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Genetically-modified Eggplant Found to be Unsafe for Human Consumption, Environment | Global Research

Genetically-modified Eggplant Found to be Unsafe for Human
Consumption, Environment

By Jonathan Benson

Global Research, June 21, 2013


Region: Asia

Theme: Biotechnology and GMO

Field trials of genetically-modified (GM) Bt eggplant, also known as
Bt talong, have officially ceased in the Philippines following a major
ruling by the nation’s Court of Appeals. Representing a massive
victory for food sovereignty, the Court found that Bt talong is a
monumental threat to both environmental and human health, and has
subsequently ordered that all existing plantings of Bt talong in test
fields be immediately destroyed and blocked from further propagation.

Like in many other nations across the globe, the biotechnology
industry has been craftily trying to sneak its genetic poisons into
the Philippines under the guise of improving crop yields, reducing
chemical use, and yada yada ad nauseum – all the typical industry
propaganda and lies used to convince the more gullible among us that
GMOs are some kind of food production miracle. But the Philippines is
not buying all the hype. And unlike the U.S., the southeast Asian
country is taking a bold stand against a technology that has never
been proven safe or beneficial in any way.

According to the non-profit advocacy group Greenpeace, which has been
working on behalf of humanity to stem the tide of GMO onslaught all
around the world, the Court recently issued a “Write of Kalikasan,”
which basically means that all field trials of Bt eggplant in the
Philippines must stop. The Court also ordered that the biotechnology
aggressors “permanently cease and desist” from conducting further
trials, as well as “protect, preserve, rehabilitate and restore” all
the land they have destroyed in the process.

“The field trials of Bt talong involve the willful and deliberate
alteration of the genetic traits of a living element of the ecosystem
and the relationship of living organisms that depend on each other for
their survival,” states the ruling. “Consequently, the field trials .
could not be declared by this Court as safe [for] human health and our
ecology, [since they are] an alteration of an otherwise natural state
of affairs in our ecology.”

Everything about this common-sense decision by the Filipino justice
system makes perfect sense – GMOs definitively spread their poisonous
traits throughout the entire ecosystem, contaminating other crops
along the way, and thus have no place in agriculture, period. But
sadly, such common sense no longer exists in the U.S., where corporate
greed and fundamental corruption have essentially placed profits
before people in every aspect of life.

“We commend the Court of Appeals for living up to its
constitutionally-mandated role as protector of constitutional rights,”
said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner
Daniel Ocampo about the Philippines rejecting GMOs. “This landmark
decision reflects that there are indeed flaws and lapses in the
current regulatory process for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
such as Bt eggplant which exposes our environment and health to
unknown long-term consequences and does not establish their safety in
any way.”

Meanwhile, millions of acres of uncontested GMO crops in the U.S.
continue to ravage both human and environmental health while the
hordes of mindless puppets in the U.S. Congress ignore the issue or
even pretend that GMOs are not an issue. But this new American pastime
of greed and denial about reality will not last forever, as nature
will eventually catch up and extinguish this agricultural scourge with
“superweeds,” “superbugs,” and disease – that is if the American
people do not take action first to forcibly cleanse their nation of
GMOs. The question is, what will it take for the people to wake up and
take action?

Sources for this article include:

read what’s happening elsewhere in the world

School places plea likely to get a fail

Height of Incompetence

Edward Yau Tang Wah and Michael Suen Ming Yeung should be charged with misconduct in public office for their failure to do their jobs during their tenure.

Why would people come here with families ?

Increased roadside pollution during Yau’s tenure, no ECA controls on our major polluter- ocean going vessels high sulphur fuel, no international school place planning.

(sure, great to have an expensive place in Tuen Mun when you live in Aberdeen and speak no Cantonese)

School places plea likely to get a fail

International schools are being urged to raise the maximum number of students to a class to ease a shortage of places.

Eddie Luk

Thursday, June 06, 2013

International schools are being urged to raise the maximum number of students to a class to ease a shortage of places.

But the Education Bureau call appears likely to fall on deaf ears.

Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim told lawmakers yesterday that because of the expansion of the business community there will be an increase in students arriving from overseas with their families.

Taken with local demand, he said, it means increased pressure on international schools for at least five years.

International schools also need to reserve places for youngsters who arrive perhaps at short notice because their parents are relocated to Hong Kong.

Among current predictions, Ng added, there will be a shortage of at least 4,200 primary places in international schools in 2016-17.

Saying that about 14 percent of places are currently occupied by local students, Ng said the Education Bureau recently wrote to international schools “appealing to them to utilize the maximum class size to ensure effective use of land resources and premises and to accord higher priority to children from overseas families who come to Hong Kong with their parents.”

He added: “We also suggest international schools consider devising an allocation mechanism such as a certain proportion of places being earmarked for children whose parents are recruited or relocated from outside Hong Kong.”

The English Schools Foundation was lukewarm to the calls.

A spokeswoman noted that the ESF does not admit students based on nationality, and the current level of 30 students to a class is appropriate.

The foundation will also continue to base admissions on English proficiency and parents’ commitment to a school.

Karin Ann, founder of the International Montessori School in Hong Kong, said the current class size is 25 and is likely to stay that way.

The school will also carry on enrolling students of various nationalities to serve a diverse community.

Earlier, the government revealed that three vacant school premises will go to international outfits, with 1,700 places.

A site in Stanley has been granted to the International Montessori School, which will expand from its base in Tin Hau, while Jewish school Carmel is going to take over a site at Shau Kei Wan.

British group Nord Anglia Education will establish its first school in Hong Kong at a campus in Lam Tin.

Patrick Mercer MP resigns from Tory party after lobbying sting

Patrick Mercer MP resigns from Tory party after lobbying sting

Former shadow minister is understood to have been approached by journalists posing as lobbyists

Patrick Mercer, the Conservative MP for Newark, who has said he will not stand at the next general election. Photograph: Johnny Green/PA

Patrick Mercer, the former shadow minister, has resigned from the Conservative party after being caught up in a sting by journalists posing as lobbyists.

The Conservative MP for Newark said he was resigning the Tory whip immediately “to save my party embarrassment”, and would not stand at the next general election. It is understood that he had been approached by a fake lobbying firm seeking help in parliament for a fake client, believed to be related to Fiji.

The move comes before a BBC Panorama programme in conjunction with Daily Telegraph journalists, due to be broadcast next week, which will allege that he has broken lobbying rules.

It is understood that Mercer – a former army major who completed nine tours in Northern Ireland and commanded a battalion in Bosnia – had been approached by an undercover reporter earlier this year offering him consultancy advice for an overseas client who wanted him to set up an all-party parliamentary group for Fiji.

He is alleged to have taken payment for the consultancy, which he failed to declare to parliamentary authorities in time.

Mercer tabled an early day motion in March calling for an end to Fiji’s suspension from the Commonwealth. He has also submitted a number of written questions on subjects related to Fiji.

In a statement, Mercer said: “Panorama are planning to broadcast a programme alleging that I have broken parliamentary rules.

“I am taking legal advice about these allegations and I have referred myself to the parliamentary commissioner for standards.

“In the meantime, to save my party embarrassment, I have resigned the Conservative whip and have so informed Sir George Young. I have also decided not to stand at the next general election.”

The resignation is another blow for David Cameron, who has promised to clamp down on lobbying in parliament but has dropped plans for a lobbying register bill. Three years ago, Cameron described lobbying as “the next big scandal waiting to happen”.

Mercer, who has represented Newark since 2001, has repeatedly been overlooked for promotion and backed David Davis ahead of Cameron and other contenders in the 2005 Tory leadership contest.

He was sacked from the Tory frontbench in March 2007 after he suggested in an interview that being called a “black bastard” was a normal part of life in the armed forces, adding that he had met a lot of “idle and useless” minority ethnic soldiers.

In November 2011 he was involved in a row with the People newspaper after apparently describing Cameron as a “despicable creature without any real redeeming features”.

He was recorded as describing the prime minister as “the worst politician in British history since William Gladstone” and “an arse”.

“I’ve never, ever come across anyone less suited to the job in my life. I would take a beggar off the streets and put him in that position rather than have Cameron. I loathe him.”

Mercer said it was not clear if he had made all the remarks attributed to him and accused the newspaper of obtaining the material by subterfuge.

Campaigners said Cameron must now react to Mercer’s resignation. Peter Facey, the director of Unlock Democracy, said: “Having failed to take action over the last three years, it is long past time David Cameron took a lead on this issue. The government must now legislate for a robust register of lobbying activity and crack down on both the links between all party groups and commercial interests and the ability for MPs and peers to work as paid consultants.”

A Conservative party spokesman said: “The prime minister is aware. He thinks Patrick Mercer has done the right thing in referring himself to the parliamentary commissioner for standards and resigning the whip.

“It’s important that the due processes take their course.”


Download PDF : cd_ordinance

The Roadmap – European Commission

The Roadmap

The Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe

The Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe (COM(2011) 571) outlines how we can transform Europe’s economy into a sustainable one by 2050. It proposes ways to increase resource productivity and decouple economic growth from resource use and its environmental impact. It illustrates how policies interrelate and build on each other.

Areas where policy action can make a real difference are a particular focus, and specific bottlenecks like inconsistencies in policy and market failures are tackled to ensure that policies are all going in the same direction. Cross-cutting themes such as addressing prices that do not reflect the real costs of resource use and the need for more long-term innovative thinking are also in the spotlight.

Key resources are analysed from a life-cycle and value-chain perspective. Nutrition, housing and mobility are the sectors responsible for most environmental impacts; actions in these areas are being proposed to complement existing measures.

The Resource Efficiency Roadmap provides a framework in which future actions can be designed and implemented coherently. It sets out a vision for the structural and technological change needed up to 2050, with milestones to be reached by 2020. These milestones illustrate what will be needed to put Europe on a path to resource efficient and sustainable growth.

Read more:

Read the Roadmap (Communication COM(2011) 571)

Read the ‘Analysis associated with the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europepdf‘ (European Commission Staff Working Paper, SEC(2011) 1067)

Read the annexespdf to the Staff Working Paper

Read the press release Choose translations of the previous link (IP/2011/1046)

The Europe 2020 Strategy

The Resource Efficiency Roadmap is part of the Resource Efficiency Flagship of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Europe 2020 Strategy is the European Union’s growth strategy for the next decade and aims at establishing a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy with high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.

Watchdog steps up pressure on non-transparent Hong Kong charities

Published on South China Morning Post (

Home > Watchdog steps up pressure on non-transparent Hong Kong charities

Watchdog steps up pressure on non-transparent Hong Kong charities

Tuesday, 21 May, 2013, 12:00am

LifestyleFamily & Education


Nora Tong

Pressure is growing for greater transparency in the surprisingly murky world of charity finances, writes Nora Tong

If it feels as though you rarely venture out on weekends without being tapped for charitable donations by volunteers, you’re probably right. Non-profit groups have mushroomed – more than 7,000 organisations are registered as charities with the Inland Revenue Department – and many hit the streets on flag-selling drives.

But with so many groups seeking funds, it can be tough figuring out which cause to give to. Are the organisations all they’re cracked up to be and how much of the contribution really goes to people in need?

Bonita Wang Zejin found herself asking these questions a few years ago when a friend, whose birthday was approaching, urged their circle of friends to donate to a charity instead of spending on a gift.

“We had no clue where to donate to,” Wang says. “I found it odd there wasn’t a platform for the public to find out more about charities, when even for things like eating ice cream, you can go to [online listing] OpenRice for references.”

That was how she came to set up the charity watchdog iDonate in December 2010. Wang quit her job as an auditor and manager of a private equity fund and recruited a full-time analyst and a part-time programmer for her iDonate team. Together, they evaluate the operational efficiency and transparency of NGOs based on available data. Information is usually drawn from annual reports, often downloaded from the charity’s website, or from audited financial reports purchased from the companies registry information system.

Getting an accurate picture can be tough even for motivated teams like iDonate. There is no central authority that registers and monitors charities, and non-profits are not required to disclose donation amounts or financial information to the public.

Donors who wish to check a non-government group’s financial status and whether contributions are spent in line with its objectives will find that such reports aren’t uniformly presented. Some charities such as women’s empowerment group HER Fund, present a full audited financial report on their website. Others make just a few pages available. Some indicate through graphs and charts how donations are distributed – without revealing absolute figures. And there are those that do not disclose anything at all.

Depending on how they are established, charities are overseen by different government departments. Statutory bodies such as the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals and orphan welfare group Po Leung Kuk must maintain audited accounts of all transactions and be open for inspection by their directors or any person appointed by the chief executive of Hong Kong.

Maintaining transparency entails a cost, but if you think it is something worth doing, you will do it

Linda To, executive director, HER fund

A charity set up as an incorporated company – Save the Children Hong Kong, for example – is required to file annual returns with the Companies Registry. The report covers basics such as its address, board of directors and, where appropriate, any mortgage it takes out.

But unincorporated groups do not have to account for their spending at all.

Groups that secure tax-exempt status with the Inland Revenue Department are subject to periodic review, during which they may be asked to submit accounts and annual reports. Under this review process, charities set up as incorporated companies must submit audited accounts to the IRD, usually every four years. But unincorporated organisations just have to present self-certified accounts.

As Wang sees it, there is unacceptable lack of oversight, arguing that charities are obliged to be transparent about how funds are applied.

“Charities are exempt from taxation and should be accountable to the public,” she says. “Every member of the public should have free access to the audited account of a charitable group. Information on any related transaction – such as whether the charity is paying for the fundraising services provided by a company owned by a member of the charity’s board – should also be disclosed.”

That is why iDonate tries to evaluate the performances of the various charities. Adapting methods used by charity watchdogs in the United States, Wang’s team works out measures such as fundraising efficiency, proportion of fundraising expense, programme expenditure (including project workers’ pay), salaries (including general office staff) and administrative costs in relation to annual spending. The lower the proportion, the higher the score of a charity.

An NGO that devotes more than 85 per cent of its total expenditure on programmes will gain the full mark of 10 points, whereas one in which programme expenses make up only 49 per cent of the total will get 2.5 points.

In countries like the US, it is generally unacceptable for a charity to direct less than 60 per cent of its spending towards programmes, Wang says.

However, Christine Fang Meng-seng, chief executive of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), finds that categorising different types of spending is not always clear cut. “Marketing expenditure is usually considered a type of administrative cost. But what if we’re talking about a charity that fights human trafficking and needs to spend more on public communication? Should this come under programme expenses?

“Some NGOs are reluctant to disclose financial information for fear it will be subject to simplistic comparisons and be misunderstood, since different people would interpret the information differently,” Fang says.

HKCSS, an umbrella group representing more than 400 charities, also manages an initiative called WiseGiving, which aims to inform the public about the work of charities, while monitoring and educating these organisations.

Fang maintains that charities have always had a degree of transparency. Groups receiving government subsidy must account for how it is spent and abide by certain rules. They also have to be accountable to donors, from private foundations to organisations such as the Jockey Club.

But as public demand for transparency grows, NGOs need to work to build trust, Fang says. This includes disclosing the sources of their income and how the resources are used to carry out their mandate, as well as governance issues. Charities should also account for specific activities such as street fundraisers.

Faced with a swelling morass of charities, the government began consultations two years ago to draft a Charities Law, led by a subcommittee under the Law Reform Commission.

The consultation paper has proposed changes from how to define and register a charitable organisation to policies on monitoring and regulating charities more effectively. Suggestions include the mandatory submission of financial accounts, with auditing depending on income levels, and the setting up of a regulatory body to issue fundraising permits and to monitor how those funds are used.

Fang believes such requirements will not only improve NGO transparency but also help the public better understand their work.

Linda To Kit-lai, executive director of the HER Fund, says upholding accountability is particularly important for charities like hers. The group derives income from fundraisers and private donations.

“Our existence depends on the support from our donors, who have every right to know how we are spending their money,” says To. “Maintaining transparency entails a cost, but if you think it is something worth doing, you will do it. We pay our auditor about HK$4,000 a year, and we have no hesitation paying that fee.”

However, a proposal to set up a commission as the sole regulatory body for charities is more controversial.

This commission would be empowered to investigate problematic charities; suspend or remove their trustees, directors and officers in cases of misconduct or mismanagement; and even deregister a charity when it fails to comply with legal obligations.

NGO leaders such as To worry about vesting too much power in one body. “There are no details with regards to the make-up of the commission. Will all members be pro-government? We need diverse voices,” she says.

Church groups conducting underground activities in the mainland are concerned about government interference and the possible suppression of charities, says Bernard Chan, who chairs the sub-committee drafting law recommendations. Although countries such as Britain have instituted such a law, Chan reckons it will be a challenge to do the same in Hong Kong amid a politically polarised environment.

“There’s a lack of trust in the government,” he says. “But maintaining the status quo [on how charities are monitored] cannot be the solution either.”

It may be a few years before there is a charity law in Hong Kong. In the meantime, Chan says civil society must hold charities to their mission. “[Pressure from] donors is an effective means to facilitate NGO transparency. I hope it won’t take a big scandal or crisis before we can work on the monitoring and regulation of charities,” he says. [1]





Non-profit sector



Hong Kong immigrants streaming out of Canada | Vancouver Sun

COMMUNITY/Opinion/Immigration Immigration RSS Feed

Hong Kong immigrants streaming out of Canada

May 18, 2013. 2:23 pm • Section: Immigration, The Search

Hong Kong immigrants streaming out of Canada

Numerous studies for Metropolis, a Canadian government-funded immigration research body, report that many newcomers to Canada from Hong Kong (as well as from Taiwan and China) “never intended to stay.”

Posted by:
Douglas Todd

Recent Posts From This Author

Just like thousands of compatriots who came to Canada from Hong Kong, Edward Shen has returned home.

The psychologist, who earned a PhD at Simon Fraser University, went back to his bustling East Asian homeland for reasons both familial and professional.

He is far from alone. Hong Kong-born Chinese people made up the predominant group of newcomers to Canada and Metro Vancouver in the 1990s. But since then, they have been leaving by the thousands each year.

One reason is family. Shen, who is a friend of mine, was among the first wave of Hong Kong arrivals to Vancouver, touching down here in the late-1980s. He became deeply involved in the life of the city.

However, Shen felt compelled to return to Hong Kong several years ago, in part to care for his aging mother. He also fell in love with a woman who lived in Hong Kong.

Another reason many people from Hong Kong have been returning home is money. Even though Shen had a busy psychotherapy practice in Vancouver of mostly ethnic Chinese patients, he is earning just as much working fewer hours in Hong Kong.

Still, Shen says the most common reason many Hong Kong residents have returned to their homeland from Canada is they have obtained what they believe is the “safety” of a foreign passport.

Says Ed Shen: “Most Hong Kong people know that there is no big money to be made in Canada, even less so in Vancouver. Vancouver in many people’s eyes is a place for retirement of rich people.”

Most Hong Kong residents immigrated to Canada in the decade before 1997, when the city of seven million residents officially became a “special administrative region” of the People’s Republic of China.

After 1997, when emigrants recognized China’s authoritarian regime was not imposing excessively Draconian restrictions on Hong Kong, many who had obtained Canadian passports began streaming back.

Statistics Canada’s numbers tell the tale. Despite Canada’s rapid population growth in the past 15 years, there are now 32,000 fewer Hong Kong-born residents in Canada than there were in 1996.

The 2011 National Household Survey, released last week, shows 209,000 Hong Kong-born residents in Canada (about one third of them living in Metro Vancouver). That compares to 241,000 who lived here in 1996.

Their total numbers in Canada have been dropping despite 1,000 to 2,000 new Hong Kong immigrants a year continuing to trickle in. Even accounting for deaths, it is clear that thousands of Hong Kong citizens each year have been leaving Canada.

Hong Kong now contains more than 350,000 residents holding Canadian citizenship, according to Vancouver lawyer Richard Kurland, editor-in-chief of Lexbase, a widely read publication on immigration policy.

The perspectives of Shen and Kurland are backed by scholarly studies.

Numerous studies for Metropolis, a federal government-funded immigration research body, report that many newcomers to Canada from Hong Kong (as well as from Taiwan and China) “never intended to stay.”

The Metropolis papers reveal a large portion of ethnic Chinese immigrants talk about being in “immigration prison” while in Vancouver, Toronto and elsewhere – enduring the three-year residency required to obtain a Canadian passport.

RELATED: Hong Kong immigrants leaving Vancouver ‘by the thousands”

Vancouver planner Andy Yan fights to prevent a ‘zombie’ city

Todd: All Canadians benefit from a common language

Simon Fraser University researcher Nuowen Dang is among those who has found “citizenship acquisition is a key motivation” for people who move to Canada from Hong Kong.

That is true both for those who stay in Canada and those who return to Hong Kong, Dang writes. (It is true also of other East Asian immigrants, Dang added, including those from Taiwan and mainland China, the latter now being Canada’s top immigrant source country.)

The main factors drawing thousands to return to Hong Kong, Dang writes, are “higher-paying jobs, greater job security, job promotion opportunities and family reunification.”

And the outbound trend continues. “Many migrants,” Dang says, “do not plan to stay in Canada but rather invest in themselves for later movement” from country to country.”

Metropolis researchers Shibao Guo and Don DeVoretz found few ethnic Chinese people who departed from Canada “expressed regrets about leaving, suggesting that many of them had not intended to stay long-term.”

Even though Shen is one immigrant who did have strongly mixed feelings about leaving Vancouver to return to Hong Kong, his story reveals the powerful pull of family and finances.

“(In Hong Kong) I am perhaps working about 60 to 70 per cent of what I was in Vancouver, but saving up more than I used to, given the much lower tax rate (17 per cent flat tax),” Shen wrote in an email.

“Most Hong Kong people know that there is no big money to be made in Canada, even less so in Vancouver. Vancouver in many people’s eyes is a place for retirement of rich people, as they find the living standard in Vancouver very high. Which is true. People who want to make money choose Toronto over Vancouver.”

Kurland, the immigration lawyer, agrees that many immigrants from Hong Kong “who go back are tired of the high cost of living, including housing prices.” He adds that some “never fit in socially in Canada.”

As well, Kurland emphasizes many people from Hong Kong, as well as other ethnic Chinese immigrants, tend to see Canada as an “insurance passport,” a potential safe haven in case of crackdowns by the mainland Chinese government.

Echoing Shen, Kurland noted many Hong Kong returnees with Canadian passports are getting into the habit of visiting Vancouver from time to time, while harbouring hopes of eventually retiring here.

Many of Hong Kong’s well-off, educated residents, Kurland says, typify a new “international class of citizens” who have dual passports and can afford to migrate around the world to enhance their lifestyle.

Some want to “relax for a couple of months in Vancouver” during the summer when Hong Kong is “horrifically” hot, Kurland said. And, appreciating the West Coast’s clean air, some dream of peaceful retirement here.

Noted immigration specialist Richard Kurland says there is a potential danger for Canada in these global migration movements. The most crucial worry is: What happens if the ongoing clash of political wills between mainland China and Hong Kong blows up?

There is a potential danger for Canada in these global migration movements, however. The most crucial worry is: What happens if the ongoing clash of political wills between mainland China and Hong Kong blows up?

Kurland warns that the huge contingent of expatriate Canadians in Hong Kong would cause expensive problems for Canadian governments if China imposes more human-rights restrictions on its dependent region.

That, Kurland says, could cause hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents with Canadian passports to suddenly flood back to this country – where they would be immediately eligible for health care, education and other taxpayer-funded benefits.

Something similar happened before to Canada. When Lebanon became embroiled in a war with Israel in 2006, more than 50,000 residents of that country held Canadian passports.

Many hadn’t seen Canada in more than 20 years, Kurland says. But, since they had dual citizenship, we had an obligation to airlift thousands out of the war zone.

“They ended up having a Canadian vacation, paid for by Canadian tax dollars. And three months later, they were back in Lebanon,” says Kurland, who frequently appears before House of Commons immigration committees.

Even though it will likely not be a military conflict that pressures Hong Kong residents back to this country, Kurland says Canada could still experience “a mass emergency crunch.”

“If it goes badly between China and Hong Kong, you would see an extraordinary number of Hong Kong returnees” suddenly eligible for Canadian support services. “It’s an economic vulnerability for the country.”

Clearly, the issue of returnees to Hong Kong – to say nothing of all the immigrants who head home after obtaining a Canadian passport – has profound implications.

Not only for the returnees. But for the future social and economic well-being of Canada.

As Kurland says, “The Hong Kong story is not over.”

Deflated Rubber Duck’s not in the soup – it needs to freshen up, say organisers

Wednesday, 15 May, 2013, 10:09am

NewsHong Kong


May 16th 2013

Actually insiders say it caught H7FDUCK1 causing it to empty its bladder aka ‘lame duck fowl incontinence’
The pathogen is air and water borne and a legacy of the former administration who did fowl all whilst adopting the ostrich pose in between 60k a night hotel stays and private jet trips , staying on property tycoon Sunseekers in Macau and catching a lift back on a tobacco tycoon ‘s boat two weeks after there was no tobacco tax increase in the 2012 budget
HKU scientists are trying to locate the frequent flyer former head of the ENB who took 59 overseas trips in his 60 month term and who may have picked up the pathogen overseas during his visit to a Scottish whisky distillery and a Scandinavian incinerator which has to import waste from overseas to keep it operational
He is now in hiding and earning 300k a month as the local mayor’s office manager as a reward for doing nothing during his last term which was supposed to protect the Environment in the Lame Duck administration

Staff reporter

Deflated 16.5-metre-high inflatable sculpture prompts internet rumours

Is it all over for the giant inflatable Rubber Duck that has attracted thousands of admirers to Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour?

Conceptual artist Florentijn Hofman’s creation, which made its debut in the harbour the week before last, lies deflated in the water.

The 16.5-metre-high inflatable sculpture was due to remain at the Ocean Terminal for a month but was last night pictured lying on its side.

The Rubber Duck needs to freshen up. Stay tuned for its return.… [1]

— Harbour City (@hkharbourcity) May 14, 2013 [2]

The news got web users in a flutter, with Hong Kong Wrong blog [3] joking that the bird had succumbed to lung cancer from pollution.

But those lamenting the bird’s demise were reassured by Harbour City, which organised the exhibition, that the Rubber Duck was merely having a nap.

Alongside a cartoon carrying the words “Sleepy Time”, it tweeted: “The Rubber Duck needs to freshen up. Stay tuned for its return.”

Two police marine vessels acted as guardian for the giant yellow toy as it made its way into the harbour on May 2. As the duck emerged from behind a cruise ship docking at Ocean Terminal, an excited crowd roared: “It’s here!”

It first appeared in France in 2007 and has since travelled to arts festivals around the world, including making an appearance at the opening of the Sydney Festival at beginning of this year.


Rubber duck

2013 Europe Recipient Biography | Goldman Prize


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2013 Europe Recipient Biography

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Rossano Ercolini

2013 Europe


Sustainable Development

Photos | italiano

An elementary school teacher, Rossano Ercolini began a public education campaign about the dangers of incinerators in his small Tuscan town that grew into a nationwide Zero Waste movement.

In Italy and throughout Europe, incineration has been the leading approach to waste management. Consumerism and production has accelerated this trend, rapidly filling landfills and creating a bigger demand for incinerators.

In 1994, construction plans for an incinerator were proposed in a small town in Tuscany. Yet residents were not informed about the impact of the incinerator. Every year, incinerators remove thousands of tons of material from the recycling stream and burn them, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and leaving behind toxics that endanger the health of nearby residents.

A teacher at an elementary school not two miles from the proposed incinerator, Rossano Ercolini had heard of cities like San Francisco that were successfully working to eliminate waste. He taught his students to recycle paper and replaced plastic water bottles and plastic utensils in the school lunchroom with pitchers, glasses and silverware.

When Ercolini heard about construction plans for the incinerator, he became concerned about the local residents’ health. He saw his responsibility as an educator to protect students’ well-being and inform the broader community about the incinerator’s risks as well as solutions to sustainably manage the town’s garbage.

Ercolini began organizing town hall meetings in his village, Capannori—the capital of Italy’s paper mill industry—where residents were able to ask questions and get clear answers about the whys and hows of recycling. He brought a bag of mixed waste and demonstrated how to sort out metal, glass and plastic to recycle and food scraps for composting and livestock feed. He brought in scientists, clergy, and other experts to share information about the dangers of incineration as well as the economic and environmental benefits of Zero Waste.

People began to see that it was indeed possible to manage waste without having to rely on incineration. Building on this momentum, Ercolini formed Ambiente e Futuro (Environment and Future) and began mobilizing street protests where citizens demanded authorities to stop plans for the incinerator. In response to the community’s concerns, Lucca’s regional government officials canceled the incinerator’s construction and put Ercolini in charge of developing a waste management plan. He went door to door to get the community’s input on alternatives to the incinerator, empowering them to propose solutions that would work for them. A year later, Capannori began implementing a new collection system that now recycles 82 percent of the city’s waste. The larger province of Lucca is now incinerator-free following the closure of two existing plants, and the government is committed to keeping incinerators out of the province.

Ercolini is also looking at the bigger picture, working with companies to use packaging that produces less waste. For example, he’s collaborating with Italy’s largest manufacturer of coffee products, Lavazza, to develop reusable versions of single-use espresso capsules. He is also promoting Zero Waste as an opportunity to create jobs, where young people are trained to refurbish durable goods or break them down to recover metals and other material.

Capannori became a springboard for the nation’s Zero Waste movement, which soon grew to include Naples—a strategic location given its dysfunctional waste collection system that left garbage piling up and burning on the streets. Ercolini successfully proposed the city to host Zero Waste International Alliance’s 2009 global meeting. A few months later, the city of Naples joined Capannori in adopting Zero Waste.

Thanks to the grassroots campaign led by Ercolini educating communities on the merits of Zero Waste, 40 incinerators have been scrapped or shut down and 117 municipalities (home to more than 3 million residents) have joined Capannori in adopting a goal of Zero Waste. In November 2012, for the first time in Europe, the small but affluent region of Aosta passed a referendum banning incineration with overwhelming support from 90 percent of voters. Ercolini’s efforts have sparked the beginning of a Zero Waste network throughout Europe, with countries such as England, Estonia, Spain, and Denmark following Italy’s lead.




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