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Hong Kong Today
Hong Kong Today
RTHK's morning news programme. Weekdays 6:30 - 8:00
Ben Tse and Samantha Butler


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Selected audio segments:
Pet cull ordered over hamster Covid cluster  Listenfacebook
Authorities have announced a cull of more than 2,000 hamsters, rabbits, and chinchillas in response to a Covid cluster involving the animals at a pet shop in Causeway Bay. Dozens of pet shops that sell hamsters have been ordered to shut. Meanwhile, three overnight lockdowns ended on Wednesday morning in Aberdeen, Tung Chung and Lai Chi Kok. No new coronavirus cases were found after over 2,100 people were tested. Damon Pang reports:
Hamster-to-human transmission 'plausible'  Listenfacebook
A veterinary medicine expert says it's plausible that hamsters could pass Covid to humans as the rodents are highly-susceptible to the virus. Professor Nikolaus Osterrieder, the Dean of City University's Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, says he believes the risk is low, but the government's cull order is the result of Hong Kong's zero-Covid policy. He told Ben Tse there was animal-to-human transmission of Covid-19 in the Netherlands, but it was too early to call on the hamsters:
Animal protection group angered over cull  Listenfacebook
The Hong Kong Animal Law and Protection Organisation says dozens of pet owners have contacted them for help after the government announced the cull. The group says many of them expressed anger over the decision. Its founder, Kim McCoy, questioned the move before it was confirmed that hamsters had spread the virus to humans. He spoke to Joanne Wong:
Sham Shui Po block evacuated over Covid fears  Listenfacebook
Authorities have ordered a partial evacuation of a public housing block in Sham Shui Po over fears of vertical transmission of the coronavirus. There have been eight confirmed or preliminary positive cases among residents there so far. Frances Sit reports:
Businesses step up vaccine bubble call  Listenfacebook
Representatives of six types of businesses, forced to close until after the Lunar New Year amid the Omicron outbreaks, have urged the government to let them reopen immediately. They say they are willing to serve only vaccinated customers. Violet Wong reports:
Vaccine mandate boosts jab take-up  Listenfacebook
The Chief Executive Carrie Lam says there's been an increase in the number of people getting Covid jabs since she announced that vaccinations could be made mandatory for visitors to restaurants and other businesses from February 4. Violet Wong reports:
Call for $3,000 consumption voucher handout  Listenfacebook
The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants wants another round of consumption vouchers handed to all residents. Eugene Yeung, the convenor of its Budget Proposals Sub Committee, said the last handout of $5,000 saw a notable increase in retail sales and helped boost economic performance in the second half of 2021. He says this time, a $3,000 voucher would cost the government around $22 billion, which was "affordable". He also told Samantha Butler that the institute estimated the government would report a budget deficit of $25.2 billion for this fiscal year - around 75 percent less than the government's forecast last February:
Chemical in plastic raises cancer risk  Listenfacebook
Researchers at Baptist University say exposure to a chemical widely used in plastic containers can increase the risk of breast cancer. Bisphenol S (BPS), was originally touted as a safer chemical than its relative, BPA, which has been linked to human endocrine system disruptions, metabolic disease and cancer. But the university's department of chemistry said its eight-week study using mice has also raised cancer concerns regarding BPS. Professor Cai Zongwei, who led the research, said breast cancer cells were transplanted into three separate groups of mice, and tumours in the two groups given various doses of BPS grew bigger than the control group fed with olive oil. He spoke to Timmy Sung:
China disinfects overseas mail over Omicron case  Listenfacebook
Mainland authorities are urging people to wear masks and gloves when opening mail, especially from abroad, after authorities suggested the first Omicron case found in Beijing could have arrived via a package from Canada. Authorities are stepping up disinfection of overseas mail and insisting postal staff handling it are fully-vaccinated. Vicky Wong reports:
China pledges to boost domestic demand  Listenfacebook
China's top economic planner says Beijing will soon roll out policy measures to boost domestic demand and stabilise growth. Priscilla Ng reports:
Positive reception to Macau's gaming bill  Listenfacebook
Macau's legislature has published the draft of a highly anticipated gaming law bill, providing further details for casino operators in the world's biggest gambling hub. Natale Ching reports: