In Brief

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 April, 2008, 12:00am

Weaker HK dollar forces price rises, says Wellcome

Consumers can expect to continue paying more for basic food items, especially oil and rice, supermarket chain Wellcome has said. Marketing director Diane Chiu said the costs of rice were adjusted on Friday mainly because of the depreciation of the Hong Kong dollar and suppliers' demand for higher prices. Ms Chiu said rice prices were raised by 10 to 15 per cent, with those from Thailand and the mainland increasing the most. She also admitted raising oil prices, but said it had not happened overnight - higher oil costs had been a worldwide phenomenon and prices had been up at least 10 per cent since last year. She said the chain would try to check increases but that inflation was a worry.

Infections hit kindergarten

HKFYG Ching Lok Kindergarten in Yau Ma Tei has been disinfected and cleaned after classes were suspended following viral infections in 47 children and a staff member. The children began coming down with fever, vomiting and diarrhoea on Thursday, but most had recovered, the headmaster said. Four pupils still in hospital have adenoviruses, a group of viruses that can cause acute respiratory infections and diarrhoea. Classes will resume on Friday.

Upgrade for housing estates

The Housing Society will not build any more public housing, chairman Yeung Ka-sing has said. Mr Yeung said the society, which aimed to fill the gap between the private market and the government, would install more escalators and renovate existing estates. He said it received a good response to its senior residents' flats, which offered comprehensive care services to middle-income seniors, in Tseung Kwan O and Ngau Chi Wan.

Associate degrees 'not a failure'

The education minister has defended associate degree programmes, stressing that they are not a failure. Michael Suen Ming-yeung told a radio show yesterday that the qualifications of those programmes were well recognised in society, but admitted that quality control could have been strengthened. The government issued a review of the scheme last Thursday, highlighting more than 20 areas for improvement.

450 firefighters sought

The Fire Services Department will recruit more than 450 firefighters this year, fire chief Gregory Lo Chun-hung has said. Mr Lo said 80 of the positions would be new posts, including fire station officers, firemen and ambulancemen. He said applicants had decreased this year and that most of them came from other government agencies.

Man hurt in 15th-floor fall

A 22-year-old man injured his right arm when he fell from the 15th floor of a building in Kwai Chung and landed on the 5th floor podium. The industrial accident occurred at about 11am, when the man was installing an air conditioner outside the building on Tai Lin Pai Road. He was in stable condition at Princess Margaret Hospital last night.