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Hong Kong Today
Hong Kong Today
RTHK's morning news programme. Weekdays 6:30 - 8:00
Janice Wong and Ian Pooler


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Selected audio segments:
WHO denies Covid-19 pandemic as global infections grow   Listenfacebook
The World Health Organisation says for the first time, new cases of the coronavirus outside China exceed those inside the country. Despite that, it said the Covid-19 outbreak is not yet a pandemic and again praised Beijing for how it's contained the respiratory disease. There were 411 new cases officially reported on the mainland on Wednesday. Elsewhere, 427 were recorded, two-thirds of them in South Korea, but Pakistan, Brazil and Georgia also reported their first infections. In Hong Kong, the Covid-19 outbreak shows no signs of slowing. Six more cases were confirmed on Wednesday, raising the total number of known infections to 91. Two are linked to a Buddhist temple in North Point while two others are among passengers recently evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Wendy Wong has the details:
HK$71 billion to be handed out to speed HK’s recovery   Listenfacebook
The Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, has announced a record cash handout of HK$10,000 for each adult resident and a record deficit projection of nearly HK$140 billion for the next financial year. The budget proposals come at a time when Hong Kong is facing unprecedented challenges following months of anti-government protests and the current Covid-19 health crisis. Chan hopes they will help individuals and businesses get through the tough times. But will people in need get the cash early enough to help them and is it really a cure for Hong Kong? Damon Pang takes a closer look:
Fitch warns over sustained softening of HK’s public finances   Listenfacebook
Last week, Fitch Ratings warned that Hong Kong and Mongolia were most at risk to economic disruption from the coronavirus epidemic due to their pronounced links with mainland China. So how does the ratings agency view the measures announced in this year's budget to help Hong Kong through the current crisis, which will see the deficit in public revenue blow out to HK$139 billion next year? Ian Pooler asked Andrew Fennell, a Fitch director of Sovereign Ratings, for his reaction to the measures announced for 2020-21:
Anger at budget boost for police   Listenfacebook
Opposition lawmakers are outraged at government plans to boost the budget for the police by a quarter in the coming fiscal year, despite criticism of the force's tactics and alleged brutality during the months of anti-government protests Hong Kong has endured. Timmy Sung reports:
FS pledges all resources necessary to combat Covid-19   Listenfacebook
Although Wednesday's budget featured a record cash handout and a record deficit for the coming financial year, there was not a lot earmarked for healthcare by Financial Secretary Paul Chan. He announced an extra HK$600 million for the Hospital Authority to hire staff and enhance current services and boosted its recurrent spending by HK$3 billion. But he also insisted the government would ensure health authorities have all the resources they need to fight Covid-19, as Frances Sit reports:
Evacuation of HKers from Wuhan moves a step closer   Listenfacebook
Hong Kong people stuck in Wuhan during the Covid-19 epidemic have been asked to contact SAR government officials by 6pm Friday if they want to take rescue flights home. But there's still no word yet on when planes chartered for the airlift might take off. The Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) has been helping the nearly 3,000 Hong Kong people trapped by the quarantine measures imposed last month in Hubei Province to contain the new coronavirus, which first broke out in Wuhan. Janice Wong asked FTU lawmaker Alice Mak how the evacuation plans are progressing: