Didn’t have time to read the news? No worries, we’ve got you covered with these tidbits from the week gone by:
- The meeting of the “Mr” men
In the name of diplomacy, “Mr” Xi (aka Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China) and “Mr” Ma (aka Ma Ying-Jeou, President of the Republic of China) met last Saturday in a truly historic summit in Singapore. This was the first time leaders from the “two Chinas” have met since 1945. We remember the fuss around the first cross-straits flights in 2008. How things have changed – slowly.
- Gay rights and democracy
At the same same time, Hong Kong’s streets saw the largest gay pride march, possibly in response to comments made days earlier by the Catholic bishop suggesting that his flock take a politician’s stance on gay rights into account when voting in the district elections. We remember when the Legislative Council eventually decriminalised private and consensual homosexual “relations” in 1991. How things have changed – slowly.
- Let us eat cake
Despite a predicted 4.5 percent average wage rise for Hong Kongers in 2016, inflation will give us a real wage rise of only 1.5 percent on average, according to the latest Salary Trends Survey by ECA International. This is the third lowest “real” salary increase in the Asia region; we beat only Macau and Myanmar, and compare poorly to China’s predicted 6.2 percent salary rise. Anyone moving to the north soon?
- Diamonds are a girl’s best friend
Meanwhile, a Hong Kong collector set a new world auction record with his HK$375,663,913 spend on a 12.03-carat vivid blue diamond. Previously called the “Blue Moon” diamond, the record-breaking jewel was renamed “The Blue Moon of Josephine” for his daughter. You better hope the kids don’t hear about this!
- Heard enough already
Scheduled to continue into 2016 “until further notice”, The Commission of Inquiry into Excess Lead Found in Drinking Water entered its second week and we’ve heard enough already. In true inquiry style, the Housing Department is pointing the finger at anyone else and letting us know they had previously been unaware of the health risks posed by lead in material used to solder pipes. Don’t we know from school about the danger of lead water pipes?
- Because in Hong Kong we have a particular interest in all things ‘flu’
Researchers at HKU and Polytechnic University believe they have found a way to make flu jabs not only more powerful, but also effective against a wider number of strains of flu. Currently flu jabs are very specific and if the World Health Organisation predicts the wrong strains, as they did last year, that year’s seasonable flu jabs are close to ineffective. Way to go Hong Kong!