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Anger over alleged torture of maid in Hong Kong

Migrant workers groups in Hong Kong Tuesday expressed anger over the alleged torture of an Indonesian maid after reports the police were not pursuing the case, which has renewed concerns over the abuse of domestic helpers. Erwiana Sulistyaningsih reportedly returned to Indonesia on January 10 after she was allegedly abused and tortured by her employer over the course of eight months. Local migrant workers groups said the 23-year-old remained in hospital in central Java, with her condition improving.

Chinese official seeks Hong Kong cooperation over Shanghai FTZ

Shanghai's vice mayor on Monday urged cooperation from Hong Kong over China's ambitious new free-trade zone, saying its potential to boost growth will offset any competitive threat to the former British colony. The FTZ in Shanghai, launched in September, will allow unfettered exchange of China's yuan currency as part of a bold push to reform the world's second largest economy.

Indonesian maid hospitalised after Hong Kong torture

An Indonesian maid has been hospitalised in her home country after allegedly being tortured by her Hong Kong employer, a report said late Monday. The city's police confirmed that a case of alleged torture of a foreign domestic helper was received on January 12 and was made by the helper's employment agency. "On the afternoon of January 12, the police received notice from an domestic helper recruitment firm, that a foreign domestic helper was suspected of having been tortured by her employer," a police statement sent to AFP late Monday said.

Hong Kong jails three mainland mothers over birth tourism

Three mainland Chinese women who gave birth in Hong Kong have each been sentenced to 12 months in jail for overstaying in the city, authorities said Friday, as part of measures to discourage birth tourism. The women -- who separately entered the territory as visitors in May, June and July 2013 -- were each arrested late last year after rushing to hospitals for delivery without a booking, a government statement said.

Hong Kong arrests 64 for smuggling baby formula

Hong Kong customs officials said Friday they had arrested 64 people for unlicensed baby milk powder exports, in a move aimed to stifle the smuggling of formula before Chinese New Year. The ongoing operation, which started Thursday, has already netted 64 people who attempted to bring a total of over 400 kilogrammes (882 pounds) of infant formula into mainland China. Hong Kong barred people from taking more than than 1.8 kilos of formula out of the city in March after a rush on milk powder by Chinese parents.

Macau's casino jackpot hits new heights as 2013 revenues reach $45 billion

HONG KONG - The tiny Chinese city of Macau has again smashed its annual record for casino earnings as revenues last year hit a staggering $45 billion. The money earned cemented Macau's position as the world's biggest gambling market. Gambling regulator data released Thursday show that Macau's three dozen casinos raked in 33.5 billion patacas ($4.2 billion) in December. That brought revenue for 2013 to 360.8 billion patacas ($45 billion), up 18.6 per cent from the year before.

Thousands rally on New Year's Day for Hong Kong democracy

Thousands marched in Hong Kong Wednesday to demand a greater say in how their future leaders will be chosen, expressing fears that China will limit long-awaited political reforms. "Democracy will prevail" read some banners as protesters sang and shouted slogans against the government of the semi-autonomous Chinese city, less than one month after the start of an official public consultation on a future electoral system.

Thousands march in Hong Kong in escalating battle for democracy

By James Pomfret HONG KONG (Reuters) - Thousands protested in Hong Kong on Wednesday pressing China to allow full democracy in the city as a battle intensifies over Beijing's attempts to control the outcome of a planned direct election for the city's leader in 2017. Beijing had promised direct elections in the former British colony as the goal for 2017, but the devil is in the details of the rules governing who can run.

Hong Kong reports first H7N9 death

A Hong Kong man infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu died on Thursday, the first such death in the city since the virus emerged there this month. The 80-year-old man was the second reported case of H7N9 infection in Hong Kong after one reported on December 2. A government spokesman confirmed the death of the man, who had been suffering from other underlying medical conditions. He had been taken to hospital after returning to Hong Kong from the neighbouring city of Shenzhen in mainland China, where he lives.

Melco bets on Japanese culture as casino debate heats up

By Nathan Layne and Farah Master TOKYO/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd on Wednesday said it had pledged $10 million for cultural projects in Japan, a signal of its commitment to the country as lawmakers take steps to legalize casino gambling. Melco is one of several global casino operators including Las Vegas Sands lobbying for a position in the Japanese market, seen as the next big Asian gaming opportunity after the spectacular rise of Macau.
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