Only 4,300 ex-Gurkhas to get right of abode in Britain
The British government refused to offer full settlement rights to all former Gurkhas yesterday despite a High Court ruling last year, in a move criticised by Nepali ex-soldiers and their supporters. Britain would give only 4,300 former Gurkhas British abode, the Home Office said, falling short of campaigners' demands that they be given to all Nepali ex-soldiers who retired before 1997. Hundreds of British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong, who do not have citizenship in any country, had hoped to gain British abode.
Jackie Chan's road safety advertisements vanish
A government television announcement featuring Jackie Chan promoting road safety has vanished from the small screen - but no one is blaming its disappearance officially on the row over Chan saying Chinese people need control and too much freedom leads to chaos. Stations confirmed that the segment had not been slotted into last week's schedule of announcements in the public interest. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Tourism Board said the number of complaints about Chan's role as the city's tourism ambassador - which began after his remarks at a conference on Hainan Island last week - had risen to 230.
Free tours of space-tracking ship
About 14,000 free tickets for touring China's Yuanwang-6 space-tracking ship will be distributed at 10 Leisure and Cultural Services Department venues today from 9am to 9pm. The ship was responsible for maritime tracking of the Shenzhou VII manned space mission in September, and will be open to the public at the Ocean Terminal from Thursday to May 3.
Typhoon drill held at airport
More than 600 staff from about 20 companies and government departments tested the readiness of Hong Kong's airport facilities yesterday in the largest-ever integrated typhoon drill. The exercise evaluated how the airport would cope with everything from flight rescheduling to crowd management and baggage handling during the approach of a strong typhoon.