Grand Master Enamul Hossain Razib of Bangladesh beat Kao Jamison Edrich of Hong Kong in the fourth round of the men's individual event of the 19th Asian Games Chess, which is now being held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou on Monday. The third and fourth round matches of men's and women's individual events were held on Monday. Beximco Xcel Boxing Championship 2.0 Fight Night: Pro Boxing returns in Dhaka In the day's other fourth-round matches, IM Mohammad Fahad Rahman of Bangladesh won against IM Markov Mikhail of Kyrgyzstan in the men's individual event, while WFM Noshin Anjum of Bangladesh won against Seo Jwon of South Korea in the women's individual event. After the day's fourth-round matches, GM Enamul Hossain Razib secured 2.5 points, IM Mohammad Fahad Rahman bagged two points, and WFM Noshin Anjum earned 2 points. Asiad Women's Football: Bangladesh suffer 2nd successive defeat going down to Vietnam 6-1 Earlier in the day's third-round matches, GM Enamul Hossain Razib defeated IM Sugar Gun Erdene of Mongolia; IM Mohammad Fahad Rahman lost to IM Bersamina Paulo of the Philippines in the men's individual; and WFM Noshin Anjum lost to WGM Gong Qianyun of Singapore in the women's individual event. Asian Games Football: Bangladesh play out goalless draw with much higher-ranked China The fifth, sixth, and seventh round matches will be played on Tuesday.
Bangladesh Women's Hockey team conceded 7-10 goal defeat against stronger Hong Kong in a keenly contested group match of the Women's Asian Hockey five-a-side (5s) World Cup Qualifier held in Salalah, Oman on Sunday (August 26). Also read : Asian 5s Hockey: Bangladesh Women' s team crush Iran 9-3 With the day' s defeat, Bangladesh finished 3rd in the six- team Challenger group securing nine points from all five matches and will play group's 4th ranked team Chinese Taipei in the 7th place deciding match on Monday. After the group matches, Hong Kong emerged champions in challenger group with all-win run securing full 15 points, Indonesia became group runners up with 12 points while Chinese Taipei finished 4th with six points. Also read : Jr Asia Cup Hockey: Bangladesh eliminated in group stage In the day's crucial match, the winners dominated the first half by 4-3 goal. Orpita Pal scored three, Fardia Akhter Ratri contributed two while Irin Akhter Riya and Kona Akhter one each for Bangladesh in the day's match. However, Bangladesh women' s team, which playing the international hockey after about four years, made a brilliant results in their first-ever five- a- side international hockey tournament. Also read : Bangladesh Cricket Team Departs for Asia Cup Without Liton Das Earlier in the group matches, Bangladesh beat Chinese Taipei by 10-5 goals, Iran by 9-3 goals and hosts Oman by 9-2 goals after suffering 4-7 goals defeat against Indonesia in the opening match. Bangladesh Women’s team : Sumi Akhter, Mukta Khatun, Fardia Akhter Ratri, Orpita Pal, Sanjida Akhter Moni, Kona Akhter, Riasa Akhter and Irin Akhter Riya.
Three Hong Kong activists from a now-defunct group that organized annual vigils commemorating China’s 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters were convicted on Saturday for failing to provide authorities with information on the group in accordance with a national security law. Chow Hang-tung, Tang Ngok-kwan and Tsui Hon-kwong were arrested in 2021 during a crackdown on the city’s pro-democracy movement following massive protests more than three years ago. They were leaders of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China before it disbanded under the shadow of the Beijing-imposed law. The alliance was best known for organizing candlelight vigils in Hong Kong on the anniversary of the Chinese military’s crushing of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests. Critics say its shutdown has shown freedoms that were promised when Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 are eroding. Before the group voted to disband, police had sought details about its operations and finances in connection with alleged links to democracy groups overseas in August 2021, accusing it of being a foreign agent. But the group refused to cooperate, arguing police were arbitrarily labeling pro-democracy organizations as foreign agents. It added the police did not have a right to ask for its information because it was not a foreign agent and the authorities did not provide sufficient justification. Under the security law’s implementation rules, the police chief can request a range of information from a foreign agent. Failure to comply with the request could result in six months in jail and a fine of 100,000 Hong Kong dollars ($12,740) if convicted. On Saturday, principal magistrate Peter Law ruled the defendants were obliged to answer the notice served to them, which he called “sound and legal,” and their non-compliance was unjustified. The alliance had been actively operating with various entities and people abroad, Law said, so it was necessary to explore their dealings and connections to determine their affiliation and ultimate purpose. “Such requirement for information was nothing like a broad-brush fishing exercise but rather was constrained in terms of periods of time and nature,” he said. “The police had taken an abstemious and self-restrained approach.” During previous legal proceedings, the court ordered a partial redaction of some information after prosecutors argued that a full disclosure of information would jeopardize an ongoing probe into national security cases. The undisclosed details in a redacted police report submitted to the court include the names of groups that were alleged to have links with the alliance. “Leaking of secret information, such as identities, strategies and interim investigation results of others would definitely seriously jeopardize the ongoing investigation,” Law said on Saturday. The annual vigil organized by the alliance was the only large-scale public commemoration of the June 4th crackdown on Chinese soil and was attended by massive crowds until authorities banned it in 2020, citing anti-pandemic measures. Chow, along with two other former alliance leaders, Lee Cheuk-yan and Albert Ho, were charged with inciting subversion of state power under the security law in 2021. The alliance itself was charged with subversion. The national security law criminalizes secession, subversion, and collusion with foreign forces to intervene in the city’s affairs as well as terrorism. Apart from the activists, pro-democracy publisher Jimmy Lai is also facing collusion charges under the law, which has already jailed or silenced many dissidents. In Beijing, Wang Chao, spokesperson for the National People’s Congress, China's legislature, hailed the enactment of the law in 2020 as an important milestone in the practice of the “one country, two systems” governing principle. The principle promises the former British colony the right to retain its own political, social and financial institutions for 50 years after the 1997 handover. “Hong Kong has had a major turn from chaos to stability,” he said.
The ex-husband and former in-laws of a slain Hong Kong model and influencer appeared in court Monday on a joint murder charge after police found her body parts in a refrigerator. The ex-husband Alex Kwong, his father Kwong Kau and his brother Anthony Kwong were charged with murdering model Abby Choi. His mother Jenny Li faces one count of perverting the course of justice. The four were placed in custody without bail. Choi, 28, was a model and influencer who shared her glamorous life of photo shoots and fashion shows with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram. Dressed in a tulle floor-length gown, she had just attended a Dior show at Paris Fashion Week. Her last post was more than a week ago, featuring a photoshoot she had done with L’Officiel Monaco, a fashion publication. Also Read: Beijing official in Hong Kong warns US envoy after speech Choi had financial disputes involving tens of millions of Hong Kong dollars with her ex-husband and his family, police said earlier, adding that “some people” were unhappy with how Choi handled her financial assets. Her friend, Bernard Cheng, said she has four children: two sons ages 10 and 3 and two daughters ages 8 and 6. The elder two were with Kwong, 28, and the younger children were with her current husband, Chris Tam. Tam said he was very thankful to have had Choi in his life and praised her for being supportive, friend Pao Jo-yee relayed in a Facebook post. “When Abby was alive, she’s a very kind person and always wanted to help people,” he was quoted in the post. “I feel anyone who could be her family and friends are blessed.” Pao, who is married to Cheng, told The Associated Press that she has known Choi for over seven years and Choi treated people around her well. “She is that type of person that wouldn’t have enemies,” she said. Cheng said Choi had very good relationships with her family members and would travel with the families of her current and former husbands together. Choi had been missing for several days when police found her dismembered body and documents Friday, including her legs in a refrigerator, in the house in Lung Mei Tsuen, a suburban part of Hong Kong about a 30-minute drive from the border with mainland China. The gruesome killing of Choi has gripped many in Hong Kong as the southern Chinese city is widely considered safe with a very low level of violent crime. Across the border in mainland China, online discussion over her case went viral on social media. On Sunday, authorities discovered a young woman’s skull believed to be Choi’s in one of the cooking pots that was seized. Officials believe that a hole on the right rear of the skull is where the fatal attack struck her. The hearing of the murder case was adjourned to May.
Hong Kong will give away air tickets and vouchers to woo tourists back to the international financial hub, racing to catch up with other popular travel destinations in a fierce regional competition. During the pandemic, the city largely aligned itself with mainland China’s “zero-COVID” strategy and has relaxed its entry rules months slower than rivals such as Singapore, Japan and Taiwan. Even after it reopened its border with mainland China in January, tourism recovery was sluggish. On Thursday, Chief Executive John Lee launched a tourism campaign “Hello Hong Kong,” saying the city will offer 500,000 free air tickets to welcome tourists from around the world in what he called “probably the world's biggest welcome ever”. “Hong Kong is now seamlessly connected to the mainland of China and the whole international world and there will be no isolation, no quarantine," he said at a ceremony. “This is the perfect timing for tourists, business travelers, and investors from near and far to come and say, ‘Hello, Hong Kong.’” Under the campaign, most of the plane tickets — worth 2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($255 million) — will come from three Hong Kong-based airlines through various promotional activities, including lucky draws, “buy one, get one free” promotions and games. The project will begin in March and last about six months, said Fred Lam, CEO of the Airport Authority. “We hope those who secure the air tickets can bring two or three more relatives and friends to the city. Although we are just giving away 500,000 air tickets, we believe this can help bring Hong Kong over 1.5 million visitors,” Lam said. The airlines will distribute the tickets in phases, with the Southeast Asian markets set to benefit in the first stage, he said. An additional 80,000 air tickets will be given away to Hong Kong residents in the summer, Lam said. Those living in the Greater Bay Area will also benefit from the policy that offers over 700,000 tickets in total. The Greater Bay Area is a Chinese government initiative to link Hong Kong with neighboring mainland cities, including the technology and finance hub of Shenzhen and the manufacturing powerhouses of Dongguan and Foshan. Visitors can also enjoy special offers and vouchers among other incentives in the city, Lee said. Hong Kong received 56 million visitors in 2019 — over seven times its population — before the pandemic began. But its strict COVID-19 restrictions have been keeping visitors away over the past three years, devastating the tourism sector and its economy. The city’s GDP last year fell 3.5 % from 2021, according to the government’s provisional data. In the past few months, it finally dropped its mandatory hotel quarantine rule and PCR tests for incoming travelers, resulting in a slight increase in arrival figures. Still, its 2022 visitor numbers were just 1% of the 2019 level. ___ This story has been corrected to reflect that the program was launched on Thursday, not Wednesday.
Hong Kong will ban CBD starting Wednesday, categorizing it as a “dangerous drug" and mandating harsh penalties for its smuggling, production and possession, customs authorities announced Friday. Supporters say CBD can treat a range of ailments including anxiety and that, unlike its more famous cousin THC — which is already illegal in Hong Kong — CBD doesn’t get users high. Cannabidiol, derived from the cannabis plant, was previously legal in Hong Kong, where bars and shops sold products containing it. But Hong Kong authorities decided last year to prohibit the marijuana-derived substance — a change that will soon go into effect. Residents were given three months from Oct. 27 to dispose of their CBD products in special boxes set up around the city. “Starting from February 1, cannabidiol, aka CBD, will be regarded as a dangerous drug and will be supervised and managed by the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance," customs intelligence officer Au-Yeung Ka-lun said at a news briefing. “As of then, transporting CBD for sale, including import and export, as well as producing, possessing and consuming CBD, will be illegal,” Au-Yeung said. Penalties include up to life in prison and Hong Kong $5 million ($638,000) in fines for importing, exporting or producing CBD. Possession of the substance can result in a sentence of up to seven years and Hong Kong $1 million ($128,000) in fines. Read more: Thousands protest as bid to block Hong Kong mask ban fails In announcing the ban last year, the Hong Kong government cited the difficulty of isolating pure CBD from cannabis, the possibility of contamination with THC during the production process and the relative ease by which CBD can be converted to THC. “We will tackle all kinds of dangerous drugs from all angles and all ends, and the intelligence-led enforcement action is our major goal,” Chan Kai-ho, a divisional commander with the department's Airport Command, told reporters Friday. Despite the harsh penalties mandated, Chan said authorities would handle enforcement on a case-by-case basis and “seek legal advice from our Department of Justice to determine what the further actions will be.” Hong Kong maintains several categories of “dangerous drugs," which include “hard drugs" such as heroin and cocaine, as well as marijuana. Hong Kong's first CBD cafe opened in 2020 and the ban will force scores of businesses to remove CBD-infused gummies, drinks and other products, or shut down altogether. The ban is in keeping with a zero-tolerance policy toward drugs in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous southern Chinese business hub, as well as on mainland China, where CBD was banned in 2022. Chinese authorities have waged battles against heroin and methamphetamines, particularly in the southwest bordering on the drug-producing Golden Triangle region spanning parts of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. Criminal penalties for both sale and usage are also enforced for marijuana. In one of the most high-profile cases, Jaycee Chan, the son of Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan, served a six month sentence in 2014-2015 for allowing people to consume marijuana in his Beijing apartment amid a crackdown on illegal narcotics in the Chinese capital. Read more: Hong Kong hears first case on mask ban violation At the same time, China has been a main source of the precursor chemicals used to manufacture the dangerous drug fentanyl, a trade often facilitated through social media. A wealthy Asian financial center with a thriving commercial port and major international airport, Hong Kong is a key point of entry to China as well as a market for some drugs, especially cocaine. Police have recently seized hundreds of kilograms (pounds) of the drug worth tens of millions of dollars, some of it hidden in a shipment of chicken feet from Brazil. Most Asian nations maintain strict drug laws and enforce harsh penalties for violators, including the death penalty, with the exception of Thailand, which made it legal to cultivate and possess marijuana last year. Debate over CBD policy continues in many countries and regions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday there's not enough evidence about CBD to confirm that it’s safe for consumption in foods or as a dietary supplement. It called on Congress to create new rules for the massive and growing market. Marijuana-derived products have become increasingly popular in lotions, tinctures and foods, while their legal status has been murky in the U.S., where several states have legalized or decriminalized substances that remain illegal federally.
Hong Kong will scrap its mandatory isolation rule for people infected with COVID-19 from Jan. 30 as part of its strategy to return the southern Chinese city to normalcy, the city's leader said on Thursday. For most of the pandemic over the last three years, Hong Kong has aligned itself with China’s “zero-COVID” strategy, requiring those who tested positive to undergo quarantine. Many residents once had to be sent to hospitals or government-run quarantine facilities even when their symptoms were mild. Currently, infected persons are allowed to isolate at home for a minimum of five days and can go out once they test negative for two consecutive days. After the rule is dropped, the mask mandate will be the only major COVID-19 restriction left in the city. Read more: China halts visas for Japan, South Korea in COVID-19 spat Chief Executive John Lee told lawmakers he made the decision based partly on the city's high vaccination and infection rates, saying the local community has a strong "immunity barrier.” “As most infected persons only suffer mild symptoms, the government should shift from a clear-cut, mandatory approach to one that allows residents to make their own decisions and take their own responsibilities when we manage the pandemic,” he said. He said it is a step all countries make on their paths to normalcy and that Hong Kong has reached this stage now, adding that the city's pandemic situation had not worsened after it started to reopen its border with mainland China about two weeks ago. COVID-19 will be handled as another kind of upper respiratory disease, he said. Edwin Tsui, the controller of the Centre for Health Protection, told a news conference that people with asymptomatic infections can go out freely or return to their workplace but infected students should not go to school until they obtain a negative test result. Those who suffer from COVID-19 symptoms should avoid leaving home, he said. Residents will no longer need to report to the government when they test positive, he added. Read more: China suspends social media accounts of over 1,000 critics of govt’s Covid-19 policies Hong Kong's daily tally has fallen to 3,800 cases from 19,700 over the past two weeks. With many infected residents only having mild symptoms, most choose to isolate at home. The figures don’t include those who never report their cases but stay at home to avoid spreading the virus to others. The city has one government-run facility in operation for those unsuitable for home quarantine, according to a government reply to a lawmaker's inquiries on Wednesday. But it did not elaborate on the facility's occupancy rate. The Associated Press has asked the government about such data. Hong Kong, which once had some of the world's strictest COVID-19 rules, has been easing various restrictions to revive its economy, including removing an isolation rule for close contacts of those who tested positive for COVID-19 and vaccination requirements to enter certain venues.
On Friday, the ongoing 10th edition of Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF) featured a handful of exciting and interesting events for the little ones, including a storytelling session by Hong Kong-based Bangladeshi writer-scholar Maria Chaudhuri of her brand new book for children titled ‘Nobo Opens a Door’. At the Nazrul Stage in the afternoon, Maria Chaudhuri read from the book surrounded by child listeners and introduced them to the character Nobo, an adventurous child who averts disaster at her school’s Pahela Baishakh festival with an imaginative twist on traditional sarees, followed by reimagining themselves by creating their own capes, just as Nobo does. Published in Bangladesh by Ignite Publications featuring Illustrations by Istela Imam, the book was launched on Friday introducing the title character, which is conceptualized by Nobo Dhaka -- a socially aware business enterprise set up to support the preservation of the cultural heritage and traditions of Bangladesh. Explaining the idea of the character and the book, Maria Chaudhuri told UNB that the reason she was particularly interested in writing Nobo is that this collaboration connects with a great passion. “The Dhaka society is constantly changing, and the values and experiences that our children are growing up with are completely different from our times. What we want to do with this book, as well as the entire series, is to create a space for the younger generation to talk about things in a way that reflects the different sets of values that they struggle with, in their reality right now.” “Although the society that we grew up in is constantly changing, that’s not to say people can’t follow tradition in a new way that works for them. That’s exactly what the character, Nobo, does in this book and series. She explores a twist within a traditional idea so that she can still be a part of the Bangla new year celebrations without feeling left alone. We have to recognise that the current generation struggles with traditional values to incorporate into their lifestyle, and they also have different sets of values due to living in a constantly changing world, especially after the pandemic.” “So this book based on the ‘social superhero’ character Nobo can remind the generations -- both children and their parents -- that culture is an ever-evolving phenomenon that we need to accept and get ourselves accustomed to, and we should celebrate our culture. My hope is that when a child reads this book, they will not only appreciate the culture visually but may absorb it more spiritually too,” Maria told UNB. Read more: Curtain rises on 10th Dhaka Lit Fest About the book, author and one of DLF's three directors, Kazi Anis Ahmed, wrote: "This is a wonderful and inventive tale about how tradition survives by being made new, again and again. And the courage it takes to do so. The young protagonist will be an inspiration to her peer-age readers. Chaudhuri's lilting, literary prose hits just the right tone. Nobo is a terrific new addition to our children's literature.”
Hong Kong’s leader said Saturday that China has agreed to a reopening of the city’s border with the mainland, which has been largely closed by pandemic restrictions, and that he is aiming for a mid-January start. Chief Executive John Lee, returning from a trip to Beijing where he met President Xi Jinping and other officials, told reporters at the Hong Kong airport that the two sides would develop a plan to reopen the border in a gradual and orderly manner. The announcement came as China is easing a “zero-COVID” policy that has restricted entry to the country, isolated infected people and locked down areas with outbreaks. Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous Chinese territory that borders Guangdong province in southeast China. People must pass through immigration to cross between the two, and most land and sea entry points have been closed and controls tightened because of the pandemic. Read more: Thousands flee Hong Kong for UK, fearing China crackdown Lee has made a full reopening of the border a priority to boost the city’s flagging economy. The issue was one of several on his agenda for this week’s trip to Beijing to deliver an annual report to the central government, his first such report since taking office on July 1. He offered no details on how the border might be reopened, and whether it would include an elimination of the five days of hotel quarantine required for people entering mainland China.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, who survived massive protests against her government in 2019 and oversaw the implementation of a tough national security law that quashed dissent, said Monday she will not seek a second term. Her successor will be picked in May. “I will complete my five year term as chief executive on the 30th of June this year, and I will also call an end to my 42 years of public service,” Lam said at a news conference. Read: Sri Lanka's sports minister quits, Cabinet offers to resign Speculation had swirled for months about whether she would seek another term, but she said that her decision had been conveyed to the central government in Beijing last year and was met with “respect and understanding.” Massive protests against the territory’s government rocked Hong Kong in 2019 including calls for Lam to step down. Beijing responded in 2020 with a tough national security law that has stifled dissent in the semiautonomous Chinese city. Hong Kong media say that her No. 2 John Lee is likely to enter the race to succeed her. Chief Secretary Lee was the city’s head of security during the protests. Hong Kong’s leader is elected by a committee made up of lawmakers, representatives of various industries and professions, and pro-Beijing representatives such as Hong Kong deputies to the China’s legislature. One of the unfulfilled demands of the 2019 protests was direct election of the city’s chief executive. Read: India's largest pvt home finance firm announces historic merger The city was initially slated to hold the chief executive election on March 27 but the poll were postponed for six weeks until May 8 in light of the city’s worst coronavirus outbreak. Lam said that holding the polls as originally scheduled would pose “public health risks” even if a committee of only 1,462 people is involved.