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Rare dinosaur exhibition at Science Museum set to end Feb 22

Posted on 22 January 2023 No comments
One of the 8 dinosaur skeletons that can be viewed at the Science Museum exhibit

Skeletons of eight of the world's most iconic creatures that once flourished in the age of dinosaurs, rare fossil bones and some of the most complete fossil dinosaur skeletons now on display at the Hong Kong Science Museum can be seen only until Feb. 22.

This was announced by the government as it encouraged the public to view the rare exhibition for free, but with prior online registration.

The precious and impressive fossil collection has been sourced from museums and academic organisations in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and Morocco.

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Except for the Tyrannosaurus (which was brought here for an exhibition years back), the other seven fossil skeletons, including the Triceratops, Allosaurus, Hesperosaurus, Diplodocus, Spinosaurus, Hatzegopteryx and a baby Sauropod are on display in Hong Kong for the first time.

Because of their enormous size, a total area of around 2,000 square meters has been set aside for the exhibit, which offers an immersive experience through the use of multimedia projection techniques, lighting effects and the fusion of scientific research, paleontology artwork and unique scenography.

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As the priceless collection known as the “Big Eight” exhibition is not likely to be under one roof again, everyone in Hong Kong is being urged not to miss this last chance to view the rare artifacts in one big swoop.

Since its launch in July last year, the exhibition has been viewed by more than 750,000 visitors.

More than750k people have viewed the rare exhibit since July last year

Guided tours in Cantonese are held at the museum during Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, at three sessions per day.

During the one-hour guided tour, visitors are taken through the prehistoric world with the introduction of precious original fossils and scientific breakthroughs in each era, to reveal the unique anatomical structures and living habits of the prehistoric creatures.

Visitors can sign up for the tours on-site on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Famous cartoon characters Chibi Maruko Chan and Hanawa Kun will guide special free “Weekend Safari Tours” in Cantonese in four sessions on Jan 28 (Saturday), January 29 (Sunday), February 12 (Sunday) and February 19 (Sunday) for children and adults.

On-site registration starts 15 minutes before each guided tour on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested parties may visit the FIF website www.fif.org.hk/meet-chibimarukochan for details.

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Jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and the First Initiative Foundation (FIF), and jointly organised by the Hong Kong Science Museum and the FIF, the exhibition is exclusively sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC); and supported by the MTR Corporation.

This is one of the many projects funded by HKJC’s donation of $630 million to the Government to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR.

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All visitors are required to make an advance booking on the Internet. For details of e-bookings, exhibition content, guided tours and related programmes, please visit the website at big8dinosaurs.hk or call 2732 3232 for enquiries. Masks are required inside the museum.

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62-year-old torture claimant fails bid to stop repatriation

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By The SUN

High Court says applicant failed to show a real risk of her being seriously harmed or killed

A 62-year-old Filipina who came to Hong Kong as a tourist 16 years ago and overstayed, failed in her bid to get the High Court to give her more time to appeal the decision of the Torture Claims Appeal Board denying her right to remain in Hong Kong.

In his order issued on Thursday, Jan 19, Deputy High Court Judge Bruno Chan noted that applicant Emelita Arista was already five months late in filing the application for leave to appeal the decision.

The delay, said the Judge, must be considered “very substantial and inordinate,” apart from the fact that Arista did not provide an explanation as to why she failed to appeal against the TCAB’s decision on time.

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In any case, Judge Chan said he did not find merit in Arista’s intended application for a Judicial review as she had failed to cite any proper ground for it.

“…as such, and in the absence of any error of law or irrationality or procedural unfairness in her process before the Board or in its decision being clearly and properly identified by the Applicant, I do not find any merits in her intended application either,” said the Judge.

He also stressed what the Court of Appeal has repeatedly said, that a judicial review does not serve as a rehearing of a refoulement claim, during which the applicant was given sufficient chance to present his or her case.

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In such cases, the evaluation or the risk or harm to the claimant is primarily a matter for the Immigration Director and the Board, said the judge.

Arista, who was born in Manila and raised in Ilocos Sur, worked in Hong Kong as a foreign domestic helper from 1999 to 2003.

During this time, she heard of a land dispute between her father and a cousin, Ruel. She decided to confront Ruel about this during a vacation in the Philippines in the 2003, as a result of which he made threats against her.

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After her father passed away in 2006, Ruel threatened to kill her if she did not surrender her part in the disputed land to him.

Fearing for her life, Arista fled to Manila and then to Hong Kong where she overstayed. She was arrested by the police in 2017, or more than 10 years later.

She subsequently filed a non-refoulement claim for protection on July 13, 2017 and attended a screening interview before the Immigration Department with legal representation from the Duty Lawyer Service.

 

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On Aug 9, 2017 the Director of Immigration rejected he applicant’s claim, saying the level of risk of harm from Ruel was low, and that there was no reliable evidence of any real intention on his part to seriously harm or kill Arista.

In any event, said the Director, the dispute was a private matter among family members and there was no indication that the applicant would not be given state or police protection if she returned to the Philippines.

On the contrary, the Country of Origin Information (“COI”) on the Philippines shows that with its large population of more than 100 million spread across a vast territory of more than 300,000 square kilometers, it would not be difficult for the applicant to move to other parts of the country where it would be impossible for Ruel to locate her.

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On Aug 25, 2017 she appealed the Director’s decision to the TCAB. Just over a  year later, or on Jul 31, 2018, the Board dismissed the appeal and affirmed the Director’s decision.

Arista did not take any further action until Apr 1, 2019 when she filed her Form 86 for leave to apply for judicial review of the Board’s decision. However, she cited no ground but merely attached a copy of the decision.

By then, she was already “seriously out of time with her application,” said the judge.

According to Order 53 rule 4(1) of the Rules of the High Court, an application for leave to apply for judicial review must be made within three months from the day when grounds for the application first arose, unless the court finds reasonable ground to extend the period.

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Central retailer arrested for selling mercury-laden whitening creams

Posted on 21 January 2023 No comments

 By The SUN

A woman selling this product in Central has been arrested

Hong Kong Customs has again warned against the use of two types of whitening products carrying the brand name “Goree” – the same cream that sent two Filipina domestic helpers to the hospital in November last year due to suspected mercury poisoning.

A statement from Customs published Friday, January 20, said a 52-year-old female retailer selling the two banned products in Central was arrested, but was released on bail pending further investigations.

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Customs said it did not rule out making further arrests.

Notice was also served on the retailer, ordering it to stop selling the unsafe products

The two products were identified as Goree Whitening Cream with Lycopene and Goree Day and Night Cream.

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The Customs statement said that the two products “exceeded the maximum permitted limit by 22 000 and 21 000 times respectively, suspected to be in contravention of the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance (CGSO).”

Further, the packages of the two products only bore warnings in English, without any Chinese translation, which contravened a related law, the Consumer Goods Safety Regulation.

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In November, two Filipinas, aged 39 and 43 were taken to hospital and were found to have proteinuria, or the presence of excess proteins (or mercury) in urine, the likely result of their having used the two products for several months.

According to medical advice, chronic exposure to mercury can cause damage to the nervous system and kidneys.

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Symptoms may include tremors, irritability, insomnia, memory deterioration, concentration difficulty, impaired hearing and vision, and a change in the taste function.

In severe cases, renal or kidney failure may occur.

Customs shows the Goree products seized from the woman selling them in Central

The Customs statement carried a warning particularly directed at employers to warn their FDHs against using the products- or stop them if they have already done so.

Customs also reminded the public not to buy beauty products of unknown composition, or from doubtful sources.

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Those who have used the named beauty products should seek medical attention immediately if they feel unwell after use.

Members of the public with information relating to unsafe consumer goods may make a report via Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

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8 arrested in pre-CNY raids targeting illegal work

Posted on 20 January 2023 No comments

 

An Immigration van is parked near one of 10 Lunar New Year fairs targeted during the 4-day raid 

The upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations gave reason for Immigration officers to mount anti-illegal worker operations over the past four days, from Jan 16 to yesterday (Jan 19).

A total of six suspected illegal workers, one employer and one overstayer were arrested during the operations which targeted 54 locations, including stalls at 10 LNT fairs. 

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In the series of operations codenamed Twilight, four suspected IIs – one man and three women – aged 32 to 43, were arrested. Among them, one held a recognizance form which prohibited him from taking up work.

Another woman, aged 44, was suspected of employing one of the workers, and was also arrested.

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In a separate operation held with the HK Police and the Labour Department codenamed Champion, two suspected illegal workers, both women aged 26 and 35, were arrested. A male overstayer aged 41, was also detained.

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As in past similar operations, Immigration warned of serious consequences for those who do illegal work, and those who hire illegal workers.\

Illegal workers who are illegal immigrants, on recognizance or overstayers, face a maximum penalty of three years in jail and $50,000 fine.

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Tourists who take up work, whether paid or unpaid, can be punished with up two years in jail and a fine of $50,000.

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Employers who knowingly hire illegal workers face a maximum penalty of $500,000 and imprisonment for up to ten years’ imprisonment. Moreover, the High Court has prescribed immediate custodial sentence for them.

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