March 28th, 2012
04:29 AM ET

Hong Kong court overturns ruling allowing maids to seek residency

The Hong Kong Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned a historic ruling that would have allowed overseas maids to seek permanent resident status in the affluent Chinese territory.

The decision is a setback for the rights of tens of thousands of maids from countries like the Philippines and Indonesia who often spend years working in the homes of Chinese and foreigners living in Hong Kong.

One Filipino maid, Evangeline Banao Vallejos, who has been working in Hong Kong since 1986, mounted a legal challenge to a government ordinance that excluded domestic helpers from outside Hong Kong from obtaining permanent residency.

She and her lawyers argued that denying maids the possibility of seeking permanent status was unconstitutional under Hong Kong's Basic Law, which sets out the core rights of those living in the city.

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Filed under: China • Hong Kong • Indonesia • Philippines
Overheard on Hong Kong's cage homes sadden some readers
Photographer Brian Cassey captured photos in 2009 showing the lifestyle of those living in Hong Kong's cage homes.
January 10th, 2012
06:28 PM ET

Overheard on Hong Kong's cage homes sadden some readers

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"That's the amazing thing about suffering. The 99% and Tea Party in the U.S. with their technological excess and luxuruiously wasteful American way of life are protesting their economic hardships in the street, while these people are living in cages and working through it."

In Hong Kong, some people live in housing that is basically a cage. This situation has garnered a huge outpouring of response from the global community, and the CNN Photos blog's gallery about the cages really touched a lot of readers. Some were saddened by the 2009 photos, while others wrote in to share their observations about such kinds of housing.

Hong Kong's poor living in cages

People wrote in to talk not just about how the photos affected them but to about how their situations stack up.

George Colacicco: "This morning I woke up in my three bedroom, two bath home with 1624 square feet on a 5500 square foot lot on the ground floor, and found people living in cages half a world away. I am praying to God for the life he has given me."

Many readers found parallels in the struggling economy of the United States. FULL POST

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Filed under: Hong Kong • Overheard on • World
Report: Jetliners within six seconds of collision over Hong Kong
A Cathay Pacific jetliner taxis at Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok Airport in 2007.
September 27th, 2011
10:01 AM ET

Report: Jetliners within six seconds of collision over Hong Kong

Two jetliners carrying more than 600 passengers and crew came within seconds of a collision near Hong Kong last week, according to a report in The Standard newspaper.

The Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 and Dragonair Airbus A330 were about a mile apart when their collision avoidance systems issued alerts, according a Cathay Pacific statement. The pilots of the jetliners took evasive action to maintain a safe distance from each other, the Cathay statement said.

“There was no risk of collision and at no time was the safety of the flights compromised. At the closest, they were one nautical mile (2,000 meters) apart when abeam from each other with increasing vertical separation," the Cathay statement said.

But Hong Kong's former civil aviation chief Albert Lam Kwong-yu told The Standard that, based on normal speeds of the airliners involved, they were about six seconds from colliding.

"The chance of a crash is absolutely high," the paper quotes Lam as saying. "The passengers really came back from hell."


Bruce Lee memorabilia goes to auction
August 6th, 2011
02:01 PM ET

Bruce Lee's jacket sells for $77,000

An American couple submitted the winning auction bid for a flamboyant fur-lined blue jacket worn by Bruce Lee in his final film appearance, entertainment website reported Saturday.

The martial arts movie icon wore the long blue jacket in the unfinished film "Game of Death" as well as at the premiere of his best-known film, "Enter the Dragon."

The auction winners bid $77,000 for the jacket, BBC reported.

Phila China auction house of Hong Kong sold a dozen other Lee items, including a neatly written 1966 letter detailing plans and hopes for his budding career, for a total of more than $217,000, according to BBC.

Lee grew up in Hong Kong before moving to the United States in his late teens, according to His acting career was kick-started by his role in the one-season series "The Green Hornet," in which he played valet/bodyguard Kato. His films include "Fists of Fury" and "The Way of the Dragon."

Lee died in 1973 at age 32 of cerebral edema caused by a bad reaction to medication, according to imdb.

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Filed under: Auctions • Hong Kong • Movies • Showbiz