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RTHK's English-language current affairs programme that takes "The Pulse" of Hong Kong ... and the world around it.

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    監製:Diana Wan


    RTHK's English-language current affairs programme that takes "The Pulse" of Hong Kong ... and the world around it.

    "The Pulse" is presented by locally and internationally known journalist and writer Steve Vines.

    Its focus? The latest events and trends that affect Hong Kong - from the corridors of power and business boardrooms, to the streets and dai pai dongs.

    "The Pulse" is politics. What's happening in the Legislative Council and on the streets right now.

    "The Pulse" is the media, informing us how well or badly our press and broadcast organisations diagnose and reflect the society around us.

    "The Pulse" is insightful, in-depth reports and interviews on current issues - examining those issues in depth, looking behind and beyond the news.

    Its focus is on the timely. The Now.

    Keep your eye ... and your finger ... on "The Pulse".

    If you want to discuss anything you've seen in "The Pulse", or anything in the public eye right now, or just to talk about the show, why not join in the debate on our Facebook page, RTHK's The Pulse. 

    The programme is aired every Saturday on RTHK 31 at 18:00. 

    We're on Facebook
    RTHK's The Pulse https://www.facebook.com/RTHK.Pulse/
    Instagram @rthkthepulse
    Twitter @thepulse_rthk https://twitter.com/thepulse_rthk 

    Archive available later after broadcast. ** Please note that the programme air-time on TV is different with webcast time.

    最新

    LATEST
    29/02/2020

    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.

    重溫

    CATCHUP
    12 - 02
    2019 - 2020
    RTHK 31
    • 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
    • Interview with Thomas Tsang former Controller for the Centre for Health Protection on Wuhan virus & Chinese New Year celebration in the midst of the on-going protests

      Interview with Thomas Tsang former Controller for the Centre for Health Protection on Wuhan virus & Chinese New Year celebration in the midst of the on-going protests

      Kung Hei Fat Choy. Hello and welcome to The Pulse. It’s time to welcome the Year of the Rat, but, lamentably, thanks to the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus it’s not a time for everyone to celebrate. Whether the Hong Kong government likes it or not, more people are walking the streets wearing masks. The spread of the virus is accelerating and human to human transition has now been confirmed. On Monday, shortly after President Xi Jinping demanded “resolute efforts to curb the spread of the virus”, many more cases were reported on the mainland. The official death toll almost doubled in one day. As of Friday morning, the official death toll for the virus stands at 25 people. Some 830 cases have been confirmed. Travel bans have been imposed on eight cities in Hubei province including Wuhan. Our producer Yvonne Tong’s been talking to Thomas Tsang, former Controller for the Centre for Health Protection, who’s known for his work combatting bird and swine flu and indeed SARS which is very similar to this new virus.

      The Lunar New Year is a major holiday in many parts of Asia, and certainly the most important celebration in the traditional Chinese calendar. Here in Hong Kong, after eight months of protests, the government has decided to cancel many regular celebrations including the fireworks over Victoria Harbour and the New Year Parade. Inevitably the protests have also changed many things for individuals and families. For some, that includes how they’ll be celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Rat.

      25/01/2020
    • Interview with historian Niall Ferguson on China-US relationships

      Interview with historian Niall Ferguson on China-US relationships

      For the past two years, China and the United States have locked horns in a trade war that has inevitably buffeted the world’s economy. On Wednesday, we saw a brief respite in the tension as a phase one deal was signed. Although the deal has limited scope, in signing it the PRC pledges to buy US$200 billion worth of goods and services from the United States and has committed not to manipulate its currency.

      Niall Ferguson teaches history and business at Harvard, Stanford and Oxford universities. His theories have made him a sometimes-controversial commentator. A prolific writer, he has focused on history, wars, the economy, and more. His bestsellers include “The Ascent of Money” and “Civilisation: The West and the Rest”. Both were turned into award-wining television shows. Last week, I sat down with him to talk about China-U.S. relations.

      18/01/2020
    • Wuhan pneumonia & discussion with doctor Owen Tsang of HA's Infectious Disease Centre & new district councillors in Tuen Mun

      Wuhan pneumonia & discussion with doctor Owen Tsang of HA's Infectious Disease Centre & new district councillors in Tuen Mun

      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*

      11/01/2020
    • New Year's Day march & looking ahead into 2020 with Icarus Wong of Civil Rights Observer, DAB's Nixie Lam & Natalie Lai, the newly formed union, Standby Educators HK

      New Year's Day march & looking ahead into 2020 with Icarus Wong of Civil Rights Observer, DAB's Nixie Lam & Natalie Lai, the newly formed union, Standby Educators HK

      For Hongkongers, 2019 was a year of stress and conflict, and the year ended much in the way we have come to expect. An early warning came with the cancelation of the New Year firework display. And then those who ventured out to the streets in search of celebrations, found themselves sharing the thoroughfares and shopping malls with protesters and riot police. So, 2019 ended with protests in many districts. And just minutes into 2020, riot police greeted the New Year with tear gas and rubber bullets on Nathan Road. Later in the day the Civil Human Rights Front was ordered to end its annual New Year’s Day march, just three hours after it started. Although it had received a letter of no objection from the police, the organisers were told to disperse a very large number of demonstrators within 45 minutes.

      So what can we expect in the coming twelve months? With me to gaze into RTHK-supplied crystal balls are Icarus Wong, founder of Civil Rights Observer; Nixie Lam, a member of DAB; and Natalie Lai, committee member of the newly formed union, Standby Educators Hong Kong.

      04/01/2020
    • Education Bureau taking a harsh stance on teachers & Hongkongers 2019

      Education Bureau taking a harsh stance on teachers & Hongkongers 2019

      Hong Kong has been gripped by protests for over half the year, and with just a few days left before the new year dawns, it’s hard to find any sign that anything is going to change any time soon. Young people and students remain at the forefront of this wave of activism. Early this month Chief Executive Carrie Lam expressed concern about students and teachers taking part in the protests. Around 2,400 students from 300 secondary schools have been arrested. That represents roughly 40% of the total. Teachers also figure prominently among the arrested and the Education Bureau is taking a tough stance. With me is Ip Kin-yuen, the legislator representing the education constituency and Vice-president of Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union. We did invite pro-China lawmakers to join our discussion but they declined.

      As 2019 comes to close the police have arrested over 6,100 people and remanded over 1,600 in connection with the ongoing protests. Just 17% or so of those arrested have been charged. According to official figures, as of the end of September, Hong Kong’s prisons contained 5,739 inmates. So, given the size of the prison population and the potential for it to swelled as a result of this large number of arrests there’s a very real possibility of a severe strain on Hong Kong's correctional services. More than six months of protests in Hong Kong has had consequences that stretch far beyond the demonstrations themselves. For example, there’s been an upsurge in all kinds of civil society activities, changes in spending behaviour, altered relationships within families and between friends, increasing distrust of law enforcement, and greater pressures on both the judiciary and the notion of “One Country, Two Systems”.

      28/12/2019
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