News Programme | Hong Kong Today(2023-03-17) - RTHK
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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:
Travel sector to launch free air ticket giveaways  Listenfacebook
The Travel Industry Council says travel agencies will soon launch their free plane ticket giveaways. But the council says customers will need to buy vacation packages and pay airport tax to receive the freebie, because this will amplify the government’s campaign aimed at attracting visitors to the SAR. Cathay Pacific, HK Express, and Hong Kong Airlines will distribute the 500,000 free tickets. About 10 percent of these tickets have already been given to the council which will hand them out to local travel agencies. The council's executive director Fanny Yeung spoke to Ada Au:
Airport workers upset over bus fare proposals  Listenfacebook
Airport workers say Citybus’s application for a 50 percent fare hike on its airport services will drastically add to their financial burden if approved and make airport jobs even less attractive. They warn it could force some staff to switch jobs which could undermine Hong Kong's recovery. Hailey Yip reports:
Check-in glitch delays flights  Listenfacebook
The Airport Authority has apologised for a systems glitch that left a large number of passengers waiting longer than usual to check-in on Thursday morning. Several flights were delayed, as Wendy Wong reports:
Govt looks at deterring helper job hopping  Listenfacebook
The government is looking at ways to deter foreign domestic workers from switching employers halfway through their contract. As Aaron Tam reports, the Labour Department noted in a paper to Legco that there were “concerns in the community” about the so-called "job-hopping" trend:
Job hopping term 'stigmatises' helpers  Listenfacebook
A migrant workers' rights activist denies there is a trend of helpers 'job-hopping', saying maids are changing employers because they can no longer tolerate working conditions in their home. Eni Lestari, chairperson of the International Migrants Alliance, told Maggie Ho that there should not be any restrictions on helpers seeking a new job:
Well-being index takes 'holistic' approach  Listenfacebook
A new mental health index, that helps people put a score on their mental well-being, has been launched by the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association. The "330 Well-being Index" is a self-assessment tool; a total score of 65 or below indicates that well-being is below average. Professor Annie Tam, chairperson of the association's Executive Committee, told Ben Tse that the index took a holistic approach to measuring mental health:
Many firms unfamiliar with carbon neutrality  Listenfacebook
A survey by the Hong Kong Productivity Council and City University shows the majority of respondents were not familiar with the concept of carbon neutrality. 122 large corporations and small-and-medium-sized enterprises took part in the study between October and December. Du Yonghai, the general manager of the council's green living and innovation division, said some challenges that companies faced in trying to reduce their carbon footprint included the lack of financial incentives and the cost of new capital required, as well as a lack of consumer demand for more greener alternatives. Du told Samantha Butler that other studies had shown consumers in Hong Kong were willing to pay a premium for sustainability:
Reforms underway for Beijing's top office on HK   Listenfacebook
Beijing's office overseeing Hong Kong and Macau affairs will come under the purview of the party's Central Committee instead of the State Council. In a plan on reforming party and state institutions, the central government said it was forming a work office based on the existing Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, as Frank Yung reports:
CE: HK must contribute to high-value development  Listenfacebook
Chief Executive John Lee says Hong Kong must help the country in its pursuit of high-value development. While on a visit to the capital, he said different places must use their strengths to contribute to this advancement. Maggie Ho reports:
Analyst says Xi frustrated with the US  Listenfacebook
An international relations expert says economic cooperation between China and the United States will continue to thrive, despite President Xi Jinping’s criticism of Washington on the political front. Nanjing University international studies professor, Zhu Feng, says he does not think Beijing is looking to escalate the situation. Violet Wong reports:
US banks launch USD$30 billion rescue of First Republic  Listenfacebook
11 American private banks have confirmed they have come up with a USD$30 billion rescue package for the embattled First Republic Bank. They include JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. Reports of the package caused Wall Street to rally and First Republic shares to soar. It comes after the Swiss central bank pledged to provide a liquidity backstop to Switzerland's second-biggest lender, Credit Suisse, in a bid to restore investor confidence. There have been fears surrounding banking systems in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank's rapid collapse last week in the US. The CEO of GEO Securities, Francis Lun, says it will take time to see if investor confidence has been restored. He told Violet Wong that he believed any impact on Hong Kong's financial system would be only partial:
Sth Korea, Japan summit held after missile launch   Listenfacebook
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has met Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo and says he is looking to open a "new chapter" in relations, just hours after Pyongyang fired a long-range ballistic missile. The launch, North Korea's third this week, was a potent reminder of the regional security challenges that have pushed Seoul and Tokyo to look past their differences. Both countries had already agreed to drop an almost four-year-old trade dispute on high-tech materials. Aaron Tam asked RTHK's correspondent in Seoul, Frank Smith, about what he expected to come out of the summit:
South Korean govt backtracks on working hours cap  Listenfacebook
The South Korean government has made a U-Turn on a plan that would have lifted the weekly work hour cap for the country's workers to 69 hours from 52. They had argued that allowing workers to accrue more overtime hours in return for time off later would mean people who want to take longer breaks – such as parents or caregivers – would be able to do so. But as RTHK's correspondent in Seoul, Frank Smith, told Aaron Tam, the plan came under heavy criticism by unions: