Hong Kong leader says ‘one country, two systems’ can continue after 2047

UNTV News   •   January 16, 2020   •   223

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks at press conference epa08109218 Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a press conference in Hong Kong, China, 07 January 2020. According to media reports, Lam said she hoped to work closely with Luo Huining, China’s newly appointed top local official. EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Thursday said the “one country, two systems” arrangement could continue after the autonomous city’s complete transfer to Chinese sovereignty in 2047 if loyalty to Beijing is maintained.

“As long as we uphold, fully understand and implement the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, there are adequate reasons to believe that the arrangement would move ahead smoothly and there would be no change after 2047,” Lam told the Legislative Council.

She said her topmost priority was to put an end to the violence and destruction that have affected the local economy and Hong Kong’s reputation as a safe and law-abiding business hub with an independent judiciary.

Lam expressed concern about the possible closure of companies and dismissal of employees after the Lunar New Year holiday (which starts Jan. 25) but expressed hope for economic recovery if social order was restored in the crisis-ridden city.

She said she intended to announce next month the establishment of a committee to investigate the reasons behind the riots in Hong Kong.

The “Independent Review Committee” would be composed of social leaders, experts, and academics, who will carry out a study to analyze the root causes of problems in Hong Kong.

Lam described the creation of such a committee as an “important step” towards reconciliation after seven months of protests, although she added that the administration was having difficulty finding people to join the proposed panel.

Tensions returned to parliament on Thursday after 13 pro-democracy legislators were ordered to leave the meeting for repeatedly interrupting the session, holding banners and chanting slogans such as “five demands, not one less” and “Carrie Lam step down”.

The “five demands” include direct universal suffrage, freeing of almost 6,000 detainees, the protests not to be considered unrest and an independent investigation into alleged police brutality.

The city administration has already withdrawn a controversial extradition bill that was part of the demand of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

Critics of the plan to establish a review committee say that the protesters have already made it very clear what drives their continued campaign against the government and that only an independent investigation of police brutality would be considered satisfactory. EFE-EPA

msc/tk-ia/ssk

China’s lunar rover unveils underground secrets on far side of moon

UNTV News   •   February 27, 2020

China’s lunar rover Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit-2, has helped scientists unveil the secrets buried deep under the surface on the far side of the Moon, enriching human’s understanding about the history of celestial collision and volcanic activities and shedding new light on the geological evolution on the Moon.

China’s Chang’e-4 probe made the first-ever soft landing on the eastern floor of the Von Karman Crater within the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the Moon on Jan 3, 2019. After its landing, the spacecraft immediately deployed its Yutu-2 rover, which uses Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) to investigate the underground it roams.

A study conducted by a research team led by Li Chunlai and Su Yan at the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) reveals what lurks below the lunar surface.

As a result of the tidal locking effect, the Moon’s revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle, and the same side always faces Earth.

The research team used the LPR on Yutu-2 to send radio signals deep into the surface of the Moon, reaching a depth of 40 meters by the high-frequency channel of 500 MHz – more than three times the depth previously reached by the Chang’e-3 lunar probe, which was sent to the near side of the Moon at the end of 2013.

The results of the radar data collected by the LPR during the first two lunar days (a lunar day equals 14 days on Earth) of operation provide the first electromagnetic image of the subsurface structure of the far side of the Moon and the first “ground truth” of the stratigraphic architecture of an ejecta deposit, said Li Chunlai, deputy director of the NAOC.

“The first layer is a fine 12-meter soil layer below the surface. The second layer between 12 and 24 meters under the ground has a lot of stones and the strongest radar echo. It even forms a stone layer and stacks of loose stones. There are three gravel stacks. The third layer is 24-40 meters under the surface. Radar echo shows its dark and bright parts, so there are granules and scattered stones,” said Su Yan, a researcher from the NAOC.

The scientists analyzed the radar image with tomographic technique, and the result shows that the subsurface is essentially made by highly porous granular materials embedding boulders of different sizes.

The content is likely the result of a turbulent early solar system, when meteors and other space debris frequently struck the Moon. The impact site would eject material to other areas, creating a cratered surface atop a subsurface with varying layers, said Li.

“We find the ejecta have many layers and each layer is different from each other. It may mean the place has lots of ejecta from impact sites, so history of meteorite impacts here is very complicated. It also shows the Moon was frequently struck by small celestial bodies, and debris will be ejected to bottom of the Von Karman Crater. The ejecta have recorded history of meteorite impact on the Moon,” said Li.

As the Yutu-2 rover has walked about 300 meters, Li said his team expects new discovery in the future.

“We hope it can walk out of the ejecta-covered area. If it can enter a basalt zone, maybe we can better understand distribution and structure of ejecta from meteorite impacts. The distance may be 1.8 kilometers. I think it may take another one year for the rover to walk out of the ejecta-covered area,” Li said.

The study was published Wednesday in the latest issue of Science Advances. (Reuters)

People return to Shanghai as China slowly eases coronavirus-induced restrictions

UNTV News   •   February 27, 2020

Thermal screenings, disinfectant spraying and arrival registrations were underway for people entering the city through Shanghai Railway Station on Thursday (February 27) to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Almost 2.3 million people travelled back to the Chinese financial hub by rail after the lunar new year holiday according to Shanghai railway station.

Travellers arriving or leaving by rail in Shanghai had to undergo checks for high temperatures by train staff before being allowed to leave the station.

People can head back to work as reported new cases of coronavirus outside the worst-hit province fell to the lowest in a month.

Yang Hao, who comes from Anhui province, said he would quarantine himself for a fortnight before going back to work.

Mainland China reported 433 new cases of coronavirus infections on Feb. 26, the National Health Commission said on Thursday, up from 406 on the previous day.

The total number of confirmed cases on mainland China has now reached 78,497 and the outbreak has now killed a total of 2,744 people. (Reuters)

(Production: Xihao Jiang)

Another Filipina contracts COVID-19 in Hong Kong

Robie de Guzman   •   February 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Another Filipino worker in Hong Kong has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Philippine Consulate General said Thursday.

Citing information from the Hong Kong Health Department, the consulate said the latest case is a 29-year old Filipina.

“The Hong Kong Health Department officially informed the Consulate General this morning that a 29-year old Filipina has tested positive for COVID-19,” the consulate said in a statement.

It added that they immediately coordinated with the Filipina to ascertain her condition.

“She is in good spirits and said she no longer has fever. She added that she is well taken care of but hospital visits are not allowed given that she is in isolation,” it said.

The latest report brings the number of Filipinos infected with novel coronavirus in Hong Kong to two.

The first Filipino COVID-19 patient in Hong Kong is expected to be released from the hospital this week, provided her test results remain negative, the consulate said.

It added that as of Thursday, February 27, the remaining Filipino undergoing quarantine remains healthy and asymptomatic, and will be released on Friday, February 28.

The consulate assured it will continue to closely monitor the condition of all Filipinos in Hong Kong and render all necessary assistance to the them.

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