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


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Selected audio segments:
HKMA raises base lending rate, but banks remain steady  Listenfacebook
HSBC and Standard Chartered have announced they are keeping their best lending rates unchanged for now. This comes after the US Federal Reserve raised the cost of borrowing by half a percentage point. It was the biggest jump in more than 20 years. The Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, said Hong Kong rates would inevitably rise because of the local dollar's link to the greenback. He also said the US move would put pressure on the global economic recovery and "create a more challenging external environment for Hong Kong". Standard Chartered's senior economist for Greater China, Kelvin Lau, says he does not see "immediate pressure" for local banks to lift their prime rates. He told Joanne Wong that he expected the local economy to be able to cope with the Fed's tightening roadmap:
Slight increase in new Covid cases to 321  Listenfacebook
There has been a slight increase in Covid infections, with officials reporting 321 new cases. Still, they say the epidemic remains on a steady decline, as Violet Wong reports:
HKers celebrate easing of pandemic measures  Listenfacebook
Many people say the further scaling back of anti-Covid restrictions is the latest sign that life in Hong Kong is gradually returning to normal. On Thursday, the mask mandate was lifted for those playing sport outdoors, beaches reopened, and the maximum number of people allowed to sit together in restaurants rose to eight. Natale Ching reports:
Lifeguards blame govt for ongoing pool closures  Listenfacebook
While beaches reopened on Thursday, swimming pools remain closed. The Hong Kong and Kowloon Life Guards’ Union sought to blame the government, saying poor communication left them short of staff to reopen public pools. Damon Pang reports:
Schools remain closed in Covid-hit Beijing  Listenfacebook
Schools in Beijing have been ordered to remain closed to students, as the capital intensifies its efforts to eliminate the latest Covid-19 outbreak there. Government figures on the Labour Day holiday have highlighted the impact the measures are having on fighting the pandemic, as Timmy Sung reports:
Election Committee member satisfied with one-horse race  Listenfacebook
DAB lawmaker Holden Chow says many Election Committee members are satisfied with arrangements for Sunday's Chief Executive Election, despite there being only one candidate from which to choose. Chow is a member of the 1,500-strong Election Committee which will choose Hong Kong's next leader. He told Janice Wong that he would be attending Friday's campaign rally in Wan Chai, to be held by sole candidate, the former chief secretary, John Lee:
Union calls for minimum wage rise to match inflation  Listenfacebook
The Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions has called for a 22 percent increase in the city's minimum wage, from $37.50 to $46 an hour. Lam Chun-sing, the federation's chairman and a lawmaker, says there has not been an increase since 2019 and the government should raise the minimum wage by at least the rate of inflation over the past few years. The Minimum Wage Commission has started a consultation exercise on the issue and is due to submit its recommendation to the government by the end of October. Lam told Violet Wong that its proposal would not cost employers too much:
WWII bomb on display at new MTR station  Listenfacebook
A half-tonne World War Two bomb is among the features that may surprise commuters using the new Exhibition Centre Station when it opens on May 15. But there is no need to panic, as the bomb has been defused and just its casing is on display. Timmy Sung was given a sneak preview of the station, ahead of the opening of the cross-harbour extension of the East Rail Line:
Scandal-hit UK leader faces major electoral test  Listenfacebook
The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, is facing his first serious electoral test since being rocked by scandals, including holding parties at his official residence that broke lockdown rules. People across England, Scotland and Wales have been voting in local elections. It is the closest thing to a mid-term that Johnson has faced since taking office in 2019. Polling closed around 5am on Friday, Hong Kong time. RTHK's London-based correspondent, Gavin Grey, told Samantha Butler that turnout was expected to be low: