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In Brief

Bomb-joke tourist heading for HK detained in Manila

An Italian tourist catching a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong was arrested at Manila airport after cracking a joke police did not find funny - that he had three nuclear bombs in his pocket and was part of Osama bin Laden's terror group. Airport security had asked Fabrizio Salvini, 58, to empty his pockets at the final check before he was to board the flight late on Wednesday, when he was quoted as saying: 'I have three nuclear bombs in my pocket and I belong to the group of bin Laden.' Police senior superintendent Efren Labiang said yesterday that a complaint against Salvini for violation of a decree against making false bomb threats had been passed to prosecutors in Pasay City. The tourist was being detained while awaiting a court hearing at which he would be able to post bail, the officer said.

Tsang hails strong links between city and the EU

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said the trade and cultural links between Hong Kong and the European Union remained strong. Speaking at a reception hosted by the Office of the European Commission in Hong Kong and Macau to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which paved the way for European integration, the chief executive said while most people would have reached a 'midlife crisis' by the time they were 50, co-operation between the two sides remained vibrant. The reception was also attended by Lu Xinhua, the Foreign Ministry's Commissioner in Hong Kong.

Boost for restaurants as takings show increase in first quarter

Restaurants had takings of HK$16.8 billion in the first quarter of this year, up 11.8 per cent from the same period a year earlier. After adjusting for inflation, the increase was 9.6 per cent, the Census and Statistics Department said. Receipts of non-Chinese restaurants rose 15.2 per cent in value, or an inflation-adjusted 13.2 per cent, year on year. Receipts of Chinese restaurants rose 12.6 per cent year on year, or 10.5 per cent after adjusting for inflation. Bar receipts in the quarter were down 0.7 per cent, or 6.7 per cent after adjusting for price changes.