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    監製:Diana Wan

    11/09/2020
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    Hello and welcome to a new series of The Pulse.

    Since we were last here the coronavirus has hardly gone away, instead it has a habit of surging and falling back, which is where we are now but despite this dip in infections the government launched a universal voluntary testing programme with the backing of the Central government, which to date has proved to be markedly less than universal. And the programme has been criticised by health experts questioning its effectiveness but Chief Executive Carrie Lam was having none of it and castigated critics for a “smearing” attempt to damage relations between Hong Kong and the Mainland

    There is now a worldwide race to develop, manufacture and buy Covid-19 vaccines even before any of them have proved to be effective. This week and next, we’re looking at a number of issues concerning the Covid-19 vaccines, such as the political pressure to get vaccines developed and the question of who’s first in line to benefit. But, we begin with some background.


    聯絡: wanyt@rthk.hk


    集數

    EPISODES
    • Cancelling of registration for life of a school teacher discussion: Eunice Yung & Ip Kin-yuen & int. w/ Benjamin Cowling on the latest of Covid-19 in HK

      Cancelling of registration for life of a school teacher discussion: Eunice Yung & Ip Kin-yuen & int. w/ Benjamin Cowling on the latest of Covid-19 in HK

      The government is full of surprises these days. On Monday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam abruptly cancelled her annual Policy Address. It had been scheduled for Wednesday but will not be delivered until an unknown date in November. Instead of going to Legco Lam went to Shenzhen to attend a ceremony where president Xi Jinping was celebrating the special economic zone’s 40th anniversary. Her stated reason for postponement however was the need to consult Beijing on economic policies. Meanwhile, last Monday, the Education Bureau announced the lifelong de-registration of a schoolteacher for allegedly “spreading pro-independence” messages in class. This is the first time a teacher has been de-registered for professional misconduct unrelated to sexual or criminal offences. Secretary for Education, Kevin Yeung warns there are more purges to come. To talk about this issue is Eunice Yung of New People's Party and Ip Kin-yuen, lawmaker and Vice-president of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union.

      With Autumn in the air, there is still no sign that Covid-19 is going away. On the contrary there has been a resurgence of cases in Europe. France declared a state of emergency, with Paris and eight other major cities imposing a night curfew. Spain’s capital, Madrid is also currently in a 15-day state of emergency. New lockdowns have also been imposed in the United Kingdom. Here in Hong Kong, fears have been expressed of a new spike in cases as winter approaches.

      16/10/2020
    • Russian interference in US election and Belarus: discussion with Stefan Auer & mini-series

      Russian interference in US election and Belarus: discussion with Stefan Auer & mini-series "Long Time No Chat: Calling Belarus"

      At one point United States president Donald Trump called Covid-19 “a hoax” and said that “there is no pandemic and it’s just a flu”. As he has now discovered “the hoax” was capable of putting him in hospital. Trump, his wife Melania, and at least 27 people around him have contracted the virus. With the election in just three weeks, his quick return to the White House, and the consistent downplaying of the virus has outraged health experts and those who have had or have lost relatives to Covid-19. Whether he likes it or not the pandemic stubbornly remains in the forefront of next month’s election. Back in the 2016 Presidential election there were widespread allegations of Russian interference. In August, after a three-year long bipartisan investigation, the Republican-led Senate intelligence committee released a nearly 1,000-page report on Russian interference that found it had posed a “grave counterintelligence threat”. On Tuesday, White House national security adviser Robert O Brien told his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev to “stay out” of the November election. And there’ve been similar concerns raised about Russian interference in the UK’s Brexit polling and its influence in Belarus. With us to discuss this is Stefan Auer, Associate Professor of European Studies at the University of Hong Kong.

      This week another bump in Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong after a long holiday weekend and the easing of social distancing measures had health experts predicting another resurgence in the virus. The pandemic has restricted travel and limited personal contact between friends and families. As person to person fades there is Increasingly interaction through online platforms. “The Pulse” is also using this method to introduce an occasional mini-series, “Long Time No Chat”, in which we invite a local person to call friends overseas to talk about what’s going on in their countries. Today, the topic is Belarus.

      09/10/2020
    • Pan-democratic camp stay in extended Legco discussion: Alvin Yeung & Robert Chung & re-opening of schools

      Pan-democratic camp stay in extended Legco discussion: Alvin Yeung & Robert Chung & re-opening of schools

      The government says it delayed last month’s Legislative Council election due to Covid-19. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the decision was not political but a public health issue. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress then decided to extend the sixth-term Legislative Council for no less than a year to address the lacuna. However, there is no mention of a time limit for such extension. This has led to a rift in the pan-democratic camp over whether incumbent lawmakers should continue to serve the present term. The Civic Party and the Democratic Party decided to conduct a public poll to decide. The result came out on Tuesday and offered no clear majority. To talk about the decision to stay on and the poll itself are Alvin Yeung, Leader of the Civic Party and Robert Chung, President of Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute.

      Since the outbreak of Covid-19 at the beginning of the year, on-campus classes for primary and secondary schools have been suspended. For most students, online classes have become the main learning platform. But apart from the educational difficulties, many parents, teachers and medical professionals are arguing that not being able to go to school and mix with other children in person also affects children’s well-being. Now, schools are gradually reopening.

      02/10/2020
    • 12 Hong Kong people detained in China: discussion with Cheung Yiu-leung & health code

      12 Hong Kong people detained in China: discussion with Cheung Yiu-leung & health code

      Last month, China’s Coast Guard arrested 12 Hong Kong people as they attempted to flee on a speedboat to Taiwan. Barrister Cheung Yiu-leung to talk about the legal situation these 12 people may face in mainland courts. I should add that to get an alternative view on this we did ask more than a dozen other individuals if they could come, among them Thomas So, Ambrose Lam, Louis Chen, Christopher Wong, Eunice Yung, Lawrence Ma. None could make it.

      Hong Kong’s two-week universal community testing programme ended on Monday. Some 1.78 million people were tested, less than a quarter of the population, and far from the government’s five million target. The exercise discovered just 32 previously unconfirmed cases. The cost of the tests for the exercise alone is about HK$500 million. Some estimate the total bill could be around HK$1.3 billion. The government has rejected criticism of the scheme’s cost effectiveness and says it will help map out strategies to tackle the next wave of the pandemic and other health surveillance. One other plan the government is considering is the introduction of health code software on people’s mobile phones, which is now widely used in the mainland.

      25/09/2020
    • Covid-19 vaccine nationalism and equity

      Covid-19 vaccine nationalism and equity

      When will we get a widely usable Covid19 vaccine? It’s been a big topic for discussion this week. On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said it would be out by mid-October, not coincidently before the presidential election. That’s not what the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say. Its earliest estimate for vaccine readiness is middle to late 2021. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, experts in China said they will have a vaccine ready for public use as early as this November. Both China and Russia have already tested vaccines on people designated as belonging to “high risk” groups, including medical and military personnel. Early this week, the United Arab Emirates became the first country to approve one of the China-produced vaccines for emergency use. So, the race is clearly on and political pressures are playing a big role. On Thursday, Oxfam published a report showing that rich nations have already snapped up more than half of the promised output of the five leading vaccine contestants, leaving poorer countries to wait longer. To talk about the tensions between “vaccine nationalism” and health equity, especially at times like this is Yeoh Eng-kiong, Director of The Jockey Club School of Public Health & Primary Care at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

      Also in part two, virologist, David Ho, microbiologist Sridhar Siddharth and Kate Elder, Médecins Sans Frontières' senior vaccines policy advisors on Covid-19 vaccine nationalism and equity.

      18/09/2020
    • Global race for Covid-19 vaccines: a straw poll and explainer of vaccines & interview with virologist David Ho

      Global race for Covid-19 vaccines: a straw poll and explainer of vaccines & interview with virologist David Ho

      Hello and welcome to a new series of The Pulse.

      Since we were last here the coronavirus has hardly gone away, instead it has a habit of surging and falling back, which is where we are now but despite this dip in infections the government launched a universal voluntary testing programme with the backing of the Central government, which to date has proved to be markedly less than universal. And the programme has been criticised by health experts questioning its effectiveness but Chief Executive Carrie Lam was having none of it and castigated critics for a “smearing” attempt to damage relations between Hong Kong and the Mainland

      There is now a worldwide race to develop, manufacture and buy Covid-19 vaccines even before any of them have proved to be effective. This week and next, we’re looking at a number of issues concerning the Covid-19 vaccines, such as the political pressure to get vaccines developed and the question of who’s first in line to benefit. But, we begin with some background.

      11/09/2020
    • The National Security Law: Through the eyes of Maria Tam, and two of Hong Kong's non-Chinese residents

      The National Security Law: Through the eyes of Maria Tam, and two of Hong Kong's non-Chinese residents

      The controversial National Security Law is now on the statute books but considerable uncertainty remains as to how it will be implemented. Just an hour before midnight on July 1st, the details of the legislation were finally revealed and gazetted, taking immediate effect. Although Hong Kong’s has a bilingual legal system, there was no official English version when it was released. Chief Executive Carrie Lam and local officials freely admitted to having been left in the dark throughout the process.

      The four groups of crimes covered by the law are secession, subversion, terrorist activities and collusion with foreign countries to endanger national security. The maximum penalty for all these crimes is a life sentence. The central government has established a national security office in Hong Kong while the HKSAR government has set up a new committee chaired by the Chief Executive, and containing an adviser appointed by Beijing. Both the police force and the judiciary will establish new units to handle cases. In some instances, Beijing will have jurisdiction and suspects will face trail on the mainland. The power of interpretation is vested in the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. With us to talk about the new legislation is Maria Tam, Vice-chairman of the Basic Law Committee.

      03/07/2020
    • Possible impact of the National anthem & national security law on Hong Kong's education system

      Possible impact of the National anthem & national security law on Hong Kong's education system

      Some Communist Party supporters say most people in Hong Kong have no reason to worry about the human rights implications of the soon to be imposed National Security Law because it will affect only a “small number of people”. They say this while freely admitting that they haven’t seen the details of the law. Opponents of the law say its chilling effects are already being felt over a wide range of social groups and occupations. According to Secretary for Security John Lee, the law will take immediate effect once it’s passed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. Although preparations for enactment are proceeding behind closed doors some general principles were however revealed last Saturday by the official Xinhua news agency. The four categories of crimes to be covered by the law are: secession, subversion of state power, terrorist activities and collusion with foreign forces. Already on the statues is the National Anthem law passed earlier this month, despite strong opposition from pro-democrat legislators. It stipulates that anyone who violates or insults the March of the Volunteers may be fined up to HK$50,000 and jailed for three years.

      26/06/2020
    • COVID-19 in developing countries: India & Africa

      COVID-19 in developing countries: India & Africa

      As countries around the world are lifting lockdown measures, a second wave of Covid-19 cases has emerged in Beijing. In the past few days, the capital has recorded more than 200 new cases and locked down more than 30 communities. Once again, this outbreak is linked to a food market. Elsewhere in the world the Covid -19 pandemic is having an even more severe impact on poorer countries. For them the disease is not only a health crisis, but also has the potential to cause massive social and economic devastation. The United Nations estimates an income loss of more than US$220 billion in developing countries. In many of these nations simple preventive measures against Covid-19, such as social distancing and regularly washing hands with soap and water are not practical. 75% of citizens in the least developed world lack regular access to soap and water. In this episode, we talk to people in India and Africa who have not only been battling the virus but are also facing civil war, locusts, and crippling food shortages.

      19/06/2020
    • 612 protest one year on: protesters & the moderates

      612 protest one year on: protesters & the moderates

      On June 12th last year, the controversial Fugitive Offenders amendment bill, better known as the extradition bill, was scheduled for a second reading in Legco.
      A general strike was called on the day. Thousands of protesters gathered outside the government complex to protest. At around three in the afternoon, police started dispersing the crowd, using more than 150 rounds of tear gas, beanbags and rubber bullets. It marked a turning point in the protests that, one year on, have not gone away. However the extradition bill has been shelved. But a high level of tension persists in the wake of the new national anthem law and the pending national security legislation, not forgetting the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. We talked to some Hongkongers to see how these issues have impacted them.

      12/06/2020