Retail sales in Hong Kong see highest growth in over two years thanks to local consumption

A stock market boom and rising property prices in July prompted Hong Kong retail sales to grow at their fastest rate in more than two years, potentially spelling the end of a years-long downturn.


July sales jumped 4 per cent compared with the same period last year, significantly higher than the 0.1 per cent growth in the previous month, government statistics revealed on Tuesday.

Industry insiders attributed the stronger-than-expected growth to robust local consumption and improved inbound tourism, and expected the trend to continue in the second half of the year with support of a stable labour market.


“We are overjoyed at the July figure. The growth is much better than we have expected,” Thomson Cheng Wai-hung, chairman at Retail Management Association said on Tuesday.

He expected the full-year growth to hit 1 per cent, despite the 0.6 per cent decline in the first half.

This would put an end to a two-year contraction of the city’s once-booming industry, as big-spending mainland shoppers flew elsewhere to buy luxuries.

Retail sales in the city dropped for 25 consecutive months until a mild rebound in March.

Cheng said local consumers were a main driver for the upbeat figure, as they felt more comfortable spending money on big-tickets items, with their wealth boosted by the rising value of stocks and properties.

Court acquits Ma over classified data leak

The Taipei District Court yesterday found former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) not guilty of abetting a leak of classified information related to an investigation of a then-opposition lawmaker while the probe was in progress in 2013.

Prosecutors said they would appeal the verdict.

In September 2013, it was uncovered that then-prosecutor-general Huang Shyh-ming (黃世銘) had shown Ma a transcript of wiretapped conversations collected in an investigation of an alleged breach of trust by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).

Prosecutors contended that Ma encouraged Huang to leak the contents of the wiretaps, Ker’s personal information and other data related to the investigation to then-premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and then-Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強).

Huang was convicted in February 2015 for breaches of the Communication Security and Surveillance Act (通訊保障及監察法) and was sentenced to 15 months in prison, commutable to a fine of NT$457,000, which he has since paid.

Ma was president at the time, giving him immunity from criminal prosecution.

However, after leaving office in May last year, he was summoned as a potential defendant in the case on Dec. 1.

On March 14, Ma was indicted on charges of violating the Criminal Code, the Communication Security and Surveillance Act and the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法).

During the trial, Ma placed heavy emphasis on “special presidential executive powers,” which he said granted him the right to inquire about ongoing criminal investigations to prepare for potential crises that could destabilize the government.

However, prosecutors contended that Ma, as a former minister of justice, should know well the need to keep such information confidential.

“There should be other methods through which a president could handle such matters, and no incident created the necessity nor urgency to break such confidentiality,” prosecutors said.

The judge yesterday said that while Ma’s conveyance of the information to Jiang and Lo breached confidentiality, it was “in accordance with the law.”

Ma office spokesman Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) quoted the former president as saying that he was gratified by the result and that the ruling was not only about his personal rights, but also establishing the rightful extent of a president’s executive powers under the Constitution.

Lo called on the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office not to appeal the ruling and save what dignity Taiwan’s judiciary might still have, as well as the office some face.

DPP spokesperson Ruan Jhao-syong (阮昭雄) said that the party regretted the ruling, but would respect the results.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang and Su Fang-ho

Thousands of non-Muslims evacuated as violence flares in northwest Myanmar

Myanmar’s government said it has evacuated at least 4,000 non-Muslim villagers amid ongoing clashes in northwestern Rakhine state, as thousands more Rohingya Muslimssought to flee across the border to Bangladesh on Sunday.

The death toll from the violence that erupted on Friday with coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents has climbed to 98, including some 80 insurgents and 12 members of the security forces, the government said.

Fighting involving the military and hundreds of Rohingya across northwestern Rakhine continued on Saturday with the fiercest clashes taking place near the major town of Maungdaw, according to residents and the government.

New party of Koike’s ally eyes constitutional revision

Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike’s ally who plans to set up a new party this year says the party will aim to revise Japan’s Constitution.

Masaru Wakasa, an independent House of Representatives lawmaker, told reporters he has agreed with two lawmakers, who supported Koike’s Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites First party) in the Tokyo metropolitan assembly election in July, to seek to amend the supreme law’s Chapter 8 referring to local self-government.

As for the envisaged party, Wakasa said it can be formed as long as it can gather at least five members from parliament.

Wakasa, who belonged to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party but left it to support Koike, now heads a new political group called Nippon First no Kai, literally meaning group that puts Japan first.

Wakasa met with Shigefumi Matsuzawa, a House of Councillors lawmaker, and Akihisa Nagashima, a former vice defense minister who was expelled from the Democratic Party, in Tokyo and agreed they can form a party together if they can coordinate their policies.

Former Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, who recently left the Democratic Party, is also seeking to form a new party and exploring the possibility of forming an alliance with Wakasa. Hosono is also seeking to amend Chapter 8 to expand the authority of local governments.’s-ally-eyes-constitutional-revision

London, Ontario bans anti-Islamization rally: “Ideologies contrary to City of London not permitted in civic spaces”

The London, Ontario city hall actually passed a motion saying: “Civic Administration be directed to prepare the necessary formal council policy to confirm the prohibition of activities of organizations whose ideologies is contrary to the City of London are not permitted in civic spaces, and/or facilities and spaces.”

So only one point of view is allowed to be enunciated in public in London, Ontario. London Mayor Matt Brown has defamed the anti-Islamization rally as hateful, no doubt without any genuine consideration, much less discussion, debate, or appeal, and is moving to shut it down.

Canada, apparently, is no longer a free country, any more than Britain is.


“Policy advocate criticizing London council’s emergency motion as an ‘attack on free speech,’” by Liny Lamberink and Matthew Trevithick, AM980, August 23, 2017:

London City Hall is coming under fire for what some are calling an “attack on free speech”, after unanimously passing an emergency motion Tuesday night to stand against hatred and racism.

It comes in response to an anti-Islam rally scheduled on Saturday by the Canadian chapter of the German nationalist and far-right political movement Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA in its German abbreviation.

London Institute Executive Director Amir Farahi has accused council of making a “knee-jerk” reaction by condemning the activities of organizations whose ideologies are contrary to the city’s.

“[Mayor Matt Brown] said there’s no place in London for racism, bigotry, and hatred. Okay, I agree with you… but there certainly is a place for us to free assembly and for us to freely express ourselves,” Farahi said Wednesday on AM980’s The Andrew Lawton Show.

The motion is as follows: “That civic administration be directed to prepare the necessary formal council policy to confirm the prohibition of activities of organizations whose ideologies is contrary to the City of London are not permitted in civic spaces, and/or facilities and spaces.”

Farahi has launched a petition, calling on Mayor Matt Brown to repeal part of the motion.

“I’m quite disgusted by the fact that our fundamental rights, our constitutional rights here in Canada, in London, are basically being taken away from us under the guise of political correctness.”

He points out that victims of hate speech are already protected by hate speech laws, and violators face the full extent of the law….

Mayor Matt Brown has now committed to attending the counter-protest, despite saying in a radio interview this month that it would be inappropriate for him to attend and give unneeded attention to the anti-Islam group.

“I didn’t want to throw fuel in the fire,” he explained on AM980’s The Craig Needles Show.

“I’ve seen a ground swell of people moving toward attending the anti-hate rally, which I think is very positive. So I’ve moved my schedule around, and I want to join London and stand together, and just express that the vast majority of Londoners don’t accept hate.”…

“Stop the War on Free Speech in London, ON,” by Amir Farahi,, n.d.:

We the residents of London, Ontario demand that Mayor Matt Brown and the rest of City Council repeal the second part of a motion passed at City Hall on August 22, 2017 that states:

“Civic Administration be directed to prepare the necessary formal council policy to confirm the prohibition of activities of organizations whose ideologies is contrary to the City of London are not permitted in civic spaces, and/or facilities and spaces.”

This emergency motion was issued by Mayor Matt Brown at council calling on Londoners to stand against all forms of racism, bigotry and hatred.

Racism, bigotry and hatred have no place in London but our right to free speech does.

As Londoners, we are vehemently in opposition to any motion that is passed by this City Council that undermines our fundamental and constitutionals rights, freedoms, and laws under the guise of political correctness.

Andrew Sancton, the former head of Western University’s local government program and a highly respected academic in Canada said council’s vagueness could have serious consequences. “This is extremely dangerous because it looks like it’s almost limitless in its application, and it could cause all kinds of trouble,” Sancton said.

Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms grants every single person in Canada under section 2 with:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

(d) freedom of association.

Londoners who are victims of hate speech are already protected by hate speech lawsunder sections 318-320 of the Criminal Code. If anyone or any group is in violation of the hate speech clause then they will face the full extent of the law. There is a difference between dangerous speech, which is crime, and offensive speech, which we have to tolerate even if we don’t like it.

City Council is not a court of justice. They should not be pre-determining who is innocent or guilty of a crime. They are elected to govern not to adjudicate. Any person(s) or organization (s) should be given a chance to exercise their rights as Canadians and considered innocent until proven guilty.

This City Council was also not elected to ride the coat tails of U.S. politics.

“Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.” – George Orwell

Documentary: Black Hebrew Israelites Debunked


Published on Dec 26, 2016

This film critically examines the history and doctrine of the Black Hebrew Israelite sects.

Intro: 00:00 – 2:40
Part 1: History of the Black Hebrew Israelites 2:41– 10:22
Part 2: Sons of Ham or Sons of Shem? 10:23 – 14:42
Part 3: Were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob Negroes? 14:43 – 17:56
Part 4: Were the Ancient Israelites Negroes? 17:57 – 24:21
Part 5: Were the Ancient Egyptians Negroes? 24:22 – 35:02
Part 6: Answering Arguments Ancient Israelites and Egyptians were Negroes 35:03 – 49:32
Part 7: Is Jesus Negro? 49:33 – 57:04
Part 8: Was King James Negro? 57:05 – 59:52
Part 9: Do the Deuteronomy 28 Curses Apply to African Americans? 59:52 – 01:09:00
Part 10: Dispersed Judah did not Migrate to West Africa 01:09:01 – 01:14:00
Part 11: Ashkenazi Jews are Khazarian? 01:14:01 – 01:18:00
Part 12: The Synagogue of Satan? 01:18:01 – 01:20:54
Part 13: The Regathering of Israel 01:20:55 – 01:22:53
Part 14: The 12 Tribes of Israel Chart 01:22:54 – 01:30:37
Part 15: Is Esau the Hated Ancestor of Whites? 01:30:38 – 01:37:54
Part 16: Gentiles have no Hope for Salvation? 01:37:55 – 01:44:42
Part 17: Will Whites be Killed and Enslaved by Negroes? 01:44:43 – 01:53:58
Part 18: Reincarnation 01:53:58 – 01:56:46
Part 19: Conclusion 01:56:47 – 01:58:54
Credits: 01:58:54 – 02:00:24

Reshma Saujani Founder of Girls Who Code: “Male entrepreneurs build companies to ‘replace their mothers”

In a statement that Saujani admits is controversial, she argues that empathy tends to be “uniquely female” and is the primary difference between the problems boys and girls choose to solve with the technologies they create.


Men, on the other hand, create companies “to replace their mothers,” says Saujani, who is herself the mother of a two year old boy.

SAR residents to get improved access to mainland

The official Xinhua news agency says Beijing is looking at making it easier for Hong Kong and Macau residents to live on the mainland. President Xi Jinping has already called for such measures, and the move comes as Chief Executive Carrie Lam ended her four-day visit to the capital.

Xinhua said people from Hong Kong and Macau, who work on the mainland, will get equal rights to housing provident funds so they can buy homes and settle there. Currently, mainlanders put part of their salaries into such funds – along with a contribution from their employers – so they can get low interest home loans and other benefits.

Beijing also wants Hong Kong and Macau residents to be eligible for social security, if they are working or studying across the border. It said the Ministry of Education will ensure equal opportunities for students from the SARs to receive compulsory education.

Universities would also try to help Hong Kong and Macau students deal with the red tape they often face when trying to find a job on the mainland.

Another inconvenience faced by SAR residents – not being able to use their Return Homeland Passes at self-service ticket machines at train stations – is also being looked at.

Clementine Ford asks feminist to take down photo of her son

In a spectacular case of hypocrisy, Clementine Ford has asked a feminist to remove a photo of her son Frank on Twitter.

So it would seem she has no problem in posting images of fathers with their daughters, yet as soon as someone posts an image of her own son, she doesn’t like it. The fact that it was posted by one of her feminist fans makes it even more hilarious.

So Clementine, how does it feel when people post photos of your family, just like you’ve done to the daughters of these men?

Taiwan attends Thai fair, seeks increase in travelers

Taiwan is participating in an international travel exhibition in Bangkok to attract more visitors from Thailand, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday.

The bureau has teamed up with the Taiwan Visitors Association, hotel operators, farm resort operators and souvenir vendors to set up a Taiwan pavilion at the Thai International Travel Fair, which runs from today to Sunday at the Queen Sirikit Convention Center.

The fair is held twice a year: in February and August.

The bureau said Taiwan regards Thailand as one of the fastest-growing markets at a time when the government is pushing its New Southbound Policy.

The policy is aimed at boosting ties with Southeast Asian and South Asian nations in a bid to lessen Taiwan’s economic dependence on China.

To attract more travelers from Thailand, the government has granted visa-free privileges to Thais since Aug. 1 last year, which has boosted the number of Thai visitors to Taiwan.

Statistics compiled by the bureau showed that arrivals from Thailand from August to December last year rose 81 percent from a year earlier.

In December alone, the figure grew about 90 percent year-on-year.

For the whole of last year, the number of Thai visitors rose almost 60 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

Participation in the fair is expected to further boost Taiwan’s visibility among Thais, it said.

The Taiwanese exhibitors will highlight the nation as a romantic destination for visitors, as well as travelers in search of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, and shopping, the bureau said.

Visitors to the Taiwan pavilion can expect discounts and travel information that can be used when they come to Taiwan, it added.