politics

Society

Policy Address 20/21: HK government to introduce cash allowance for low-income families

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor highlighted new public housing schemes for residents with plans to provide low-income families currently waiting in line for public rental housing with cash allowance over a prolonged period. In the live broadcast, Mrs Lam hopes that the new schemes will "get Hong Kong out of the impasse and restore people's confidence as soon as possible."  To meet the demand of about 301,000 public housing units, the government plans to use 330 identified hectares of land required based on the Long Term Housing Strategy Annual Progress Report 2020 to implement 316,000 flats within the next 10 years.  Locations involved the Tung Chung reclamation side, the agricultural and brownfields sides in new development areas such as Kwu Tong North, Fanling North. Other suggested areas include nine sites at Kai Tak and Anderson Road Quarry, and parts of Fanling Golf Course will also be used for public housing development.  "It is the prime time to create more land for housing," she said. Ms Leung, who has been in line for public rental housing for four years, rated the policy address one out of 10. "She [Carrie Lam] did introduce new public housing, but it seems that the majority would be sold in the market rather than being rented, which would have zero impact on shortening the waiting time for public rental housing," Leung said. Currently, the waiting time for public rental housing averages at 5.6 years, which has increased by 0.1 years compared to June this year. As of September, there are about 156,400 general applications for public rental housing and about 103,600 non-elderly one-person applications.  A new cash subsidy will roll out for people waiting for public rental housing. In the trial scheme, applicants with two or more persons, and elderly one-person applicants not living in …

Society

Policy Address 20/21: A report not for our citizens": Hong Kong Pro-democrats criticise latest policy address

James To was in his office putting things away in boxes for removal while watching the live broadcast of policy address on television. On the screen is Carrie Lam, wearing the lapel pin of the Chinese and Hong Kong flag, standing in the chambers of the Legislative Council, giving her speech. The former lawmaker used to be sitting in the chambers, listening to the Chief Executive's annual address alongside many other colleagues from the opposition camp. Now, there are none of them left in the chambers. This is the first policy address ever given in the city's history without any pro-democratic lawmakers. "We used to protest in the chambers when there's [a] policy address, but right now, all the people left in the chambers are the puppets of the [the] Communist party," said Mr To, referring to the pro-Beijing lawmakers, who remained in the chambers. On November 12, the Democratic lawmakers resigned in solidarity with those who are disqualified by the government, with powers from the Beijing authorities, citing a threat to national security. That leaves the highest legislative body in the city with no dissenting voice for the first time. Claudia Mo, another lawmaker who resigned, criticised this year's address to be a report to integrate Hong Kong into the mainland, instead of having the city's best interest at heart. "The goal is to 'disappear' Hong Kong as we know it. I lost count of how many times she said Hong Kong enjoys  Beijing's 'central support', like without which we just couldn't survive on," she said as she watched the address online, with no appetite for lunch.  Wu Chi-wai, the chairman of the Democracy Party, said that the annual policy blueprint is more like a report from governors of provinces to the Beijing government. "You cannot find a word …

Society

US 2020 Election Result: Joe Biden beats Donald Trump to be the 46th president of the United States

Biden has won more than 73 million votes, which hit a record high in US elections. He is now projected to have 290 Electoral College votes which the presidential hopeful only needs more than 270 votes to be elected.  Biden still won the battleground Pennsylvania by a margin of 49.7% to 49.2% over Trump after Trump requested a recount. Biden also took over another competitive swing-state, Georgia, winning the 16 electoral votes.  After announcing the latest result, Biden stated, "Americans, I'm honoured that you have chosen me to lead our great country." He declared that he would restore political normalcy and a spirit of national unity to confront raging health and economic crises.  He also promised to be the president for "all Americans" and calls for "American unity" in his later speech. Joe Biden, a 77-year-old man who has served the government for more than half a century, has been previously 47th vice president in the Obama administration for eight year. His term of being the president is expected to last for four years till 2024.

Politics

Incensed Baptist University students rally against arrest of broadcast journalism student

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Rachel Yeo、Anna Kam、Phoebe Lai、Jo Ng、Yanni ChowEdited by: William Tsui
  • 2019-09-16

Hundreds of Baptist University students staged a march to rally against the arrest of broadcast journalism student Boaz So, which later escalated to heated verbal shouting towards various school authorities. Mr. So, a student reporter from BNN, a student-run news station based in the university, was arrested in North Point last night for suspicion on possessing an offensive weapon. He was later released on bail earlier this evening. Police found a butter knife while searching through So's belongings and was taken to a private car by riot police. So said that the knife was used to cut mooncakes, which was later confirmed by his girlfriend Rachel So Ching-yan. Kelly Lam and Sharon Tam, two of the other student reporters who was out with Boaz So in North Point last night said they felt "hopeless and furious" about their classmate's arrest. "They seem to be targeting at student reporters. They also seem to be targeting at young people," said Ms. Lam and Ms.Tam. Ms. Lam described they were being requested by the riot police to show their press cards and identity cards in North Point last night. The police passed around their identity cards among themselves while taking notes of their information. Their bags and identity cards were also searched by police at the scene. During the march which started out peaceful, students demanded for the university to provide assistance for arrested students, condemn the police for arresting people without reason and stifling press freedom and ensure physical safety of students. Teddy, a year 3 film student at Hong Kong Baptist University who does not want to reveal her full name and a friend of Boaz So thought the arrest of Mr. So was pointless. "As a friend of his, I don't think he is going to use the knife to …

Politics

Budget 2019/20: Tax reduction and financial relief measures not to be compromised despite lower revenue

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Vimvam Tong、Jo Ng、King Woo、Yetta LamEdited by: Rachel Yeo
  • 2019-02-27

The government announced a number of financial relief measures in the budget speech today, despite a significant drop in the city's annual surplus. Salaries tax, tax under personal assessment and profits tax will be reduced by 75% with a ceiling of $20,000 this year, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said. Mr. Chan said he is "very concerned about the tax burden on salary earners", adding that tax bands will be widened and marginal tax rates will be adjusted. "These measures aim to relieve the long-term tax burden of citizens through a structural approach and increase taxpayers' disposable income, so that they can take better care of their personal as well as family needs," he said. The government will be waiving rates for four quarters of 2019-20, subject to a ceiling of $1,500 per quarter for each rateable property, wheres last year's ceiling was $2,500. One-off relief measures from the government this year are projected to be lesser because of the reduced surplus. Mr. Chan announced the expected surplus of $58.7 billion for 2018-2019, but the government will be spending approximately $42.9 billion for 2019-2020, which is 73% of the surplus for one-off relief measures. This figure is higher than last year, when they allocated around 40% of the $138 billion surplus for relief measures. "We consider that the external environment is not very favorable, so the surplus is lower. But we do not want to scale down our commitment (towards relief measures) too much," said Mr. Chan in the press conference after the budget speech. Financial relief measures are introduced with the objectives to “support enterprises, preserve employment, stabilise economy, and alleviate the burden of citizens", in reaction to the slow economy performance caused by the US-China trade war. As for allowances, the government will also be providing extra allowances …

Silent voice of Russian graffiti

  • 2017-10-12
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Nicole Kwok、Daisy LeeEdited by: Nicole Kwok、Daisy Lee
  • 2017-10-12

Street art is never welcomed in Russia. With high level of censorship, the authoritarian country does not allow much expression amid the existence of discontented undercurrents. Some said russian graffiti first took off in the days when the Western influences, especially American cultures, were introduced in the USSR. To be exact, breakdancing, derived from American hip-hop movies, partially brought the beginning of Russian graffiti subculture in the 1980s. Breakdancers became graffiti artists as they have to create eye-catching backdrops for performances. At the same time in late Soviet period, graffiti became a rebellious medium for the public, especially youth, to express non-conformity. Russian hippies use walls to share ideas of peace and kindness, while pacifists and anti-war groups began to use graffiti as a way to spread moral wrongs of war and their opposition to the Soviet Union in declaring war in Afghanistan. Russian graffiti artist Dmitri Aske once wrote, "A city is a large sandbox, and graffiti is one of the ways of existing within that sandbox." He thinks that street arts, graffitis or patriotic drawings on the facade or fences of Russia reflects currents events of the place. In Russia, ‘Bombing' is an important expressing method for local graffiti artists. It is a technique of quickly covering large areas with graffiti by tagging public transports, such as trains, or simply a whole street. Legal liability is one of the crucial concerns for graffitists all over the world. Though there is no typical law regulating graffiti in Russia, some Russian lawyers pointed out that anyone who is caught for painting graffiti can still be penalised by law enforcement under criminal code. Hurriyet Daily News reported in 2013 that Russian police had pressed charges of vandalism and graffiti which mocked Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia.  According to the law, …