Green group encourages schools to curb use of air conditioners
About 360 primary and secondary schools will switch off their air conditioning for a day on June 1 to help save energy. Organised by the green group Footprint, 'No Air Conditioning Day' this year will also focus on encouraging schools to formulate a long-term policy on the use of air conditioners, such as only turning them on when the temperature reaches 28 degrees Celsius or higher, and keeping temperatures at between 23 and 25.5 degrees. Ventilation in classrooms should also be improved, it says. It hopes to help at least 50 schools enact such a policy.
Thailand tours to go ahead, despite 'red shirt' protests
Tours to Thailand would continue despite 'red shirt' protesters blockading tourist areas in Bangkok, the Travel Industry Council said yesterday. Chairman Michael Wu Siu-ieng said the protesters were just 'singing and dancing to vent their dissatisfaction with the government', and would not do anything to harm people. The council said about 7,000 Hongkongers are now in the country.
International research award for City University student
A graduate from City University's department of applied social studies was awarded the International Student Research Award. Melody Wong Kai-yan, a behavioural therapist for autistic children who spent three years at the university, was awarded a certificate of merit in the prize offered by the division of international psychology of the American Psychological Association. She conducted a survey involving more than 66 university students from Hong Kong and 43 from North America.
Lessons to be learned from Shenzhen's University Games
Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing said the experience of Shenzhen in organising the World University Summer Games would be worth Hong Kong's attention if it decided to bid to host the Asian Games. Tsang said on the government website he visited Shenzhen last week when he realised the pressure the mainland city was facing in hosting a large-scale international multi-sport event. Shenzhen will have to provide some 66 sports venues, including about 22 newly built ones, before the games start in August next year, when 13,000 to 15,000 athletes are due to arrive.
Rates, government rent demand notes hit the street
The demand notes for rates or government rent for April to June have been issued and payment should be made by April 30, the Rating and Valuation Department said. The notes reflect the rates concession for this quarter, subject to a ceiling of HK$1,500 for each rateable tenement. Any unused portion of the concession in this quarter will not be used to offset the outstanding rates in any other quarters. The concession does not apply to the payment of government rent. The notes show rateable values following the 2010-11 general revaluation. The new rateable values can be found at the department's website www.rvd.gov.hk. A surcharge of 5 per cent will be imposed for late payment and a further surcharge of 10 per cent may be levied on the amount that remains unpaid six months after the payment deadline.
School model United Nations conference a hit with students
A total of 218 delegates from 40 local and overseas secondary schools have joined this year's Hong Kong Secondary School Model United Nations Conference, including those from Hong Kong, the mainland and India. Global issues such as the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, political prisoners, border controls, refugees and the illegal trading of cultural heritage ownership were discussed in the three-day conference held from Friday. The 'Best Position Paper' was awarded to South Africa, Russia, Australia and Argentina.