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The Young Reporter

Hong Kong Government Land Confiscation Scheme Forces Closure of Popular Farmers Market at Mapopo Community Farm

  After more than a decade in operation, Mapopo Community Farm held its last farmers market on Sunday before permanently closing due to the Hong Kong government’s Land Resumption Ordinance.    The farmers market sells locally produced vegetables, mainly from the northeastern part of Hong Kong’s New Territories, including Ping Che (Fanling), Tsiu King (Sheung Shui) and Kwu Tong (Sheung Shui).    At two in the afternoon, about 15 people lined up outside Mapopo Community Farm to snatch up locally grown fruit and vegetables, including winter melons, pumpkins, longan and dragon fruits. Most products were sold out within the first hour.    Chatting and laughing during their visit to the market, customers filled shopping bags with green vegetables and fruits. Some visitors brought their pets and kids to the market, to witness the decline of Hong Kong local agriculture. People expressed gratitude to the farmers by leaving messages and colorful drawings in the farmer markets’ autograph book.    “The villagers are exhausted fighting for their lands,” said 26-year-old Ms. Wong, who withheld her first name. She said she has heard of the land resumption scheme since she was a student.     The scheme, officially announced in 1998, allowed the government to claim the land for residential purposes, in order to handle the growing population in Hong Kong.    Farmlands in Kwu Tong North, Fanling North and Ping Che/Ta Ku Ling have been identified by the Hong Kong government to be new development areas.The rural areas in northeast New Territories will be used for commercial and residential land.    However, the development plan was rejected by the farmers. They worried that the residential and commercial land development would reduce the amount of farmland, thus deteriorating the farmer’s livelihood.    Following several legal challenges by residents of Ma Shi Po Village, …

Serving the Community is the Ultimate Mission For All District Councillors Stay or Leave

Opt to make a declaration, Ramon Yuen Hoi-man, a member of the Democratic Party, said he will stay to complete his 4-year tenure in the district council.   The 34-year-old councillor of Sham Shui Po district is one of the 174 district councillors who still uphold their identity.    According to the notice in the Gazette declared today, 214 out of 388 elected seats in the 18 District Councils are vacant.   The Civil Service Bureau has issued circulars to all government departments, requiring all existing civil servants and those who join the Government on or after 1 July 2020 to declare that they will uphold the Basic Law, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), be dedicated to their duties and be responsible to the HKSAR Government.   After considering the risks of disqualification and the requirement of returning the one and a half years’ salary to the government, Mr. Yuen rather takes an oath that includes upholding the Basic Law and swearing allegiance to the HKSAR.    “I will stick to my principles, including voicing for the people and monitoring the government,” he said. “I had promised to serve the people in the district at the beginning of the election, so the decision to retain the seat was made at an early stage.”   “I will do the most I can, especially since my colleagues have left,” Mr Yuen said.   People around Mr Yuen had asked him to leave. However, Mr Yuen thinks that he should stay and persevere with Hong Kong people, when the risks are still tolerable.   “People have retreated, while Hong Kong is collapsing,” Mr Yuen said. “From press freedom, councils, to the education and social work industry. Shouldn’t we voice more actively?”   As the Chairman of the Working …

100th Anniversary of CCP: Government Closes Victoria Park from Public Gathering, Collectors Queue for Commemorative Stamps

Collectors  queued up at Hong Kong’s main post office to purchase special commemorative stamps issued for the 100th Anniversary of the Communist Party of China, while Hong Kong police closed Victoria Park to restrain protesters from gathering during the 24th observance of  the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day.    More than 60 customers lined up at the General Post Office in Central to purchase the special edition stamps after the office had opened.    “The 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China” Commemorative Stamp was first issued today.Individual stamps and a stamp sheetlet are included in the collector set.    “I feel happy for the 100-year establishment of the Communist Party of China,” said Tse, who only disclosed her first name, has been collecting stamps for years. She bought two stamp sheetlets for her grandchildren.    She said Hong Kong had restored peace and security compared to the same day last year.   In the same line, Tong, who did not provide his first name, said he was thankful for the 100th anniversary, “but it was nothing special, because the Communist Party of China will still thrive in the coming years.”   Mr Tong said he supported the cancellation of the July 1 march.    “Hong Kong used to be chaotic, but now I can travel around more conveniently,” he said. “ That’s why I can come and collect the stamps.”   Hong Kong police banned the July 1 march for the second consecutive year, citing coronavirus pandemic restrictions on public gatherings Despite the cancellation of the annual July 1 march, at noon police sealed off Victoria Park, where the march traditionally started, to prevent unauthorised assembly.    “Anyone who enters or stays at the prohibited area will be subjected to the maximum penalty …

New non-invasive colorectal cancer test may lower the cost and risk of detection

  Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have identified four unique bacterial genetic sequences found in the faeces of patients with colorectal cancer. By testing for these markers, known as M3, the scientists have developed a new non-invasive test that can detect colorectal cancer with up to 94% accuracy.   The CUHK team used the M3 test on more than 1100 cancer subjects. Patients were asked to swab their faecal samples at home. The swabs were then stored in plastic vials and sent to the laboratory for analysis. The results were available in four hours.   Based on a risk scale, doctors can then use the results to predict the likelihood of the patient developing cancer, and offer dietary recommendations to reduce the risk.   Patients with high risks may then be asked to have a colonoscopy to look for cancer cells and polyps.   The M3 test can also be used to detect recurrent polyps which may develop into cancer. The scientists used the M3 test on more than 200 patients who have had polyps removed within five years. The M3 test can detect the polyps with up to 90% sensitivity.   Compared with current tests for colorectal cancer, the M3 test is more sensitive than a faecal immunochemical test and less invasive than colonoscopy. Patients do not need to prepare the bowels for testing and there is no risk of rupturing the bowels or gastrointestinal bleeding. The cost is also much less than colonoscopy since patients can collect the samples themselves.   “We are cautiously optimistic about the popularisation of the M3 test,” said Prof Francis Chan Ka-leung, Dean of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Gut Microbiota Research at CU Medicine.   “The cost for the M3 test is subject to different needs of …

Hong Kong Government Land Confiscation Scheme Forces Closure of Popular Farmers Market at Mapopo Community Farm

  After more than a decade in operation, Mapopo Community Farm held its last farmers market on Sunday before permanently closing due to the Hong Kong government’s Land Resumption Ordinance.    The farmers market sells locally produced vegetables, mainly from the northeastern part of Hong Kong’s New Territories, including Ping Che (Fanling), Tsiu King (Sheung Shui) and Kwu Tong (Sheung Shui).    At two in the afternoon, about 15 people lined up outside Mapopo Community Farm to snatch up locally grown fruit and vegetables, including winter melons, pumpkins, longan and dragon fruits. Most products were sold out within the first hour.    Chatting and laughing during their visit to the market, customers filled shopping bags with green vegetables and fruits. Some visitors brought their pets and kids to the market, to witness the decline of Hong Kong local agriculture. People expressed gratitude to the farmers by leaving messages and colorful drawings in the farmer markets’ autograph book.    “The villagers are exhausted fighting for their lands,” said 26-year-old Ms. Wong, who withheld her first name. She said she has heard of the land resumption scheme since she was a student.     The scheme, officially announced in 1998, allowed the government to claim the land for residential purposes, in order to handle the growing population in Hong Kong.    Farmlands in Kwu Tong North, Fanling North and Ping Che/Ta Ku Ling have been identified by the Hong Kong government to be new development areas.The rural areas in northeast New Territories will be used for commercial and residential land.    However, the development plan was rejected by the farmers. They worried that the residential and commercial land development would reduce the amount of farmland, thus deteriorating the farmer’s livelihood.    Following several legal challenges by residents of Ma Shi Po Village, …

Hong Kong to ban plastic tableware at restaurants from 2025

The Hong Kong government planned to ban all types of disposable plastic tableware at restaurants from 2025, according to an announcement made on Friday. The city’s Environment Protection Department, which is seeking public opinion on the proposal during the next two months, said parts of plastic cutlery often packaged in take-away services would also be banned.  A consultation paper, released by the government on Friday, proposed to ban the local sale of disposable expanded polystyrene (EPS) utensils and discontinue their use at restaurants within four years. Wong Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment of the HKSAR Government, wrote in the consultation paper that, “ practising ‘plastic-free’ at the source is the most fundamental way to achieve ‘waste free seas’.”  “Countless waste plastics enter the natural environment, including the ocean, each year,” he wrote in the document. “They will eventually be fragmented into microplastics and enter the human food chain.”  The department also suggested regulating the use of non-EPS plastic tableware for dine-in and take-away services in phases.  The first stage was to ban all types of disposable tableware offered to dine-in customers at restaurants, with disposable cutlery, such as straws, knives and forks, banned in take-away food and beverage services. Take-away services would be regulated the same as dine-in services in the second stage, according to the statement. Chung Wai-yi, the owner of a ramen restaurant, said they were using recyclable plastic chopsticks and plastic food containers for take-away services.   She supported the ban on disposable plastic tableware.  “I always support the environmentally friendly promotion in Hong Kong, but this time, I hope the government can make it a reality rather than just talking,” she said.  She expected the government to make laws and regulations on plastic use in the catering industry to ensure fair competition, and also find good substitutes …

HK Swimmer Haughey Breaks Asian Record, Wins Second Olympic Silver Medal

  Hong Kong people cheered and applauded on Friday as they witnessed local swimmer Siobhan Bernadette Haughey breaking the women’s 100m freestyle Asian record and winning her second silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.   Collected her first silver medal in the women’s 200m freestyle two days ago, Ms Houghey finished the 100m freestyle at 52.27, only 0.31 seconds behind Australian athlete Emma McKeon, who made an Olympic record at 51.96.    Setting the new personal and Asian best, the second silver makes Ms Haughey the first Hong Kong swimmer to attain two medals in the Olympic Games.   Speaking at the press conference, Ms Houghey said 80% of the performance depended on her mentality. “I broke the personal best at the semi-final and achieved my goal. I just wanted to enjoy the 100m race,” said Ms Haughey.      Tokyo Olympic marks Hong Kong’s best performed Olympic Games so far, including two silvers achieved by Ms Haughey and a gold from Cheung Ka-long in the men’s individual foil fencing which is the city’s first medal in the game.    Approximately 500 audiences at APM, a shopping mall in Kwun Tong cheered for the 23-year-old while watching the live broadcast together.    Crowded on two floors, supporters brought along cheering tools like pom poms that made loud sounds by hitting and decibels reached the maximum as Haughey’s silver medal was secured. No one could help but cry out their excitement and appreciation.     Ten-year-old swimmer Yu, who withheld his first name, was inspired by the outstanding performance of Ms Haughey. “I will practice swimming more often, but winning an award in the Olympic Games is too difficult for me,” he said.   Audiences showed both the national flag and regional flag of Hong Kong after Ms Haughey won the …

New non-invasive colorectal cancer test may lower the cost and risk of detection

  Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have identified four unique bacterial genetic sequences found in the faeces of patients with colorectal cancer. By testing for these markers, known as M3, the scientists have developed a new non-invasive test that can detect colorectal cancer with up to 94% accuracy.   The CUHK team used the M3 test on more than 1100 cancer subjects. Patients were asked to swab their faecal samples at home. The swabs were then stored in plastic vials and sent to the laboratory for analysis. The results were available in four hours.   Based on a risk scale, doctors can then use the results to predict the likelihood of the patient developing cancer, and offer dietary recommendations to reduce the risk.   Patients with high risks may then be asked to have a colonoscopy to look for cancer cells and polyps.   The M3 test can also be used to detect recurrent polyps which may develop into cancer. The scientists used the M3 test on more than 200 patients who have had polyps removed within five years. The M3 test can detect the polyps with up to 90% sensitivity.   Compared with current tests for colorectal cancer, the M3 test is more sensitive than a faecal immunochemical test and less invasive than colonoscopy. Patients do not need to prepare the bowels for testing and there is no risk of rupturing the bowels or gastrointestinal bleeding. The cost is also much less than colonoscopy since patients can collect the samples themselves.   “We are cautiously optimistic about the popularisation of the M3 test,” said Prof Francis Chan Ka-leung, Dean of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Gut Microbiota Research at CU Medicine.   “The cost for the M3 test is subject to different needs of …

Top student in this year’s Diploma of Secondary Education exam says “ Hong Kong Is My Home”

  Seven students achieved the top score of 5** in at least seven subjects in the 2021 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education. Three of them also have 5** in an eighth subject, making them so-called super scorers.   Students could check their results on the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority website from 7 am this morning.    The top students are from Diocesan Girls School, St. Stephen’s Girls’ College, St. Mary’s Canossian College, Po Leung Kuk Tang Yuk Tien College, Queen Elizabeth School and Ying Wa College.    Chan Lok-yung, the first student from St. Stephen’s Girls’ College to get the top score, wants to study medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.    “Hong Kong is my home, I grew up here. I love this place,” Ms Chan said.   At school, she liked to investigate social issues as a Chinese debate team member. She recognised the importance of liberal studies in the DSE curriculum. But from next year, the Liberal Study paper will require candidates to provide short answers or multiple choices only . Students will no longer need to make any personal judgment.   “Cancellation of the contents (liberal studies) doesn’t mean we will think less critically. We can learn it through other means, such as reading the news from different perspectives,” Ms Chan said.    This year’s DSE candidates spent one-and-a half years on online schooling because of the pandemic, out of the three-year exam preparation.    Ms Chan was upset because she was not able to meet her schoolmates, but her teachers and friends played crucial roles in her exam preparation. “My friends and I studied as a group so that we could supervise each other and share our studying progress,” she said.     Of the 49,976 candidates, who sat the …

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