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How much Power do District Councils Have?; Michael DeGolyer on the District Countil Election; Al Jazeera - An Alternative Voice; Operation Santa Claus Launch (16 Nov 2007)


In year 2000, the government told departments whose activities impinge on neighbourhoods to submit their annual plans to district councils for discussion. However an audit report in 2004 showed that the submission rates to district councils in the previous three years had been low. Last year, the government said it was going to enhance the district councils' roles in managing district facilities and promoting co-operation between government, NGOs and individuals within the district. The pilot scheme has been running in four areas since January 1st this year. Under the scheme, changes in the role and function of the councils include participation in the management of district facilities, the allocation of capital work funds, and enhancement of intra-district co-operation. But councillors say they can still do very little. So just how much power will those who do get elected have, particularly given that 90 or so councillors won ’ t have to go through the electoral process at all? With us in the studio to discuss this is Michael DeGolyer of the Hong Kong Transition Project. Worldwide, international news tends to be dominated by the agendas of the American and European news media organisations. While many try to be fair, there ’ s always the problem of implicit or unconscious bias. One satellite broadcaster, Al Jazeera, looks at the world from an Arabic perspective. And although it says it too attempts to air both sides of the story, it's often accused of being too much of a friend to terrorists. This year is the 20th year of the Operation Santa Claus charity drive co-organised by RTHK and the South China Morning Post. The campaign seeks to raise money and awareness for Hong Kong charities, especially smaller and less well-funded organisations. There are 18 beneficiaries this time around. This year's event kicked off in the Aberdeen Harbour on Wednesday evening.

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, November 16, 2007
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