HK conductor wins top international competition
Hong Kong-born Ken Lam, who gave up a legal career to pursue his musical dream, won the Memphis International Conducting Competition. Lam was among 225 conductors from around the world who took part in the three-day event, which ended on Friday. Lam is the assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. and resident conductor for the Brevard Music Centre in North Carolina. He won US$7,500 and will guest conduct the Memphis Symphony Orchestra in October.
Warning as air pollution hits 'very high' levels
Central, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok registered 'very high levels' on the Air Pollution Index yesterday. At 7pm the reading of the roadside station in Central hit 173, 162 in Mong Kok and 157 in Causeway Bay. Levels today are expected to remain 'very high', between 130 and 180. In view of the high level, the Environmental Protection Department warned people with heart or respiratory illnesses, children and the elderly to avoid staying too long in areas with heavy traffic.
Tree office lops dangerous Battery Path banyans
Two Chinese banyan trees, which were officially classified as old and valuable, were cut down yesterday after the Development Bureau's Tree Management Office feared they might collapse. The trees, both 15 metres high and standing side by side on a slope on Battery Path, Central, were confirmed to be infected with brown root rot disease in September last year. The office said it had tried to control the disease but the trees showed 'no sign of recovery'. The bureau said it decided to remove them 'in order to eliminate the tree risk and safeguard public safety'.