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Past mopping flooring and renovations: Hong Kong aged and younger volunteers join by Habitat for Humanity’s dwelling companies – NEWPAPER24



Past mopping flooring and renovations: Hong Kong aged and younger volunteers join by Habitat for Humanity’s dwelling companies

2018-12-08 04:04:13

Ng Sau-fung, 72, opens the door to her one-room flat and offers a welcoming smile.

“I don’t even permit my buddies to go to my dwelling, so that you’re honoured,” she tells the three younger folks ready within the dim hall.

She is aware of they’re volunteers who’ve come on a Saturday morning to wash her dwelling. Clearly delighted that they’re right here, she says with a cheeky glint in her eye: “Simply keep in mind I used to be knowledgeable cleaner most of my life, so my requirements are reasonably excessive.”

Ng’s flat at Kai Yip Property in Kowloon Bay is considered one of 40 households being visited by groups from the NGO Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong.

Kai Yip, a public housing property, includes a sprawl of six buildings – concrete slabs containing 4,300 properties – that went into service in 1981, however appear to be they date again to the 1960s.

The guests are two visible arts college students from the Training College of Hong Kong and a consultant from the charity. Their journey to the previous property goes past mopping flooring and cleansing home windows – they offer residents an opportunity to attach with a youthful era.

Volunteers deliver a lot wanted Christmas cheer to Hong Kong’s most susceptible

Ng lets the scholars into her flat, and so they go previous a bunk mattress crowded with garments, luggage and containers.

All the obtainable mild streams by the home windows of the bathe and kitchen space of the flat. There are holes within the concrete ceiling, and the pale yellow paint on the partitions is peeling.

But in some way, the roughly 200 sq ft area has a comforting, homely really feel.

The scholars get away the mops, buckets and cleansing merchandise. They’ll spend three hours with Ng, scrubbing flooring and surfaces, and retaining her firm.

Requested about her life, Ng says she needed to cease work in 1996 after a again damage that most probably got here from years of cleansing metropolis workplaces.

Her husband suffered a serious stroke in 2011, and was confined to a care dwelling till he died in 2015.

“He by no means got here dwelling. I used to be alone,” Ng says. She had no youngsters or kin and needed to fend for herself.

Calvyn Yeung King-wang, Habitat for Humanity’s communications officer, says Ng is the type of individual the charity hopes to assist.

It sends groups of 25 or extra volunteers on visits like this on about 30 weekends per 12 months, targeted on serving to senior residents and low-income households in authorities housing.

Generally, like at Ng’s flat, the volunteers merely assist to wash properties. On different days, with skilled assist, they renovate dilapidated flats, fixing crumbling concrete and plaster work, and repainting partitions and ceilings.

70laptop of Hongkongers say they intend to do volunteering work, however fewer took motion

In keeping with census knowledge, 44.Eight per cent of Hong Kong’s inhabitants reside in public housing. The Transport and Housing Bureau says that final 12 months, 145,500 public housing flats had been “aged households”, which suggests all of the occupants had been aged 60 years or older.

Ng will get by on the federal government’s Complete Social Safety Help scheme, which offers her with HK$3,500 monthly – her whole earnings. Not that the sum fazes her.

“After I go to yum cha with buddies, we spend about HK$24 every,” she says.

To maintain cool in the summertime she depends on a fan, by no means turning on her air-con. And he or she doesn’t personal a TV set. She retains her electrical energy invoice at round HK$50 monthly.

Habitat for Humanity operates in 70 international locations globally. A lot of the NGO’s effort goes into “builds”: the development of properties for the needy. In land-starved Hong Kong, nevertheless, the charity is proscribed to offering visits and free renovation companies.

Jo Hayes, CEO of Habitat for Humanity’s Hong Kong operation, says: “Habitat was based on the precept that everybody deserves an honest place to reside.”

Habitat was based on the precept that everybody deserves an honest place to reside

Jo Hayes, CEO, Habitat for Humanity

She attracts consideration to Hong Kong Chief Govt Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s coverage deal with in October and famous that housing was named a high precedence, including: “That is the place we hope to make the largest impression in Hong Kong.”

Ng says her husband was a tailor in Tsim Sha Tsui, however within the 1990s, work started drying up. The 2 had been then residing in a 60 sq ft “cage dwelling” in Hung Hom.

She says: “The entire flat was simply barely larger than the mattress!” That they had somewhat fridge, however there was no area for a desk or furnishings. They ate dinner sitting on the mattress.

In 1996, as their whole month-to-month earnings slid beneath HK$8,000 (US$1,022), the couple grew to become eligible for presidency housing and moved into Kai Yip Property.

It was a serious step up of their high quality of life. “We then had a desk to eat from, and cabinets for our issues,” Ng says, gesturing to her furnishings. “We had been very completely satisfied.”

Habitat for Humanity initiatives in Hong Kong constructing a greater future

Volunteers Katherine Ho Yee-ting and Rose Tsui Shiu-man are of their second 12 months learning visible arts at Training College. They’re common volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. In addition to visiting households citywide, this 12 months they took half in a 12-week home-building challenge in Macedonia, the place they discovered development abilities comparable to bricklaying, bending rebar and mixing cement.

After the go to to Ng’s dwelling, Tsui, 19, says she thinks their presence was appreciated, and that she has loads to be taught from the retiree. “You would see she loved our go to, and chatting about each day life. She advised us all kinds of suggestions for saving water and electrical energy.”

Volunteering, each college students agree, offers them a sense of function they can’t obtain from different pastimes.

Volunteer crew has helped 4,000 needy Hong Kong households repair up their properties

“A heat dwelling is de facto necessary for people who find themselves not working,” Ho, 20, says. “Volunteering this fashion feels significant. And I discovered so much about having a optimistic angle in the direction of life from Ms Ng.”

As for Ng, she insists she is doing simply fantastic residing on her personal.

Her dangerous again is a lot better since she discovered to swim on the public swimming pools in Kwun Tong and Kowloon Park. “It’s a miracle,” she says, explaining that she selected to not have surgical procedure.

It was a physiotherapist who prompt she begin swimming.

“I swam for an hour a day for 2 years,” she says. “After that, I may stroll with out issues.”

She will get as much as exhibit the tai chi actions she has been studying, and her younger guests clap.

“Oh, it’s nothing but, I’m only a scholar too,” she says. “But when I determine to do one thing, I wish to be the very best.”


Balkan 2030 World Cup bid is sensible, says Bulgarian sports activities minister – NEWPAPER24




Balkan 2030 World Cup bid is sensible, says Bulgarian sports activities minister

2018-12-12 16:12:30

SOFIA: A bid by Balkan nations to host the 2030 soccer World Cup would have a sensible probability as a result of the governments of Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Romania would supply assist for the joint candidature, Bulgaria’s Sports activities Minister Krasen Kralev mentioned on Wednesday.

No Balkan nation has hosted the World Cup and final month’s announcement raised eyebrows given the poor sports activities infrastructure within the area however former long-distance runner Kralev mentioned it was an achievable goal.

“Оur bid is totally sensible, we’re conscious that we’ve got to satisfy quite a lot of FIFA standards,” the 51-year-old Kralev informed Newpaper24. “Allow us to remind you that Russia additionally started constructing the mandatory sports activities infrastructure after being named host of the 2018 World Cup.”

The Balkan quartet may even bid to host the European championship in 2028, hoping that will give them an opportunity to enhance or construct new stadiums.

Kralev mentioned that Greece had already introduced it might modernise its Olympic stadium whereas Serbia deliberate to construct a brand new 60,000-capacity stadium.

He mentioned Bulgaria was contemplating investing some 30-40 million levs (32.three million kilos) to renovate the Vasil Levski Stadium and assemble a brand new nationwide stadium within the capital Sofia and two extra grounds in different cities.

“The joint bid is a vital political signal,” Kralev mentioned. “It reveals that the Balkan nations will work collectively not solely within the discipline of sport however will collectively get up for his or her frequent political and financial pursuits.

“That is what FIFA is in search of – a political and financial stability. That is a very powerful factor after the infrastructure.”

World governing physique FIFA isn’t anticipated to determine the 2030 hosts earlier than 2022, when the World Cup goes to Qatar.

A South American bid involving Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay has already been introduced. Morocco, which has made 5 unsuccessful bids to host the match together with 2026, has additionally mentioned it might strive once more for 2030 and may very well be joined by Algeria and Tunisia.

The English Soccer Affiliation has introduced plans to conduct a feasibility research right into a joint bid with Northern Eire, Scotland and Wales. The Irish FA mentioned it might be a part of them in exploring the potential bid.


The 2026 World Cup might be hosted collectively by the USA, Mexico and Canada and Kralev mentioned that the Balkan neighbours already had an instance to observe.

“Investments within the development of roads, airports and sports activities infrastructure result in enormous earnings for every nation,” he mentioned.

“Calculation confirmed that the forecast revenues for the 2026 match have been US$14 billion whereas spending was anticipated to be round US$three billion.

“And since last necessities for the 2030 World Cup might be ready by FIFA no sooner than 2020, we determined to have a look at the working plan of Canada, USA and Mexico.”

Native media and pundits, together with former European Footballer of the 12 months Hristo Stoichkov, have poured scorn on the bid, saying the Balkan states didn’t have the monetary muscle to compete with richer nations.

The 4 nations would focus on the bid in Belgrade on Dec. 21-22, Kralev mentioned, including that Bulgaria would possibly think about bidding to host one other main soccer championship if the 2030 candidature failed.

“If we construct the infrastructure wanted to host the 2030 World Cup, we are able to apply for every subsequent championship,” he mentioned. “The constructed infrastructure can be utilized sooner or later.”

Bulgaria, residence to seven million individuals, can be getting ready a bid to host the Winter Youth Olympics in 2024 after receiving encouragement from Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

“The Bulgarian candidacy enjoys severe top-level assist on the IOC. Personally, Thomas Bach inspired us to use for the Youth Olympics when he got here to Bulgaria and noticed how we organised on the identical time three world championships in Olympic sports activities,” Kralev mentioned.

Throughout Bach’s September go to, Bulgaria hosted world championships in rowing, rhythmic gymnastics and volleyball.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; modifying by Clare Fallon)

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Pakistan denounces ‘politically motivated’ blacklisting by US for violating spiritual freedoms – NEWPAPER24




Pakistan denounces ‘politically motivated’ blacklisting by US for violating spiritual freedoms

2018-12-12 15:13:00

Pakistan on Wednesday denounced the US for putting it on a listing of nations violating spiritual freedoms, calling the designation politically motivated.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday added primarily Muslim Pakistan to the US record of “international locations of explicit concern”, which have violated spiritual freedoms or tolerated abuses towards spiritual teams.

The transfer is prone to put additional pressure on relations between Islamabad and Washington, who’ve repeatedly clashed over the best way to take care of Islamist militants waging warfare in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s addition to the record comes regardless of efforts to finish what lately has been its most controversial case involving a member of a minority faith.

The Supreme Court docket in October acquitted a Christian lady held on dying row for greater than eight years on a cost of blasphemy that she denied. The acquittal sparked days of violent protests by hardline Muslims.

Pakistan’s international ministry mentioned preserving the rights of minorities was a “cardinal precept” of the structure, and it denounced the inclusion on the US record.

“Pakistan rejects the US State Division’s unilateral and politically motivated pronouncement,” the ministry mentioned in a press release.

Terrorism costs for Pakistan cleric who led protests towards Christian acquitted of blasphemy

Final yr, the US put Pakistan on a watch record of nations that violate spiritual freedom.

This yr got here the designation, together with Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Pakistan was created out of the Muslim-majority areas of colonial India in 1947, and for many years portrayed itself as a progressive Islamic nation.

Beginning within the 1980s, nevertheless, it has drifted in the direction of a extra conservative interpretation of Islam that has reshaped the political panorama, fuelled militancy and cowed champions of tolerance and members of minorities into silence.

The overwhelming majority of Pakistan’s 208 million individuals are Muslims, with minorities accounting for about four per cent of the inhabitants, together with Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and members of the Ahmadi Muslim sect, who say they’re singled out for persecution.

Persecuted Pakistani Ahmadi Muslims search asylum in China

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari mentioned Pakistan’s inclusion on the US record was “pure political blackmailing” and an try by the US to strain Pakistan to implement US coverage objectives in Afghanistan.

Pompeo urged counties on the record to extend respect for spiritual freedom.

“In far too many locations throughout the globe, people proceed to face harassment, arrests, and even dying for merely dwelling their lives in accordance with their beliefs,” he mentioned in a press release.

In Muslim-majority Pakistan, town of Mithi is a uncommon oasis of ‘love and non secular concord’

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Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou freed on bail however what do we actually find out about this mysterious case? – NEWPAPER24




Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou freed on bail however what do we actually find out about this mysterious case?

2018-12-12 13:27:04

After greater than per week in custody, Meng Wanzhou, the chief monetary officer of Chinese language tech big Huawei, was launched on bail by a Canadian courtroom on Tuesday. However as legal professionals put together for a potential future trial, courtroom papers have shed new gentle on how the world’s largest telecommunications tools maker has been the topic of an investigation by US authorities for years.

Meng, 46, was arrested on the request of the US authorities on December 1 at Vancouver airport whereas she was transiting to Mexico. Her detention got here on the identical day that Chinese language President Xi Jinping sat down for dinner together with his US counterpart Donald Trump in Argentina to agree a truce of their commerce conflict.

However what can we truly find out about Meng’s case?

Sabrina Meng: ‘I’m pleased with Huawei, I’m pleased with my nation’

The primary allegation is that from 2009 to 2014 Meng violated a US commerce embargo in opposition to Iran through a Hong Kong-based firm named Skycom Tech Co Ltd.

The Supreme Courtroom of British Columbia in Vancouver heard on Friday that Meng and others conspired to make misrepresentations to a variety of monetary establishments, inducing them to proceed to offer banking providers to Huawei regardless of the actual fact they have been working in Iran.

Firms are barred from utilizing the US monetary system to funnel items and providers to sanctioned entities.

In December 2012, Newpaper24 reported that Skycom’s workplace in Tehran supplied to promote at the very least 1.three million euros (US$1.5 million) value of laptop tools produced by the now defunct US agency Hewlett-Packard to Cell Telecommunication Co of Iran, regardless of the embargo.

Throughout Meng’s bail listening to, prosecutor Gibb Carsley argued that Skycom was an unofficial subsidiary of Huawei, utilizing the identical firm brand on firm paperwork. “Huawei is SkyCom,” he mentioned, “That is the crux, I say, of the alleged fraud.”

Why Huawei and its CFO are caught up within the US-China commerce conflict

Meng served on the board of Skycom from February 2008 to April 2009, in line with a courtroom paper. A number of different previous and current Skycom administrators additionally appeared to have connections to Huawei.

Additionally, in 2007, a administration firm managed by Huawei’s mum or dad firm held all of Skycom’s shares. On the time, Meng served because the administration agency’s firm secretary.

However Meng’s lawyer, David Martin, denied there was any overlap between Huawei and Skycom, saying that they had solely a enterprise relationship.

US authorities, nevertheless, declare that Meng made a fraudulent declare and that Huawei continued to manage the corporate, with the prosecutor saying that Skycom staff carried Huawei identification and used its e mail.

Skycom was dissolved in September final 12 months, in line with information held by the Hong Kong Firm Registry.

In 2013 within the wake of the Newpaper24 report, a number of banks launched their very own investigations into the allegations, particularly regarding Huawei’s alleged hyperlinks to Skycom.

Meng responded by making a presentation to the banks to disclaim the allegations.

The Wall Avenue Journal reported this month that HSBC and Commonplace Chartered have been reported to be among the many banks probably misled.

The US investigation into Huawei’s alleged violations started at the very least as early as 2016, in line with a Newpaper24 report in April.

It coincided with revelations that ZTE Corp, considered one of Huawei’s rivals, was revealed to have damaged US export legal guidelines associated to the Iran sanctions.

Chinese language hi-tech researchers ‘advised to not journey to US except it’s important’

When the US Commerce Division printed ZTE’s inner paperwork as proof of the fees, the papers additionally revealed how a second firm, recognized solely as F7, had efficiently evaded US export controls.

The papers revealed that F7 had bought tools to a variety of sanctioned international locations, together with Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Iran.

In a 2016 letter to the commerce division, 10 US lawmakers alleged that F7 was certainly Huawei, citing media experiences.

The Chinese language agency, nevertheless, has maintained that it “complies with all relevant legal guidelines and laws the place it operates, together with relevant export management and sanction legal guidelines and laws of the UN, US and EU”.

In April final 12 months, lawmakers once more wrote to US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asking for F7 to be publicly recognized and absolutely investigated.

Nonetheless, the prosecutor mentioned at her bail listening to that after Huawei was made conscious of the US investigation in 2017, Meng intentionally averted travelling to the US.

Meng’s mansions: inside Huawei CFO’s Canadian connections

In April this 12 months, the US justice division started its investigation into Huawei following administrative subpoenas on sanctions-related points from each the commerce division and the Workplace of Overseas Property Management below the treasury division, in line with a report by The Wall Avenue Journal.

In response to courtroom papers, a warrant was issued for Meng’s arrest on August 22 in New York, although at the moment, the US had “not but filed a licensed report of the case”.

The courtroom paperwork mentioned additionally that the US discovered on November 29 that Meng was stopping over in Vancouver on her solution to a 3rd nation, believed to be Mexico. On November 30, a Canadian decide agreed to a US request that Meng be arrested.

What occurred on December 1?

Meng landed at Vancouver Worldwide Airport aboard a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong at 11:35am on December 1. She was anticipating to have a 12-hour layover.

It’s not recognized precisely what time she was arrested, however her arrival time was simply an hour earlier than Xi and Trump started their dinner assembly in Buenos Aires. It’s unclear if both president was conscious of what was occurring in Canada as they sat all the way down to their starters.

Canada’s Division of Justice advised the South China Morning Submit that Chinese language consular officers have been made conscious of the incident on the day of Meng’s arrest, however Beijing has accused Ottawa of violating a bilateral settlement by failing to supply a well timed notification.

“The Chinese language authorities didn’t obtain discover however have been as an alternative knowledgeable by different channels,” China’s international ministry spokesman Lu Kang mentioned on Tuesday. “You must have requested [Canada] whether or not the Chinese language authorities discovered the Canadian authorities first or the Canadian authorities notified the Chinese language embassy,” he mentioned.

Courtroom confirms Meng’s three Hong Kong passports resulting from title adjustments

On the day of her arrest, Meng was taken to a hospital to be handled for hypertension, in line with her affidavit.

“I proceed to really feel unwell and I’m nervous about my well being deteriorating whereas I’m incarcerated,” she mentioned.

She cited hypertension in a bail utility in search of her launch pending an extradition listening to. She can also be mentioned to have had therapy for thyroid most cancers in 2011 and surgical procedure for points associated to sleep apnoea in Could of this 12 months.

Meng’s arrest was made public on December 6, when Canadian authorities confirmed the knowledge with native newspaper The Globe and Mail.

The businesswoman’s three-day listening to started in Vancouver on Friday, and he or she was launched on bail on Tuesday.

Chinese language state safety is behind detention of Canadian former diplomat Michael Kovrig, employer says

America now has till January eight to file a proper extradition request. If not, Meng should be freed, in line with the Canadian Supreme Courtroom decide Justice William Ehrcke.

There was doubt over whether or not Meng’s alleged breach of US and European Union sanctions quantities to an offence below Canadian legislation, which is important for her to be extradited. Relying on how a lot it’s contested, the extradition course of may take months and even years to finish. If convicted within the US, Meng may face a sentence of greater than 30 years in jail.

She is subsequent anticipated to seem in courtroom on February 6.

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