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News in a Nutshell - Feb 28

By Jenny Leung 28 February 2017
No time to read the news this week? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Just one minute with the Localiiz news roundup and you’ll have all you need to appear up-to-the-minute and worldly-wise when out and about this weekend (well, almost).
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Thief Executive

Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for misconduct. The case has been all over the news for weeks - Tsang grim-faced throughout as he prepares to face almost two years in Stanley's high security prison. The disgraced 72-year-old led Hong Kong from 2005 to 2012 and is the most senior official in the territory ever to stand trial for corruption. In sentencing, Judge Andrew Chan said, "Never in my judicial career have I seen a man fall from so high." Hopefully this will serve as a sobering reminder to those in power that Hong Kong's courts are agnostic to positions of wealth in power in the dispensing of justice.

More on this story: Former leader Donald Tsang goes from penthouse dream to cramped cell as he begins jail term at Stanley Prison - SCMP Donald Tsang faces jail over corruption, but the grand giveaway of Hong Kong freedoms is a greater crime - HKFP

Boys are Blue

Thousands of Hong Kong police officers have staged a rally in support of seven policemen jailed for assault. The men were sentenced to two years in jail last week for beating a handcuffed protester during the 2014 pro-democracy demonstrations, with one officer receiving an extra two months for slapping the protester. The sentence angered many officers, who believe it was unjust and too harsh. It's reported that around 33,000 people attended Wednesday night's gathering at a police recreation ground (though that number came from policemen who organised the event, so they have added a bit of mayonnaise to the numbers). It's a contentious issue – on one hand, the police were stretched to breaking point during the pro-democracy demonstrations and endured much beyond the call of duty. Conversely, if people can't trust the police to do their job legally, justly, and with due diligence – even under duress – then the negative societal implications can be vast. More on this story: Don’t compare police troubles with persecuted Jews, Israeli consulate urges - SCMP Insiders worry as anger at officers’ jailing for Ken Tsang beating spreads through Hong Kong police - SCMP

Refusing to Budge

In his final budget, financial secretary Paul Chan Mo-po has said Hong Kong is forecast to enjoy a HK$92.8 billion surplus for the year 2016-17. Chan proposed new measures to spend some of the extra surplus, such as reducing salaries tax, tax under personal assessment and profits tax for 2016-17 by 75 percent, subject to a ceiling of HK$20,000. Rates will be waived for four quarters of 2017-18, subject to a ceiling of HK$1,000 per quarter for each rateable property. All great news if you're rich already.

Load of Ip

Chief executive contender Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee has spoken out against “insecure” leaders in Beijing, saying she has rejected ­supposed offers of top appointments to ­national bodies in exchange for dropping out of Hong Kong’s leadership race. The pro-establishment bond-villain-wannabe criticised fellow pro-establishment bond-villain-wannabe Carrie Lam for being just like her. Okay she meant the Regina Ip of 10 years ago - but whatever.

Gimme Shelter

The asylum seekers who sheltered former US intelligence contractor turned whistle-blower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong have said they fear for their safety, after ­reports that Sri Lankan police had been in the city looking for them. The SCMP reported Supun Thilina Kellapatha as saying, “I felt very scared and nervous ... maybe they can arrest me ... I don’t know what they would do, because they are cruel”. In case you didn't know, Snowden – who had just leaked sensitive US intelligence files – hid in Hong Kong ­before heading to Russia where he lives under asylum himself.

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Born in Hong Kong and raised in the UK, Jenny grew up with the best of both worlds. She loves just about anything to do with music and doesn’t shy away from belting out a tune or two when it comes to karaoke. If she’s not out and about exploring the city and practising her photography skills, she’s probably tucked up in bed with a book or glued to her laptop doing her online shopping.