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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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Engineer suggests power outages due to rats  Listenfacebook
The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department has met with CLP Power, saying it is very concerned about two recent power supply incidents in Tsing Yi in the space of a week. CLP said preliminary findings showed damage to a cable termination point at CLP's Nga Ying Chau Street Substation, when eyewitnesses reported hearing an explosion and smoke on January 1. Then on Monday, CLP said a second fault occurred at the underground cable joint at On Mei House in Cheung On Estate, leading to a partial power cut there. A veteran engineer has suggested rats could have chewed through cables. Anne Chan reports:
Authorities unhappy over Cathay's cancelled flights  Listenfacebook
Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Lam Sai-hung, has expressed concern over Cathay Pacific's decision to cancel some flights in January and February. It comes after the airline said they would combine about six pairs of flights on non-peak days over the next two months. Ben Tse reports:
Departure tax proposed to boost govt coffers  Listenfacebook
The Liberal Party has proposed introducing a "departure tax" on permanent residents travelling out of Hong Kong by land, air or sea as a way of increasing government revenue amid a deficit. It is one of a series of recommendations made by the party at a meeting with Financial Secretary Paul Chan on Monday, to discuss the upcoming budget. Other measures they proposed include more child allowances for taxpayers and the creation of a mega-events fund to boost tourism. Party leader Tommy Cheung told Damon Pang that the departure tax could be used as a temporary measure to deal with the current fiscal challenges:
Review of public rents due in third quarter  Listenfacebook
The Housing Authority is expected to run a deficit of more than a billion dollars in its rental housing operations for the next fiscal year, according to its latest budget. But it says its overall operations will not come under pressure in the short term. Kelly Yu reports.
Discovery could lead to drugs to slow ALS  Listenfacebook
Chinese University researchers, working with Oxford University, say they have found a new mechanism in a rare and incurable motor-neurone disease that could lead to better treatment. Professor Edwin Chan from the university's School of Life Sciences led the research. He said there were around 50 to 100 sufferers in Hong Kong of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, which causes muscle weakness and can lead to respiratory failure. He told Samantha Butler that early drug treatment could slow the progression of the disease, but it could take a year to diagnose ALS in patients:
Quake survival tips from the Observatory  Listenfacebook
Japan authorities say the number of people unaccounted for after a New Year's Day earthquake there has more than tripled to over 320, while the death toll has risen to 168. The affected region, Ishikawa prefecture, has been experiencing dozens of aftershocks every day, which is hampering rescue efforts. More than 1.5 million Hongkongers travelled to Japan in the first 10 months of last year. So what should visitors to the quake-prone country look out for, if a tremor strikes? David Hui, a scientific officer from the Hong Kong Observatory, has a few potentially life-saving tips. He spoke to Natale Ching:
China detains executive of Evergrande's EV unit  Listenfacebook
China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group says an executive director has been detained on suspicion of what they described as "illegal crimes". Evergrande Auto's shares closed down more than six percent at 39 cents. Chloe Feng reports:
Zhongzhi bankruptcy filing hits local stocks  Listenfacebook
The Hang Seng Index also fell, starting the week with a hefty loss owing to a sell-off in Chinese tech giants, while strong US jobs data dealt a blow to hopes for an early interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve. The index tumbled nearly two percent, or 310 points, to 16,224, after falling three percent last week. The Tech Index gave up 3 percent, reaching a 13-month low. Brock Silver, chief investment officer at Kaiyuan Capital, explained that the bankruptcy filing by Chinese wealth manager Zhongzhi Enterprise was also a contributing factor to the market retreat here. He spoke to Chloe Feng:
Is Open AI infringing on the NY Times' copyright?  Listenfacebook
This week's Tech Tuesday delves into the legal battle between the New York Times and two tech companies. The media giant has filed a lawsuit against Open AI and Microsoft, claiming they infringed copyright by using millions of its paywalled articles to train their chatbots. So does the newspaper have a strong case? Should AI companies pay for their training data? Violet Wong and Raj Shroff find out more: