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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

Muslims in Hong Kong prepare for a second Ramadan under COVID

Muslims in the city welcomed the month of Ramadan after the Incorporated Trustees of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong, the official representative body for Muslims, announced the confirmation of the start of the holy month yesterday. The announcement came after the government allowed the resumption of religious gatherings with a maximum 30 percent of the venue’s capacity. “There’s this sense of relief in Hong Kong that the mosques are open” said Adeel Malik, chairman of the Muslim Council of Hong Kong. “Overall, It’s sweet to have Ramadan again,” Mr. Malik said More than 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide fast from dawn to dusk for the month of Ramadan, though some, such as the sick, are exempted. Not having the iftar — the group meal during the breaking of the fast -- was the only downside this year, said Mr Malik. The iftar meal is usually eaten after sunset together with a large group of people, including family and friends. Social gatherings beyond four people are not allowed under the current government regulations — making iftars in the city confined to homes. "The purpose of Ramadan is to attain righteousness and that’s the main purpose of fasting," said Mr. Malik, adding that he expected to have Ramadan “fully back to function” in following years. Rahman Anse, a final year student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said the month helps her to improve her spiritual goals. Ms. Anse also added that people should protect themselves as well as the community during the pandemic. “All of these activities can be done in smaller groups or even at home,” said. Ms. Anse. “I have more time to spend at home because all of my classes are online now.”. The city has 300,000 Muslims from multiple backgrounds, making up 4.6% …

Business

Budget Address 2021: tax concession reduced by half

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po on Wednesday announced salaries tax breaks of up to HK$10,000 while raising stamp duties on stock transfers from 0.1% to 0.13%.  With 1.87 million Hongkongers benefiting from the tax break, government revenue will be reduced by HK$11.4 billion due to the waivers, said Mr Chan.  Last year’s tax waiver was capped at HK$20,000.  Meanwhile, the stamp duty increase will be applied to both buyers and sellers. This is the first increase since 1993, provoking complaints from the securities industry.  After the announcement, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing’s share price recorded a 9% drop The Hang Seng Index faced its biggest drop of nearly 3% since May last year.  Cheung Tsz Wai, a 33 year old Uber driver, said he is disappointed in the budget. “It is no help to citizens like me,” Mr Cheung said.  “During the pandemic, everyone faced a financial crisis,” Mr Cheung said. “Not only the government did not distribute welfare this year, but they even reduced all kinds of allowance and subsidies.” Agnes Cheung, director and head of Tax of BDO Limited, said the budget was “as expected” and “shortsighted”. Ms Cheung said BDO had wanted a tax deduction for rental expenses, but the budget did not address the item this year.  “There are only “sweeteners” for the property owner from Home Loan Interest Deduction, but nothing for the rental paying group,” said Ms Cheung. “It just focuses on the current year measures, saving expenses, but didn’t take a broader approach to target Hong Kong long term economy growth.” Webster Ng, president of the Taxation Institute of Hong Kong, said the measures were normal. “Additional revenue from stamp duty will make room for tax relief,” he said.  “In this year, everybody including the government is suffering, we are all …

Myanmar people march to demand peace to "stop war"

  • 2017-05-24
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Holly Chik、Wing Li、Dorothy MaEdited by: Cecilia Wong、Isabella Lo
  • 2017-05-24

Thousands of citizens protested against multiple domestic wars happening in the north where most ethnic groups live on February 5, demanding a peaceful Myanmar, said a leading demonstrator. About 7,000 people marched in downtown Yangon in February, carrying toy guns and poems, to protest the long-running civil war in northern Myanmar. The protesters marched to Maha Bandula Park and distributed leaflets printed a poem titled "I Hate the War So Much", expressing their discontentment with several civil wars happening in Myanmar. Conflicts between ethnic-minority militias and government forces have been flaring high up in northern Myanmar for feuds, competition over natural resources, and demands for more autonomy, dating back to the end of the second world war and the end of British colonial rule in 1948. Myanmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been trying to forge a nation- wide peace agreement between all ethnic groups after years of war in Myanmar's many border regions, but ethnic minorities have a deep-rooted mistrust of the central government. Many student unions and volunteers from non-governmental organizations participated in the demonstration, which was organized via Facebook, while, dating back a few years ago, Myanmar has no comprehensive internet network across its boundary. "We come here because we want peace... My parents don't allow me to go, but I am here. If there is a next one, I would like to join because of peace," said Sad Un San, a 16-year old student at East Yangon University. He said he came to the demonstration to demand peace and condemn the raging wars across Myanmar with his junior classmates who are about 15 years old. "In our country, people are fighting for no reason", said Hah Eie, a law student from Dagon University who distributed food and drinks to pro- testers for free as a …

  • 2017-04-03
  • 2017-04-03

2016 Hong Kong Legco Election Candidates

  • 2016-09-04
  • 2016-09-04

Hong Kong Island   Wong Chi-him Lau Gar-hung Chritopher Ip Lau Suk-yee Regina Ho Sau-lan Cyd Cheung Kwok-kwan Chim Pui-chung Cheng Kam-mun Law Kwun-chung Shum Chee-chiu Wong Wai-kay Chui Chi-kin Zimmerman Paulus Johannes Hui Chi-fung Tanya Chan Kwok Wai-keung   Kowloon West Ng Man-yuen Ho Chi-kwong Mo Man-ching Cladia Leung Mei-fun Tam Kwok-kiu Chu Siu-hung Wong Yuk-man Wong Pik-wan Lam Yi-lai Chiang Lai-wan Kwan San-wai Lau Siu-Lai Yau Wai-ching Lee Wing-hon Tik Chi-yuen   Kowloon East Wong Kwok-kin Wu Sui-shan Ko Tat-pun Tam Heung-man Tse Wai-chun Or Ching-shing Lui Wing-kei Wu Chi-wai Tam Man-ho Wong Yeung-tat Chan Chak-to Tam Tak-chi   New Territories West   Wong Yun-tat Wan Siu-kin Ko Chi-fai Chow Wing-kan Cheng Chung-tai Kwong Koon-wan Tien Micheal Puk-sun Ho Kwan-yiu Leung Che-cheung Kwok Ka-ki Wong Ho-ming Lee Cheuk-yan Wong Chun-kit Mak Mei-kuen Fung Kin-kee Chan Han-pan Cheung Wai-ching Lui Chi-hang Tong Wing-chi Chu Hoi-dick   New Territories East   Fong Kwok-chan Lam Cheuk-ting Liu Tin-shing Chin Wan-kan Leung Kwok-hung Cheung Chiu-hung Yeung Alvin Ngok-kiu Mak Ka-chun Cheng Kar-foo Quat Elizabeth Hau Chi-keung Lee Tsz-king Tang Ka-piu Fan Gary Kwok-wai Chan Yuk Ngor Wong Sum-yu Lee See-yin Chan Chi-chuen Leung Chung-hang Leung Kam-shing Yung Hoi-yan Chan Hak-kan

Running for Life

  • 2016-01-10
  • 2016-01-10

  by Sharon Tang Jogging may seem like an afforadable way to get fit, but there are risks. According to a 2014 study by the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvania, people who live longest only do a moderate amount of exercise. That menas two to three hours of running a week. Researchers looked at more than 3,800 joggers. They found that those who jog a lot or not at all have shorter lifespans .than moderate joggers. Another research by the American College of Cardiology in February 2015 mentioned that training too hard might be as bad as not putting on your running shoes at all. The study suggested jogging at a steady pace for less than two and a half hours a week is best for health. Here in Hong Kong, the annual Hong Kong Marathon sponsored by Standard Chartered has seen more and more participants in recent years. For the 2016 marathon, 15,500 places were all gone in two and a half hours. "When welfare organizations promote the advantages of exercise, more people become aware of their health," said Lobo Louie Hung-tak, Associate Professor of Physical Education atHong Kong Baptist University. "Jogging, for instance, is easy because you need don't need any facilities," he said. "Joggers' injuries are not that serious. Maybe it is exagerrated by the media ," Dr Louie suggested. But he admitted there is a lack of data on joggers. Dr Louie explained that there is a causal relationship between training time and the probability of getting injured while jogging. He said that competition should not be considered as a way to show off one's talent, but should be about commitment to training . A 10 kilometer marathon for example requires at least three months' preparation. "Some people blame on the host organization of the marathon that they are injured. That is unethical," Dr Louie said. Bobo Lau Po-yu loves running and strarted going into competition when she was in secondary school. She has been running long distance for seven …

Beijing official's remark on CE's 'overriding' powers drawn divided comments

  • 2015-09-16
  • 2015-09-16

By Kyle Sun The top Beijing official in Hong Kong Zhang Xiaoming said during a seminar last Saturday that the Chief Executive is "above the executive, legislative and judicial." Zhang, the current chief of the central government's Liaison Office said that separation of the three powers is not meant to be exercised in the local government system, instead is only a reference to the SAR. "The Chief Executive's dual responsibility [to both Hong Kong and Beijing] means he has a special legal position which is above the executive, legislative and judicial institutions," Zhang said to law scholars and experts on a seminar marking 25th anniversary of the promulgation of Basic Law. The pro-Beijing camp took Zhang's comments as explaining and promoting the Basic Law to the public. Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, lawmaker and chairwoman of the New People's Party, said that there is no need for worries that the Chief Executive may have dominating power. "The Judiciary is independent and it operates entirely on its own," she said during a radio show. "The administration is subject to daily monitoring by the legislature, which is becoming more and more powerful, for example through filibustering." She added that the CE does enjoy a supreme position in the local constitutional structure according to the Basic Law. Lawmaker Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, from the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, believed that Zhang was referring to the chief executive's special position in liaising between the central government and Hong Kong instead of the control over the three powers. Pan-democrats think otherwise. Alan Leong Kah-kit, the Civic Party leader and lawmaker, told the South China Morning Post that Zhang was making the CE "an emperor" and the chairperson Emily Lau Wai-hing said Zhang had misinterpreted the Basic Law. Convenor of the Path of Democracy and solicitor Ronny Tong Ka-wah said during a …

Localist Arrested At Anti Parallel Trading Protest

  • 2015-09-09
  • 2015-09-09

By Jane Cheung About 150 protesters participated in an anti-parallel trading demonstration in Sheung Shui in the afternoon on September 6 afternoon, resulting in an arrest of a localist group member of a localist group. The march was co-organised by a Sheung Shui community organisation and Local League which aims to express disapproval to parallel trading actions on behalf of Sheung Shui residents. Protesters marched around Sheung Shui, causing s Some pharmacies to shut their front gates as to avoid the parade that marched around Sheung Shui.  They Protestors urged passing by Sheung Shui residents who echoed their views to join the march. The group returned to Sheung Shui MTR station where more than ten parallel trading supporters gathered after an hour and a half. The protesters from two views had a shouty encounter despite being separated by a police-formed human barricade. Mr. Ray Wong Toi-yeung of the Hong Kong Indigenous, a localist group that participated in the protest, was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer on a footbridge near Sheung Shui MTR station. Mr Wong thanked his supporters outside Sheung Shui Police Station after he was released on bail at 11.30pm on Sunday. "Our defiance is worth it because of your support, and your actions had successfully asserted pressure to police," he said to his supporters. He then showed off his injuries accusing police of unnecessary violence on a police vehicle during the arrest. The two organisers issued a press release highlighting their concern over the potential smuggle of mooncakes as Mid-Autumn Festival approaches. They also criticised the recently launched "one week one visit" policy for failing to eliminate parallel trading actions. Mr. Peter Lam Kin-ngok, Tourism Board Chairman, told the South China Morning Post that protests would lead to a decrease of tourists visiting Hong Kong and …

People

Stand By Me singer Ben E. King died at 76

  • 2015-05-02

'Stand By Me' singer Ben E. King at age 76, has died of natural cause at his home in New Jersey. The R&B singer had 21 songs charted on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1961 and 1975, including the notable 'Stand By Me', 'Spanish Harlem', 'Amor', 'Do it in the name of love'. More on Ben E King Chart history on Billboard Earlier this year, King's version of the classic song by the U.S. Library of Congress to the National Recording Registry, saying 'It was King's incandescent vocal that made it a classic.' Born in North Carolina, King started his career as the male vocal of  The Drifters in 1950s, singing hits like 'Save the Last Dance for Me' and 'The Magic Moment'. In 1988, the band was inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.