Tag: Aid

Hong Kong leader to travel to Beijing to seek economic aid

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam will travel to Beijing on Tuesday to meet with Chinese officials to seek help in reviving Hong Kong’s economy and discuss reopening the borders with mainland China as coronavirus infections in her city dwindle.



Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam listens to reporters' questions during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Lam will travel to Beijing on Tuesday to meet with Chinese officials to seek help in reviving Hong Kong’s economy and discuss reopening the borders with mainland China as coronavirus infections in her city dwindle. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)


© Provided by Associated Press
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam listens to reporters’ questions during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Lam will travel to Beijing on Tuesday to meet with Chinese officials to seek help in reviving Hong Kong’s economy and discuss reopening the borders with mainland China as coronavirus infections in her city dwindle. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Lam said the meetings, set for Wednesday through Friday, will include discussions on how Hong Kong can integrate into China’s national development, as well as how the semi-autonomous Chinese territory can cooperate with Shenzhen — a southern Chinese city that borders Hong Kong — as part of the Greater Bay Area integrated economic scheme.

She also told reporters that she plans to discuss when Hong Kong and mainland China will be able to resume the flow of people across the border without quarantines. Since March, residents in mainland China and Hong Kong have been required to quarantine for two weeks when they cross the border due to the pandemic.



Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam listens to reporters' questions during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Lam will travel to Beijing on Tuesday to meet with Chinese officials to seek help in reviving Hong Kong’s economy and discuss reopening the borders with mainland China as coronavirus infections in her city dwindle. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)


© Provided by Associated Press
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam listens to reporters’ questions during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Lam will travel to Beijing on Tuesday to meet with Chinese officials to seek help in reviving Hong Kong’s economy and discuss reopening the borders with mainland China as coronavirus infections in her city dwindle. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

“That is very important to economic activities, from the provision of professional services, visiting relatives and going to schools,” Lam said.

Lam’s trip to Beijing comes after she postponed her annual policy address two days before it was scheduled to take place last month, saying that support from Beijing would allow her to give a speech later that would boost confidence in Hong Kong’s economic future.

Confidence in Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status, promised to the city when Beijing took back control of the former British colony in 1997, has been shaken since mainland authorities imposed a national security law over the territory this summer. The city’s economy has also taken a hit due to the pandemic, with its borders closed to tourists since the end of March.



Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam listens to reporters' questions during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Lam will travel to Beijing on Tuesday to meet with Chinese officials to seek help in reviving Hong Kong’s economy and discuss reopening the borders with mainland China as coronavirus infections in her city dwindle. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)


© Provided by Associated Press
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam listens to reporters’ questions during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Lam will travel to Beijing on Tuesday to meet with Chinese officials to seek help in reviving Hong Kong’s economy and discuss reopening the borders with mainland China as coronavirus infections in her city dwindle. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

With regards to the U.S. presidential election, Lam said she expects the next president to evaluate the importance of Hong Kong within China-U.S. relations.

“I hope that the new

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Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to travel to Beijing to seek economic aid

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends the opening of Hong Kong Legal Week 2020 on Nov. 2, 2020 in Hong Kong, China.

Li Zhihua | China News Service | Getty Images

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam will travel to Beijing on Tuesday to meet with Chinese officials to seek help in reviving Hong Kong’s economy and discuss reopening the borders with mainland China as coronavirus infections in her city dwindle.

Lam said the meetings, set for Wednesday through Friday, will include discussions on how Hong Kong can integrate into China’s national development, as well as how the semi-autonomous Chinese territory can cooperate with Shenzhen — a southern Chinese city that borders Hong Kong — as part of the Greater Bay Area integrated economic scheme.

She also told reporters that she plans to discuss when Hong Kong and mainland China will be able to resume the flow of people across the border without quarantines. Since March, residents in mainland China and Hong Kong have been required to quarantine for two weeks when they cross the border due to the pandemic.

“That is very important to economic activities, from the provision of professional services, visiting relatives and going to schools,” Lam said.

Lam’s trip to Beijing comes after she postponed her annual policy address two days before it was scheduled to take place last month, saying that support from Beijing would allow her to give a speech later that would boost confidence in Hong Kong’s economic future.

Confidence in Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status, promised to the city when Beijing took back control of the former British colony in 1997, has been shaken since mainland authorities imposed a national security law over the territory this summer. The city’s economy has also taken a hit due to the pandemic, with its borders closed to tourists since the end of March. 

With regard to the U.S. presidential election, Lam said she expects the next president to evaluate the importance of Hong Kong within China-U.S. relations.

“I hope that the new U.S. administration will handle relations with Hong Kong in a comprehensive way, taking into account the interests of the many U.S. businesses in Hong Kong that employ a lot of people, and will not thoughtlessly allow political considerations to have an unwarranted effect on Hong Kong,” she said.

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Legal Aid demands city expand homeless hotel footprint

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— The Legal Aid Society filed a lawsuit against the de Blasio administration last week demanding the city provide single-occupancy hotel rooms to all homeless New Yorkers until congregate shelter facilities are deemed safe by public health experts.

— Mayor Bill de Blasio has partially reversed course on steep cuts to his ambitious affordable housing program, but the budget reductions have already had impacts on the city’s affordable housing pipeline. The developers of one Coney Island project say their plans have been delayed due to a lack of city financing.

— Median rents in Manhattan have dropped below $3,000 for the first time in nine years, according to a new StreetEasy report.

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SHELTER SKELTER — “City ‘Failing’ to Protect Homeless in Shelters and Hotels During Pandemic, Lawsuit Demanding Solo Rooms Alleges,” by THE CITY’s Claudia Irizarry Aponte: “Homeless men and women were left to languish in packed hotel rooms and shelters as COVID-19 raged in New York City, putting them at heightened risk of serious illness, a new lawsuit demanding relief charges. The suit, filed late Thursday by the Legal Aid Society and the law firm Jenner & Block, calls on the city to provide single-occupancy hotel rooms to ‘every single adult homeless New Yorker until public health authorities determine it is safe to return to congregate settings.’ The homeless men and women claim in their complaint that jamming as many as 11 people in a shelter bedroom put them at increased risk of infection. Some shelter residents named in the suit told THE CITY they share bedrooms and bathrooms despite having severe underlying medical conditions — such as cancer, hepatitis C, asthma and heart disease — that put them at higher risk of fatal COVID infections.”

RENT REGS — “Wall Street-Funded Plan to Gentrify Affordable Housing Crumbles in Harlem,” by The Wall Street Journal’s Cezary Podkul and Will Parker: “Isaac Kassirer was at the forefront of one of the hottest trends in commercial real estate. He borrowed from global investors by promising to gentrify apartment buildings in New York’s low-income neighborhoods and raise the rents. Mr. Kassirer fell behind on some loans before the coronavirus pandemic and now some tenants are in open rebellion. Longtime residents, joined by some new, high-paying renters, are on strike. When the pandemic ends, recently passed pro-renter laws are likely to make it harder for him to carry out his plan. ‘Gentrification came back to bite them in the tushy,’ said

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Canada working on possible aid for the airlines and travel sector, says finance minister

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian government is very aware of the challenges facing airlines and the travel sector during the coronavirus pandemic and is working on possible aid, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Tuesday.

Freeland said she had spoken to the heads of Canada’s major airlines and unions last week but did not give details. Carriers and travel industry executives have repeatedly urged Ottawa for assistance as passenger numbers slump.

“We are obviously aware of the particular challenges that the travel sector, the airlines are facing right now,” she told a news conference when asked about an aid package.

“It’s definitely an issue we are looking at closely and working on,” she said.

Airlines have already received more than C$1 billion ($763 million) from a wage subsidy program that Ottawa introduced to help businesses deal with the pandemic, she said.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told CTV on Sunday that Ottawa might take a stake in major airlines such as Air Canada and WestJet Airlines. Both carriers have suspended dozens of routes.

The Canadian branch of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers on Tuesday urged Freeland to consider partially or fully nationalizing Air Canada.

Earlier this month major labor unions said the aviation sector would suffer permanent damage unless Ottawa provided a C$7 billion 10-year low-interest loan to offset the effects of the pandemic.

($1=1.3113 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by David Ljunggren, Editing by Franklin Paul and Grant McCool)

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