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JOLIE HO

The fourth legislative assembly poll since the 1999 handover features the most candidate lists and seats up for grabs after two directly elected seats and two functional constituencies were added last year to the existing 29 seats.

Campaign vehicles armed with loudspeakers are rolling through the streets of Macau, but some candidates in the coming legislative election are already challenging a grey area of the law that banned them from seeking publicity before the campaign period began on August 31.

Hong Kong's team of 20 - who have all undergone organ transplants - scooped 14 golds, 12 silvers and 11 bronzes when they took on some 900 other athletes at the 19th World Transplant Games in Durban, South Africa.

Cartoonists and internet users have taken a stand against a proposal that could criminalise those who parody graphical, audio or any other representations of copyrighted material.

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Mainland tour groups setting off from Hong Kong to Taiwan on cruise ships can now travel onwards to Japan or South Korea before returning home, Beijing authorities say.

About 5 million illicit cigarettes were seized by the Customs and Excise Department in a one-week special operation to combat the smuggling of cigarettes from the mainland to Hong Kong through a cross-boundary logistics network.

A proposal on universal retirement protection by "lawmakers" from the city's secondary schools won the approval of real legislators at the sixth Hong Kong Model Legislative Council.

From sea urchins near Tolo Harbour to strange creatures in the South China Sea, Dr Qiu Jianwen walks a fine line between researcher and conservationist in his work as a marine biologist.

Thousands of Macau households are keen to hire the first batch of domestic helpers from the mainland, but the scheme has been delayed and it is still unclear when it will start.

Nine-year-old Ethan, an adopted Chinese boy, has two fathers. "Dada" is Walter Jennings, a 51-year-old American. "Papa" is Santo Rizzuto, 49, an Australian-born Italian. The family arrived in Hong Kong in 2009.

The complaints came as Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor sought to quell fears over Li's exit from Hong Kong and to quash speculation it was because of his discord with the Leung Chun-ying administration. Li had supported Leung's rival, Henry Tang Ying-yen, in last year's chief executive election.

Plunging 1,200 metres deep into the South China Sea is nothing like what's shown in nature documentaries on television. In fact, says Dr Qiu Jianwen, you can barely see anything at all at that depth because the organisms are so tiny.

A mainland woman who told relatives she was going to kill herself was rescued yesterday after apparently floating in Victoria Harbour for eight hours. The woman, 28, was first spotted by a passer-by in the water near the Star Ferry Pier in Tsim Sha Tsui at around 9pm on Friday.

Women shopping in the city's modern malls with their large glass panels and high-rise escalators should be aware that these places attract voyeurs.

While thousands of Hongkongers took to the streets to fight for democracy, the 16th anniversary of the handover was being celebrated by thousands of others, according to event organisers.

Thousands of children excitedly posed with military vehicles and fired laser-fitted guns at the People's Liberation Army open day yesterday, with the force giving the public a glimpse of what's behind the gates at two of its barracks.

Members of the Legislative Council's education panel passed a non-binding motion urging the bureau to hire more teachers and increase the ratio of teachers to students.

Companhia de Telecomunicações de Macau (CTM), the existing service provider, and MTel Telecommunication, a new player, each received a licence. MTel said it and mainland phone equipment maker ZTE would invest about one billion patacas in infrastructure and the opening of new retail outlets.

Dr Tsoi Wing-sang was found guilty by the Medical Council of professional misconduct after a 41-year-old former school teacher, known as Ms A, accused him of sexually harassing her.

Student activists have lodged a complaint to the police watchdog, accusing officers of abusing their power at a recent protest.

Firefighters had to force open the locked metal gate to the three-storey village house before they could get inside, said Wu Tze-fung, the Fire Services Department's divisional commander in New Territories West.

Tiffany Lau Nga-yee did not know what to think when she began volunteering last year for Against Child Abuse's programme to help newly arrived families adjust to life in Hong Kong.

Questions have been raised over the effectiveness of a policy to reduce the number of problem gamblers in Macau, with a former gambling addict and an academic calling it unhelpful and superficial.

A free packet of tissue helps Wicky Tang Weng-kei break the ice with problem gamblers. And it is not for them to dry their tears after losing their hard-earned money. "After they receive the tissue packet, I would ask them to open it and ask if they know what it is about. Some of them will say, 'I know, it's about quitting gambling'. I'll then compliment them," said Tang, a certified gambling counsellor engaged in an outreach programme in Macau.

Responding to a call on Saturday by Global Times for Hong Kong and Macau to join a boycott of the Philippines, possibly through tourism and trade, security chief Lai Tung-kwok said: "Taiwan has taken a series of actions [in response to the incident], but I think some of these actions would not be appropriate for Hong Kong."

The Civil Human Rights Front has called on the police to make public their guidelines governing how male officers should physically handle female protesters, following remarks by secretary for security Lai Tung-kwok that police could decide the matter on a case by case basis.

Acting on intelligence, officers intercepted the ship, known as a river trade vessel, shortly after it set off from Black Point in Tuen Mun for Humen in Guangdong on Thursday. They escorted the vessel to the River Trade Terminal in Tuen Mun, where X-rays revealed illicit goods hidden in three containers on board.

Bangladeshi domestic helpers who have just arrived in Hong Kong were happy to share their aspirations yesterday before meeting their employers.

Dozens of children yesterday scaled the metal tower to be used for this week's bun-scrambling contest in Cheung Chau.

The arrival of the 11 women, who will begin working tomorrow after a two-day orientation, marks the beginning of the official importation of maids from the country, which it is hoped will ease a shortage of domestic workers in Hong Kong.

Leaders of the strike at the Kwai Tsing container terminals, now the longest in Hong Kong industrial relations history, said the offer - made on Friday - fell short of the double-digit pay rise they wanted and did not cover issues involving working conditions which are also in dispute.

Based on figures from the Census and Statistics Department, the report said that in the fourth quarter of last year, over 170,000 families who were being supported by at least one working person were living in poverty. These families had a monthly income that was less than half the median average among other families of the same size.

Premier Li Keqiang urged health officials to reduce the fatality rate of the H7N9 bird flu and release information to the public in a timely manner as the deadly strain spreads in southern China.

Apparently targeting former commissioner Timothy Tong Hin-ming for the first time, Lam said that while the Independent Commission Against Corruption was independent of the government, its officers were bound by the rules on civil servants, which included the giving of gifts.

Banging African drums and chanting words such as "justice", hundreds of asylum seekers and torture claimants marched from Central to Immigration Tower in Wan Chai yesterday to protest over what they say is the government's failed screening process.

The striking dockers last night made an unannounced move to mark their walkout's first month by marching to Government House, although their target, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, had yet to return from his Beijing trip.

Chris So Wai-yin knows what it is like to suffer for his sport. As a young rider, the man who will take up a position as a fully-fledged Jockey Club trainer in July, started his career two decades ago braving the freezing Canadian winter.

Nineteen-year-old Tahir Khan, who moved to Hong Kong in 2011, accuses the police of racial discrimination for depriving him of his freedom. He was detained for a year on suspicion of robbery and told by a judge he had no case to answer after he was freed.

A fire which broke out early yesterday at a market in Wong Tai Sin blazed for seven hours and forced the evacuation of about 700 people. Eight people aged between 13 and 85 suffered smoke inhalation and were taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

All the Hongkongers visiting Sichuan in tour groups when yesterday's quake hit were safe, Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung said.

A 1994 Sino-British deal suggests only that a military berth that splits the newly reclaimed Central harbourfront should be used by - not handed over to - the People's Liberation Army, a legal scholar says.

The crime thriller won in nine categories, making mystery drama The Bullet Vanishes the big loser, having received the same number of nominations as Cold War, 12, but winning none.

Gigi Chao, the lesbian daughter of property tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, said she would never stop trying to get her parents to accept her partner. "I think it will be a great pity if I cannot make them accept my other half before I die," Chao told a Chinese University forum organised by the university's chapter of global youth network AIESEC last night.

A ruby-ground falangcai bowl sold for HK$74 million at a Sotheby's auction yesterday, setting a world record for porcelain made in the reign of Emperor Kangxi during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).

Falun Gong banners are on display again at two of the city's busiest areas in Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui after a brief disappearance. Following government action last week a bitter banner war which had broken out between the Falun Gong spiritual movement and the Youth Care Association, a pro-establishment group, was temporarily suspended. Warning letters were issued to both groups informing them that those who erected banners were liable to fines of up to HK$10,000 and a daily fine of HK$300.

Immigration officials said on Friday they had smashed a syndicate that used fake documents to smuggle mainland Chinese into Argentina, Brazil, Spain and Australia. The immigration department said 28 arrests were made in a joint operation with mainland Chinese authorities that ended on Friday, adding the ring had smuggled some 50 people since 2011.

Hundreds choose to retrace the footsteps of "Gor Gor", an affectionate nickname meaning "older brother" in Cantonese, by visiting the places where he shot music videos and movie scenes, such as the pop song Stand Up and the film Days of Being Wild.

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The 10th Aids Festival, organised by the St John's Cathedral HIV Education Centre, was a day-long outdoor event attended by local and international schools, Aids-specific organisations and ethnic groups.

Hongkongers should unite in "the spirit of one for all, all for one" to solve the social woes facing the city, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said, recalling the selflessness the city displayed during the Sars outbreak in 2003.

Wang Guangya told Beijing-loyalist lawmakers last week that the central government had consistently upheld, and continued to uphold, the principle that "'one country' is the premise and foundation for 'two systems'" - a reference to the "one country, two systems" formula guiding Hong Kong affairs under Chinese sovereignty.

Residents who are eligible for the new elderly allowance are delighted to get some help to cope with the higher cost of living, but others with just a little too much money in the bank are not happy with the government's stringent means test.

A problem in government computer records may mean some elderly residents eligible for the new old-age allowance will not receive the money next week as promised. Meanwhile, thousands of people who received letters saying they could get the HK$2,200 handout have replied that they are no longer eligible.

About 1,000 dogs will take part in the city's first dog walkathon on Saturday in Sha Tin near the site of a lush expanse of unusual grass popular among dogwalkers for being "as soft as a cushion".

A medical team at Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam has transplanted livers from two donors to recipients of different blood types for the first time in the city, thanks to a new protocol.

Secretary for Food and Heath Dr Ko Wing-man has denied coming under political pressure to end the newly imposed restrictions on taking infant milk formula across the border.

Hong Kong's schools should teach more about China's history and culture without branding it as national education, the incoming head of the city's teacher training college has said.

A violent love tragedy set in Wuhan won the hearts of a jury panel at last night's Asian Film Awards, becoming the biggest winner. Korean films led the race with 16 nominations, but mainland entry Mystery won best film, best screenwriter and best newcomer. Iranian love story Rhino Season won three technical awards.

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A big banana and a little banana ran down Tsim Sha Tsui harbour front yesterday chased by hundreds of people dressed in yellow. It was the eighth year of "Hong Kong's wackiest race" which raises money for awareness about cancer prevention.