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Hong Kong Today
Hong Kong Today
RTHK's morning news programme. Weekdays 6:30 - 8:00
Janice Wong and Mike Weeks


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Selected audio segments:
Beijing steps in to remove Hong Kong lawmakers   Listenfacebook
China’s top legislative body has stripped four pan-democrats of their seats in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, effective immediately. Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung were disqualified because of earlier decisions by local election officials, barring them from seeking re-election on the grounds that they couldn’t uphold the Basic Law or honour their pledge of allegiance to the SAR. Both the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and Hong Kong‘s leader described these decisions as legal determinations. Carrie Lam’s administration announced the disqualifications, but made clear that Beijing had pulled the trigger. Richard Pyne reports:
Pan-democrats set to resign from Legco en masse   Listenfacebook
All of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy legislators had vowed to quit in protest if the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) disqualified the four members of the opposition camp. The 15 remaining members intend to submit their resignations on Thursday, giving the pro-establishment camp free rein in the Legislative Council. Cecil Wong has that story:
District councillors expect to be next on Beijing’s hit list   Listenfacebook
The NPCSC decision is not limited to just the four ousted legislators: it makes clear that anyone found unable to honour their oath of allegiance or uphold the Basic Law shall be disqualified. The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, said decisions will be made regarding other public officials in due course. A number of serving district councillors were barred from running in the scrapped 2020 Legco elections, including former student activist Lester Shum. But he told Damon Pang that he'll be taking whatever happens in his stride:
Mainland officials say NPCSC has ‘unchallengeable legal authority’   Listenfacebook
Hong Kong’s pro-government camp have voiced support for the move to disqualify the four opposition legislators, while mainland officials have defended Beijing's power to take such action seemingly without regard to the SAR's systems of governance or the Basic Law. Jimmy Choi has that story:
Government ’will’ still face opposition in Legco  Listenfacebook
Pro-establishment lawmakers have dismissed concerns that the departure of all the remaining pan-democrats would turn the Legislative Council into a rubber stamp. Its members insist there's plenty of opposition among themselves. The convenor of the pro-Bejing camp, Martin Liao, said they could now focus on monitoring the government without having to deal with any disruption from opposition councillors. New People's Party chair Regina Ip told Jim Gould Legco won't become just an acquiescent tool for the government:
Beijing accused of ignoring ‘clear procedures’ in the Basic Law   Listenfacebook
This is the first time that Beijing has directly disqualified any Hong Kong lawmakers. Previous pro-democracy councillors ousted over improper oath-taking had been stripped of their seats only after their cases were heard and adjudicated in local courts. In disqualifying the four opposition members, the NPCSC decided that any Hong Kong legislator ‘determined by law’ to have failed to uphold the Basic Law or honour their pledge of allegiance, should lose their seats. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said afterwards that "we needed to find a way out." So does that indicate the move was pure political expediency? Mike Weeks asked Professor Johannes Chan, Chair of Public Law at the University of Hong Kong:
China faces international backlash over ousting of lawmakers   Listenfacebook
The United States warned on Wednesday of further sanctions against Hong Kong and mainland officials deemed to be behind the ousting of the four pro-democracy lawmakers. It said Beijing had "flagrantly violated" Hong Kong's promised autonomy in making the move. British and European governments and lawmakers also condemned the decision, warning Beijing that Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy must be preserved. Todd Harding reports:
Cabbies at centre of new scare as three covid cases confirmed   Listenfacebook
Health officials have urged Hong Kong people to stay vigilant after confirming 18 Covid-19 infections on Wednesday. But just three of them were classified as local cases, although how they were exposed to the virus is not known. Vicky Wong has the details:
HK-Singapore travel bubble to open on November 22   Listenfacebook
The surge in coronavirus cases on Wednesday came as officials announced that the travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore will be launched on November 22. Initially, up to 200 people will be able to travel in either direction each day without facing quarantine on arrival, as Natale Ching reports:
‘Return to HK’ scheme limited to 5,000   Listenfacebook
Hong Kong residents returning to the SAR from Guangdong or Macau will be exempt from undergoing quarantine from November 23, as long as they test negative for Covid-19 and register with the government in advance. Richard Pyne has the details:
Quarantine hotels ‘should not’ be used for staycations   Listenfacebook
Health Secretary Sophia Chan announced tighter coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday because of the worsening global pandemic. From Friday, people flying into Hong Kong, apart from those from the mainland, must quarantine at a hotel for 14 days. The rule currently applies only to arrivals from 15 high-risk countries. Ivan Hung is a professor in infectious disease at the University of Hong Kong. Janice Wong asked him whether the Singapore travel bubble and the Return to Hong Kong scheme could pose a significant infection risk: