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Radio Lantau News is presented courtesy of the Radio Lantau News Network.

  1. The SAR government says it strongly opposes the sending of a letter by the United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China to the UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak, saying it interferes in judicial proceedings with regard to a court case involving jailed media tycoon Jimmy Lai, who faces national security charges. It also 'vehemently condemned' attempts by some US politicians to get sanctions imposed on judicial officers and prosecutors, saying this could amount to contempt of court or perverting the course of justice. "The US politicians' arbitrary and unreasonable bullying act has seriously violated international norms and grossly interfered in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs at large. It is a blatant attempt to undermine the rule of law of Hong Kong and will only expose their own weakness and be doomed to fail," a government spokesman said.
  2. Police on Thursday said a woman had been injured in a wounding case at Choi Hung MTR station. The force said the incident took place at around 7 pm. The force said the suspect, a man who is thought to be around 40 years old, had fled the scene. The MTR said Exit C1 at Choi Hung station would be temporarily closed, while officers investigate.
  3. The Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races will make a splash in Victoria Harbour from June 24 to 25, after a four-year hiatus. The Tourism Board said 4,000 athletes will join the festivities, including a quarter coming from outside the SAR. Its executive director, Dane Cheng, said that new race formats have been implemented to celebrate the resumption of normal travel. Teams will compete for the new Hong Kong-Macau Trophy, and also the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area Championship. "These events are meant to promote interaction among the cities in the Greater Bay Area, expand the market for twin-destination tourism between Hong Kong and Macau, and also push for a multi-stop travel experience," he said. "We hope that more events, including sporting events, will include cultural elements to strengthen our cities' cooperation, and give tourists a fruitful experience in order to create our Greater Bay Area branding."
  4. Firefighters on Thursday freed a driver who was trapped in a luxury car that was hit by a falling high tree in Tsim Sha Tsui. The incident happened at around 2.30pm at the junction of Haiphong Road and Hankow Road. The rescued driver was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The Architectural Services Department said a preliminary inspection found that internal decay at the base of the fallen tree, coupled with persistent rain recently, had caused the incident. Officials said no signs of decay were seen on the branches, trunk and the surface of the roots during an inspection in April. The 12-metre tree was also not infected by fungi or pests, they said. The department added that other trees nearby were stable, and it would conduct a more detailed inspection as soon as possible. Ken So, chief executive of the Conservancy Association, told RTHK that the fallen tree, which was planted on a slope, was a candlenut tree – commonly found on roadsides – and was estimated to be more than 30 years old. "The decay is an internal decay, so likely it may not have any signs from the outside of the tree trunk." Haiphong Road was closed to traffic between Hankow Road and Canton Road because of the fallen tree, transport officials said. ______________________________ Last updated: 2023-06-08 HKT 22:30
  5. Dozens more government-run parks will welcome pets from next week, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) announced on Thursday, raising the total number of pet-friendly parks to more than 170. The LCSD launched the “Inclusive Park for Pets” scheme in 2019, allowing people to visit public parks along with their pets. Starting next Tuesday, there will be 54 more pet-friendly parks across Hong Kong. Among them, 35 will be fully accessible to pets while the rest will feature designated areas for pets. The LCSD said additional support facilities such as dog excreta collection bins and hand-washing facilities will be provided, as well as additional cleaning services. "The aim of Inclusive Parks for Pets is to enable members of the public who bring their pets into existing parks to use park facilities together in an inclusive environment, thereby promoting exchanges and integration in the community. When identifying suitable locations as Inclusive Parks for Pets, the department has considered different criteria, including the demand of the public for these facilities, size and location of the venues, ancillary facilities and their usage," an LCSD spokesman said. "The LCSD will consider the views of the public on the new arrangements and open up more venues for pets in the future if a positive response is received."
  6. A group of volunteer professionals is set to offer free face-to-face counselling in Sham Shui Po and Yau Tsim Mong districts, with a particular focus on members of ethnic minority communities. Organisers on Thursday said mental health support is needed following harrowing events in recent days, including the death on Monday of three children at a flat in Sham Shui Po and Friday's double knife murder at a mall in Diamond Hill. Nearly 20 social workers, counsellors, psychiatrists, and clinical psychologists will collaborate with ethnic minority NGOs to deliver the counselling service for one to two months on behalf of the DAB and several community organisations. Aruna Gurung, an advisor to the Hong Kong Nepalese Federation, said the service will help the ethnic minority community. "Definitely they will help a lot. Of course, this service is very important for ethnic minorities," she said, adding that she hopes the service period can last longer. Gurung said a language barrier has been preventing ethnic minority families from seeking help when they need it, adding that a free interpretation service in hospitals takes time to arrange. "I hope in the health care service, the staff would be able to give them a message that you can contact those NGOs if you need help, those ethnic minority NGOs," she said. "Then those NGOs will be able to help and solve their problems in a better way, in their own language." A hotline will be set up on Friday for those interested in receiving counselling.
  7. Environment minister Tse Chin-wan on Thursday said Hong Kong will immediately ban imports of aquatic products from parts of Japan if authorities there go ahead with a plan to discharge wastewater from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean. Writing in the Ta Kung Pao newspaper, Tse said the recent discovery of a fish from the Fukushima area containing an excessive amount of the radioactive element caesium shows the discharge would pose a serious risk to food safety. He said Hong Kong officials would take strict measures to protect public health, including a ban that would apply to aquatic imports from Fukushima and the nearby coastal provinces. He added that imports from other parts of Japan that are at risk of contamination would be subject to strict control. Testing of Japanese food is also being stepped up, he said. Tse called Tokyo irresponsible, saying it has been pushing ahead with the discharge plan despite grave concerns among the international community. "If the Japanese government is confident about the safety of the processed nuclear wastewater, it should find uses for it locally like irrigation, instead of discharging it into international waters and causing an extensive food safety risk," he wrote. The minister said officials have asked the Japanese authorities not to release the wastewater before there is an international consensus on the matter.
  8. The Court of Final Appeal on Thursday gave the government the go-ahead to challenge a lower court’s decision to clear Chow Hang-tung of the now-disbanded Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China of inciting people to take part in an unauthorised assembly. Chow, who was vice-chairwoman of the group, had earlier been found guilty of inciting people to join a banned June 4 vigil in 2021 and was handed a 15-month jail sentence. But at the High Court last December, Chow won an appeal against the conviction, with a judge saying that although she had indeed called for people to gather at Victoria Park, her action was not a crime because the police ban on the vigil was not legally sound. The force had cited the pandemic for outlawing the vigil, but the judge said officers failed to consider measures to control the spread of Covid and had disregarded an expert report that discouraged large-scale gatherings only if people were not wearing masks. After considering the Department of Justice's application to challenge the High Court ruling, the Court of Final Appeal ruled that there is an important point of law to consider, namely whether it was correct that Chow was able to question the legality of the police decision to ban the vigil. The government's appeal will be heard on November 22.
  9. A former Islands district councillor was remanded in custody on Thursday on a charge of obtaining property by deception. Wong Chun-yeung, 28, is accused of conning an elderly woman into handing over HK$100,000 by calling her and posing as her son on May 30. The ex-councillor allegedly claimed he had been arrested for an assault case and needed bail money. The Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Court adjourned the case until September 28 pending further investigation. Wong, who’s currently unemployed, won a district council seat in 2019. However, he was among dozens of councillors who were ousted in 2021 due to invalid oaths.
  10. Transport Secretary Lam Sai-hung on Wednesday reassured the public that subsidence at the Sung Wong Toi MTR station would not affect railway safety. A monitoring checkpoint detected on Monday that the ground level of an emergency exit there had sunk by two centimetres during foundation works at a nearby public housing project in Kai Tak. That triggered the suspension of foundation works within 30 metres of the exit. Lam described it as "minor settlement". He confirmed that the rail operator and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department had checked the monitoring data and found that the subsidence did not affect the safety of the railway facilities. The transport minister said the authorities will continue to closely monitor the situation and implement mitigation measures before work at the construction site is to resume. Engineering sector legislator, Lo Wai-kwok, said the incident showed the monitoring system was effective. He sought to allay concerns over the sinking of the ground, saying the suspension of works did not signal any immediate risk. Kowloon Central constituency lawmaker, Yang Wing-kit, warned that the problem would worsen and affect the safety of the MTR if work at all six construction sites in Kai Tak was being carried out at the same time. He urged the government to strengthen monitoring.

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