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Source: The Straits Times
Gillian Chung is engaged to Taiwanese doctor Michael Lai, months after their romance was revealed. Chung, 37, announced her engagement on Instagram on Thursday (Feb 1), posting a photo of a diamond ring that was captioned: "Next stop happiness!"
On Weibo, she shared pictures of the ring and many birthday cakes, and wrote: "This is the best gift for my lunar birthday. Thank you for your love." Lai, 29, told Taiwan Apple Daily through a friend: "I'm not an artiste, I want a low profile, but I'll work hard at my career to give Gillian the greatest happiness, and I hope everyone can give their blessing."
He works for Beaute J'adore, a beauty clinic run by actress Tammy Chen's husband, doctor Hsueh Po-ren. A minor social media star, Lai is known in Taiwan as "the Sunny Wang of medicine" for his resemblance to the actor.
The couple's romance was first reported in October last year. She had stayed in Taipei for months, filming a web drama, Tree In The River. The day she went back to Hong Kong in October, he was seen going to her home.
It will be her first marriage. Although her name has been linked through the years to actors such as Shawn Yue and Edison Chen - whose lewd photos of her and other women were leaked online in 2008 - Korean-American impresario Tyler Kwon was the first boyfriend she went public with, in 2013.
Lai was briefly married in 2016 to blogger Ivy Chao, a well-known look-alike of actress Ariel Lin. He and Chao have both been featured on the talk show Mr Con & Ms Csi. Chung is one half of girl group Twins. After she announced her engagement, her singing partner Charlene Choi wrote on Instagram: "A thousand words in my heart."
Another World War II vintage bomb was unearthed in Wan Chai on Wednesday, the second to be found in less than a week in the district, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports. Police finished defusing the second bomb on Thursday morning, and said roads were being reopened gradually following the evacuation and traffic chaos resulting from the discovery. The bomb is believed to have been dropped by the US army as part of air raids on Japanese military positions in Hong Kong during World War II. It was the second bomb to be found since Saturday when a similar one was discovered near Convention Avenue and Tonnochy Road, where there is a construction site for the Wan Chai Exhibition Centre Station of the MTR Shatin-Central Link project, HKEJ said.
Police officers and experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau arrived at the scene soon after the bomb was reported at around 11 am. on Wednesday and took safety precautions. The streets, commercial buildings and private housing estates within a radius of 400 meters were cordoned off. Those affected included Harbour Centre, Sun Hung Kai Centre, Blocks A, B, and C of private housing estate Causeway Centre and the Wan Chai Sports Ground, among others.
As of 9 pm. on Wednesday, about 4,600 people in the area had been evacuated, with the Home Affairs Department allowing them to take shelter at the Wan Chai Activities Centre. Several main roads in Wan Chi North were closed while 27 bus routes were diverted in light of the discovery. Transport officials warned that traffic was expected to become congested and advised motorists to avoid the area completely. The ferry from Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui had been suspended since Wednesday afternoon. Bomb disposal officer Alick McWhirter said the second bomb was of US design. McWhirter explained that although the two bombs were of similar size and model, the latest to be discovered was more unstable as its detonating device had been seriously damaged. He also pointed out that the site was not a flat ground, and rain would make it even harder to be defused. But bomb disposal experts were able to completely burn off the explosives inside the bomb at 10:45 am.
Roads in the area were being reopened. By Thursday morning, the ferry from Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui also resumed service. Sources said bomb experts found it harder to deal with the latest bomb than with the one found on Saturday, which took them 26 hours to defuse.
So Yiu-kwan, a civil and structural engineer, suggested that the MTR suspend construction work for the SCL completely because it is possible to unearth more bombs from under the ground. The rail operation has not agreed to the suggestion yet. It is speculated that more wartime explosives could be found in the area, which used to be part of a beach where Japanese warships anchored during the war. Professor Siu Kwok-kin, director of Centre for Hong Kong History and Culture Studies of Chu Hai College, said many Japanese warships were berthed at Victoria Harbour at the time and they were main targets of US air raids. While he believes that more unexploded bombs could be unearthed in the area, Siu does not want to speculate on their number and locations.
Police arrested a 76-year-old man in connection with sexual assault allegations made by star hurdler Vera Lui Lai-yiu. The man, said to be Lui’s former coach, was arrested at the airport after his arrival on an inbound flight on Sunday afternoon, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports. He was granted bail after giving an oral statement at the police station and was told to report back in early March. It is understood that he was first sent to North Lantau Hospital and later transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital over his heart problems.
On Nov. 30 last year, on her 23rd birthday, Lui posted on her Facebook page a photo of her holding a card on which “#MeToo” and her initials “LLY” were written. In the post, she revealed that she had been sexually assaulted by a coach when she was still a secondary school student. The sports star’s post shocked many in the city and also prompted Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to ask the police to follow up on the case. Pui Ching Middle School, which Lui attended, said in a statement soon after learning of Lui’s revelations that it has suspended the coach.
Meanwhile, the Department of Physical Education of the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Hong Kong Coaching Committee are set to jointly hold a seminar on Thursday on how to protect young athletes from sexual harassment.
Explosives experts on Sunday defused a massive World War II-era bomb that was found buried at a site in Wan Chai, an operation that took almost 30 hours and prompted several road closures and the evacuation of hundreds of people from nearly buildings. At about 7 am Saturday, a worker of the MTR Shatin-Central Link (SCL) project found a bomb at a construction site near the intersection of Convention Avenue and Tonnochy Road. Police officers arrived at the scene soon along with experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau and took safety precautions, including evacuating more than a thousand residents and hotel guests in buildings in the area. Also, authorities closed several roads as bomb disposal experts began work in a bid to defuse the device safely, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
After examinations, experts identified it as a US-made ANM-65 bomb, weighing about 450 kg, which may have been dropped from the air as part of the air raids during World War II. Evaluations led bomb disposal officers to decide upon abrasive water cutting, which involved cutting multiple holes on the bomb, so that they could take out the explosives in batches. The work began at around 7:30 am and was completed only at 2:30 pm the next day, meaning that it took a total of more than 30 hours. No one was injured during the process and the explosives were burned.
Tony Chow Shek-kin, a senior bomb disposal officer, said fragments of the bomb could have extended 1,000 to 2,000 metres and people and objects. The bombs is said to have a blast radius of 200 to 300 metres if it exploded. Since the bomb was 25 meters deep in the ground and the space there was narrow, bomb disposal officers were forced to spend more time than expected dealing with it, according to Chow. A large number of people who were at nearly homes or stayed in hotels near the Wan Chai Exhibition Centre Station that is under construction were evacuated during the operation. In 2014, a similar bomb was found at a construction site in Happy Valley.
Hong Kong is still the world’s most expensive city to live in as disparity between the median home price and the median household income continues to expand, according to the 14th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. The 2018 edition of the survey, conducted by urban planning policy consultancy Demographia in the third quarter last year, covered 293 cities in nine countries, including China, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand and Ireland. Hong Kong was the only Chinese city that was ranked.
The results unveiled on Monday showed Hong Kong topped the list for the eighth year in a row, with home prices regarded by Demographia as being “least affordable”. The median multiple, or the ratio of the median price of property to the median household income, was 19.4 times in Hong Kong, as the former was found to be HK$6.192 million and the latter HK$319,000, according to the survey. That means it will take 19.4 years for an average household to afford an apartment in Hong Kong even if there were no other expenses. The figure was up from 18.1 times a year earlier and the highest level ever recorded since the survey began in 2005.
The other cities in the top five were Sydney, Vancouver, San Jose and Melbourne. Their median multiple was 12.9, 12.6, 10.3 and 9.9 times, respectively. Based on Demographia’s definition, a city with a median multiple of 5.1 or exceeds the 5.1 times mark is considered “severely unaffordable”. Citing data from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, it said the median multiple in Hong Kong was only 4.6 times in 2002, but continued to rise and reached 15.7 times in 2015, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
Professor Terence Chong Tai-leung, executive director of Lau Chor Tak Institute of Global Economics and Finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the city has seen home prices rise relentlessly over the past years, and the government will find it difficult to reverse this trend because it is the product of a free economy. While the government can impose restrictions on home purchases as Beijing does, reaching the goal of “Hong Kong property for Hong Kong residents” will come at the expense of the city’s status as a free economy, Chong said. He advised the public not to expect Hong Kong’s home prices to fall and urged the government to study the feasibility of lowering down payment requirements for home buyers so that they can purchase their own homes as early as possible.