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Hong Kong Today
Hong Kong Today
Description:
RTHK's morning news programme. Weekdays 6:30 - 8:00
Presenter:
Janice Wong and Mike Weeks

2021-03-17
Wednesday

Now playing: 足本播放 Play full episode
Selected audio segments:
Bus fares to rise by up to 12 percent  Listenfacebook
Bus passengers will have to pay nearly 10 percent more from next month after the government approved applications by the four main franchised operators to put up their fares. Wendy Wong has the details:
Fare hikes ‘to hit those who are already hurting’   Listenfacebook
The government is under fire for allowing Hong Kong's four main franchised bus companies to raise fares by between 8.5 percent and 12 percent. Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Alice Mak said with soaring unemployment and many workers hit by on and off pandemic restrictions, this is the wrong time to increase bus fares. The Coalition to Monitor Public Transport and Utilities says officials should have offered direct support to cash-strapped bus operators instead of extending a travel rebate scheme for the public. Its spokesman, Richard Tsoi, spoke to Annemarie Evans:
Unemployment hits 17-year high   Listenfacebook
Hong Kong's unemployment rate has risen to 7.2 percent, its highest level since 2004. In announcing last month's figure, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Law Chi-kwong, warned that the job market still faces challenges with the pandemic not yet fully contained. Candice Wong has more.
HSBC shuts its Central HQ until further notice  Listenfacebook
HSBC has told employees to stay away from its main building in Central until further notice after a third positive coronavirus test among its staff there. That was one of the 18 infections confirmed on Tuesday. Steve Dunthorne reports:
Inoculation centres booked up as campaign widens  Listenfacebook
Vaccine bookings are now on the rise after the government expanded its inoculation programme. Some vaccination centres and public clinics are fully booked for the next two weeks, despite lingering concerns about the jabs. Wendy Wong reports:
US dismisses diplomatic immunity claims over consulate outbreak  Listenfacebook
The United States has accused Chinese state media of publishing what it called "disinformation" about its diplomats in Hong Kong. This came as it dismissed claims that its staff invoked diplomatic immunity to avoid isolating after positive coronavirus tests. Violet Wong reports:
Cut in directly elected seats mooted for expanded Legco   Listenfacebook
The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, has revealed that she's already offered her views to Beijing on the electoral changes it's implementing here. But she said it wouldn't be right for her to tell the Hong Kong public what she said. However, Lam dismissed a suggestion that the planned changes will reduce representation and participation for the people of Hong Kong. Critics of Beijing's changes say expanding the election committee to 1,500 members and increasing the number of Legislative Council seats from 70 to 90 will dilute direct representation. They also point to the plan to remove district councillors from the election committee, which will in future also nominate all legislators. There are now further signs that Beijing's intention is to cut the number of directly elected lawmakers in Hong Kong’s revamped legislature, as Damon Pang reports:
Lack of transparency over electoral changes ‘concerning’  Listenfacebook
While details of the overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system are still being worked out, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said the social welfare sector - which now has 60 seats in the election committee - could be moved to a different bracket. Social welfare members are currently part of the same group as representatives of agriculture, labour, religion and sports. But they could now be lumped in with professional groups, a change that critics say could make it harder for opposition candidates to get elected. Janice Wong asked election committee member and former executive director of Oxfam Hong Kong, Chong Chan-yau, if he was surprised by the proposed change:
China’s leaders ‘looking to exert further control’ over the media  Listenfacebook
Beijing is reported to have asked mainland e-commerce titan Alibaba to divest its media assets, including its stake in the South China Morning Post (SCMP). Reports say it's worried about the growing influence on public opinion exerted by the company founded by Jack Ma. But sources say the SCMP's chief executive has reassured staff that Alibaba's commitment to Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper remains unchanged. Mike Weeks asked a former SCMP political editor, Chris Yeung, what he made of the reports:
Six complaints upheld against policing of 2019 protests   Listenfacebook
The police watchdog has substantiated six complaints made against the force in relation to its handling of the 2019 anti-government protests. That’s out of 320 complaints considered so far. As Frances Sit reports, the officers found to have behaved inappropriately have been reprimanded:
WWF sounds warning over Hong Kong’s lifestyle   Listenfacebook
A green group has warned that the consumption habits of Hong Kong people are having a growing impact on the world. WWF-Hong Kong said if everyone on the planet were to follow the city’s example, 4.4 Earths would be needed to sustain us. Its ecological footprint analysis measures human use of land and sea and the impact this is having on the environment and animals. WWF's Gloria Lai told Richard Pyne that its findings show Hong Kong lifestyle is unsustainable and urgent change is needed: