Exco poised to back new pay package for lawmakers The Executive Council is expected to approve a new pay package for legislators today. It includes a pay rise of 15 per cent, a lump sum of HK$25,000 a year for medical insurance, and a retirement lump sum of HK$470,000 after members' four-year terms from October next year, according to sources close to the government. A member of the independent committee, which is responsible for lawmakers' remuneration, said there was a need to provide a complete benefit to legislators to enhance the quality of policy debates. Macau tour operator loses licence after clash with visitors Macau has revoked the licence of a tour operator after a confrontation between riot police and mainland tourists this month. Tourism chief Jo?o Manuel Costa Antunes said the Juventude Multinacional travel agency would lose its licence for receiving travellers in Macau because it had violated regulations but he did not elaborate. On December 4, a group of tourists from Hebei province said they were pressured by the tour operator to shop and then abandoned when they complained. The row led to clashes between tourists and police. Environmental group fears plan for artificial beach at Tai Po The environmental impact assessment subcommittee of the Advisory Council on the Environment held a meeting to discuss a government proposal to construct a beach in Tai Po. Friends of the Earth director Edwin Lau Che-feng said members were worried that water quality might suffer. 'Members expressed concern about the water quality, as creating a man-made beach requires covering an extensive area with sand, and a beach might need to be restored from time to time by pouring more sand there,' he said. 'When the sand gets washed away, it will have a bad effect on the water quality.' Two buses crash, injuring 14 Fourteen people, including five primary pupils, were injured when a school bus and a minibus collided on Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long. The school bus driver, a nanny, five pupils aged six to 11, and seven passengers on the minibus were taken to hospital. Most were treated and discharged but three remained in serious condition last night.