Six professional groups in line for new government posts
Six categories of professionals will be targets as political appointees under the proposed expansion of the political appointment system, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung has told a Legislative Council constitutional affairs panel. He said lawyers, accountants, academics, media industry participants, political party members and those on advisory committees would be candidates for the posts of undersecretaries and political assistants. Mr Lam emphasised that members of political parties would be only a minority of the appointees. And it is expected few appointees will come from the civil service. Eleven undersecretaries and 13 political assistants will be appointed to help ministers to gain political support for policy measures. Undersecretaries will be paid between HK$193,775 and HK$223,586 per month, and political assistants will receive between HK$104,340 and HK$163,963.
Options to evaluate offsetting climate change in China, India
The Centre of Game Theory at Hong Kong Baptist University will join Cambridge University and the Energy, Environment and Economic Institute of Tsinghua University to evaluate options to offset climate change in China and India in a Euro1 million (HK$11 million) project funded by the European Commission. The Indian Institute of Management and Ecole Polytechnique at Lausanne will also join the study team. A university spokesman said the goal was to identify and assess technology options that might significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the two nations.
Press freedom rating highest
Public satisfaction with the degree of press freedom is the highest since May 2003, according to a survey by the Public Opinion Programme at the University of Hong Kong. It says 70 per cent of 1,000 people polled earlier this month said they were satisfied, up 5 per cent from the previous poll in April. The credibility rating of local media was 5.90 marks, on a scale of 0 to 10, which is a 0.04 mark drop from the last poll.
Funding for Games considered
The committee on Promotion of Civic Education may provide funding for the city's 18 district councils to hold activities promoting the Beijing Olympic Games. Chen Chung-nin, working group convenor on national education of the committee, said they were having talks with the district councils though detailed plans had not been finalised.