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    監製:Diana Wan

    11/01/2020

    On the last day of 2019, mainland Chinese state media broke the news that a mysterious form of pneumonia had been spotted in Wuhan. The first case, it said, presented on 12th December. Here in Hong Kong the winter flu season tends to be at its worst between January and March, and apart from the major public health concerns, the virus is already placing more pressure on our strained public hospitals. Joining me to talk about what we know about the new virus so far is Owen Tsang, Medical Director of the Hospital Authority Infectious Disease Centre.

    Early last month, Chief Executive Carrie Lam held a meeting with ten defeated district councillors from the Federation of Trade Unions and apologised for their seismic losses in last November’s district council election. It was reported that she also promised them they’d be appointed to other government committees. A week or so later, she also met another group of former pro-establishment councillors at Government House to thank them for their service. While the CE was talking to those who were licking their wounds, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung tried to arrange a meeting at the beginning of the year with the newly elected, mostly pro-democrat, councillors. Instead, he was met with a mass boycott by over 200 of them, including members of the Democratic Party, the Civic Party and the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood. This week, many district councils held their first meetings since the November elections. Seventeen out of eighteen district councils are now dominated by pro-democrat councillors, mostly much younger than previous office holders. Is that going to be a game changer? In part two we look at the work of one new district council in Tuen Mun.

    *This episode is recorded on 10 Jan*


    聯絡: wanyt@rthk.hk


    集數

    EPISODES
    • Interview with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó

      Interview with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó

      As we record this show there are over a million confirmed Covid-19 cases and more than 50,000 deaths attributed to the disease worldwide. But the virus itself isn’t the only concern. Another is the draconian powers many governments are giving themselves in the name of fighting the pandemic. On Monday, Hungary’s parliament passed an “anti-coronavirus defence law” that gives Prime Minister Viktor Orban the power to rule by decree indefinitely. Only he can declare the emergency to be over, and until he does so, there will be no elections. The law criminalises any action the government considers a hindrance to its anti-virus efforts and introduces jail terms of up to five years for anyone spreading “falsehoods” about the virus. European Commission Chief, Ursula von der Leyen warned on Tuesday that, “Any emergency measures must be limited to what is necessary and strictly proportionate. They must not last indefinitely.” Hungary responded by saying that criticisms of its actions are part of a “political witch hunt” against the country. Viktor Orban does not believe in liberal democracy preferring what he calls, “illiberal democracy”. His critics say this refers to a semi-authoritarian state.
      In mid-January, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó visited Hong Kong. We spoke to him.

      03/04/2020
    • Coronavirus situations in New York city, London and Lombardy, Italy & interview with WHO Bruce Aylward

      Coronavirus situations in New York city, London and Lombardy, Italy & interview with WHO Bruce Aylward

      The Covid-19 virus has swept across the world with no end in sight. Because of uncertainties over testing in some countries, the full impact of the virus is uncertain,
      however it is widely estimated that there are now more than half a million cases worldwide, causing more than 24,000 deaths. Many countries have declared a state of emergency or imposed lockdowns. Governments have poured money into relief packages to save businesses and markets, and to help laid off workers. This week, The Pulse reports from New York City, London, and one of the worst-affected areas in Northern Italy: Lombardy.

      28/03/2020
    • China expels three U.S. media outlets: discussion with Keith Richburg & interview with Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss

      China expels three U.S. media outlets: discussion with Keith Richburg & interview with Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss

      Relations between the United States and China continue to deteriorate. On top of the trade war we have seen an escalating war of words over the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Now the dispute between the two countries has veered in the direction of the media. And Hong Kong is caught in the crossfire. With me to talk about the impact of expelling the three U.S. media organisations is Keith Richburg, formerly with the Washington Post and currently Director of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong.

      The commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi extermination camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau was attended by heads of state and officials from more than 50 countries who travelled to Poland last January. A week earlier a ceremony had been held in Jerusalem, where disputes between Russia, Poland and Israel over interpretation of these events cast a heavy shadow. Conflict continues to grow over denial, downplaying and whitewashing of the Holocaust. Studies show that anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in Europe and the United States hit new highs in 2019. In January, we spoke Eva Schloss a survivor of the death camps who was visiting Hong Kong.

      21/03/2020
    • Hong Kong's Budget & the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy

      Hong Kong's Budget & the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy

      On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic as cases outside of China surged 13-fold in two weeks. The virus has spread to well over a hundred countries. Italy, Europe’s worst affected country, on Monday announced a national lockdown of its 60 million residents. The United States is suspending all travel from Europe with the exception of the United Kingdom. World stock markets were hit hard this week with share prices plunging faster than at any time since 1987. Inevitably all this is delivering multiple blows to Hong Kong’s economy, already hit by months of protests. The government warns unemployment is likely to hit 2003 levels of up to 5%, compared with the current 3.3%.

      On Monday, the impact of Covid-19 and an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia sent stock markets into freefall. Countries around the world are struggling to come up with plans to reduce the economic fallout from the pandemic. The World Bank has pledged US$12 billion in emergency aid. Central banks in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia have lowered interest rates. Last month’s budget in Hong Kong, saw the government rolling out a HK$120 billion (US$15.4 billion) relief package.

      14/03/2020
    • Budget 2020-2021: Disucssion with Law Chi-kwong, Secretary for Labour and Welfare

      Budget 2020-2021: Disucssion with Law Chi-kwong, Secretary for Labour and Welfare

      Hello and welcome to The Pulse.

      The ramifications of last week’s budget are still being assessed. It came after months of protests, and the Covid-19 outbreak, which have delivered a body blow to Hong Kong’s economy. To soften the blow, the government dished out a number of sweeteners, the most headline grabbing being the cash handout of HK$10,000 to all citizens. Mind you even this proposal is causing controversy both of who will qualify to receive it and the length of time it’s going to take before the money is dished out, which looks like being just before the September Legco elections. This Budget is also the first in 15 years to predict a deficit, a massive HK$139.1 billion. And the government expects recurring deficits for the next five years. With me to talk about some of the most sensitive areas of the budget and government forecasts is Law Chi-kwong, Secretary for Labour and Welfare.

      07/03/2020
    • Wuhan lockdown & Hong Kong people stranded in Wuhan

      Wuhan lockdown & Hong Kong people stranded in Wuhan

      Since January 23rd, the city of Wuhan has been under lockdown. 11 million people have been subjected to un precedented quarantine restrictio0 70s1 for more than a month. On Monday morning, came news that the authorities were about to relax the lockdown. That decision was reversed within just a few hours. This news spread fast as more than 60% of the Chinese population are now online, internet communications services such as Weibo and WeChat have made it easier for users to share information about the coronavirus. At the beginning of the outbreak, the sheer volume of posts, photos and videos on social media overwhelmed censors. But as public discontent has grown, the state has clamped down and restricted communications. Nevertheless, The Pulse has managed to speak to people under lockdown in Wuhan, some from the mainland, and some from Hong Kong.

      29/02/2020
    • Political fallout of the coronavirus in China: discussion with Derek Yuen & Chris Yeung & are HK quarantine measures effective

      Political fallout of the coronavirus in China: discussion with Derek Yuen & Chris Yeung & are HK quarantine measures effective

      Even in mainland China, public anger has risen, and serious questions are being asked, on the effectiveness of political leadership and the lack of transparency in tackling the Covid-19 breakout. The fallout began last week when President Xi Jinping removed two provincial officials in Hubei and Wuhan and otherwise reprimanded or removed a few hundred more minor ones. This week, the state news agency reported that the government is also discussing postponing the annual parliamentary meetings in early March. The Party, well aware that continued economic growth provides much of its legitimacy for ruling, has tightened internet control and increasingly controlled media narratives on the spread of the disease. There’ve been increased clampdowns on virtual private networks, in recent weeks. The foreign press has been told to stay out of Hubei, and on Wednesday, three Wall Street Journal reporters were expelled over a headline that read: “China is the real sick man of Asia”. With us to talk about the effectiveness or otherwise of these strategies are Derek Yuen, lecturer at the Department of Politics and Public Administration of the University of Hong Kong and Chris Yeung, political commentator and chief writer at CitizenNews.

      The Diamond Princess cruise ship has been quarantined in Yokohama since 4th February. The Covid-19 virus spread rapidly on the ship, with more than 600 out of 3,600 passengers now having tested positive for it. Two, a Japanese man and woman in their eighties, have died. Also on board are 364 Hongkongers, 55 of whom are infected. The government has finally arranged chartered flights to bring home some of those who have not tested positive. On Thursday morning, the first batch of 106 passengers returned and are now quarantined in an estate in Fo Tan. But Hong Kong’s quarantine measures have been the target of some criticism.

      22/02/2020
    • Coronavirus outbreak in Hong Mei House: discussion with Helena Wong & migrant workers combatting coronavirus

      Coronavirus outbreak in Hong Mei House: discussion with Helena Wong & migrant workers combatting coronavirus

      As the number of coronavirus cases and deaths is rising in the mainland, on Thursday the central government removed two top officials from their posts in Hubei and Wuhan alongside many more minor officials who had been dismissed earlier. Control in the province will now be exercised by former Shanghai mayor Ying Yong, a close ally of President Xi Jinping, and Wang Zhonglin, Jinan city’s former party secretary. President Xi last week also despatched Party heavyweight Chen Yixin, chief of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, to Wuhan to deal with the outbreak.

      The Hong Kong government says that currently more than 2,000 Hong Kong people remain in Hubei Province. The government has revealed no plan to help them get back. This week, ten of them were reported to have been infected with the virus. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in Hong Kong continues to grow. In the early hours of Tuesday this week, more than 30 households in a Tsing Yi apartment block were evacuated due to the coronavirus. With me to talk about how the coronavirus might have been spread through bathroom pipes in the estate is Helena Wong.

      The number of people in Hong Kong who have contracted the coronavirus remains in double digits, many of them were infected by family members.
      This is why there is concern among Hong Kong’s 400,000 domestic helpers, who are required by law to live with their employers, often in small spaces.

      15/02/2020
    • Coronavirus update: medical workers on strike & impact on other industrial sectors, discussion with doctor & medical professor Lai Ching-lung

      Coronavirus update: medical workers on strike & impact on other industrial sectors, discussion with doctor & medical professor Lai Ching-lung

      On Tuesday, Hong Kong recorded the first fatality as a result of the so-called Wuhan coronavirus. That same day, two cases of local transmission were confirmed. Neither of the individuals involved had recently travelled to the mainland. The government has received plenty of criticism for measures described as being sluggish, inept and merely reactive. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has also had to apologise for her fast changing and contradictory remarks on mask usage. As the virus continues to spread, and trust in the administration remains low, members of the public have embarked on panic buying sprees, from masks to toilet rolls and from condoms to rice. At the forefront of this battle are the staff of public hospitals, thousands of whom are currently on strike. Their concerns are mirrored by other unions representing workers on trains, buses, planes, in hotels, and so on, who are also urging the government to close Hong Kong’s border to stop the coronavirus spreading.

      As we saw earlier in the show, facing the threat of a major community outbreak of the novel coronavirus, thousands of hospital workers are on strike. They say a lack of protective gear, a hostile work environment and inadequate government policies are putting their lives and those of other Hongkongers in jeopardy. With me to talk about this is doctor and medical professor Lai Ching-lung.

      08/02/2020
    • Wuhan coronavirus update & discussion with Holden Chow & Fernando Cheung

      Wuhan coronavirus update & discussion with Holden Chow & Fernando Cheung

      The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has not only become a national crisis for China, it’s also now been declared a Global Health Emergency by the World Health Organization. President Xi Jinping has described the outbreak as a “demon” affecting global health. He added he had “always been personally in command” and said he was personally organising” China’s effort to contain the deadly virus. However, as the crisis has rolled out he has kept a rather low profile and did not mention the outbreak in his Lunar New Year speech last Thursday. The day that Wuhan and many cities in Hubei province were on lockdown. On Monday, Premier Li Keqiang, visited Wuhan. He is heading the body tasked with controlling the epidemic. This week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed deep regret for referring to the worldwide risk from the virus as being “moderate” last week. Meanwhile here in Hong Kong, the slowness of the government’s response has caused panic and fear. The scarcity of protective materials such as masks and sanitising products has led to some ugly scenes at shops where supplies had run out and there are worries that a mask shortage will curb the operation of private clinics.

      The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise in Hong Kong. As we saw in part one, medical staff and health care workers are upset at the government’s sluggish response to the outbreak and are planning industrial action. With us in the studio are lawmakers Holden Chow of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and Fernando Cheung of the Labour Party.

      01/02/2020