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Thanks Cardinal Zen

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): Alex Chow Yong-kang, who was given a prison sentence on August 17 for his part in the civil disobedience movement of 2014, dubbed the Umbrella Movement, has thanked the former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, for visiting him in prison.
 
Released on bail on November 7, Chow posted a letter to his two compatriots, Joshua Wang Chi-fung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung, who are also out on bail pending an appeal against their prison sentences that is scheduled to be heard in January next year.
 

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Indigenous solidarity

HONG KONG (SE): The annual Filipino Tribal Sunday festival was held in Edinburgh Place in Central on October 29, but this year’s event showed an important expansion, as for the first time a tribal group from Mindanao was also represented.
 

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Diocese to oppose gender reassignment

HONG KONG (SE): At what was billed as a consultation on proposed changes to the law regarding recognition of gender for people commonly referred to as transgender on September 30, Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing said that the diocese wants to convey a united stance opposed to any recognition.
 
A working group was set up by the diocese in mid-August to come up with a response to the government working paper prepared by an Inter-Departmental Working Group on Gender Recognition.
 

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Tiananmen and riots not history

HONG KONG (UCAN): A revised curriculum for the teaching of Chinese history in junior secondary schools in Hong Kong was opened up for consultation to the public on October 3, but unlike that presented in 2012 when the content was the contentious issue, this time around it is more likely to be the lack of it that will draw flak.
 

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A half-way house in Cheung Chau

HONG KONG (SE): A constant visitor to the prisons of Hong Kong, Father John Wotherspoon, has become the inspiration behind the opening of the Mercy Centre, a half-way house for people who have been released from prison and facing difficulties in reestablishing themselves in society.
 
The Australian Oblate of Mary Immaculate priest is a well-known personality among the non-Chinese prison population of Hong Kong and has been a constant campaigner for foreign prisoners, most of whom he says have been convicted of smuggling drugs.
 

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Youth Synod survey a fizz

VATICAN (SE): At the beginning of this year, the Vatican announced that it was posting a survey online for the use of young people from the ages of 16 to 29 as part of the preparation for the Bishops’ Synod on Youth that is scheduled to be held in Rome during October next year.
 
However, as due dates came and went, there was still no sign of the survey on the Internet. Eventually, it did show its head on June 14, but whatever initial enthusiasm had been shown for it seemed to have evaporated by then and it is now being judged as a fizzer.

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Workers offered a walking stick

HONG KONG (SE): While welcoming a plan to subsidise transport costs for working people presented by the chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, in her maiden policy address on October 11, the Catholic Commission for Labour Affairs is calling it a token gesture or cosmetic throwaway line.
 
In a statement released on the same day Lam addressed the Legislative Council, the commission said that the fundamental difficulties faced by working people involve long work hours, low wages and a lack of any realistic retirement protection plan.

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Two from Hong Kong ordained

HONG KONG (SE): Reverend Francis Mahilum and Reverend Flavien Bouambe, both from the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM), were ordained priests during October and although they are confreres in Hong Kong their ceremonies were far apart.
 
Father Mahilum was ordained by Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung at St. Lawrence’s parish in Tsuen Wan on October 14.
 
Now 38-years-of-age, Father Mahilum, was born into a Catholic family in The Philippines and is the youngest of 11 children.
 

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One bishop’s dreams

HONG KONG (SE): While Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung sees many challenges for the Church both in China and Hong Kong, as well as internationally, he told the French publication La Croix in an interview published on October 18 that his primary focus is on his own diocese.
 
The 71-year-old bishop believes that the local Church’s major priorities are local and as the bishop of Hong Kong he sees many immediate challenges that what he terms a fractured society presents.
 

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Free speech comes at a cost

HONG KONG (UCAN): Threatening letters have been sent to the British-based family of the editor of the Hong Kong Free Press, Tom Grundy, warning that he needs to tread carefully in the political coverage provided by the English-language media outlet.
 
Grundy is the cofounder and editor-in-chief of the Free Press and a warning letter sent to his family in the United Kingdom on September 29 reads, “In politics, when one does not know one’s enemies clearly, one could get hurt.”
 

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