IN THE MEDIA scramble to unravel the mystery of when the Government's housing policy was changed, one crafty sleuth among the investigative hacks tried a simple little experiment. He logged on to the Government's information service ( www.info.gov.hk ), surfed to the document and fact-sheet section and typed in the magic number 85,000. Up came the usual details, with a note saying the site was last modified in November '99 - a full year after the policy was reportedly dropped. Obviously it was pure coincidence that Mr Tung's announcement about the change of policy, came so soon after the Beijing trip by local tycoons supporting his second term in office. The GIS Web page which has been updated, interestingly enough, is the biography of our Chief Executive. It contains all the details of his birth, education, career, family and hobbies, including a lot of information on past achievements and offices he no longer holds. Puzzlingly, the CV forgets to mention that Tung Chee-hwa used to be on the board of Sing Tao. Clearly an oversight, and nothing to do with the row over the controversial decision not to prosecute chairwoman Sally Aw Sian in the Sing Tao fraud case. Aptly enough, the rumbling debate in Washington over Normal Trade Relations with China looks like coming to an end. Just as well really, because while the flag-waving crowds of small town America celebrated Independence Day last week, official figures showed most of the fireworks and flags used for the celebrations came from the mainland. In 1999, customers in the US bought US$122.4 million (about HK$955 million) worth of fireworks from China, according to figures from the US Commerce Department. Meanwhile, the US also exported US$15.5 million worth of fireworks - selling 50 per cent of them to Taiwan. The US spent US$1.1 million dollars last year to import American flags from abroad. Nearly half of those were made in China. Truly the land of the free . . . market. Up to now, the main worry for Hong Kong men with mainland mistresses was how to make sure the wife did not find out. That could be the least of their problems if the All-China Women's Federation gets its way. The organisation carried out a survey which shows that an increasing number of mainlanders, especially women, would like to see adultery made a crime. More than half the respondents believe adulterers should face criminal charges. The survey covered 10 provinces and autonomous regions. But the results in Guangdong were the most significant, as people over the border from the SAR have always been regarded as more tolerant towards adultery than in other parts of the mainland. More than 30 per cent said the new Marriage Law should forbid the keeping of concubines or mistresses, and 54.8 per cent surveyed advocated criminal penalties for the 'third party' involved in extra-marital affairs. No one seems to have told the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) stalwarts that vegetables don't always have the kind of image that appeals to voters. Green, certainly. Dynamic? Definitely not. Still, with the environment as a vote winner, former lawmaker Gary Cheng Kai-nam and his team think they are on to a winner with an election flyer depicting them in cartoon form, as various forms of plant life. Mr Cheng becomes kai lan (a play on his name) and Choy So-yuk becomes choy sum. Fellow DAB members Suen Kai-cheong, Yeung Wai-fui and Christopher Chung Shu-kan are ginger, onion and roots of a tree. At least it's different. Let's hope they won't sit vegetating after the election.