Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 July, 2008, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1990

Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is acquitted of looting her homeland's treasury of hundreds of millions of dollars to buy real estate, jewellery and art.

Adnan Khashoggi, the 53-year-old jet-setting Saudi Muslim businessman, also was cleared of fraud for helping Mrs Marcos hide ownership of property.

The decision - on Mrs Marcos' 61st birthday on July 3 - came on the jury's fifth day of deliberations and capped a three-month trial. Mrs Marcos was acquitted in Manhattan's Federal Court on all counts of racketeering and fraud. 'A great burden is lifted. I'm glad it's over,' she said outside court.

She later celebrated her birthday at a Manhattan restaurant, the Manila, with guests including Mr Khashoggi who gave her a hearty birthday kiss.

Hongkong's IVF programme has taken a major leap forward with the birth of triplets at Queen Mary Hospital. The two girls, weighing 1.75kg and 1.78kg, and their 2.09kg brother were delivered by Caesarean section on June 20. The children were born on the 10th wedding anniversary of their parents. They were the first triplets born under the University of Hong Kong's IVF programme. Dr Ho Pak-chung, of the university's obstetrics unit, said the success rate of test tube babies was 15 per cent to 20 per cent; out of that less than 10 per cent are triplets. In comparison, today's success rate for test tube babies is about 40 to 50 per cent.

The first batch of 32 Vietnamese refugees from Hongkong arrives in the Philippines. The group is the first to leave under an agreement between Britain and the Philippines in March in which London donated $39 million to build accommodation to house the refugees. The 15 men, eight women and nine children would be cleared from the Philippines by 1991. They are among 510 refugees accepted under the deal.

Where would Hongkong be today without our foreign workforce, but 18 years ago it was a different story. Representatives from six labour groups planned to stage a hunger strike outside the Legislative Council building on July 7 to protest against the government scheme to import 14,700 foreign workers.

Three activists - Lee Cheuk-yan, Lau Chin-shek and Sui Yin-ying - and two of the six labour representatives on the government's Labour Advisory Board will take part in the 24-hour strike. Mr Lee said: 'We will continue to expose the evil and the adverse impact of the scheme on local workers.'

Sensitivities ran high a year after the bloody crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

'If I have to hire a video screen in Victoria Park, and show it there every 10 minutes, I'll do it,' said local activist and film director John Shum on July 5. He was referring to the Tiananmen Square video, which ATV and TVB had banned from the airwaves.

The video, made in America and featuring singers such as Roberta Flack, contains scenes from last year's Beijing crackdown, with singers urging people to remember Tiananmen Square. But in an ironic twist excerpts of the video will be aired on ATV World when Shum is interviewed on In Sight.

Meanwhile, director Johnny Mak has won the race to get the first major film about China's suppression of the democracy movement out on the local market.

He has chosen to name the film Midnight Express even though the translation of the Chinese title is The Underground Pathway, which was opening next week. The story deals with the flight from China of the pro-democracy activists.

In the soccer World Cup final, West Germany was hoping to turn the tables on 1986 conquerors Argentina in Rome on Sunday. The West Germans survived a severe test by England when they won 4-3 on penalties in a 1-1 extra time deadlock on July 5, to become the first nation to contest three straight finals. They lost the other two. Despite earning two yellow cards in the match against the Germans, England's Paul Gascoigne emerged as one of the most exciting new talents of the tournament.