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Xia Baolong begins HK visit

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CPC Central Committee Hong Kong & Macao Work Office Director and State Council Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office Director Xia Baolong today arrived in Hong Kong for a seven-day inspection visit.   Upon his arrival at Hong Kong International Airport this morning, Mr Xia toured the Integrated Airport Centre in the company of Chief Executive John Lee, Chief Secretary Chan Kwok-ki and Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) Chairman Jack So.   Mr Xia was updated by Secretary for Transport & Logistics Lam Sai-hung and AAHK Chief Executive Officer Fred Lam, on the developments of the aviation industry and the latest situation of Hong Kong's development as an international aviation and cargo hub. Mr Xia also inspected the operation of autonomous vehicles at the airport.   In the afternoon, he had an engagement session with Principal Officials and Permanent Secretaries of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government led by Mr Lee.   At another engagement ses

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Correctional services work reviewed

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The Correctional Services Department, in its annual review, said today that the number of new admissions to correctional facilities – including detainees, remand prisoners and convicted individuals – increased 30% to 17,268 in 2023, up from 13,246 in 2022.   At a press conference, Commissioner of Correctional Services Wong Kwok-hing said the average daily penal population at correctional facilities had increased to 8,498 persons in 2023, compared to 7,613 persons in 2022. The average daily occupancy rate rose from 67% to 75%.   Moreover, the average daily number of remand prisoners hit a new record high since 2000 of 3,096, up from 2,666 in 2022.    Mr Wong said that to ease the strain on Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre, capacity at Stanley Prison and Tung Tau Correctional Institution had been deployed to accommodate adult male remand prisoners.   He added that the department will begin the partial redevelopment of Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre in mid-2024 to increase its c

Summer internship scheme launched

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The Government today announced the launch of the Scheme on Corporate Summer Internship on the Mainland & Overseas 2024 in collaboration with 25 large corporates to provide Hong Kong young people with internship placements.   The scheme is aimed at cultivating a cohort of young talent with a good understanding of the country's development and a global perspective.   It also provides young people with exposure to the work culture in large corporates in different parts of the world and an opportunity to establish interpersonal networks, which will benefit their future career development.   The internship placements are offered in multiple Mainland provinces and cities including various Mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, while some are in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia and the UK.   They cover different industries such as financial services, innovation and technology, logisti

Inflation at 1.7% in January

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Consumer prices increased 1.7% year-on-year in January, a smaller increase than that registered in December 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Netting out the effects of the Government’s one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 0.8%, also lower than that seen in December.   The department noted that the smaller increase was mainly due to the timing of the Lunar New Year last year, which fell in January, resulting in a high comparison base, in particular food prices.    Compared with January last year, price increases were recorded in the following categories: alcoholic drinks and tobacco; clothing and footwear; meals out and takeaway food; housing; miscellaneous services; miscellaneous goods; and transport.   By contrast, year-on-year price decreases for electricity, gas and water, basic food, and durable goods were recorded.   The Government said the underlying consumer price inflation moderated visibly in January, par

Kevin Yeung launches Art March

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A launch ceremony for Art March 2024 was held at the Museum of Art today, heralding an upcoming series of mega arts and cultural events in Hong Kong.   Officiating at the ceremony, Secretary for Culture, Sports & Tourism Kevin Yeung said that international and local arts and cultural events converge in the city every year in March, delighting art lovers and visitors.   “My bureau, the Culture, Sports & Tourism Bureau, has been pulling together the hard efforts of the arts and cultural sectors to enrich the ambience of mega arts and cultural events in Hong Kong. And this year for the first time, we launch Art March as a brand to promote multiple events organised, funded, or supported by the Government.   “We hope that everyone could enjoy an unforgettable experience immersed in the artistic vibe of Hong Kong during March every year.”   Activities in Art March 2024 include art exhibitions, film events, a cultural summit and a fashion show. In addition to the retur

Yuen Long project construction starts

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Construction of the first Light Public Housing (LPH) project at Yau Pok Road in Yuen Long, officially started today.   The Yau Pok Road project will provide about 2,100 LPH units, with intake expected to begin in the first quarter of 2025. Application arrangements will be announced in the second quarter of this year.   Deputy Financial Secretary Michael Wong, Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho and Secretary for Labour & Welfare Chris Sun officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony this afternoon.   Mr Wong thanked the Legislative Council, the local community and Sun Hung Kai Properties which lent the Yau Pok Road site for free, for supporting the project, adding that their assistance as well as the hard work of the construction team and government staff, gave hope to the public, especially families living in subdivided units and waiting for public rental housing.   Before the ceremony, Mr Wong and Ms Ho visited a mock-up LPH unit, received a progress briefing by Director

TD to extend queue ticketing system

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The Transport Department will extend the trial queue ticketing system for driving licensing-related services implemented at the Kowloon Licensing Office to the Admiralty, Sha Tin and Kwun Tong offices from March 13.   For driving licensing services and driving test applications processed over the counter, applicants without a prior appointment must obtain a same-day queue ticket on-site before using the counter services.   A total of 980 same-day queue tickets will be distributed on every working day among the four licensing offices at 9am and 2pm.   There is no need for same-day queue ticket holders to stay and wait at the licensing offices.   They can check the latest queue ticket numbers being distributed and called by scanning the QR code on the ticket or via the department’s website, and return in a timely manner to join a designated queue for counter services.   Those who are unable to get a queue ticket or do not have an appointment can submit their driving l