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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 …

Society

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 …

Society

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 …

People

Few books with “sensitive” content on sale at HK Book Fair 2021

  Books that contain politically sensitive content can hardly be found at the Hong Kong Book Fair 2021, the first such event held after the Hong Kong National Security Law was introduced last year.    Publishers say fears about breaching the law, which bans acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, have discouraged them from pubishing some titles.   Hillway Press is the only publisher that has released books whose content may possibly be regarded as sensitive, including The Journey Through the Brick Wall and 21 July 2019.   The first book is an autobiography of Raymond Yeung Tsz-chun, a liberal studies teacher who was shot in the eye in a protest on 12 June in 2019 during the anti-extradition bill movement.    The second is written by Ryan Lau Chun-kong, one of the victims in the so-called 721 incident, who offers his account of what happened in the evening of July 21, 2019, when a number of people deemed to be sympathetic to the anti-extradition bill protests were attacked by alleged gangsters in the Yuen Long MTR station.    Mr Yeung, who has since quit teaching to start Hillway, also revealed that the company was prepared to publish three other books that contain sensitive content, but no printers were willing to print them. He did not disclose what those three books were about. Jimmy Pang Chi-ming, president of the publishing house Subculture, said fears over the “white terror” of unintentionally violating the national security law now pervaded the whole publishing industry.    “Under the vague standards of the national security law, we have abandoned some books that only contain cultural content,” said Mr Pang.   “For example, Liu Xiaobo (the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner who was jailed on the mainland for inciting subversion of state …

Society

Discount scheme will benefit all diners, not just those having supper

A scheme by which 500 restaurants will offer a 30% discount for dinner from July 15 and a 20% discount in August will be expanded to cover lunch and other meals as well. The Dining Discount Bonanza scheme was earlier launched by the catering industry to encourage people to spend the $5,000 electronic consumption voucher they each get from the government on meals. As originally conceived, participating restaurants will offer a 30% discount to dinner customers between July 15 and July 31, and a 20% discount in August. Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Mr Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, the Legislative Councillor who represents the catering constituency, said the restaurants would be allowed to implement the scheme flexibly by offering the discounts not just for dinner, but also other meals, as they wished. Mr Cheung said the scheme would have no strict rules because the restaurants should handle the personal needs of the diners generously.  Organised by eight catering associations, the scheme has drawn support from more than 500 restaurants serving different cuisines. Participating restaurants used to be confined by strict rules and regulations, and the discounts were applicable to four vaccinated diners sitting at one table.  However, the website of Dining Discount Bonanza now says that individual merchants are allowed to “change the information and offers they provide without prior notice”.  “We have no right or the ability to monitor the implementation of the scheme, and so we don’t have to,” Mr Cheung said.  “We expect that HK$15 billion to HK$20 billion could be spent on the catering industry, among the HK$35 billion dollars (worth of electronic consumption vouchers) offered by the government.”  Mr Cheung, who is also a member of the Executive Council and chairman of the Liberal Party, said he appreciated the contributions of participating restaurants, as it …

Society

LegCo members: Ask schools to report vaccination numbers regularly

Pro-government Legislative Council members urged the Secretary for Education, Kevin Yeung, to require schools to report the number of students and staff who are vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to better monitor and handle the pandemic. An Education Bureau (EDB) survey showed that as of May 2021, the total vaccination rate of the 2,000 schools, including kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, being polled was only 18%, according to a LegCo brief. Addressing a LegCo panel on education today, Mr. Yeung also added that a further survey may be conducted to find out the number of vaccinations in schools. Addressing a LegCo panel on education today, Mr. Yeung also added that a further survey may be conducted to find out the number of vaccinations in schools. Some health experts have said that if schools’ vaccination rate reaches 70-80%, more school activities or extracurricular activities could be allowed. Mr. Yeung said, “In the months ahead, we hope to finalize the plan with the experts, we need to see what the epidemic situation is like. If possible, we hope that schools can achieve a 70-80% vaccination rate and more activities can be held.” Lau Kwok-fan, a legislator and member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), stressed that the government needs to have statistics on the number of persons vaccinated. “Personally, now that we don’t have any survey to collect figures about teaching staff vaccination rate, I’m a bit disappointed with that because you might expect or want to achieve 70-80% rate to allow for more activities and yet you don’t have a mechanism to collect or to record the figures in relation to vaccination. That actually cannot support your goal,” Mr. Lau said. However, Mr. Yeung said that schools can let the government know if they …

Society

Apple Daily newspaper folds after a 26-year run

Long lines snaked around newsstands in Hong Kong today as supporters snapped up the last edition of the Apple Daily newspaper. Top officials of the 26-year-old tabloid-style paper have been detained or jailed. The company’s assets were frozen by the government under the National Security Law, forcing it to shut down. Its website and mobile app also stopped being updated after midnight. About a million copies of the last edition circulated around the city, about ten times its normal print run. Splashed across the front page was a photo taken from the paper’s offices in Tseung Kwan O showing a crowd outside. The headline read “ Hong Kong people bid farewell in pain”. Apple Daily’s proprietor, Jimmy Lai, is serving a 20-month jail term for taking part in illegal protests in 2019. He also faces accusations of violating the National Security Law. The newspaper has long taken an anti-communist and pro-democracy stance. Gary Sing Kai-chung, a former senior photographer of Apple Daily, who has worked at the paper for 17 years, was angry and sad about the newspaper’s closure. “It is like watching a family member get killed,” Mr Sing told The Young Reporter. He described Apple Daily as a pioneer in the Hong Kong media industry.  “They sent motorbikers to the scenes to take photos when covering breaking news. More reporters would arrive later to cover the incidents and do follow up stories. This workflow was started by Apple Daily,” said Mr Sing. He said Apple Daily was also willing to invest in equipment. “The speed of changing from film cameras to DSLR cameras was so fast at the Apple Daily,” said Mr Sing. “While other media outlets were still hesitating on whether digital cameras were good, we had already swapped to the new cameras in all divisions.” “If …

Hong Kong Baptist University’s new president plans “personalised pathways” for students

  • 2021-06-17
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: LI Chak Ho Samuel、WANG Yichun、Shameel IbrahimEdited by: Shameel Ibrahim
  • 2021-06-17

Professor Alexander Wai talked to The Young Reporter about his new job and his plan to lead the university towards change Alexander Ping-Kong Wai assumed office as president of Hong Kong Baptist University on Feb 1. In his interview with The Young Reporter, he emphasised the importance of embracing change in university education, and the challenges posed by the social environment the pandemic and more. Hardship of students and graduates under the pandemic Prof Wai is the first university president to assume office in Hong Kong since the COVID-19 outbreak. He said it’s tough for graduates to find jobs but disagreed that companies are unwilling to hire them because of the social unrest in 2019. “I’ve heard that some corporations said they would not hire our students. I don’t believe that. To me that’s not a big concern. The concern is actually the economy,” said Prof Wai. He added that the low vaccination rate in Hong Kong is to blame for the economic slowdown. On university life during the pandemic, Prof. Wai recognised the challenges of mixed- mode teaching. Students can be on campus for classes, but face-to-face activities are limited. “I would like my students to be able to adapt to changes and tolerate differences. (The pandemic) is unpleasant of course. But we can make the best of it,” said Prof Wai. Personalised Pathway of Study in the planning Since late January, Prof Wai has been hinting that an “important project” was underway at HKBU. In the Planning Exercise Proposal which will be put forward to the government, HKBU will include what Prof Wao described as “personalised pathways” of study. If approved, students will be able to design personalised study plans aimed at achieving specific goals, distinct from academic programmes currently offered. “Students who know they may not fit …

Society

Trade Unions call for protection for workers of food delivery platforms

Delivery workers of digital food delivery platforms are not guaranteed a minimum wage and do not have reasonable work injury compensation, the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions said in a press conference today. The HKFTU asks the government to reexamine the employment status of gig workers, including delivery workers of digital platforms. All three major digital food delivery platforms, Foodpanda, Deliveroo and UberEats, recruit delivery workers under self-employed contracts.  “The platforms use algorithmic management to control the actions and quality of service when they are in fact the employers of the deliverers,” said legislator Micheal Luk Chung-hung, who worked as a deliverer for a few hours. Mr. Luk said in other countries and regions, governments recognize delivery workers as employees of the digital platforms and are not considered self-employed. In Taiwan, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Ministry of Labour confirmed in October 2019 that workers of six food delivery platforms, including Foodpanda and Uber Eats, were employees.  In Spain, the legislation was passed in March 2021 that recognised delivery platform couriers as employees, in line with a Supreme Court judgement that confirmed a deliverer of Glove, a digital food delivery platform, was an employee. “Although we have questioned the (Hong Kong) government about this issue, they have always responded by claiming there are 'no statistics, no research and no policies at the moment’,” Mr. Luk said. He pointed out that the most significant drawback for self-employed deliverers is that they are not entitled to reasonable compensation for work injuries since the digital platforms do not need to provide labour insurance for them.  “All three major platforms in Hong Kong provide accidental insurance for deliverers,” Mr. Luk “but the coverage and the insured amount are far worse than labour insurance.” Comparing the insurance provided by the three …

Society

Educated Immigrants Leaving Hong Kong, Research finds

University-educated mainland immigrants aren’t staying, according to research from Hong Kong Baptist University released today. Between 2007 and 2011, 40.2% of the tens of thousands of new immigrants to Hong Kong held a bachelor’s degree, but a third of them left before 2016, according to the report. “The number continues to drop,” Yuk-Shing Cheng, Head of the Department of Economics at HKBU who led the research team, said in a press conference today. “Immigrants with higher education have a higher mobility,” Lai-shan Sze, the Deputy Director of Society of Community Organisation, a local NGO that sponsored the research, said in the press conference, “They will stay if they can blend in, but leave if they cannot.”  Although the government has policies to bring talent into the city, it has failed to retain them, the report said. Prof Cheng said the government should focus on the coming generations as the research shows second and third generations have a positive impact on Hong Kong. Younger new immigrants are more likely to go to university in Hong Kong, according to the report. Around 45% of new immigrants who came to Hong Kong before age nine obtained bachelor degrees. The number drops for older immigrants. New immigrant Mandy Dai’s son, 32, is now an accountant in Hong Kong with a university degree, but it was a struggle for her to get him here, she said in the press conference.  Ms Dai, who is from the mainland, married a Hong Kong man, but it took 11 years for her to be allowed to move to the city. Her son, who gained residency in Hong Kong, attended school in the mainland until he was 11 while they waited for her one-way permit, she said. “The one-way permit system can be better allocated,” Hongliang Zhang, Associate Professor …