REUSE: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

Reuse is a new city program in Aarhus, Denmark, that is getting people to rethink waste through recycling, art and community engagement because they see a need to change the status quo.

Reporter: Meagan Boisse

Cameraman: Janet Sun

Editor: Casey Ticsay

Link to the video: REUSE

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Going Organic: Locally grown organic vegetables for health-conscious city shopper

Organic fruit and vegetables are supposed to be pesticide free and have higher nutritional values.  However, consuming these products is not popular in Hong Kong.  According to the report of Hong Kong Organic Research Centre, licensed organic food only makes up five per cent of all vegetables in local wet markets in 2014.  Some local farmers are now setting up shop in urban Hong Kong, making it easier for health conscious shoppers to get their hands on fresh and safe produce.

Going Organic: Issue 4_Going Organic

The full version of Issue 4: Issue 4

Drop in oil price led to Cathay Pacific’s fuel cost reduction

There was a remarkable reduction on net fuel cost of the company by 12 per cent from the previous year in the latest interim report of 2015 released.

The largest airline in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, had released its interim report of 2015.  The company had a four times increase in net profit when comparing with that of last year.

The report also stated that the company marked an increase in number of passages carried had increased by 8.8 per cent, showing a consistent increase by year.

But at the same time, the cost of fuels had reduced by year, from nearly $19 billion in the first six months of last year to around $16.6 billion in the same period this year, despite the steady increase of passenger numbers.

The fluctuation in oil price last year was the reason of the drop in fuel cost under the growth in number of customers.

The price of crude oil had dramatically dropped from over 110 USD/barrel in August last year to under 50 USD/barrel this October, showing a drastic decrease by more than 50 per cent.

And this cast an effect on the jet fuel price.  Similar price drop happened as well with a decrease of 22 per cent in the price when comparing with that of last year.

Data from United States Energy Information Administration showed that the prices of both crude oil and jet fuel is mutually affected, and have the same trend in their prices.

And in the annual report of Cathay Pacific in 2014, the company reported that their cost in fuels would be greatly affected by the price of jet fuel in the United States and there was already a sign of cost reduction in fuel at the end of last year.

Source:

Cathay Pacific Interim Report (https://www.cathaypacific.com/dam/cx/about-us/investor-relations/announcements/en/2015_interim_results_en.pdf)

Cathay Pacific Annual Report (https://www.cathaypacific.com/content/dam/cx/about-us/investor-relations/interim-annual-reports/en/2014-cx-annual-report-en.pdf)

Jet Fuel Daily Price (http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=jet-fuel&months=60)

5 Year Crude Oil Prices and Price Chart (http://www.infomine.com/investment/metal-prices/crude-oil/5-year/)

U.S. Energy Information Administration: Petroleum and Other Liquid (http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_spt_s1_m.htm)

Can compression still help give a green light to policies in a digital China?

Starting from 1949, China has been a one-party-dictatorship government.  Undeniably, this system is limiting the flow of information by media, as said by the Chinese correspondent of New York Times Didi Kristen Tatlow that the government is controlling what truth is instead of discovered by the public.  Thus to the transparency of the government, this would remain low and violate the right to know.

Geoff Cutmore, a CNBC financial journalist, told us that this Chinese system has an advantage when compared to the Western democratic way of ruling.  “In some context, if you want to do things quickly,” said Cutmore.  “China gets things done quickly.”

This year in China, there are already 84 infrastructure projects on schedule.  When comparing this to Hong Kong, there would be consultation periods and evaluations from stage to stage.  For instance, the revitalization of the Central Market in Hong Kong had experienced different stages of discussion within the society, however was called to stop because of the cost of the project.  While this would not happened in China, and as Cutmore said, would be fast, at the same time.

But he said of course with constrains, including the effects of digital landscape in the country.  “Because it’s a sophisticated community in China, that is fully digitally-engaged in China and the rest of the world,” said Cutmore.  “So you can’t pull the wool over people’s eyes any longer.”

Yet would the effects of digital landscape really halt this kind of rapid infrastructural development?  In Hunan in May this year, local government was found to have forced citizens to move to extend the reservoir. People went to street to oppose, but were immediately suppressed by the government.  Also from the digital development in China, although they have blocked certain foreign-based webpages, including Facebook, there were a lot of China-founded Internet platform as supplements, for instance, Weibo.  All these have effectively limited and controlled the voices of commoners and the flow of information.

Although there would be constrains from people opinions and the digital platform, China government can still be working “efficiently”.  Slight effects can be seen now as some were reported on news, but the control and suppression towards the mass opinions still cast influences to smoothen the government decision.

Link to video clip: https://drive.google.com/a/life.hkbu.edu.hk/file/d/0B5gQ-t5JssfjamhCZV83ZHZ3UkU/view?usp=sharing

Cases of phone deception escalated in a month

Police report said that there was an obvious increase in phone deception cases in the first half of year 2015, while the police would reinforce public education on raising awareness.

Police announced the crime situation in Hong Kong from January to June of 2015, and the cases of phone deception had increased by 16 per cent comparing with the same time period a year ago, with 1,370 cases and a total loss of 46.56 million dollars this year.

Among the cases received, there were three ways of committing this crime, including “Detained Son”, “Guess Who” and “Pretend Mainland Officials”.  The first one had 929 cases in record, which was 68 per cent of all phone deceptions.  While “Guess Who” and “Pretend Mainland Officials” were around 17 and 15 per cent.

Although “Pretend Mainland Officials” still counted for the minority among the cases, there was a trend of increase starting from July.  The number of this type of cases reported in July had surged to 729, marking a 3.5 times increase in a single month to that in the first half of year.

Over half of the fake call cases started with a call from an impersonating courier saying something illegal were found inside your package by the legal department in Mainland.  And later the courier directed the call to a “law enforcement officer” for money to settle the matter.

While other fake identities include Mainland law enforcement agents, officials of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong or other public officials.  All these account for 21, 15 and 10 per cent respectively.

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To deal with the problem, police had advised the public to raise awareness to suspicious calls from Mainland China.  At the same time, banks have to double check distrustful money transferral and remind account holders to be aware of doubtful accounts.

Data in reporting

Link to Google fusion table: https://www.google.com/fusiontables/DataSource?docid=1gnr9sspMoU2Dh5u68kc_q-0L0lGdQ3Jn6rvMGGd-

Do young people matter in the District Council election?

This would be the first election after Umbrella Movement last year.  Young people are seen as a new force to the current political situation, but to what extent can they cast an impact?

Miss Emily Lau Wai-hing, the chairperson of the Democratic Party said that young people would not distribute much in the coming District Council election as either candidates or voters, even after the 79-day Occupying Movement.

She said in a press conference on 21 September that most young people had not yet registered as voters and there would be no shortcut in running for an election, implying the influence of youngsters in the coming election would be weak.

Government data show that the sector of first-time voters, who aged 18 to 20, only dominates around three per cent of the total registered voters, whereas the majority goes to the age group of 50 to 60 with 23 per cent.

”Maybe it is very disappointing to all kinds of people, that very few, relatively, young people registered, said Miss Lau.  “But we reach out to the whole society regardless of age.”

She continued that the party would not send many young members to run the election, as it required long time and hard work to get support from the community.  And some would lose even they had worked for two to four years in the constituency.

”For anyone who think you can parachute into a constituency for a few weeks or a few months, and then think you can win the election, I’m not saying it is impossible, because never say never, but I’m saying it would be very very difficult,” said Miss Lau.  

While young candidate of the election believed that District Council election would be the first stage youngsters have to overcome after the large-scaled political movement last year.

Mr Henry Wong Pak-yu from Tin Shui Wai New Force said that the coming election is the first open platform that first-time voters can make their own decision in their community.

“Many people said that the coming election would be the first checkpoint.  I would take it as a checkpoint of how to fight for our rights as a youngster.”

Tin Shui Wai New Force is a newly organized group working in Tin Shui Wai by young people, and it started working since last November.  Members hoped that powers from young people could bring changes,choices and ideas to the community.

Although Mr Wong had worked in the society for one year but still will run in the election, he said young people can help seek for changes, no matter to run a election as district counsellor or to come out to vote for the city.

“I would believe a lot of people of the young generations would come out to vote and really would like to vote for their own society,” he said.

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Mr Henry Wong Pak-yu, who is confident with the participation of young people in the coming election

Source:
Government Voter Registration (http://www.voterregistration.gov.hk/eng/statistic.html)
Mr Henry Wong Pak-yu, TSW New Force
(recording: https://drive.google.com/a/life.hkbu.edu.hk/file/d/0B5gQ-t5JssfjYm53X2dabUc5Mlk/view?usp=docslist_api)
Miss Emily Lau Wai-hing, Democratic Party