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


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Selected audio segments:
Companies to be paid HK$80bn to shore up jobs  Listenfacebook
The government has unveiled a HK$137.5 billion relief package to help Hong Kong workers and businesses weather the coronavirus storm. It will see the city's fiscal reserves drop by about 20 percent to HK$900 billion. But Chief Executive Carrie Lam stressed that unprecedented steps need to be taken to help businesses retain and pay their employees. Candice Wong reports:
Labour Party says not all firms need help  Listenfacebook
The chairman of the pro-business Liberal Party and Executive Councillor Tommy Cheung said the relief measures announced on Wednesday were “the best package I have seen coming from government”. HK$80 billion will go to companies to pay their workers in a bid to try to retain jobs. But Labour Party lawmaker Fernando Cheung says this doesn’t make sense as some businesses, such as supermarkets, have benefitted from the Covid-19 pandemic. He told Ian Pooler the government should only help firms who have forced staff to take unpaid leave:
McRefugees ‘could increase to 4,000 this year  Listenfacebook
McDonald's has resumed its evening dine-in services after a two-week suspension to try to prevent coronavirus infections. The move had meant hundreds of so-called 'McRefugees' - the homeless who spend their nights in McDonald's restaurants - had nowhere to stay. Some 50 of them were given money for hotel accommodation by the charity, Impact-HK, which raised HK$700,000 for the cause. But now that McDonald's is open overnight again for the homeless, does that do anything to solve their problems? Annemarie Evans asked Impact-HK's founder, Jeff Rotmeyer:
M&S and NT clinics at centre of coronavirus cluster fears  Listenfacebook
Seventeen employees of a Marks and Spencer's store in Causeway Bay are being quarantined after a fourth member of staff at the shop was confirmed to have Covid-19 on Wednesday. Another cluster of infections is now also feared around two public clinics in the New Territories. In total, 25 new coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday, as Wendy Wong reports:
People want trade in wildlife stopped to prevent disease  Listenfacebook
A survey by the conservation group, WWF, has found overwhelming public support for shutting down all wildlife markets to try to prevent future outbreaks of diseases like Sars and Covid-19. Nearly all of the thousand people polled in Hong Kong back such a move. A similar result was found in four other Asian jurisdictions. WWF-Hong Kong's director of conservation, David Olson, says even though the city doesn't have an open wildlife market, like the one in Wuhan – believed to be where the coronavirus pandemic started - that doesn't mean the trade isn't active here. He spoke to Richard Pyne:
Months of protests and violence spark mass exodus from the police  Listenfacebook
Hundreds of police officers have quit the force since massive protests and social turmoil hit Hong Kong last summer. The number of new recruits has also plummeted by around two-fifths. Timmy Sung has the details:
Endangered spoonbills continue to decline in Deep Bay  Listenfacebook
The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society says a record number of endangered black-faced spoonbills were recorded in the latest international census. Just over 4,850 birds were counted, up nearly nine percent on last year. However, the numbers of spoonbills spotted in Deep Bay continued to fall. The population of the winter visitors to the area, which covers Hong Kong and Shenzhen, is down more than a fifth from a decade ago. Yu Yat-tung is a research manager at the Bird Watching Society. Mike Weeks asked him why spoonbill numbers are falling in Deep Bay:
Ian Pooler retires  Listenfacebook
Thursday saw the last appearance on ‘Hong Kong Today’ of Ian Pooler before his retirement. He joined Radio III in 1986 after working for the BBC in his home city of Birmingham. Since then he's toiled tirelessly in a variety of positions from ‘Open Line’ to ‘Teen Time’. His time more recently on ‘Hong Kong Today’ has encompassed some of the most tumultuous and momentous events Hong Kong has seen since the handover in 1997. Ian was part of RTHK’s commentary team on July 1, 1997. Mike Weeks asked him if that was the standout moment from his nearly 35 years at the public broadcaster: