Young Hong Kong women being lured into sex rings in mainland China, Prince Charles boasting about his popularity with women and the United Nations bowing to gender equality movement made the headlines four decades ago this week.
December 9, 1979
● An Air France supersonic Concorde jet came within 10 feet of colliding with US Air Force F15 fighters off the Atlantic coast southeast of New Jersey, it was revealed. The near accident took place five weeks earlier. Aviation observers could recall no previous incident in which an airliner had escaped a mid-air crash by so small a margin.
Nor could they recall any other instance in which an airliner had such a close brush not just with one other plane, but with a whole formation. The Concorde, with 16 passengers and a crew of nine on board, had taken off from Washington en route to Paris.
December 10, 1979
● Hundreds of Hong Kong residents were being offered all expenses paid holidays in Guangdong province each week. The only catch was that they had to be prepared to courier luxury items such as television sets, tape recorders, or watches on behalf of their hosts. These luxury items were destined for one of China's biggest black markets in Foshan. The new modus operandi began several months earlier when the Chinese authorities began cracking down on Hong Kong people who "imported" luxury goods by taking multiple trips into mainland China frequently.
December 11, 1979
● The Independent Commission Against Corruption was investigating a ring that allegedly sold "cubicles" with a guarantee for public housing allocations in Tsuen Wan. The anti-graft agency was alerted to the scam after it was discovered that two buildings in the district earmarked for clearance had suddenly been packed with hundreds of "tenants" in five months. These tiny units had been sold for up to HK$10,000 each.
● Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa condemned abortion as the greatest destroyer of man. The Albanian-born nun, awarded the prize for her humanitarian work with the poor in India, said, "To me the nations who have legalised abortion are the poorest nations."
December 12, 1979
● Young Hong Kong women were being lured into sex rings in Guangdong by criminals and unscrupulous local businessmen, according to Wen Wei Po. Drugs, lavish lifestyles, as well as false promises of marriage and trips abroad, were being used to entrap young women, the paper reported.
● Housing secretary Alan Scott called for public comments on a proposal that property speculation should become a criminal offence. Speaking on possible action to halt the spiralling property market, he gave a clear indication that the government would give these comments serious consideration.
December 13, 1979
● A relatively small commercial lot in Tsim Sha Tsui East shattered all public land auction records. The 16,145 sq ft non-industrial lot was bought by an influential Southeast Asian group for HK$16,104 per square foot - 95.5 per cent more than a lot sold in the same area half a year before.
December 14, 1979
● Prince Charles, one of the world's most eligible bachelors, said women liked to kiss him because he was a non-smoker. The 31-year-old heir to the British throne said he had been kissed by three young women during a two-day visit to Nottingham that week.
● A Hong Kong-based gang might be behind a string of kidnap-for-ransom cases in Metro Manila, according to martial law authorities in the Philippines. The possible Hong Kong connection surfaced after military investigators received intelligence information that the gang was responsible for the kidnap-murder of Chinese millionaire businessman Vicente Dy Sun, 37. Sun was killed on December 5, a day before his parents paid a HK$3.3 million ransom.
December 15, 1979
● A Melbourne couple thanked the Victoria state roads authority for a bump in the road, which they said helped in the birth of their daughter. Vernon Kingman was driving his wife, Dianne, to hospital the day before when their car hit a pothole. Baby Renee was born in the vehicle a few minutes later.
● A decision on the replacement airport at Chek Lap Kok Island off north Lantau was deferred by another year. That was because a consultant's report on the new airport would not be submitted to the government in early 1980 as scheduled. The report would include many aspects of the construction such as a study of the feasibility of aircraft operations at the proposed site and a cost estimate for the land formation.
● Thanks to the movement advocating for equal rights for women, which was picking up momentum across the globe, the standard handbook on UN activities came out in its ninth edition under a new title - Everyone's United Nations. All its eight previous editions were titled Everyman's United Nations.
Remember A Day looks at significant news and events reported by the Post during this week in history
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