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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 10:45
Tear gas-smothered CUHK says water, soil still safe

The Chinese University said on Friday that tests it has had carried out since police fired massive amounts of tear gas on its campus in Sha Tin last month show the soil and water there do not contain hazardous amounts of toxic chemicals and no clean-up is necessary. Riot officers used more than 2,300 canisters of tear gas as they battled with protesters at the university for hours on November 12. Students and teaching staff were quick to raise concerns that the campus could be contaminated with toxins, and the university decided to appoint an independent laboratory to collect and test air, water and soil samples.On Friday, the institution's management released the findings of some of the water and soil tests.It said the amount of dioxins, cyanide, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the soil samples were all well below the risk level set out by the Environmental Protection Department."Risks to human health arising from exposure to [the] soil are minimal and measures to protect public health, including a clean-up, would not be necessary," the university said.As for the water, it said the levels of the chemicals were all below limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States."This implies that the health hazards from these contaminants in soil and water samples are negligible," the university statement added.No results were released for the tests on the air around the campus and the university said it would make public other findings once they become available.

2019-12-06 15:40:50
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 09:30
Lunchtime demos drum up support for Sunday march

Dozens of office workers braved the cold weather on Friday to once again stage lunchtime protests in several districts, including Central, Cheung Sha Wan, Tai Koo, San Po Kong and Kwun Tong. Shouting slogans and singing the protest anthem "Glory to Hong Kong", they called on the government to respond to their demands, including an independent probe into allegations of police brutality. They also used the demonstrations to drum up support for what is expected to be a large-scale protest this Sunday, appealing to passers-by to join the Civil Human Rights Front march from Victoria Park to Chater Road. A finance worker surnamed Lam, who joined the demonstration in Central's Pedder Street, said she wasn't disheartened to see the scale of the now regular lunchtime protest in the district starting to dwindle. "It's become part of our lives that we have to be here every day to show that we are supporting this movement, and it's not going to end until the government answers our demands," Lam said."This is a long-term movement. So whoever can come out, they should come out. I think everybody should just do what they can to keep this movement going."Some of the previous protests held in Central in recent weeks ended in clashes between participants and police, but Friday's demonstration passed off peacefully with no sign of any riot officers on the streets.

2019-12-06 14:27:18 (3)
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 09:05
Unionists urge 5 percent pay rises despite recession

The Confederation of Trade Unions on Friday called on bosses to give their staff pay rises of five percent next year, despite Hong Kong being in its first recession for a decade. The unionists said many of the city's biggest firms remain vastly profitable and can afford generous pay rises, even if they have suffered during the last six months of unrest. The confederation's chairwoman, Carol Ng, said inflation was at 2.9 percent for the first 10 months of the year, and higher pay could help revive the economy. Ng said any companies that are struggling should negotiate with their employees."We suggest that employers talk to the unions, or the staff representatives or staff organisations, to find a win-win situation, a win-win solution," she said.

2019-12-06 14:04:03 (1)
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 08:00
Asian stocks rally on market optimism

Shares swung higher in Asia on Friday after a wobbly day of trading on Wall Street as investors awaited a U.S. government jobs report and kept an eye out for developments in China-U.S. trade talks.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.7% to 26,401.47, while the Nikkei 225 in Japan picked up 0.2% to 23,352.81. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 0.9% to 2,078.77, while the Shanghai Composite index was flat, at 2,899.97. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 gained 0.2% to 6,697.40. Shares also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.Investors are hoping that the world’s two biggest economies will reach a trade deal before new U.S. tariffs go into effect Dec 15 on some popular products made in China, including smartphones.“Whether or not U.S.-China can cut a deal remains the obsession; arguably the only game in town heading into ahead of the 15-Dec deadline for the next round of tariffs fall due,” Mizuho Bank said in a commentary.Chinese officials said Thursday that hinges on whether the U.S. will agree to roll back some of the tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump after he began his effort to win trade concessions from Beijing in mid-2018.Investors will also be looking for clues into the state of the U.S. economy from the Labor Department’s November tally of hiring by nonfarm employers, to be released later Friday. Economists expect the unemployment rate to hold steady at 3.6%.“You’ve had some mixed economic data this week, so the market probably wants to wait and see what we get tomorrow morning,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird. (AP)

2019-12-06 12:57:23
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 07:50
Protesters to blame for new MTR line delay: govt

Transport Secretary Frank Chan has blamed anti-government protesters for the further delay expected to the full opening of the MTR’s new Shatin-Central Link. Speaking at a Legco railways subcommittee meeting, the MTR Corporation said due to widespread damage to the East Rail Line, in particular University Station, the opening of the Hung Hom-Admiralty section of the future link will be further delayed from the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022. As for the partial commissioning of the first part of the link – from Tai Wai to Kai Tak – the firm said this section is now undergoing trial runs and it hopes to open it in the first quarter of 2020. The original target of mid-2019 was pushed back by construction delays. The MTR Corporation said because University Station was trashed by protesters and almost needs to be rebuilt completely, staff who had been engaged in construction work for the new link had to be sent there instead, to conduct emergency checks and repairs.Despite the dire assessment of the state of University Station, it is expected to partially re-open before the end of the year. Chan told lawmakers on Friday that the construction of the HK$99.1 billion Shatin-Central Link had been running at full steam and there would not have been any further delay if it wasn't for the widespread vandalism along the existing MTR lines.The link has been plagued by a series of construction scandals, notably substandard work at Hung Hom Station which led to a commission of inquiry that held hearings for months. A final report from the inquiry is expected by March.Against this backdrop, many lawmakers were sceptical about Chan's claim that the ongoing protests are to blame for an anticipated further delay to the opening date. Roundtable legislator Michael Tien, for example, said uncertainties surrounding the future Exhibition Centre Station have also played a part, after subsidence was found at the site.“Exhibition (Centre station) needs to be ready by the middle of 2021. They are trying everything to make sure that that can be done and there seems to be some risks and it’s a challenge. So actually, that is the main cause, rather than the damaged parts of the University Station”, he said.

2019-12-06 12:47:36 (2)
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 07:30
Hospitals overflowing as cold snap hits Hong Kong

Health officials said on Friday that the city's accident and emergency departments were overflowing with patients, as the city sees its lowest temperatures of the winter so far. The average occupancy rates for inpatient beds at 16 public hospitals was 103 percent in the early hours of the morning.There were more patients than beds at 11 of the hospitals, with the Caritas Medical Centre in Sham Shui Po the most overcrowded, with an occupancy rate of 121 percent. Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei and Yuen Long's Pok Oi Hospital were not far behind when it came to overcapacity, with these hospitals seeing a similar situation throughout the week.Last week, the Hospital Authority said it was stepping up its services as the winter flu season closes in, with 500 new regular beds and 900 temporary beds available.The Hong Kong Observatory issued a cold weather warning on Friday for the second day in a row, with the city seeing lows of around 12 degrees. The Centre for Health Protection warned that the cold weather could easily trigger or exacerbate illnesses, especially among the elderly and those with heart disease, respiratory problems or other chronic illnesses."Elderly people have less insulating fat beneath their skin to keep them warm and their body temperature control mechanism may be weaker. Their body may not be able to appropriately respond to the cold weather," a spokesman for the CHP said in a statement.As well as wearing warmer clothes, the spokesman advised elderly people and those with illnesses to make sure they eat enough food, get regular exercise and avoid drinking alcohol."Drinking alcohol cannot keep you warm. Alcohol accelerates the loss of body heat through dilated blood vessels, resulting in chilling instead," he said.

2019-12-06 12:28:50 (1)
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 06:50
Indian police shoot dead four suspects in rape case

Indian police said on Friday that they had shot dead four men accused of the gang rape and killing of a 27-year-old woman that sparked nationwide protests.The men were killed while trying to escape during a re-enactment of the crime staged in the middle of the night in the southern city of Hyderabad, a top police officer said."They were killed in crossfire. They tried to snatch weapons from the guards but were shot dead," Prakash Reddy, a deputy commissioner of police in Hyderabad said."We called an ambulance but they died before any medical help could reach them."The four were arrested last week on charges of raping, murdering and burning the body of the veterinary doctor, who had parked her scooter on a busy highway on November 27.The men deflated her scooter tyre and lured her to a truck yard with the promise of fixing the machine, according to police.They allegedly then raped and murdered the woman before setting the body on fire under an isolated bridge.The crime sparked nationwide outrage in India, which has been in the international spotlight over its handling of such cases since the gang-rape and murder of a student on a bus in New Delhi in 2012. (AFP)

2019-12-06 11:45:57
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 06:26
Mainland university makes Junius Ho a doctor again

Controversial Hong Kong lawmaker Junius Ho has reportedly been conferred an honorary doctorate by the China University of Political Science and Law. The state-backed Global Times newspaper said the pro-Beijing legislator was awarded the honour for the "remarkable contributions and accomplishments" he has made in the legal sector. The Beijing-based university’s move comes after Ho's alma mater in Britain, Anglia Ruskin University, decided to strip him of an honorary law degree in October due to his controversial conduct surrounding the SAR's anti-government protests.Ho has come under fire numerous times over his comments regarding pan-democrats and protesters, including a remark in Legco about Council Front lawmaker Claudia Mo that many found to be both sexist and racist. Ho also triggered widespread outrage after he was seen shaking hands with men suspected of being linked to a vicious attack on MTR passengers in Yuen Long in July.A month ago, the lawmaker was stabbed in the chest while out campaigning for the district council elections, with a man arrested for the alleged attack.Ho lost his seat in the Tuen Mun district in the polls on November 24.

2019-12-06 11:21:25 (1)
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 05:26
Pyongyang issues 'dotard' warning to Trump

North Korea has threatened to resume referring to US president Donald Trump as a "dotard", raising the prospect of a return to a war of words with a negotiating deadline approaching.Pyongyang has set Washington an end-of-year time limit to offer it new concessions in deadlocked nuclear negotiations, and has said it will adopt an unspecified "new way" if nothing acceptable is forthcoming.Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un – whose countries and their allies fought each other to a standstill in the 1950-53 Korean War – engaged in mutual insults and threats of devastation in 2017, sending tensions soaring before a diplomatic rapprochement the following year.But denuclearisation negotiations have been at a standstill since a summit in Hanoi broke up in February.Trump on Tuesday indicated military action was still possible when he was asked about Pyongyang on the sidelines of a Nato summit in Britain."He definitely likes sending rockets up, doesn't he? That's why I call him 'Rocket Man'," Trump said, reprising one of his previously favoured nicknames for Kim.Pyongyang reacted stiffly late on Thursday, with vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui saying the comments were made with "no courtesy when referring to the supreme leadership... of the DPRK"."If this is meant to make expressions, reminiscent of those days just two years ago when a war of words was fought across the ocean... it will be a very dangerous challenge," she said in a statement carried by the North's state news agency KCNA.Referring to Trump by name and reprising Kim's own previously preferred insult, she said that any repetition "must really be diagnosed as the relapse of the dotage of a dotard".North Korea's comments came a day after it warned that if the US used military force against the North it would take "prompt corresponding actions at any level" in the event of military action by Washington. (AFP)

2019-12-06 10:21:00
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 04:46
Hong Kong stocks make more gains at open

Hong Kong stocks started with gains on Friday morning with investors remaining optimistic that China and the United States will reach a partial trade deal.The Hang Seng index added 0.49 per cent to 26,345.And the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.10 per cent to 2,902, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, ticked about a point higher to 1,628. (AFP)

2019-12-06 09:40:16
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 04:16
Uber says it received 450 rape reports in two years

Nearly 6,000 instances of sexual assault, including more than 450 cases of rape, were reported to Uber in the United States in 2017 and 2018, the ride-sharing company said in a report on safety released on Thursday.It is the first time that Uber has released the figures – which also revealed 19 fatal assaults related to the company over the two-year period – as it and rival Lyft face increasing pressure to cope with the growing number of complaints of abuse.The company received 464 reports of non-consensual sexual penetration and 587 of attempted non-consensual sexual penetration in 2017 and 2018.The other assaults fell into categories such as non-consensual kissing or touching.While the number of reports went up from 2017 to 2018 in three of the five categories, including non-consensual sexual penetration and non-consensual touching of a sexual body part, the ride-sharing service hailed across-the-board declines in the "incident rate" based on a larger number of overall trips occurring in the latter year."From 2017 to 2018, Uber saw approximately a 16 per cent decrease in the average incident rate across the five most serious sexual assault categories reported. Additionally, there were rate decreases across each of the five individual categories," the report said.Uber also reported 10 "fatal physical assaults" related to its service in 2017 and nine in 2018."During 2017 and 2018, there were 19 fatal physical assaults occurring in a total of 18 incidents in relation to Uber," the company said.Of the dead, eight were riders, seven were drivers and four were third parties including bystanders, Uber said. (AFP)

2019-12-06 09:11:48
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 04:05
Protest organisers look to big, peaceful turnout

Organisers of a major, authorised protest on Hong Kong Island have said they expect the event to pass peacefully as police stressed that they had contingency plans in place if there was any violence.The Civil Human Rights Front has been granted permission for a rally and march from Victoria Park to Chater Road on Sunday, its first authorised march since August. Its lawful demonstrations have attracted the biggest turnouts since the anti-extradition movement began in June."From what we have seen in previous weeks, that nearly three million citizens cast their votes in the district council elections, we believe that they will also be encouraged and empowered to take part in protests," said Eric Lai, the front's vice-chairman. "We hope as many people as possible will join the movement, not only to show support for human rights in Hong Kong, but also our outrage against police brutality in previous months."Last Sunday, tens of thousands of people join an authorised march from Tsim Sha Tsui to Hung Hom. However police used pepper spray and later tear gas at "rioters" who they said had thrown smoke bombs, as well as straying from the official route of the march.Speaking before departing for a trip to Beijing, Police Commissioner Chris Tang called on protesters to remain peaceful and show the world that they can hold orderly mass demonstrations.He said police had contingency plans in place if the protest turned violent.Tang said his trip to Beijing would be an opportunity to introduce himself and his management team to officials in the capital.

2019-12-06 09:02:58
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 03:41
Brighton inflict more misery on Arsenal

Arsenal's winless streak reached nine games as Brighton beat the Gunners 2-1 on Thursday in Freddie Ljungberg's first home match in temporary charge.Neal Maupay headed in a deserved winner for the Seagulls 10 minutes from time after Alexandre Lacazette had cancelled out Adam Webster's opener for Brighton.Defeat leaves Arsenal in 10th and 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea in the hunt for Champions League qualification next season.On this evidence there is little chance of Ljungberg landing the job on a permanent basis as another sparse crowd at the Emirates greeted the final whistle with a chorus of boos.After a 2-2 draw at Norwich on Sunday in the first match since Unai Emery was sacked, there was again no sign of a new manager bounce for Ljungberg's home bow. Brighton dominated the first 45 minutes and could have gone in at the break more than one goal to the good.Aaron Connolly should have turned Maupay's shot across goal in at the far post before Bernd Leno had to show his reflexes to deny Maupay and Davy Propper with shots from outside the box.The opener seemed only a matter of time for the visitors and arrived nine minutes before half-time when Arsenal failed to clear a corner and Webster fired home the loose ball from close range.Going behind woke Arsenal. They could easily have levelled moments later when Joe Willock headed straight at Mat Ryan from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's cross.Willock was sacrificed at the interval as Ljungberg introduced club record signing Nicolas Pepe, who had started on the bench for the fifth straight league game under two different managers.Ljungberg's half-time tinkering did the trick as the hosts came out a different side in the second half.Lacazette's looping header brought Arsenal level just five minutes into the second period before Aubameyang was inches away from connecting with crosses from Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac.Brighton still posed a threat themselves and fired a warning shot when Maupay failed to beat Leno from point-blank range.David Luiz thought he had put Arsenal in front as he turned home from Mesut Ozil's free-kick only for the Brazilian to rightly be ruled offside after a VAR review.Brighton made the most of that reprieve to win on the road in the Premier League for the first time since the opening weekend of the season as Mooy's cross picked out Maupay to head into the far corner. (AFP)

2019-12-06 08:34:17
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 03:36
Murder probe after Kowloon City attack

A man has died after attempting to intervene when he saw a woman being attacked with a knife in Kowloon City.Police were called at about 5.30pm when someone saw the man lying unconscious in Ma Tau Chung Road. The 39-year-old man was declared dead at Kwong Wah Hospital less than an hour later.Investigators say they believe the man was passing through the area when he saw a woman being attacked. He received chest and head injuries. A 23-year-old woman was taken to Kwong Wah Hospital with injuries to her head and abdomen. She remained conscious.The attacker fled the scene. The Kowloon City District crime squad is investigating. They're treating the case as murder and wounding.

2019-12-06 08:32:25 (3)
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 03:36
Newcastle, helped by VAR, stun Sheffield United 2-0

Newcastle ended Sheffield United's seven-match unbeaten run in the English Premier League with a 2-0 victory on Thursday, helped by another disputed VAR decision.Newcastle took the lead through Allan Saint-Maximin's header in the 15th minute, before Jonjo Shelvey netted a bizarre second midway through the second half.United's defenders switched off completely after the linesman flagged for offside when Andy Carroll flicked the ball on toward Shelvey. However, the referee waved play on and the midfielder slotted the ball into the net when he was clear through on goal, with goalkeeper Dean Henderson making little effort to stop it.A video review showed that Carroll was onside, and the goal stood.It was the hosts' first defeat since losing at home to Liverpool in September.The win brings Newcastle level with Sheffield on 19 points in midtable. (AFP)

2019-12-06 08:29:37
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RTHK Latest News 6 Dec 2019, 00:25
US stocks end up ahead of job data

Wall Street stocks finished slightly higher on Thursday following a choppy session that avoided the big swings from earlier in the week on trade-oriented headlines.US and Chinese negotiators are working to finalise a preliminary trade deal announced in October that would block new tariffs expected to take effect this month. Officials have sent mixed signals on the talks, sending shares gyrating.Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, described Thursday's session as "pretty fair and balanced" after the market's "Pavlovian" moves in recent days on trade news.The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.1 percent at 27,677.79.The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.2 percent at 3,117.43, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.1 percent to 8,570.70.A fairly heavy week of economic reports is set to culminate on Friday with the government jobs report for November.Analysts expect the US added 182,000 jobs last month. The report will provide a key reading on labour trends heading into a Federal Reserve meeting next week.Among individual companies, United Airlines dipped 0.4 percent as the carrier announced that Oscar Munoz would step down as chief executive and be replaced by President Scott Kirby.Petroleum-linked shares retreated as major oil exporting countries at an OPEC meeting in Vienna weighed a plan for deeper cuts to boost prices. Oil prices had rallied Wednesday in anticipation of bigger cuts. (AFP)

2019-12-06 05:22:34
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RTHK Latest News 5 Dec 2019, 23:45
Everton sack Marco Silva, Ferguson takes over

Everton sacked manager Marco Silva after 18 months in charge at Goodison Park on Thursday after a 5-2 thrashing by Liverpool saw the club fall into the Premier League relegation zone."Everton Football Club can confirm that manager Marco Silva has left the Club," Everton said in a statement."Duncan Ferguson has taken temporary charge of the first team and will manage the side for the game against Chelsea on Saturday."David Moyes has been linked with a return to Goodison as Silva's successor as a stop-gap until the end of the season.A run of eight defeats in 11 games sealed Silva's fate after the club assembled a squad that was expected to challenge for European qualification at the other end of the table.Everton fans called for the Portuguese to go after a 2-0 home defeat to Norwich on November 23.He was handed a reprieve and an improved performance despite conceding a late winner to Leicester in a 2-1 defeat last weekend saw him limp into the Merseyside derby.However, that was the final straw as the Blues conceded five times to Liverpool for the first time since 1982.Silva becomes the fourth Premier League manager to be sacked in little over two weeks after Tottenham, Arsenal and Watford also fired Mauricio Pochettino, Unai Emery and Quique Sanchez Flores respectively.The former Hull and Watford boss becomes the fourth managerial casualty since Farhad Moshiri took charge of Everton in 2016 after Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce.Silva was heavily backed in the transfer market with over £100 million ($130 million) spent on the likes Richarlison, Lucas Digne, Andre Gomes, Yeray Mina, Moise Kean and Alex Iwobi over the past two summers.An eighth place finish last season was seen as scant return on that investment and things went from bad to worse this season until Moshiri felt the need to bite the bullet once more. (AFP)

2019-12-06 04:41:24
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RTHK Latest News 5 Dec 2019, 22:20
Iran accused of developing nuclear-capable missiles

Britain, France and Germany have accused Iran of developing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in a letter dismissed by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Thursday as "a desperate falsehood".UN ambassadors for the three countries said in the letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that Iran's actions were "inconsistent" with the UN resolution enshrining a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.But Zarif on Twitter said the Europeans were covering up their own "miserable incompetence" at abiding by the nuclear deal and were "bowing to US bullying".The letter referred to footage shared on social media in April this year of the test flight of a new Shabab-3 medium range ballistic missile variant that was "technically capable of delivering a nuclear weapon".The European powers also pointed to three other launches this year, including that of the Borkan-3, a new medium-range ballistic missile tested by Iranian-backed Houthi forces in Yemen on August 2.The letter, dated November 21, said these flights were "the latest in a long series of advances in Iranian ballistic missile technology".Iran's UN ambassador responded in a letter saying the European powers were using "unreliable sources" and "outdated reports" to make misleading arguments."Iran is determined to resolutely continue its activities related to ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles, both of which are within its inherent rights under international law," the letter said.Iran has always denied plans to develop nuclear missiles and says its nuclear programme is only for peaceful energy production and medical purposes.The landmark 2015 deal gave Iran relief from economic sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.But it has been at risk of falling apart since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it in May last year and reimposed sanctions on Iran.Known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it was agreed between Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.Twelve months on from the US pullout, Iran began reducing its commitments to the deal hoping to win concessions from those still party to the accord.Following deadly violence in Iran sparked by a fuel price hike, President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday said he was willing to return to the negotiating table if the United States first drops sanctions.In his remarks, Rouhani said his government was striving to remain in the nuclear deal despite "pressures" that were on it. (AFP)

2019-12-06 03:15:17
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RTHK Latest News 5 Dec 2019, 21:45
Fiji start Rugby Sevens world title defence

Olympic champions Fiji started the defence of their world title with a 24-17 victory over Japan on the opening day of the 50th edition of the Dubai Sevens tournament on Thursday.Captain Jerry Tuwai, who was a gold medallist in Rio in 2016, scored one of four tries for the Flying Fijians who pipped the US to claim their fourth global crown in June.Elsewhere Mike Friday's Americans beat Ireland 24-19, who have been promoted as a core team for this season's circuit.New Zealand, winners in Dubai last December, hammered Wales 36-7 as Tone Ng Shiu, Kurt Baker and Ngarohi McGarvey-Black all crossed twice.South Africa came from behind to claim a 17-12 victory over Kenya as Rosko Specman and Seabelo Senatla dotted down in the second half after trailing by seven points to the Shujaa at the break.On Friday, the Pacific Islanders face Argentina and France for a place in the main quarter-final draw.In the women's tournament Stacey Waaka and Huia Harding scored two tries each as defending world and Dubai champions New Zealand hammered Japan 48-0.The Black Ferns play England and France on Friday in the second leg of the women's series after the US won on home soil at Glendale in October. (AFP)

2019-12-06 02:40:00
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RTHK Latest News 5 Dec 2019, 21:00
Pension protests lead to violent clashes in France

Paris police on Thursday used tear gas to disperse rioters who set fire to a vehicle and smashed windows at a protest marking one of the biggest strikes in France in years, AFP correspondents said.The tensions broke out close to the place de la Republique square in the east of Paris, where thousands had massed to protest planned pension reforms. A construction trailer was overturned and set on fire, sending a huge plume of smoke into the sky.According to Paris police, 71 people have been detained so far in the French capital. The protest was still continuing as darkness began to fall with demonstrators still thronging the square.At least 450,000 people took to the streets across France -- not including Paris -- according to an AFP count based on police and official figures. Most protests were peaceful.The CGT union said 250,000 people protested in the French capital.The so-called "yellow vest" protesters whose weekly demonstrations have rocked the rule of President Emmanuel Macron over the last year have vowed to join in the union-led strike protests.However analysts have warned that this risks seeing the movement spiral out of the control of the unions, should the protests turn violent.There were tensions in the northwestern city of Nantes where a total of 20,000 people turned out and police used tear gas against the most radical protesters known as the "black blocs".Police and demonstrators also clashed in the southeastern city of Lyon, where security forces also used tear gas.The demonstrations spread as far as France's overseas departments, with some 3,000 people protesting in Saint-Denis, the main city of the French Indian Ocean territory of La Reunion. (AFP)

2019-12-06 01:54:22
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