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Welfare cases dip 0.2%

The overall Comprehensive Social Security Assistance caseload dropped by 459 cases to 199,941 in January, down 0.2% from December last year, the Social Welfare Department announced today.   The total number of recipients was 273,349.   Low-earnings cases registered a month-to-month reduction of 0.8% to 1,568. Unemployment cases fell 0.6% to 17,075.   Single parent cases dropped 0.5% to 20,385. Old age cases dipped 0.3% to 112,032.   Meanwhile, ill-health cases increased 0.3% to 27,817, and permanent disability cases remained steady at 17,164. http://dlvr.it/T32R7Z

Intimidating acts condemned

The Government said today that intimidation against judges and judicial officers is unacceptable to Hong Kong which observes the rule of law and it will spare no effort in bringing the culprits to justice to safeguard the public peace.   The Department of Justice issued a statement in response to threatening letters received by the West Kowloon and Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts.   The statement said that in exercising judicial power, judges are required to handle cases strictly in accordance with the applicable law and evidence.   Article 85 of the Basic Law guarantees the courts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall exercise judicial power independently, free from any interference, it added.   Strongly deploring recent cases of criminal intimidation against judges, the department said that under section 24 of the Crimes Ordinance, anyone who threatens any other person with injury to him or her shall be guilty and liable to imprisonment for five years.   The Judiciary expressed grave concerns about recent repeated incidents involving intimidating letters sent to judicial officers and it has reported the cases to Police.   It said attempts to exert improper pressure on judges and judicial officers represent a direct challenge to the rule of law and the principle of judicial independence and added that such acts must be severely condemned.
http://dlvr.it/SCfFJk

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