Candidates rate poorly in language proficiency tests
In the Language Proficiency Assessment for Teachers in February, less than 40 per cent of candidates passed the English writing test and less than 50 per cent passed the English speaking test, the Examinations and Assessment Authority said yesterday. Of the 1,335 candidates who sat the writing exam, 511, or 38.3 per cent, attained level three or above, compared with 45.9 per cent in February 2006. Some 626 of the 1,311 candidates, or 47.7 per cent, attained the same level in the speaking test, compared with 37 per cent last year. For Putonghua papers, 35.6 per cent of 2,209 candidates taking the speaking test attained level three of above, compared with 38 per cent in 2006.
Women's threat turns to water
Police and fire officers were called to the Social Welfare Department headquarters in Wan Chai when a woman and her daughter carrying three bottles of liquid threatened to harm themselves and staff. A spokeswoman said they arrived at the ninth-floor office of Wu Chung House in Queen's Road East at about 11.15am demanding to see the department's director. Police and fire officers left after the bottles were found to contain water and the pair appeared to have calmed down.
Young depressed need extra care
Families of young depression patients have been urged to increase patient care after the US Food and Drug Administration last week warned that antidepressants could increase the risks of suicidal thinking and behaviour in young adults aged 18 to 24 during initial treatment - generally the first one or two months. But a spokesman for the Society of Hospital Pharmacists said patients should not stop medication without professional help.
Builder suffers burns in blast
A worker suffered burns to about 30 per cent of his body in a blast at an entrance to the Royal Plaza Hotel in Mong Kok. Police said the man, 35, was drilling the ceiling of the staff entrance at 3pm when the incident occurred. He was taken to hospital where he is in a critical condition. Firemen found a bottle of thinner.
Man assaulted after bus row
A commuter was assaulted after a spat with another male passenger on a Kowloon Motor Bus double-decker in Tuen Mun. Police said the assault happened after the pair got off the bus at Shan King Estate at 1.05am.