Monday, 10 January 2011

Hong Kong's news 10 January

Monday's edition of Hong Kong's news is generally more entertaning than the other days because the whole weekend is packed into it. As mentioned before, there is not a MASSIVE amount that goes on in this city, purely due to the fact that it is small and has a population of only 7 million people - and has virtually no gory crime (which is 60% of news in South Africa). So here is today's edition. Enjoy:

Exchange rates:
R1=HK$1.13 (Hong Kong dollar)
R1=CNY0.97 (Chinese yuan)

On Friday Legco (HK's parliament) will vote on whether the city should bid to host the 2023 Asia Games which is expected to cost the city HK$6 billion. It is expected the bid will fail though as the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reckons that it contacted enough lawmakers (30 required in a sitting of 60 (the chairman, Mr Donald Tsang Yam-kuen does not vote) who will vote against the proposal. Tsang - who is pro Hong Kong hosting the event - has gone to great lengths to assure Legco and the public that no major budgets will be affected. He said to the SCMP: "The cost of hosting the Asia Games will have no impact on government spending in areas such as education, welfare and healthcare". Well, it seems as though Mr Tsang will have an extra HK$6 billion to throw in the direction of them budgets.

Hong Kong is the world's most expensive place to trade stocks because of added and hidden fees, says ITG, an independent global broker, and this adds up to costing about a third more than what it would cost you in London or New York. For uniformity, these numbers exclude fees levied by exchanges and any taxes which vary from country to country. Lawmakers are currently debating a bill to rein in price-fixing and market power abuse which, they expect, will make the market more competitive.

As with nanny-states and tax-grabbing where any opportunity is seen, Hong Kong is due to raise the tax on cigarettes again this year hiding behing the excuse of saving everyone's health. Since they do fuck all about the air quality here, that excuse is about as effective as a piece of dental floss is at holding up scaffolding. 47% of 382 Hong Kongers asked in a survey have said they will turn to illegal cigarettes. In 2009 the tax was raised 50%. What utter kak.

USA Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, is currently meeting with Chinese officials regarding the mass expansion of their army. This worries him because, from what I can see, he thinks that only the USA should be allowed to have craploads of guns and bombs and things. Last week it was reported that China's first stealth jet, the J-20, was being tested, something Gates had gone on record saying he didn't expect until 2020 (although this is when it is expected that China will be able to mass-produce the plane). The results of this chit-chat will make some very interesting reading, particularly regarding who (the USA) will do what (back off) to assuage who (China).

China's high speed rail growth is exceeding the supply of high-quality fly ash - a substance used to strengthen the tracks and give them life for up to 100 years. The suppply of this that China can create is around 100km of rail per year, and this year alone, it is expected to lay down 4500km of track. Unfortunately there are not many other substances that can take the place of high-quality fly ash, but low-quality fly ash is the next best, and it's shit... so safety concerns are springing up all over the place.

Of all items stolen on public transport in Paris, over half are iPhones.

Thailand's "red shirts", bedonnered by the army after massive and violent protests last year are back now that the protest ban in Bangkok has been lifted . The protestors have admitted that they have learnt their lessons and will protest more peacefully and effectively from now on. These are the chaps who support Thaksin Shinawatra, the bloke who owned Manchester City before these in-chargers who happen to think that Roberto Mancini is a good manager.

There is absolutely nothing of interest on the Hong Kong sports scene. Nothing at all.

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