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  • January 31, 2015
  • Last updated: 2:14am
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Hong Kong's HK$71.5b express rail debacle down to poor supervision and execution: experts

Passengers were left in the dark due, in part, to the MTR's culture of 'discouraging elevation of bad news', an expert panel found. Photo: Sam Tsang

The Highways Department and railway powerhouse the MTR Corporation have respectively failed in their roles to supervise and execute a HK$71.5 billion high-speed link to Guangzhou that is now plagued by delays and a budget overrun, an independent expert panel says.

Saturday, 31 January, 2015, 1:44am More on MTRC

Chinese universities ordered to ban textbooks that promote Western values

Educators turn the tassels for graduates at Zhejiang University. Chinese universities have been told to stop using books that inculcate Western ideology. Photo: Xinhua

Mainland education authorities have pledged to redouble efforts to limit the use of foreign textbooks in universities to stem infiltration of "Western values".

31 Jan 2015 - 12:48am 94 comments

Pro-democracy group brush off fears of Occupy style sit-in ahead of Hong Kong march

Civil Human Rights Front convenor Johnson Yeung said march organisers  “had no power to stop or control” what others planned to do. Photo: Sam Tsang

Civil Human Rights Front Protest organisers brushed off fears of an Occupy style sit-in as they admitted they are still some way short of recruiting 100 marshals for their pro-democracy march on Sunday.

30 Jan 2015 - 5:59pm 2 comments More on Universal Suffrage

Man who stole HK$161,000 in Christmas Eve cash spill sentenced to five months’ jail

Lui Luen-yung told police he had intended to return the cash. Photo: Edward Wong

A man who admitted stealing HK$161,500 when bundles of cash spilled out of a security van onto one of Hong Kong’s busiest thoroughfares on Christmas Eve was jailed for five months today.

30 Jan 2015 - 7:27pm 11 comments

Alibaba stock tanks amid war of words with Chinese regulators and disappointing results

Alibaba's corporate headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Photo: Bloomberg Update

The stock price of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group tumbled 8.8 per cent on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, closing at a three-month low of US$89.81.

30 Jan 2015 - 9:04am 18 comments More on Alibaba

Hong Kong private housing supply jumps to 8-year high

Some 74,000 new homes are projected to come on the market over the next three to four years, says government report. Photo: Sam Tsang

Hong Kong's new private housing supply rose to an eight-year high of 15,700 units last year, with analysts saying the city has started the transition to a period of more sustainable flat supply.

31 Jan 2015 - 2:06am

Poll to decide Hong Kong's most liked architecture of the last century

Architect and campaign organiser Corrin Chan. Photo: Nora Tam

Despite the dazzling skyline around Victoria Harbour and soaring towers everywhere, Hong Kong doesn't celebrate its architecture the way cities such as Barcelona, Chicago, Istanbul, London, Rome and Tel Aviv do.

30 Jan 2015 - 11:05am 2 comments More on LIFE

Taxi driver held after man killed crossing Hong Kong’s Nathan Road

The man was crossing Nathan Road near the junction with Soy Street. Photo: Google Maps

A 28-year-old man died after being hit by a taxi while allegedly jaywalking on the six-lane Nathan Road in Mong Kok early on Friday.

30 Jan 2015 - 1:01pm

Move by Hong Kong government to entice pan-democrats over 2017 poll set for failure

(Left to right) Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen attend a press conference to promote the government's controversial second round of public consultation on the method for selecting the Chief Executive of Hong Kong by universal suffrage. Photo: David Wong

A government attempt to entice pan-democrats to back the 2017 universal suffrage plan looks all but certain to fail after top officials set stringent limits to possible changes for the 2022 chief executive election.

30 Jan 2015 - 7:54am 38 comments

Hong Kong domestic helpers arrested in crackdown on ‘live-out’ maids

Rights groups campaign for better conditions for domestic helpers. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Four foreign domestic helpers were arrested in dawn raids yesterday morning on suspicion of breaking immigration laws by not living in their employers’ homes.

29 Jan 2015 - 4:43pm 26 comments More on Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong

No flu vaccine available until after winter peak as Hong Kong death toll jumps to 74

Update

A vaccine to protect against a deadly influenza strain which has now claimed 81 lives in Hong Kong will not be available until April - after the winter flu peak is expected to have died down.

31 Jan 2015 - 1:37am 3 comments

Cash-strapped ATV’s bid to delay salary hearing denied by Hong Kong magistrate

Network's application for a four-week adjournment in its outstanding salaries trial rejected as 'delay would not serve the interest of justice'

31 Jan 2015 - 12:13am 1 comment More on Asia Television Limited
The wife of a missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 passenger shows her husband's picture to reporters at a media conference room in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Photo: EPA

Malaysia formally declares MH370 crash an accident, passengers presumed dead

30 Jan 2015 - 1:54am 11 comments
The entrance to the Shanghai free-trade zone. Similar zones are earmarked for Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin. Photo: Reuters

Other cities to enjoy certain practices of Shanghai free-trade zone, cabinet says

30 Jan 2015 - 2:12am 2 comments
The 23-year-old law student came down hard on her parents. Photo: SCMP Pictures

CY Leung’s daughter Chai-yan admits to ‘100 disputes’ with parents in debut TV interview

30 Jan 2015 - 9:07am 19 comments
Chinese delegates attend a party plenum last year. Photo: AFP

China's history of feudalism feeds corruption and undermines law, editor says

30 Jan 2015 - 12:02pm 21 comments
Balram Chainrai, former owner of English soccer club Portsmouth. Photo: Oliver Tsang

Ex-Portsmouth FC owner Balram Chainrai the target of HK$47m theft by assistant

30 Jan 2015 - 12:15pm
The Phantom drone, manufactured by leading company DJI, crashed on the White House grounds on Monday, causing a security scare. Photo: EPA

Chinese drone firm puts GPS block on flying over Washington after White House scare

29 Jan 2015 - 5:35pm 2 comments
Hong Kong police warn marchers to provide security or face prosecution

Hong Kong police warn marchers to provide security or face prosecution

30 Jan 2015 - 1:00am 6 comments
Jacques Herzog (fourth from left, in back) with other key players in the West Kowloon Cultural District including Lars Nittve (far left) and Carrie Lam (centre). Photo: Edward Wong

Hong Kong needs to respect the arts, architect Jacques Herzog says in West Kowloon

30 Jan 2015 - 10:06am 4 comments
Cleaner Chung Ying-kit leaves Eastern Court after he pleaded guilty and was given a suspended prison term. Photo: Edward Wong

Hong Kong cash grabber spared jail in first prosecution over HK$15m Wan Chai spill

30 Jan 2015 - 2:15am
ATV director Ip Ka-po. ATV owes millions of dollars in unpaid salaries and fees. Photo: Nora Tam

Asia Television doesn't have enough money to pay a month's salaries

30 Jan 2015 - 2:29am 11 comments

More Headlines

SCMP Brand Post

Samsung joins the hands-free washing brigade with Wi-fi-enabled appliances.

Make light of wash day with the smart laundry machines of the future

Residents of Tai Hang enjoy great views of the neighbourhood.

Hanging out in Tai Hang: Hong Kong’s charming little neighbourhood with a big heart

Flourishing luxury car market edging out China’s cheaper domestic brands

Flourishing luxury car market edging out China’s cheaper domestic brands

SCMP ePaper Edition

30 Jan 2015
  • Reports: business watchdog justifies investigation of Alibaba offshoot
  • Malaysia formally declares MH370 crash an accident, passengers presumed dead
  • Move by Hong...
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Leader

Many residents can only afford beehive dwellings in high-rise buildings in densely populated areas. Photo: Bloomberg

Hong Kong needs more flats, but we must be sensible about how they are built

30 Jan 2015 - 7:53am 7 comments
In a damning report paving the way for long overdue reform, the State Administration of Sport hit out at the mania for medals. Photo: Reuters

There's more to sporting success than just medals

30 Jan 2015 - 7:49am 1 comment

Today's Poll

  • Yes: 88%
  • No: 12%
30 Jan 2015
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 125

Insight

China should welcome Catholic Church, and other faith traditions, for the moral good of society

China should allow its people freedom of religious belief. G. BIN ZHAO

Last week, as Pope Francis passed through Chinese airspace after his visit to the Philippines, he sent a telegram to Chinese President Xi Jinping , it was reported, to again express his willingness to visit China.

30 Jan 2015 - 8:07pm 1 comment

Focus

Japan held hostage by its world view in Islamic State crisis

Protesters at Shinzo Abe's Tokyo residence hold signs stating "I am Kenji" and "Free Kenji". Photo: AP KRISTINE KWOK

Word began spreading among a small circle of Japanese journalists late last month: freelance reporter Kenji Goto might have been kidnapped in the Middle East.

30 Jan 2015 - 5:48pm 1 comment

Harry's View

Hong Kong

Passengers were left in the dark due, in part, to the MTR's culture of 'discouraging elevation of bad news', an expert panel found. Photo: Sam Tsang TRANSPORT

Hong Kong's HK$71.5b express rail debacle down to poor supervision and execution: experts

The Highways Department and railway powerhouse the MTR Corporation have respectively failed in their roles to supervise and execute a HK$71.5 billion high-speed link to Guangzhou that is now plagued by delays and a budget overrun, an independent expert panel says.

31 Jan 2015 - 1:44am More on MTRC

China

Alibaba has been ranked China's second-most valuable brand with a value of US$59.7 billion. Photo: Xinhua REGULATION

Regulator, Alibaba tone down their spat

The spat between Alibaba Group Holding and mainland regulators took on a more conciliatory tone with chairman Jack Ma promising to combat fake products on its platform and the regulator saying the white paper which sparked the row had no legal force.

31 Jan 2015 - 1:25am More on Alibaba

World

European Parliament President Martin Schulz (left) with new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens. Photo: Reuters DIPLOMACY: ANALYSIS

EU fears Athens courting Kremlin, days after shaking European markets

Just days after shaking European economic policy to its core by winning Greek elections, the radical leftist party Syriza is challenging a fundamental tenet of the continent's foreign policy by seeking a softer stance on Russia.

30 Jan 2015 - 10:53pm

China Insider

Three people died when a bus crashed on the way from Guangzhou to Leizhou. Photo: SCMP Pictures CHINA DIGEST

Around the nation: three dead, 10 injured in Guangzhou bus crash

31 Jan 2015
The endangered South China tiger cub, which is now feeding normally at a zoo in Jiangxi province after a breeder was found to have repeatedly hit the cub. Photo: Chinanews.com CHINA DIGEST

Around the nation: endangered South China tiger cub nursed back to health after abuse at zoo

30 Jan 2015
The bullhead shark suddenly appeared among the colourful balloons as a PLA Navy gunner was about to pull trigger. Photo: PLA Navy MILITARY

Don’t shoot! Curious bullhead shark halts China military exercise

29 Jan 2015 7 comments
President Xi Jinping is targeting corruption in state enterprises. Photo: Reuters Anti-corruption

China launches massive suicide survey after party officials’ deaths during graft crackdown

29 Jan 2015 2 comments
More than 80,000 visitors went to Beijing's Palace Museum on 42 days last year. Photo: Xinhua CHINA DIGEST

Around the nation: Beijing’s Palace Museum to limit visitors to 80,000 a day over security fears

28 Jan 2015
Beijing Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says the outbreak has been brought under control. HEALTH

Measles outbreak hits Beijing office building, prompting emergency vaccinations

28 Jan 2015
Beijing police warned women in 2013 not to wear miniskirts, hot pants or skimpy clothing in the summer to avoid sexual harassment. Photo: Reuters CHINA DIGEST

Around the nation: Beijing advisers call for women-only carriages to fight sexual harassment

27 Jan 2015
The photo shows a policeman lifted a woman by the collar and threw her on the pavement as dozens of fellow officers watched. SOCIETY

Police in three Chinese provinces take heat after ‘brutality’ images surface online

28 Jan 2015
Chinese doctor, drunken patient plunge to death in elevator shaft in latest attack on medical staff HEALTH

Chinese doctor, drunken patient plunge to death in elevator shaft in latest attack on medical staff

27 Jan 2015
The diners are seen walking out of the seafood restaurant in this photo taken by Southern Metropolis Daily. MEDIA

Chinese police officials suspended after allegedly assaulting journalists at 'secretive' banquet

27 Jan 2015
Workmen tried twice - and failed both times - to fill a large hole that kept appearing in the street beside a building in Deshengmen Inner Street, Beijing early on Saturday. Photo: China News CHINA DIGEST

Around the nation: residents' underground digging sparks Beijing night road collapse

27 Jan 2015
Hell bank notes, used as offerings to the dead, can sometimes resemble the real thing late at night. Photo: SCMP Pictures SOCIETY

Taxi passenger suffers heart attack after being given ‘hell bank note’ in change

26 Jan 2015 1 comment
Smoke billows from the chimney of a factory in Foshan, which recorded Guangdong province's worst air quality in last year's final quarter. Photo: SCMP Pictures CHINA DIGEST

Around the nation: Foshan’s air quality worst in Guangdong during final quarter of last year

25 Jan 2015
A man bumped into his former girlfriend recently but but the reunion quickly turned sour when he demanded she return his SIM card, which she then swallowed. Photo: Bloomberg Around the nation

Around the nation: Woman swallows ex-boyfriend's SIM card during row

23 Jan 2015

Business

A strong rally in the share market has prompted the CSRC to step in to cool irrational enthusiasm. Photo: Xinhua REGULATION

Chinese mutual fund houses punished over insider dealing cases

New

China's securities regulator has imposed a temporary ban on new product launches by five mutual fund firms after their employees were found to have committed insider trading.

30 Jan 2015 - 11:39pm
STOCKS

Shanghai-HK share price gap for Chinese developers set to continue

The share price gap between mainland property developers listed in Hong Kong and Shanghai will continue despite the scheme linking the two markets.

30 Jan 2015 - 10:16pm

Property

Some 74,000 new homes are projected to come on the market over the next three to four years, says government report. Photo: Sam Tsang HOUSING

Hong Kong private housing supply jumps to 8-year high

Hong Kong's new private housing supply rose to an eight-year high of 15,700 units last year, with analysts saying the city has started the transition to a period of more sustainable flat supply.

31 Jan 2015 - 2:06am
Architect and campaign organiser Corrin Chan. Photo: Nora Tam

Poll to decide Hong Kong's most liked architecture of the last century

Despite the dazzling skyline around Victoria Harbour and soaring towers everywhere, Hong Kong doesn't celebrate its architecture the way cities such as Barcelona, Chicago, Istanbul, London, Rome and Tel Aviv do.

30 Jan 2015 - 11:05am 2 comments More on LIFE

Hong Kong needs to respect the arts, architect Jacques Herzog says in West Kowloon

30 Jan 2015 4 comments

Occupy Central changed the way Hongkongers think, says artist

28 Jan 2015
Travancore fish curry from Golden Peacock at The Venetian Macao.

Bombay Dreams and Golden Peacock earned Michelin nods while sticking to their roots

Indian restaurants in the Pearl River Delta are trying to convince customers there can be a refined and elegant side to a cuisine often sold as cheap and cheerful.

30 Jan 2015 - 6:34am

Boutique spirits come to Hong Kong, like craft beers before them

30 Jan 2015

Eat like the Tsangs once did at ex-Government House chef's restaurant

30 Jan 2015
Preparations for a new Apple store in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, part of a strategy to ramp up store numbers in China to harness its premium edge and fend off Xiaomi. Photo Reuters

Apple's China surge vaults it to global smartphone tie with Samsung

Apple has captured the top spot in the mainland's smartphone market, vaulting it into a tie for global leadership for the first time since 2011 as booming sales of iPhones with larger screens helped it gain ground on Samsung Electronics.

30 Jan 2015 - 10:12am

The phone with two faces: Russian YotaPhone2 takes on Samsung and Apple

30 Jan 2015

Megabytes: supercomputer writes first cookbook

29 Jan 2015

Magazines

Sport

Novak Djokovic's fist pump shows his satisfaction at beating Stan Wawrinka to reach his fifth Australian Open final and is bidding to be the first man to win five. Photos: Reuters

Djokovic powers to fifth Australian Open final

Novak Djokovic once again stood tall at the Australian Open as he reached his fourth final in the past five years with another five-set victory over Stan Wawrinka, the man who dumped him out of Melbourne Park last year

30 Jan 2015 - 11:30pm More on Australian Open 2015

Magazines

Solo mission: Reese Witherspoon has garnered rave reviews for her turn in Wild.

Your guide to the best films and live acts from here to March

With the Oscars looming and a string of top live music acts descending on Hong Kong, the next two months promise a feast for the eyes and ears. Here’s our guide to the best movie openings and live shows.

29 Jan 2015 - 11:06am

In Pictures

Hong Kong Weather

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