Intrigue as mainland bans TVB historical drama "Beyond the Realm of Conscience ”

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    By sh33pymd,

    Source: The Standard/Ming Pao/On.cc

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    Popular TVB historical drama Deep in the Realm of Conscience cannot be shown on the mainland, sparking speculations that authorities across the border are further tightening their grip on the small screen. Observers believe regulators are unhappy either because the drama's leading actress, Nancy Wu Ting-yan, supported the Occupy movement or because the palace intrigues between emperors, concubines and maids could have a negative impact on viewers.

    TVB's deputy general manager of program and production Felix To Chi-hak played down the rumors yesterday, saying he could not respond to all speculations as some were "imaginary." "There is also speculation about production costs," he said. "To be frank, we didn't encounter those problems, so I cannot comment." The series, co-produced by TVB and the mainland's Tencent Penguin Pictures, is set in Tang Dynasty China.

    It is the sequel to the 2009 drama Beyond the Realm of Conscience, an acclaimed production which tells the story of palace maid Lau Sam-ho and imperial struggles. The theme continued in the sequel, which started with the overthrow of Empress Wei by Li Longji, who would later become the famous Tang Dynasty Emperor Tang Xuanzong. The sequel also features struggles among maids and concubines of the emperor. Tencent was supposed to play the show on its website from Monday, the same time as TVB aired it in Hong Kong. It did not happen and Tencent apologized without giving any reason for the no-show.

    In 2013, state media criticized the popular series Empresses in the Palace, suggesting it might be corrupting moral standards. Its sequel Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace - with an all-star cast including actress Zhou Xun - was completed but has yet to be shown. The genre has been hard hit after it was announced in March that regulation of the movie and TV industry would move from the State Administration for Film Radio Press Publishing and Television to be directly under the Communist Party's propaganda department. The party unit lays strong emphasis on shows' positive impact on the audience. A second possible cause is the casting of Wu in the drama.

    Back in 2014, she appeared in Central during the Occupy movement and also posted a picture on Instagram with the caption: "I can feel unity tonight. I don't know what to say, but I hope there is a better future for Hong Kong." TVB's To yesterday dismissed all speculations - including those about Wu - as "imaginary." Asked if TVB would have to repay Tencent hundreds of million of yuan if the drama ended up banned on the mainland, To explained that TVB was in charge of the co-production's copyright and airing outside the mainland, while Tencent was responsible for the mainland part.

    As long as TVB did not breach the agreed dates and air the episodes ahead of Tencent, it was free to do what it wanted with the drama in Hong Kong. As to when the drama would air in the mainland, To said he could not comment on behalf of Tencent but "there isn't any big problem involved."


    Man who threw dog from Hong Kong rooftop because he was ‘annoyed by its barking’ given four-month hospital order

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    By sh33pymd,

    Source: SCMP/Ming Pao

    銀狐犬「小白」(白框)於尖沙嘴墮海獲救,4天後遭被告何子鈞掟落街,當場分屍慘死,現場冷氣機身可見懷疑血迹(紅圈)。(資料圖片/明報製圖)

    A Hong Kong man who 

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    because he was annoyed by its barking was given a four-month hospital order on Thursday.

    West Kowloon Court heard the dog had been living with Hugo Ho Tsz-kwan, 23, and his parents for the whole of its 10-year life before he killed it last month in “a moment of impulse”. “I regret the offence very much and beg for forgiveness,” Ho said in a letter to the court tabled after he pleaded guilty to one count of cruelty to animals. The offence is punishable by three years’ imprisonment and a fine of HK$200,000 (US$25,480).

    Acting principal magistrate Ada Yim Shun-yee said Ho’s offence should have warranted a minimum of six months’ imprisonment as it brought unnecessary pain to the animal. But having considered his psychiatric assessment, she accepted the experts’ recommendation for a hospital order that could be beneficial to both Ho’s health and the public interest. The furry white Japanese spitz made headlines just days before its death after it was spotted 

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    on a balmy afternoon, prompting marine police to come to the rescue. At the time no injuries were found on the dog, but a verbal warning was issued to its owner, Ho’s mother, when she came to pick up her pet.

    The court heard the dog lived with Ho’s family on the ninth floor of Cheung Fai Building in Cheung Sha Wan. At about 6am on April 4, Ho walked the dog to the building’s rooftop – on the 28th floor – and suddenly threw the animal through the fences. It landed on the second floor of the building. A police report was made after a neighbour heard a “bang” from the platform. Ho initially denied the offence, claiming he was not at home at the time. But he later admitted throwing the animal off the roof out of impulse because he felt angry and annoyed. He also told police he hated living with the dog.

    On Thursday, Ho said through his lawyer in mitigation that he committed the offence because he was annoyed by the dog’s barking. The lawyer also revealed Ho was the breadwinner of the family, supporting his retired parents with a monthly income of up to HK$3,000 while working as a salesman at a stationery shop. Court-ordered psychiatric reports found Ho was suitable for plea but recommended a hospital order of four to six months. The Japanese white spitz is a medium-sized breed known for its white fur and has a lifespan of up to 16 years.


    Baby boy in critical condition after baby walker flips upside down into shallow pool of water

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    By sh33pymd,

    Source: Coconuts HK/Appledaily

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    An 8-month-old boy is in critical condition after his baby walker fell into a shallow pool of water at a luxury housing estate in Tsim Sha Tsui on Saturday evening. According to Apple Daily, 

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    The boy’s parents, a 35-year-old French banker and a 38-year-old Chinese woman surnamed Liu were with friends at a barbecue site on the podium level the Masterpiece, a luxury apartment block inside the K11 mall on Hanoi Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. Eyewitnesses told the newspaper there were around 10 people at the barbecue site at the time.

    The boy — unattended and in his baby walker — wandered off on his own out of the barbecue site and onto a path that had a shallow water trough on the side that was about 1 foot-wide and 2 inches-deep. He was flipped head-first into the water after his walker went into the trough and turned upside down. According to the newspaper, the parents found the boy after few minutes, and lifeguards at the swimming pool next the the barbecue site also rushed to the scene and tried to resuscitate the child after hearing the parents’ cry for help.

    Emergency services were called, and police were at the apartment block to review CCTV footage. They believe the boy had been underwater for a few minutes. The newspaper reports that he was possibly under water for around seven to eight minutes.

    The Tsim Sha Tsui luxury mansion was jointly developed by the New World Development and Urban Development Bureau and entered into service in November 2009. The facilities of the clubhouse include an outdoor swimming pool, a children’s pool, a solar terrace, an outdoor jacuzzi and a fitness room.


    Customs seize 15,000kg of fake rice from company that supplied to almost 100 restaurants in Hong Kong

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    By sh33pymd,

    Source: SCMP

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    Custom officers have seized 15,000kg of counterfeit rice from a company that supplied almost 100 restaurants across Hong Kong.

    Officers raided a factory in San Po Kong in Kowloon on Friday where they arrested a director of the company on suspicion of violating the Trades Description Ordinance. They later arrested a second director in relation to the case. Some 600 sacks of counterfeit white rice, along with six tonnes of lower-quality rice and 1.6 tonnes of real, branded rice were seized in a 4,000 sq ft hidden compartment.

    Officers also found 7,000 fake rice sacks, and estimated the stash was worth HK$178,000, the Customs and Excise Department said. “We found that the supplier would generally mix 10 per cent of real rice with 90 per cent of low-quality rice to pass off as real goods,” said Guy Fong Wing-kai, head of customs’ Intellectual Property Investigation (Operations) Group.

    The lower-quality rice, imported from Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, was still edible and would not cause any harm to human health, but the taste and texture were inferior, he said. Such rice was generally sold for half the price of premium brands. “By mixing in the real and lower-quality rice together, the supplier could earn a profit of HK$100 per bag,” Fong said. The fake rice, which was mixed, packaged and sealed at the factory, imitated four established Thai brands: Chaitip, Golden Phoenix, Golden Vital King and Kim Kia Ta.

    According to initial investigations, the supplier had been carrying out the covert operations for at least three months. Receipts found at the scene showed that supplier was of a “considerable scale” and worked with close to 100 restaurants and cha chaan tengs, also known as local diners.

    Authorities do not have any figures on how much of the counterfeit rice had already been sold on the market. Fong said the seizure was one of the largest in recent years. The last time they had seized such a large batch was 5,000kg of counterfeit rice in 2014.

    According to official statistics, Hong Kong imported 313,500 tonnes of rice last year, 65.9 per cent of which was from Thailand. The maximum penalty for violating the Trades Description Ordinance is five years of imprisonment and a fine of HK$500,000.


    J-pop superstar Hideki Saijo dies at 63

    sh33pymd
    By sh33pymd,

    Source: star2/Ming Pao

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    Japanese singer-actor Hideki Saijo passed away in a hospital in Yokohama, Japan on May 16 at 11.53pm. The cause of death was acute heart failure. He was 63. According to his agency, the singer was hospitalised on April 25 after he fell unconscious when he was in the company of his family members. The J-pop icon, whose birth name is Tatsuo Kimoto, was born in Hiroshima, Japan on April 13, 1955.

    He made his debut in 1972 when he was 16 and became a pin-up star in Japan and most of Asia with the hit Young Man, the Japanese version of Village People’s 1978 disco song Y.M.C.A. Unlike the original camp version, the Japanese hit was actually intended to inspire young men. Another of his popular cover song was Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias’ 1999 Latin dance pop hit Bailamos (Let’s Dance). Together with fellow Japanese singers Hiromi Go and Goro Noguchi, Saijo was dubbed Shin Gosanke (The New Select Three). Saijo was close friends to Asia’s biggest stars such as Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui, both of whom died in 2003.

    Apart from a successful singing career, Saijo also dabbled in acting starring in films like Ai To Makoto (Love And Sincerity) and dramas like Terauchi Kantaro Ikka (Triple Generation Family), and took part in various television shows ranging from gardening to cooking. He was a regular gym-goer and enjoyed saunas and led an active lifestyle. Unfortunately, his health took a turn for the worse after he suffered two brain strokes, first in June 2003 when he was 48, and the second stroke hit eight years later in December 2011. His speech was slurred and the right side of his body was paralysed, but he continued to work hard on rehabilitation and continued to perform on stage. Last year, he released a DVD and staged his Hideki Saijo 45th Anniversary Concert 2016 with shows in Osaka, Tokyo and Kanagawa to commemorate his years in showbiz.

    He got married to Miki Makihara in 2001, and they have one daughter and two sons. His family will be conducting a memorial in Tokyo on May 25, and his funeral will be held on May 26.


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