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News in a Nutshell - 10 January

By Julie Magno 10 January 2016
Too busy earning a living to read the news? We're back again with a roundup of some of the week's hottest stories.

The Mysterious case of the Disappearing Booksellers

This one was difficult to miss since everyone is talking about it: in a chilling turn of events, a fifth bookseller from Causeway Bay Books has now “disappeared”, apparently to the PRC. This time it seems that the apparent abduction took place in Hong Kong, differing from the earlier cases where the pickups happened in Thailand and the PRC itself. Naturally, this has the more outspoken members of our community concerned, and is a hot topic for foreign press, such as Al Jazeera and The Guardian. Meanwhile, the mainland paper Global Times reported: “Case of HK bookseller dropped

Whose Right is it Anyway?

As promised before Christmas, the delayed copyright bill amendment (freedom of speech vs. copyright infringement) was back up for discussion before the Legislative Council last Wednesday and again, through pan democratic manoevering, the debate was adjourned. SCMP described the actions of the pan democrats as “childish”. On the other hand, a voice of reason came from Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing who suggested that perhaps the government may have underestimated that “the conflict of views would remain so strong at this stage” and that the bulldozer approach might not be the best tactic.

King Arthur Ascends to his Throne

The controversial “King” Arthur Li, Executive Council member, ex-education minister, strong ally of CY Leung, grandson of the founder of the Bank of East Asia and brother to the current chairman, enjoyed his first week as the new HKU council chairman after his appointment was announced on New Year’s Eve day – when nobody might notice. Unlike the King Arthur of legend, this Arthur, known for his arrogant attitude towards others, and in particular students carrying yellow umbrellas, is unlikely to rule from any round table. The HKU Alumni Concern Group has described Chief Executive CY Leung's decision to appoint former education secretary Arthur Li as the chairman of the University of Hong Kong's governing body as a "declaration of war against Hong Kong society".

Homeless on the Rise

A study by City University and other organisations of homeless people in Hong Kong reports that the number of homeless has jumped by 14 percent from 600 in 2013 to 1,614 in October, 2015. As reported in the SCMP, one homeless man interviewed earns HK$3,000 in odd jobs and HK$2,000 in handouts but cannot afford a place to stay. NGOs are calling for more low-rental temporary shelters.

Property Magnates top HK’s Richest

Li Ka-shing, rhymes with Ka-ching (Park n Shop, Fortress, Watsons), is still Hong Kong’s richest person according to Forbes Hong Kong’s 50 Richest People list. Other wealthies include Lee Shau Kee (property), Thomas & Raymond Kwok (real estate), Joseph Lau (real estate), Pan Sutong (real estate), Peter Woo (real estate), Walter Kwok (real estate). See a pattern?

New Year, New Scams

Even if you do have money, there is always someone going to try and take it away from you. Police announced that scammers may be using a new technique to scam people over the phone by telling them that they had judicial summons awaiting collection

Save Money, Stay Home and Watch Movies

If you are looking for a way to save money to pay the rent, you’ll be as delighted as everyone else that NetFlix has arrived in Hong Kong – with Traditional Chinese subtitles – and the first month is free! Now there’s no need to ever go out again plus, the channel boasts “No commitments, Cancel online at anytime”. Is this the first time we have heard such a thing in Hong Kong?

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