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Hong Kong (chn)

Hong Kong visit of Tiananmen activists blocked

The Hong Kong government has decided to ban two former student leaders exiled for their roles in the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, activists said yesterday, accusing local authorities of kowtowing to Beijing.

The Leopard, By Jo Nesbø, trans.Don Bartlett

The horrific events that concluded Jo Nesbø's The Snowman have taken an enormous toll on Detective Harry Hole, tough and illusion-free though he might be. So when we first meet him in that novel's successor, The Leopard, we are not surprised that he has as good as renounced his Norwegian life, with its network of relationships and obligations. An alcoholic, he now prefers, out in Hong Kong, the temporary oblivions of opium, and so associates not with his usual cronies, fellow law-enforcers, but with law-evaders.

Hong Kong seeks end to ban on mainland maids

Hong Kong is considering an end to the rules preventing thousands of nannies from mainland China from working in the territory, because of surging demand for affordable domestic staff who can speak Mandarin Chinese.

Snow Fairy lights up Hong Kong

Though nobody could be at all surprised to see several Cheltenham Festival winners emerge from a weekend that properly raised the temperature of the jumps season, it would be deplorably parochial not to acknowledge first the winner of a Flat race staged on the other side of the world. For the fact is that Snow Fairy's oriental depredations, crowned by a breathtaking exhibition in Hong Kong early yesterday, have belatedly qualified her as one of the defining performers of 2010.

Poulter's missed putt costs him magical 59

Ian Poulter produced a scintillating second-round display to take advantage of Rory McIlroy's final-hole nightmare and claim a one-stroke halfway lead at the Hong Kong Open.

More than a mere truffle

A huge white truffle is presented to potential buyers during the annual truffle auction in Alba, northern Italy. The 900- gram truffle was sold for €105,000 to a Hong Kong buyer.

Plea to halt expat Nancy Kissel's murder trial

Lawyers for an American woman accused of drugging then bludgeoning her banker husband to death in their Hong Kong apartment seven years ago urged a judge yesterday to stop her retrial.

Last Night's TV: Greatest Cities of the World with Griff Rhys Jones,

Right. So. Last night's television. No, not the election coverage – you'll find that in news. The other stuff: the soft stuff, you know. I've spent the past three weeks writing reviews of programmes that hardly anyone watched (clashing as they did with the election debates and then, last week, one debate and two football semi-finals). And now I'm reviewing stuff that virtually no one watched. Still, you were one of the select few that did, congratulations: far better to cast your ballot, go to bed at a sensible hour, and remain blissfully unaware of one's fate until the morning. Or, depending on how hung things turn out to be, in a few mornings' time. Either way, with matters of state on one's mind, what one needs is some light relief, isn't it? Or, even better, an escape plan just in case someone you really can't bear winds up at No 10. In which case, I'd suggest Hong Kong. It looked great in last night's episode of Greatest Cities of the World.

Sir Percy Cradock: Diplomat who played a crucial role in negotiating

Sir Percy Cradock, the former Ambassador to China, played a pivotal role in, the peaceful transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997. At the time, given China's overwhelming military advantage, Hong Kong's dependence on China for food and water, and Britain's lack of leverage in the negotiations, it was regarded as a diplomatic triumph for Margaret Thatcher. Cradock had managed to persuade the Chinese leadership to guarantee the British colony's capitalist economy, Western legal system and separate political structure for 50 years. But in Cradock's opinion his work was nearly undone with the appointment of Chris Patten, whom Cradock regarded as merely a self-seeking politician, as the final Governor of Hong Kong.

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The ever evolving Hong Kong

This Asian city never stands still. Hermione Eyre provides a guide for new and returning visitors to an ever-changing destination