Four plans for conservation of Central Market chosen
Four design plans for the conservation of the 70-year-old Central Market have been selected and will be shown in public exhibitions for consultation in April, Urban Renewal Authority chairman Barry Cheung Chun-yuen says. Another architectural firm will draw up the final design after collecting public opinion about the features of the four models. Tenders for the project will be invited in the middle of this year and are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The revitalisation project, aimed at turning the building into an 'urban oasis' with a budget of HK$500 million, was announced in Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's policy address in 2009.
Customs steps up crackdown on pirated-discs hawkers
The customs department has stepped up a crackdown on hawkers selling pirated DVDs of films, television series and music ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays. In the past two months, officers have arrested 27 men and seized 17,000 discs. As part of the operation, officers discovered a storage facility used by pirated-disc suppliers and seized vans used to distribute the discs to hawkers. Under the Copyright Ordinance, the maximum penalty of trading pirated items is four years in jail and a fine of HK$50,000 per infringing copy. The department said it would step up operations against hawkers over the holidays, and appealed to the public to report ones they see to its 24-hour hotline on 2545 6182.
400 volunteers hailed over home child-care services
More than 400 volunteers were honoured yesterday for providing home-based child-care services for neighbours unable to look after their young children because of work commitments or hardship. They received commendations from director of social welfare Patrick Nip Tak-kuen. Between April 2009 and the end of last year, volunteers under the Neighbourhood Support Child Care Project looked after 10,616 children, half of whom were from low-income families and 60 per cent from single-parent families.
59-year-old man in hospital diagnosed with human swine flu
A 59-year-old man admitted to the intensive care unit at Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai last Sunday has been confirmed as suffering from human swine flu. He was in critical condition yesterday. The three-year-old boy confirmed as contracting human swine flu on Friday was in stable condition at Queen Mary Hospital's general ward. Undersecretary for food and health Professor Gabriel Leung reminded the public yesterday that children under nine should have the flu vaccination injected twice. Otherwise, the protection rate would drop from 80 to 90 per cent to 60.
Civic Education Resource Centre opens in Chai Wan
A Civic Education Resource Centre officially opened at Youth Square in Chai Wan. Featuring an exhibition venue, a reference library and a function room, the centre is open to the public and for group visits. 'Concerted efforts from all sectors of the community are crucial in building a harmonious and progressive society,' Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing said. 'The government has always attached importance to promoting civic education, in particular in guiding the younger generation to develop civic values and enhance the quality of citizenship.'
Rail line activist reports to police
Activist Chu Hoi-dick reported to the police yesterday, two days after a security guard allegedly used force on him during a protest in Tsoi Yuen Tsuen, a village where construction workers had moved in to clear the site for the construction of a section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail line.