities to improve their chances of admission to secondary schools and universities.


A 31-year-old man was jailed for eight months for setting fire to his neighbour's dog after pouring it with paint thinner. The animal was so badly injured that it had to be put down. The man burned the dog because it had been barking incessantly for more than a year and kept him awake. But the magistrate said a heavy punishment was necessary as the accused had acted in a "very cruel and inhumane" way.


Nearly half of more than 2.2 million 999 calls police received last year were either nuisance or non-emergency calls. Misusing the hotline may unnecessarily engage operators, which could endanger the lives of people genuinely at risk. The police remind public to use the hotline only for emergencies, and say local police stations can promptly handle most crimes.


A survey conducted by the Labour Party has revealed that the price of food items like rice, fish and meat has more than doubled over the past decade, while wages in the territory only increased by an average of 30 percent. The party said people at the grassroots level were facing more and more difficulty in paying for food. It urged the government to provide subsidies to them.


The Year of the Snake is not looking too promising for Hong Kong, according to the fortune stick drawn by Lau Wong-fat at Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin. The chairman of the Heung Yee Kuk drew stick number 95, which is one of the most unlucky. One fortune teller said the performance of the SAR's economy would be average and there would be a lot of gossip in the political arena.


The Commissioner for Tourism, Philip Yung, says the government is currently reviewing Hong Kong's capacity to receive visitors. The assessment includes the handling capacity at border control points and tourist attractions, as well as the supply of hotel rooms. However, he said one should not jump to conclusions that the administration will scrap or change the "Individual Visit Scheme".


In his Lunar New Year Message, the Chief Executive, C Y Leung has called on everyone to care more for the needs of those in the territory who are less well-off. He said it is of the utmost importance that everybody in Hong Kong can share in the fruits of the city's prosperity. Mr. Leung said the greatest joy comes from sharing his happiness with others.


The government has launched a public consultation on three proposals to improve traffic distribution among Hong Kong's three harbour tunnels. All three proposals involve raising the charge for the Cross-Harbour Tunnel while cutting the fee for the Eastern Harbour Crossing to encourage more motorists to use it.


The government is proposing a levy on glass bottles under a HK$100 million polluter-pays scheme aimed at recycling at least 70 percent of the waste. The levy will be charged on importers or distributors, not on retailers or consumers. Glass bottles account for 3 percent of the waste dumped in landfills but only a small percentage are recycled.


The government has announced plans to construct two youth hostels in Sheung Wan and Tai Po by 2016 to provide more than 200 low-rent units for youngsters as temporary housing. The pilot project is aimed at giving an opportunity to young people to move away from their families while saving money to buy their own flats. Eligible tenants are adults aged below 30 with a monthly income of less than HK$15,000.
政府公布,計劃到2016年在上環及大埔興建兩個青年宿舍,為青少年提供超過200個廉租單位,作為臨時住房。該試驗性計劃的目的是給年輕人一個機會,遷離他們的家庭,而儲錢買自己的單位。合資格的租戶是成年人,30歲以下的,每月收入低於HK $ 15,000。


Police arrested a 26-year-old man for wounding two people with air guns fired from his Tin Shui Wai home. The police believe the shootings were unintentional, and that the suspect had been firing randomly for fun. The arrested man was a hair stylist but became unemployed. He is said to have been on bad terms with his father and often stayed alone at home.


A Baptist University survey found that nearly all Hong Kong students believe living a low-carbon lifestyle will help prevent climate change, but few actually do so. They are only willing to commit themselves to walking or traveling by public transport to school, rather than change their lifestyles on clothing choices and eating habits. As materialism is still the dominant social value, students are less willing to change their lifestyles.


A survey by the Democratic Alliance found that four in five Hongkongers threw out leftover Lunar New Year food last year. The majority said the food they threw away the most was the New Year pudding. But the survey also found that many plan to reuse last year's festival items like food containers and used lai see packets. DAB is encouraging the public to donate non-expired food to charities and to lead a green lifestyle.


The Chief Executive, C Y Leung, defended the drastic measures introduced to curb the parallel trading of infant milk formula. He said some of the measures were indeed radical, but were necessary. They include a ban on people leaving Hong Kong with more than two cans of milk powder. Mr. Leung said the move was aimed at putting the interests of Hong Kong people first.


A series of measures have been introduced to crackdown on cross-border parallel trading in milk powder. The government is to limit the amount of baby formula a person can take out of Hong Kong to just two tins. A 24-hour hotline has been opened to help local parents purchase infant formula. The Immigration Department has formed a watchlist of parallel traders, who will be denied entry.


A study found that children from well-to-do families are four times more likely to attend university than those from poor families. The study also found that young people who have highly educated fathers have much higher rates of university attendance than those who do not. Educational inequality is getting worse in Hong Kong, despite the increased number of publicly funded university places.


The government is considering measures to tackle the shortage of infant formula. The government will strengthen law-enforcement action against parallel-trading activities. It will examine ways of improving the existing hotline services of suppliers.  The shortage has been so acute that frustrated local moms have set up a forum on Baby Kingdom, where they can exchange information on where they can buy infant formula.


Oxfam Hong Kong says that the waiting time for public housing appears to be far longer than the average period of less than three years stated by the government. Its study reveals that over 70 per cent of the "n-nothing" families interviewed have been waiting for more than four years with no offers. Oxfam urged the government to provide a rental subsidy for these "n-nothing" families.


Hong Kong is one of the places in Asia most affected by food allergies. A study showed that about five percent of children under 14 suffer from food allergic reactions to certain food including shell fish, eggs, cow's milk, soy and peanuts. Medical experts believe the westernized lifestyle can be blamed for the high incidence of allergies. Doctors said fully cooking food can weaken the allergic effects.


About 20 members of the Hong Kong Autonomy Movement gathered outside Mong Kok East MTR station in a bid to block people carrying cans of formula or boxes of other goods across the border. They surrounded and scolded passengers with baggage. They blamed parallel traders for a local shortage of baby milk formula. But they wrongly accused two brothers carrying a large box of LED lights being brought to the city from the mainland.


The Hong Kong Council of Social Service says household income data from the Census and Statistics Department show almost 1.2 million people in the SAR were living in poverty in the first half of last year, with one in three elderly people struggling to get by. The HKCSS urged the Government to enact the poverty line, implement low-income subsidies and reform the retirement system.


Legislators described the government's plan for statutory paternity leave as "miserly" and asked the administration to rethink its proposal. The plan intends to provide three days of paternity leave with an employee being paid the equivalent to four-fifths of his average daily wage. But lawmakers recommended that the government look into raising paternity leave to either five or seven days, with full pay.


The Secretary for Food and Health, Ko Wing-man, says the Government is concerned about the supply of infant formula, and will not rule out introducing more stringent measures to ensure sufficient stocks. Dr Ko said the new measures would target parallel traders who sell the infant formula for a higher price on the mainland. The Consumer Council has received seven complaints over a shortage of infant formula so far this month.


A motion debate by Liberal Party lawmaker James Tien Pei-chun on a two-year cap to optimize the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance for the unemployed was strongly criticized. Tien said the number of welfare recipients who are unemployed has more than doubled in the past eight years but the unemployment rate dropped by 50 percent from 2004 to last year. But the motion was criticized for being subjective and not comprehensive and it would worsen the "hatred" between the rich and poor.


A construction worker has been found guilty of assaulting three policemen by whistling loudly at them during the July 1 protest. The magistrate said the high-pitch sounds caused temporary deafness to three policemen. He said the court had a duty to safeguard people's freedom of assembly, but said it did not mean people could violently vent their emotions on others.


Data released by the Census and Statistics Department show that youth population shrinks by a quarter in 30 years. Young people make up only 12.6 percent of the population, down from 22.5 percent 30 years ago. Official data also showed 94.6 percent of young people lived with their parents in 2011. The proportion of young people who have never married rose from 96.2 percent in 2001 to 97.9 percent in 2011.


Labor unions held rallies fearing that the ambitious housing program of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying may lead to the importation of foreign workers. They are worried that the job opportunities of local workers will be badly affected if employers start hiring foreign workers who are paid lower salaries. But taking an opposite stance, Liberal Party lawmaker James Tien Pei-chun, supports importing labor to ease the shortage of construction workers.


The government will do more to tackle an influx of parallel traders. The Secretary for Security, Lai Tung-kwok, said spot checks, which have been carried out at Sheung Shui station, would be extended to other areas. But Mr Lai dismissed suggestions that multiple-entry visas should be scrapped, saying individual visitors from the Mainland are one of the main sources of tourists and they have contributed significantly to Hong Kong's economy.


The Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing is confident that a new subsidy scheme to phase out old, high-polluting diesel commercial vehicles will bear fruit. He believes the subsidy scheme will offer huge cash incentives for people to let go of their Pre-Euro four vehicles. Diesel vehicles are said to contribute around 80 percent of all roadside air pollution.


A survey of the Equal Opportunities Commission showed that 40 percent of the respondents believe there is age and sexual discrimination in society. 6 percent were victims, having experienced discrimination or harassment in the past year. Some were bullied, isolated or even sacked because of their sexual orientation. The commission has questioned the government's refusal to hold a public consultation on gay rights.


Chief Executive CY Leung, laid out ambitious plans in his first policy address to boost land supply and address the city's acute housing problems. He has promised to set up a massive land reserve of at least 300 hectares to allow for the development of up to 130,000 flats. He has also set a target of building at least 100,000 public rental units over five years. Mr. Leung said his administration's top priority is tackling Hong Kong's housing shortage.


A survey has found that the vast majority of Hong Kong people don't think that flu can be fatal and only 14% of the respondents received flu vaccination last year. Many believe that avoiding crowded places, maintaining good hygiene or taking lots of vitamin C were good enough to ward off the virus. A spokesman for the Hong Kong Medical Association described the results as worrying, though not surprising.


A two-year-old girl bounced off a sofa through an open window and fell nine floors to her death in North Point. The girl's parents were not at home and the girl was under the care of her aunt. She lived with her mother in Shenzhen and had been expected to leave yesterday. A children's rights group said the tragedy showed window grills in high-rise homes are a must rather than an option.
一名兩歲女童在北角寓所從梳化彈出窗口,由9樓墮下死亡。女童父母外出,由姨母照顧。女童與母親居於深圳,原定昨日返回內地。一個兒童人權組織說悲劇顯示 窗花於高層住宅必須的不是一個選項


Several Christian organizations held a praying concert at the Tamar government headquarters park to show their opposition to proposed legislation that would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. They are worried that such laws could undermine the freedom of expression of those people who don't accept homosexuality.


The convenor of the Executive Council, W K Lam, said the Chief Executive, CY Leung, should not give away sweeteners in his policy address next week. Mr. Lam said such a move would be meaningless as resources should be used to help the needy. He said Mr. Leung should attach importance to several areas -- including poverty, housing and the environment.
行政會議召集人林煥光表示,行政長官梁振英下周發表施政報告不應「派糖」,認為這行動沒有意義,因為資源應用於幫助有需要的人。他說,梁振英應重視幾個方面 - 包括貧困,住房和環境。


Sources say the Chief Executive C.Y. Leung will announce the scrapping of the so-called domestic helpers levy in his upcoming policy address. The levy was first introduced in October 2003. Employers had to pay HK$400 for each domestic helper monthly. The money was injected into the Employee Retraining Fund to subsidize the retraining of local workers. The levy was put on hold in 2008.


The Ombudsman recommended that critically-ill patients should be taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital. Under the current system, patients are taken to an "area hospital" as designated by the Hospital Authority. Travel distance, travel time or traffic conditions are not the only or the most important factors under the system.


Twenty-one people were injured in a powerful explosion at a restaurant in Ma On Shan at lunchtime yesterday. Four of the victims were seriously hurt. The blast happened soon after a mechanic began repair work on an air conditioner. A restaurant manager said workers were refilling the cooling agent and some of it spilled over and immediately there was an explosion.


A newspaper reported that a number of researchers of the Census and Statistics Department misreported employment figures in general household surveys.  They had been reluctant to interview households living in subdivided flats. They faked employment data to save time. The false data, however, could alter the jobless rates.


The Hong Kong poet and writer, Leung Ping-kwan, died at the age of 63. Known by his pen name, Ye Si, he had been battling lung cancer since 2009. Ye Si won the Hong Kong Chinese Literature Bi-annual Prize three times. He was regarded as the most important Hong Kong writer in the post-war era. His dying wish was for Hong Kong literature to receive the respect it deserves.


The Society for Community Organisation staged a protest demanding long-term measures to alleviate poverty. The group accused the government of not doing enough for the poor in various areas, including housing, medical and retirement protection. They urged the chief executive to set out poverty alleviation measures in his forthcoming policy address.


A study of the University of Hong Kong showed that the lower the family income people get, the more chronic diseases they suffer and the more unhappy they are. The study showed income had a direct bearing on blood pressure. The poor were more inclined to suffer from high blood pressure. This relationship also appeared in workers’ self-assessments of bodily health, happiness and family harmony.


The DAB leader, Tam Yiu-chung, says the Chief Executive won't include cash handouts in his maiden policy address later this month. Mr. Tam said that the policy address would focus on livelihood issues, including housing, poverty and the elderly.


A study by the Liberal Party found that more than 70-percent believed there is serious abuse of the welfare system. The party is calling on the government to put a two-year cap on unemployment benefits for able-bodied recipients. It also suggests that there should be vetting to see whether individual applicants deserve assistance after the two-year period.
自由黨研究發現,七成受訪者認為綜援有被嚴重濫用的情況。自由黨要求政府為 申領失業綜援的健全人士設立兩年的上限。自由黨亦建議,兩年期完後,審查個別申請者是否值得續領援助。


A doctor has been suspended from practising for eight months after being found guilty of overstating the effects of certain beauty treatments. The Medical Council of Hong Kong found the doctor guilty of professional misconduct, including using exaggerated and misleading advertising. The Medical Council said it is the most serious punishment for such advertising offenses in a decade.


For the second time in five years, Hong Kong's new year baby was born to local parents instead of mainland pregnant women. The Chans welcomed the third member of their family 25 minutes into the new year at St Theresa's Hospital. Mrs. Chan voiced support for the "zero quota" policy for non-local women giving birth in Hong Kong, saying that the city's medical resources should be enjoyed by Hongkongers.


The voluntary registration scheme of unauthorized building works in New Territories village houses ended yesterday.  A New Territories rural leader has called on villagers to continue their fight against government enforcement of illegal structures at village homes. He said villagers who receive warnings and demolition orders should take the matter to court.
新界村屋僭建物申報計劃昨日截止。有鄉議局委員呼籲村民繼續抗拒政府的取 締新界村屋僭建物措施。他表示,村民收到警告和拆除令應考慮將此事訴諸法庭。