🌊 Stand News Sit Down on Bail
Catholicism with Chinese Characteristics
In case anyone desperately needs the news tomorrow morning, we’re having a special New Year’s feature which may or may not include actual news (depending on how …writable my liver is after NYE).
Regardless - wow. We made it another year. That’s mental.
On Today’s Tide:
Politics | Updates: Stand News (featuring famed singer Denise Ho) + Article 23 (standing up - featuring famed … famous …. Carrie Lam)
Traffic Arrangements for NYE/NY
Paid Readers also get
Religion | Local bishops get briefed on siniziation of Christianity
Housing | Minimum flat sizes to be enforced
Updates: Stand News Sitting Down
Ex-Stand News board members on bail
Cantopop Singer and Activist Denise Ho, Barrister Margaret Ng, and former Hong Kong Council of Social Service Chief Executive Christine Fang were all released on bail yesterday following their arrests on Wednesday in conjunction with the shuttering of Stand News.
Two persons - Acting editor-in-chief Lam Shiu-tung and former chief editor Chung Pui-kuen, 52 - and a company Best Pencil (Hong Kong) Limited (the parent company of Stand News) were charged with conspiracy to publish seditious material. Lam and Chung have not been granted bail.
Stand News closed entirely on Wednesday with all online material being deleted the same day.
Journalistic Freedom under attack?
CE Carrie Lam said in a press meeting that this has nothing to do with journalistic freedom, despite criticisms from the FCC and the US. “Well I agree with that - journalism is not sedition” said Lam “But seditious acts and activities and inciting other people through public acts and activities could not be condoned under the guise of news reporting”
Ronny Tong meanwhile took a more centrist approach - as is his vibe - saying that he agrees the closing of Stand News means the government is trying to silence critics but that regardless, Stand News had gone too far by allowing known fugitives of the NSL to write on their publication:
“What's happened here has very little to do with news reporting, but rather, the organisers of Stand News are accused of providing a platform to allow fugitives to publish articles, which promote hatred, animosity and even violence in relation to the system in Hong Kong”
In the same press meeting, the Chief Executive was also asked about the enacting of Article 23. Public consultations will start imminently in the next six months, but Lam said it is unlikely it will be enacted before the end of her term. She stated that it is Hong Kong’s constitutional duty to enact Art 23, regardless of if the similar NSL is already in effect.
Coronavirus in Hong Kong
New cases: 12 (11 omicron)
Total Active: 227
Local cases starting up
At least two recent omicron cases are thought to have been spread by a Cathay Pacific aircrew member who was exempt from quarantine. He had Christmas lunch with his family in Kowloon Tong and was subsequently found to have Omicron. A 76 year old relative who was with him has also been found to be positive, as has a fellow unrelated diner who lives in Tuen Mun.
Officials fear that a 5th wave might spark considering the high infectivity of omicron.
If you’re worried about whether you’ve been somewhere they have - check the mandatory testing notice.
NYE Traffic Arrangements
No overnight travel unlike previous years. Probably COVID related, but hasn’t been officially stated. Anyway, to make sure everyone can still get home after the countdown, public transport will still be extended.
MTR & Light Rail service frequency enhanced in the afternoon, closing time extended for an hour.
Bus and GMB routes adjusted/extended (check the routes you normally take!)
Tram service extended till 2:30am
Ferries between Central - TST extended to 1am. Central to Peng Chau ferries added 1am (Peng Chau → Central) and 1:45 (Central → Peng Chau)
Stay safe whatever your plans are!
Events / Exhibitions etc
We want to make sure that what we advertise is interesting for our readers, so if you go to an event that you saw here, let us know by taking a selfie and tagging us on Twitter or Instagram ( both @harbourtimes ).
We’ll throw in a free month of Paid High Tide for yourself or a friend!
Hong Kong WinterFest 2021
You can catch the end of the year at WinterFest in the West Kowloon Cultural District’s Art Park. It’s free for all visitors, and I hear there’s a giant Christmas tree you can get all your pics for the gram in front of.
When: 31 December, 11 AM - 6 PM (last admission at 5:30)
Where: Harbourside Lawn West, Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District
Affordable Art Gallery
Alisan Fine Arts-Aberdeen has organised an exhibition of ‘affordable art‘ for the month of December. The works of 12 artists including Cai Wen-You, Chinyee, Barbara Edelstein, and more are on display Room 2305, Hing Wai Centre 7 Tin Wan Praya Road, Aberdeen.
The exhibition will end on 31 Dec 2021. For more information visit the event website!
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That’s all we have for you today on Free Tide!
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