Timothy Fok's Olympic moment synchronised with diving
We see that Hong Kong's grand old man of sport, Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, the eldest son of Henry Fok, had his big Olympic moment on Wednesday. His connection with the Olympics is that in addition to being a legislative councillor representing the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication functional constituency, he is a member of the International Olympic Committee and president of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, and vice-president of the Olympic Council of Asia. His reward for all this was that he got to hand out the bronze medals for the men's three-metre springboard synchronised diving competition.
Staying with the Foks, we see that East Week is running a story about Timothy Fok's son Kenneth and his impending marriage to Guo Jingjing, a retired Chinese female diver who won two gold medals at the Sydney Olympics, and two at the Beijing Games.
In 2004 she made something of a scene after pictures of her and the younger Fok together led to speculation of a 'a special relationship'. She even took the unusual step of using official state media to quash the rumour. However, the romance appears to have blossomed in subsequent years. The magazine reports that the Fok family was planing to spend more than HK$15 million on the wedding. However, this amount has apparently been halved, according to the magazine, on account of the escalating family feud over the late Henry Fok Ying-tung's estate. That must be a bit of a blow for the couple but let's hope it doesn't deter the course of true love.
G4S to the rescue
We hear G4S is supplying armed guards to protect the massive container ships operated by Tung-family-controlled shipping company Orient Overseas Container Line from pirate attack as they sail through high-risk areas near Somalia.
Readers might recall G4S has been at the centre of its own security scandal when it was unable to recruit enough security guards to check people and their belongings during the London Olympics. The fiasco saw G4S' share price fall by at least 17 per cent as it faced a loss of up to ?0 million (HK$606.1 million) on its ?84 million contract. About 18,000 British troops, some recently returned from tours in Afghanistan, were drafted in to replace the security personnel G4S was unable to supply. Stanley Shen, investor relations manager at OOCL parent Orient Overseas (International) could not 'confirm or deny' OOCL employed armed guards on its ships.
A story in Next Magazine has caught our attention. The magazine says that while investigating Henry Tang's illegal basement, the Independent Commission Against Corruption visited the architect who designed the basement. In the course of its inspection, the magazine says, it came across blueprints of the homes of other tycoons and personalities. As a result, Next says, a number of tycoons had 'a road to Damascus moment' and hastily reconsidered their opposition to C.Y. Leung's candidacy for chief executive. The Buildings Department enforcement team that monitors unauthorised structures is in for an interesting time ahead.
Those of you considering a trip to London could do worse than take a look at Virgin Atlantics free iphone app for a swift guide to the city. It has ideas as to the best places to eat, drink and sleep, what do to do, where to visit and so on. It's aimed at visitors but is quite handy for people who know London. All kinds of handy information. Did you know, for example, that Covent Garden was mistakenly named, and was meant to be Convent Garden? This and much more from 'Virgin Atlantic's London City guide' available from iTunes App store.
Transport economics can be a tricky thing. There's been a big push in China in recent years to increase air travel. The Beijing Evening News recently wrote of a new route from Beijing to Shijazhuang, a mere 40 minutes' flying time, for the knockdown price of 30 yuan (HK$49). However, once fuel tax and airport tax was added, this came to 130 yuan. Then there was the question of the time it took to get to and from the city centre to the respective airports. This could be as much as an additional hour at both ends of the journey, and more when time for security checks was added. The route has not been a success as it is still cheaper and faster at 2 hour 15 minutes by taxi. Back to the drawing board.