In Brief

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 January, 2009, 12:00am

Chow urges compensation talks with parents over missing body

The Hospital Authority should talk directly to the parents of the dead baby whose body went missing from a hospital mortuary to decide the type of compensation to be considered, the secretary for food and health said yesterday. York Chow Yat-ngok said the authority would also do all it could to help police get to the bottom of the case and find those responsible. A senior source at the Hospital Authority denied reports that renovation work was being carried out at the mortuary at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital on December 15 when the prematurely born baby died. None of the staff saw whether the baby's body was still in a compartment when the body of a man was put in it on December 17.

Five hikers rescued after 21 hours

Five hikers were rescued yesterday after being stranded for 21 hours at the foot of a 400-metre slope at Ma On Shan. None of the five, who were aged 19 and 20, were injured. They were airlifted to Sha Tin by helicopter at 3pm. Two helicopters and nearly 100 rescuers from the fire service and the Civil Aid Service took part in an overnight search after the hikers called police at 6pm on Friday, saying they were lost.

300 restaurants could fold

The catering industry fears 300 restaurants will fold after the Lunar New Year amid the financial crisis. Simon Wong Ka-wo, president of the Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, said bookings for the holiday were down 20 per cent year on year. Small outlets that rented prime premises at the peak of the property boom would be hit hardest, he said. Meanwhile, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said fourth-quarter unemployment numbers, out tomorrow, would be up.

Call to protect online buyers

Online sellers should be forced to use e-certificate identification verification for auction sales to better protect buyers, the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood said. The ADPL believes buyers in online auctions could be the target of syndicates using false information to open accounts. Lawmaker Frederick Fung Kin-kee said the group would meet the government's chief information officer to discuss its proposal.