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News in a Nutshell - May 15

By Julie Magno 15 May 2016
Thought you'd somehow missed the news this week? You didn't. Ahead of state leader Zhang Dejiang's historic visit to Hong Kong next week, Hong Kong's headlining news was remarkably uncontroversial:

1. The weather

The great conversation fallback for the British, the weather, made news this week with a two red rain storm warnings issued on Tuesday. The Education Bureau cancelled school at what was described as an awkward timing. Much news space was then devoted to comments from angry parents.

mark six results2. The biggest Mark Six jackpot

With total prizes snowballing to a potential Mark Six jackpot of more than $115 million, the largest ever, Hongkongers were out in force to queue for tickets, especially at the 'lucky' Jockey Club outlet in Stanley Street, Central. When the numbers were called, two tickets won a first prize of $84.6 million each, with nine and a half second place winners, each taking a prize of $1.9 million.

3. High level of security planned for China #3's historic Belt and Road visit

According to various publications upwards of 5,000 police officers will be on duty at all times, protests are to be banned (although it seems there will be designated demonstration areas), construction work may be stopped in the vicinity of the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (where the Belt and Road summit is to be held), and the government is glueing bricks down to the pavements so that they can't be used as missiles in the event of a banned protest taking place. Besides fears of protests from Hongkongers, authorities are reportedly concerned about Xinjiang separatists as well as the general worries over terrorist attacks as have taken place in Europe. Zhang Dejiang, described as China's number three and the man in charge of Hong Kong & Macau Affairs, is coming to Hong Kong to attend the Belt and Road Summit, and demonstrate the central government’s 'care and love' for the city, according to a report in the SCMP. Read more: The Guardian, The SCMP, EJ Insight

4. Gratitude from Sichuan: Hong Kongers to get free access to newly opened panda park

Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam was in Sichuan to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the  Sichuan earthquake. She visited a newly opened panda rescue park where it was announced that, in appreciation of the support offered by Hong Kong after the earthquake, Hong Kong visitors could visit for free. Read more: China Daily

5. Protecting citizens from unscrupulous health practitioners

Following the beauty parlour cancer cure scandal last week, the government announced plans to introduce a new voluntary scheme to accredit 15 types of allied health professionals. A spokesman for the Patient's Rights Association suggested that a voluntary system was not good enough, saying that the government should set up a board to supervise allied health professionals. It is a criminal offense for anyone to claim to be a doctor, nurse or pharmacist if they are not registered with the Medical Association, however, anyone can claim to be a therapist. Read more: SCMP

6.  Arrest: Taxi driver overcharges police officer disguised as a Japanese tourist

A taxi driver was detained after he asked his passenger, an undercover police officer, for $150 for a fare from Central to Admiralty when the actual meter fare was only $22, news website reported. It is ok to give a silent cheer. Read more: EJ Insight

7. More taxi news: donation bags 'lost' in taxi yet to be recovered...

Anyone who has left a mobile phone in a taxi will not be surprised to hear that the Yan Chai hospital has yet to retrieve 11 flag day donation bags that were apparently stolen by a taxi driver. Volunteers reported putting the bags into a taxi when the driver closed the door and drove off before they could get in. Baldwin Cheng Shing-fung, chairman of the Yan Chai board said that it had tried to trace the bags on the same day through a taxi union lost and found service centre but failed to locate them. The case is with the police. Read more: Hong Kong Free Press and only slightly controversially:

8. Get your brains checked - a note to those who reject economic integration with the mainland

In case anyone misunderstood Financial Secretary John Tsang's previous positive spin on the localists' activities, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor Chan was more direct (rude) in an interview on Commercial Radio: “Those who reject economic integration with the mainland should get their brains checked out,”  “[Hongkongers] shouldn’t let political strife mess up their minds.”
“He certainly lacks the understanding of what people like me are calling for, and was trying to twist what we mean. I never doubted the need for Hong Kong to embrace the global market, but localisation is equally important.” – Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching in response. – SCMP

9. Getting rid of CY Leung key campaign pledge for entrepreneur Ricky Wong

Ricky Wong, ex boss and founder of Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN), and currently chairman and founder of Hong Kong Television Network Limited (HKTV), announced that he was planning to stand in the September elections in an effort to prevent CY Leung taking a second term in office. As quoted in the SCMP, Wong said if Leung served another five-year term, the split in the community would worsen, and the hatred between the government and a substantial segment of Hongkongers would increase. Wong's HKTV now focuses on online shopping but previously fought a long battle with the government over free-to-air television licencing.
"...40 or 50 Legco members have the same stand that we don’t want the current CE, we want [to] get a more honest one, [then] that voice will be heard", he said, and this might influence Beijing when it makes a decision on who should be the next chief executive." – Ricky Wong, RTHK 
Read more: SCMP

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