Consumer prices rise by 3.1 per cent in November Consumer prices rose 3.1 per cent year on year last month, although without the effect of one-off concessions the increase was the slowest since April, the government said. Inflation rose to 3.1 per cent in November from 1.8 per cent the previous month after the administration ended its subsidy of public housing rents. Other one-off relief measures are still in place, including a rates concession. HK to give US$26.25m to fund The Executive Council agreed to contribute Hong Kong's share of US$26.25 million over a nine-year period to the Asian Development Fund. The Asian Development Bank lends the money from the fund to 29 eligible countries in the region. More training places needed A total of 819 graduates are trained in mass communications by Hong Kong education and training institutions each year, below the forecast annual demand of 1,124, a two-yearly survey by the Vocational Training Council shows. The survey predicts that from 2008 to 2012, an additional 336 training places will be required in the journalism sector, and 2,132 in the advertising and public relations sectors. Government urged to help jobless The government should create a HK$10 billion loan scheme to help people who have lost their jobs in the economic downturn, the Democratic Party said. In a pre-budget consultation meeting with Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, party lawmakers submitted a relief proposal, which would cost up to HK$32 billion. Study on cross-strait trade The Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre will conduct a study on Hong Kong's role in cross-strait trade and investment as well as exchanges between the city and Taiwan. First mediation concluded The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre has concluded its first mediation of a Lehman Brothers-related dispute. Up to December 17, a total of 63 cases had gone to the centre for settlement, some of which were settled between investors and banks before mediation.