In Brief

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2006, 12:00am

Beijing urged to act over journalist's detention

A veteran mainland adviser has urged the central authorities to handle the case of Hong Kong journalist Ching Cheong as soon as possible, in letters to the presidents of the Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procurate. In the letters sent last Friday to Xiao Yang , the mainland's top judge, and Jia Chunwang , the procurator-general, Xu Simin, a former Hong Kong delegate to the standing committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said it would damage the reputation of the country's rule of law if the mainland authorities took too long to decide on Ching's case. Ching, a China correspondent for The Straits Times of Singapore, has been detained on the mainland since April last year, accused of spying for Taiwan.

Environmentalists push for input in power review

Two green groups are mobilising public support for tighter environmental requirements in the review of the electricity market's regulatory system. More than 700 submissions, with 200 collected by Friends of the Earth and 500 by Greenpeace, have been sent to the government via the two groups' websites.

Hong Kong man accused of smuggling textiles

A Hong Kong resident said to be the ringleader of a cross-border smuggling syndicate has been charged in Shenzhen with smuggling textiles worth 320 million yuan into the mainland. The man is also accused of evading tax totalling 84 million yuan. Seventeen others have also been charged with smuggling.

Macau poll backs ban on smoking in public

Seventy-two per cent of the 1,012 Macau residents polled in a government-commissioned survey are in favour of a full ban on smoking in public places. The study was revealed as pro-democracy lawmakers Au Kam-san and Ng Kuok-cheong are preparing a proposal to prohibit smoking in non-entertainment venues.