Young Ng Chun-yeong, spokesperson from a concern group against CLP's future sea-based wind farm about 9 kilometres off Clear Water Bay
About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation for females; Rare for males; Phonetic-based
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 July, 2014, 2:59pm
Agence France-Presse in Beijing
Chinese officials painted a rectangular running track at a stadium as they rushed preparations for a visit by their superiors, state media reported on Tuesday.
Pictures posted online showed the running surface had the normal oval shape, but the white lines marking out each runner’s lane were angled at 90 degrees.
Internet users leaped on the revelation.
Watch: Hurried Chinese officials rush out rectangular running track for superiors' visit
“Leaders, this is the newly developed right-angled running track,” wrote one poster on Weibo, imitating the tone of a lower-ranking Chinese official reporting to his superior.
“We have become the first country in the world to have such tracks! I believe [Chinese athletes] will outperform other countries’ [athletes] after scientific training on such a running track!”
China National Radio described the forestry administration stadium in Tonghe county, in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, as having “rectangular tracks” around the football pitch.
Curves in all the wrong places: Officials painted the rectangular running track as they rushed preparations for a visit by superiors. Photo: SCMP Pictures
“It is difficult to turn and easy to fall,” local resident Gong Xiaona told provincial television programme Newsnight.
It quoted a member of staff at the stadium as saying the previous track had become worn down by long use.
“The current tracks were laid in a rush to deal with the visit by some provincial leaders,” he said.
“We ourselves feel it’s ugly. But who can change it if our bosses don’t care?”
It is not unknown for local officials in China to come up with eccentric ideas to curry favour with their bosses or cope with inspections.
A publicly-funded orphanage in Jieyang in the southern province of Guangdong had its facilities transformed into government offices and dormitories, according to previous state media reports.
When provincial authorities mounted an inspection last year, social welfare officials attempted to borrow orphans from a nearby temple.
PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 September, 2014, 1:26pm
Stuart Lau email@example.com
Former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan told a court today that he had given up to HK$8 million to a young woman from Shanghai with whom he had an "intimate" relationship.
Giving testimony at the city's biggest graft trial, Hui admitted showering the woman with several million dollars, and gifts such as handbags and watches.
“In the year 2008, and the one or two years that followed, I gave some money to a female friend in Shanghai,” said Hui, who was a non-official member of the Executive Council at the time.
“I had not known her for a long time,” he said. “When I first met her, it was in a social gathering in Hong Kong.”
Hui’s counsel, Edwin Choy Wai-bond, asked: “Is this Shanghainese female acquaintance a young woman or a married woman?”
Hui answered: “Maybe I would say, a young woman.”
Choy then asked: “Is it right to say your relationship with her was at times intimate?”
Hui agreed. He said he sometimes met the woman in Hong Kong and sometimes in Beijing. But they did not meet too frequently, he added.
Hui recalled giving her “several million” Hong Kong dollars.
“I do not recall the exact amount. But I think at least seven or eight million,” he said.
Some of the money was for her to buy property while some of it was used to make investments, the court heard.
“I did give her some gifts,” Hui added.
“Like bags and watches and that type of thing?” his lawyer asked. Hui answered yes.
“You were generous in giving her those gifts as well?” his lawyer went on.
“For the value of those gifts – of course it was not low. But I would not say they were luxurious items either,” Hui said.
Hui, 66, faces eight charges related to bribery and misconduct in public office.
He allegedly received HK$27 million in cash from the property magnate Kwok brothers, also standing trial, in return for being their "eyes and ears" in government.
Thomas Kwok, 62, faces one charge of conspiracy to offer an advantage to Hui and two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
Raymond Kwok, 61, faces four charges, including one with Hui of furnishing false information. SHKP executive director Thomas Chan Kui-yuen, 67, and former Hong Kong stock exchange official Francis Kwan Hung-sang, 63, each face two charges.
All have pleaded not guilty. The trial continues before Mr Justice Andrew Macrae.
US study linking the Asian staple of budget eating to an increased risk of heart disease has sparked a passionate South Korean defence
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 August, 2014, 3:30am
Instant noodles carry a broke-college-student aura in North America, but they are an essential, even passionate, part of life for many in South Korea, Hong Kong and across East Asia. A US study on their health effects has caused the emotional heartburn among their loyal consumers.
The Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital study linking instant noodles consumption by South Koreans to some risks for heart disease has provoked feelings of wounded pride, guilt, stubborn resistance, even nationalism among South Koreans.
Koreans eat more instant noodles per capita than anyone in the world. Many of those interviewed vowed not to quit. Other noodle lovers offered up techniques they swore kept them healthy: taking Omega-3, adding vegetables, using less seasoning, avoiding the soup. Some dismissed the study because the hospital involved is based in cheeseburger-gobbling America.
"There's no way any study is going to stop me from eating this," says Kim Min-koo, a freelance film editor who indulges in instant noodles about five times a week. "This is the best moment - the first bite, the taste, the smell, the chewiness - it's just perfect."
The heated reaction is partly explained by the omnipresence here of instant noodles, which, for South Koreans, usually mean the spicy, salty ramyeon that cost less than a dollar a package. Individually wrapped disposable bowls and cups are everywhere: internet cafes, libraries, trains, ice-skating rinks. Even at the halfway point of a trail snaking up South Korea's highest mountain, hikers can refresh themselves with cup noodles.
Elderly South Koreans often feel deep nostalgia for instant noodles, which entered the local market in the 1960s as the country began clawing its way out of the poverty and destruction of the Korean war into what's now Asia's fourth-biggest economy. Many vividly remember their first taste of the once-exotic treat, and hard-drinking South Koreans consider instant noodles an ideal remedy for aching, alcohol-laden bellies and hangovers. Some people won't leave the country without them, worried they'll have to eat inferior noodles.
" Ramyeon is like kimchi to Koreans," says Ko Dong-ryun, 36, an engineer from Seoul, referring to the spicy, fermented vegetable dish that graces most Korean meals. "The smell and taste create an instant sense of home."
Ko fills half his luggage with instant noodles for his international business travels, a lesson he learned after assuming on his first trip that three packages would suffice for six days. "Man, was I wrong. Since then, I always make sure I pack enough."
The US study was based on South Korean surveys from 2007-2009 of more than 10,700 adults aged 19 to 64. It found that people who ate a diet rich in meat, soft drinks and fried and fast foods, including instant noodles, were associated with an increase in abdominal obesity and LDL, or "bad," cholesterol. Eating instant noodles more than twice a week was associated with a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome, another heart risk factor, in women but not in men.
The study raises important questions, but can't prove that instant noodles are to blame rather than the overall diets of people who eat lots of them, cautions Alice Lichtenstein, director of the cardiovascular nutrition lab at Tufts University in Boston.
"What's jumping out is the sodium [intake] is higher in those who are consuming ramen noodles," she says. "What we don't know is whether it's coming from the ramen noodles or what they are consuming with the ramen noodles."
There's certainly a lot of sodium in those little cups. A serving of the top-selling instant ramyeon provides more than 90 per cent of South Korea's recommended daily sodium intake. Still, it's tough to expect much nutrition from a meal that costs about 80 US cents (HK$6.20), says Choi Yong-min, 44, marketing director for Paldo, a South Korean food company. "I can't say it's good for your health, but it is produced safely," he said.
About 1.85 trillion won (HK3.9 billion) worth of instant noodles were sold in South Korea in 2012.
By value, instant noodles were the top-selling manufactured food in South Korea in 2012, the most recent year figures are available, with about 1.85 trillion won (HK$13.9 billion) worth sold, according to South Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.
China is the world's largest instant noodle market, although its per capita consumption pales next to South Korea's.
Japan, considered the spiritual home of instant noodles, boasts a dazzling array. Masaya "Instant" Oyama, 55, who says he eats more than 400 packs of instant noodles a year, rattles off a sampling: Hello Kitty instant noodles, polar bear instant noodles developed by a zoo, black squid ink instant noodles.
In Tokyo, 33-year-old Miyuki Ogata considers instant noodles a godsend because of her busy schedule and contempt for cooking. They also bring her back to the days when she was a poor student. Every time she eats a cup now, she is celebrating what she calls "that eternal hungry spirit".
In South Korea, it's all about speed, cost and flavour.
Thousands of convenience stores have corners devoted to noodles: Tear off the top, add hot water from a dispenser, wait a couple minutes and it's ready to eat, often at a nearby counter.
At the comic book store she runs in Seoul, Lim Eun-jung, 42, says she noticed a lot more belly fat about six months after she installed a fast-cooking instant noodle machine for customers.
"It's obvious that it's not good for my body," Lim says. "But I'm lazy, and ramyeon is the perfect fast food for lazy people."
Inquisitive, enterprising and resourceful journalist Joyce Man has written an engaging piece to US readers about "weird" names ad...