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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:
Pandemic restrictions likely to stay until Lunar New Year  Listenfacebook
The government says current anti-epidemic restrictions will remain in force for at least two more weeks and are unlikely to be relaxed until the new lunar year to try to completely stop the spread of Covid-19. That means schools will mostly stay shut until after the Chinese New Year break, though authorities are giving them more leeway to hold limited face-to-face classes when deemed necessary. Violet Wong reports:
Co-operation ‘essential’ to eliminate community transmission   Listenfacebook
Even though face-to-face classes at kindergartens, primary and secondary schools will largely remain suspended until after Chinese New Year, the government is also giving schools more leeway to hold limited in-person classes. Education Secretary Kevin Yeung says up to a sixth of students at schools. including special schools and private tuition centres can go back to campus for short classes because the authorities understand the importance of face-to-face teaching. Respiratory diseases expert Dr Leung Chi-chiu told Annemarie Evans the limited return to school should be safe as long as all the rules are followed:
Dozens quarantined over Princess Margaret Hospital outbreak  Listenfacebook
The extension of the stringent coronavirus restrictions was announced on Monday as new infections rose slightly and an outbreak was confirmed at Hong Kong’s lead infectious diseases hospital, Princess Margaret. Dozens of patients and medical staff have been quarantined. Damon Pang has the details:
Schools shut as England ordered back into lockdown  Listenfacebook
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that England will go back into lockdown to try to halt the out-of-control spread of a more contagious strain of Covid-19 that threatens to overwhelm the UK's health system. All schools and colleges in England will close to most pupils from Tuesday and switch to remote learning. Scotland has also issued a stay-at-home order and joined Wales in closing classrooms. London-based correspondent Peter Anderson told Mike Weeks what this all means for schools:
‘iBeacons’ weak link in Covid tracing app   Listenfacebook
The Hong Kong government is working on upgrading its Covid-19 contact-tracing app so it will record users' locations automatically, doing away with the need to check in and out of places they visit. But deputy chief information officer Tony Wong assured people that this data will only be stored on their phones, not on government servers. Francis Fong, from the Information Technology Federation, says he doesn't see the upgrade of the "Leave Home Safe" app as much of a privacy issue. But he told Francis Sit the system, which requires setting up transmitters known as “iBeacons”, may have its limitations:
Surveillance chief wants to remain hands-off on national security   Listenfacebook
The commissioner overseeing covert surveillance operations by law-enforcement agencies says he has no power to regulate national security investigations. And Azizul Suffiad doesn't think that should be added to his mandate. Here's Candice Wong:
Launch of licence plate-search alert raises eyebrows   Listenfacebook
The government is offering a new service to alert people whose cars are subject to a licence plate search, a move which the Journalists Association says may be aimed at tipping people off about media scrutiny. Damon Pang reports:
Coroner told Chow Tsz-lok was not exposed to tear gas   Listenfacebook
A toxicologist has told the Coroner’s investigation of the death of university student Chow Tsz-lok that there’s no evidence to show the 22-year-old was exposed to tear gas before his apparent fall from a Tseung Kwan O car park or that he had been poisoned. Jimmy Choi reports:
Cultural sector ‘needs’ separation from government  Listenfacebook
Beijing is reportedly planning to set up a state-owned cultural behemoth in Hong Kong in the first half of this year, spanning everything from news and publishing to film and television. According to the Sing Tao Daily, this new conglomerate will have assets in excess of HK$10 billion and is aimed at expanding Beijing's cultural influence here. So how will such a massive enterprise affect the city, and its existing cultural industry? Mike Weeks asked Clarisse Yeung, who chairs the Hong Kong Culture Monitor:
Waste paper deal welcomed as a short-term solution   Listenfacebook
We're barely into the New Year, and already Hong Kong is having to deal with a potential environmental crisis. That's because the mainland has banned the import of almost all rubbish, including waste paper. That leaves the city with no good option to process the mountains of paper it goes through each day. However, reports are emerging of a potential new deal with Beijing that would allow Hong Kong to send paper to four dedicated recycling factories on the mainland. Edmond Lau, from the Green Earth, spoke to Janice Wong about the apparent agreement: