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How Biden’s Solidarity Emboldened a Liberal Push for Power in Alabama

Although labor leaders, local union activists and national progressive politicians uniformly support an Amazon union in Alabama, that feeling does not reflect the mood inside the warehouse itself. With less than a month to go in the union vote, the 5,800-worker warehouse is split among supporters of the union, strong dissenters and an apathetic center that is growing sick of the national attention.

Outside the plant — where some workers clock 12-hour shifts — union activists and journalists are likely to experience a string of exasperated rejections when asking to speak with employees. Some workers wear “Vote No” pins, while others talk of anti-union literature in the common areas and bathrooms. And on social media, employees post about longing for March 29, when the election will conclude.

Amazon has aggressively countered the unionization effort, highlighting the company’s benefit package and its $15 minimum wage, as well as the job growth it has prompted in an economically stagnant area of the South.

Last week, in a media round table of anti-union warehouse workers hosted by Amazon, some said that Mr. Biden’s message had been unnecessary, and that they did not feel intimidated by the company. A spokeswoman for Amazon declined to directly comment on the president’s remarks.

“I know the president weighed in,” said J.C. Thompson, a process assistant at the warehouse. “And I can’t imagine the pressure our leadership is feeling because there’s a few people — a minority — who are disgruntled.”

Carla Johnson, an employee in the warehouse, said she was voting not to unionize.

“I can speak for myself,” she said. “I don’t need someone from the outside coming in and saying this or that.”

The range of opinions hinted at why Mr. Biden’s message was so calibrated — supporting the workers’ right to a fair election but not supporting the union itself. And some observers, including employees at the Amazon warehouse, believe the president’s words will have little bearing on the outcome of the union vote.

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Elderly, Vaccinated and Still Lonely and Locked Inside

TORONTO — Devora Greenspon is among the lucky ones. She is one of the 1.4 percent of Canadians who has received two shots of a coronavirus vaccine. So have 90 percent of the residents in her nursing home.

How has it changed her life?

“It’s like it never happened,” says Ms. Greenspon, 88, who is still sequestered mostly in her room. Her walks have been confined to the corridor; she has not been allowed to leave the center for nonmedical reasons since October.

Long-term care homes, as they are called in Canada, were prioritized for the first precious doses of vaccines, to few objections — they were ground zero for the pandemic’s cruel ravage. Around 66 percent of the country’s terminal Covid-19 victims lived in nursing homes, among the highest rates in the world.

But while the vaccines have given the majority of nursing-home residents protection from death by the virus, so far they have not offered more life. Some residents have compared their lives to those of prisoners and caged animals.

game night or choir practice. And some homes are permitting indoor visits under U.S. federal guidelines put in place in September that allow them if a home has been virus-free for 14 days, and county positivity rates are below 10 percent, regardless of the home’s vaccination rate.

But elsewhere, homes are about to reach a full year of being closed to visitors, despite the plummeting of coronavirus cases.

AARP and other advocacy organizations have called on the U.S. government to ease visitation guidelines as vaccines are rolled out in nursing homes. Many note that with vaccinations, the likelihood of residents contracting and dying from Covid-19 is lower, but the harm to residents from social isolation continues unabated.

Ms. MacKenzie noted that the extended periods of isolation are having detrimental effects on residents’ health in Canada as well.

large survey of nursing-homes residents and their families by Ms. MacKenzie’s office found the majority reported a marked decline in cognitive function and emotional well-being, and almost half reported their physical functioning had worsened. The survey also found that the proportion of residents on antipsychotic medication — traditionally prescribed to manage behaviors like agitation related to dementia — had increased by 7 percent over six months.

The question of how to care for the country’s senior population during a pandemic isn’t unique to Canada and the United States. Many nursing homes around the world banned visits as the coronavirus arrived around a year ago. Soon after, geriatricians sounded the alarm about the rapid decline in health and well-being of residents, triggering a debate about the balance between protection and quality of life, as well as the rights and autonomy of residents. As a result, many jurisdictions reintroduced some sort of visitor policy, as the first wave subsided.

Many are calling for a similar discussion to happen again in Canada.

“If we really don’t allow people more civil and social liberty, and allow them to meaningfully engage in social activities in some way, these people are going to give up, as many of them have already done,” said Dr. Nathan Stall, a geriatrician at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

Betty Hicks, 82, broke her hip a couple months before her nursing home went into lockdown and she never regained her ability to walk, says her daughter Marla Wilson. Without the regular visits from her large family, the mother of eight deteriorated quickly, losing nearly 20 pounds and the ability to even pick up a phone, her daughter says.

Now that Ms. Hicks has been vaccinated, like everyone else in her nursing home, the argument that she’s locked up for her own safety seems painfully weak, her daughter says.

“You always hear people say, ‘Oh they lived a long life,’” said Ms. Wilson. “Right now, they aren’t living. They are existing.”

While overprotective government regulations have prevented long-term care homes from adjusting their restrictions, they are only partially responsible, said Dr. Samir Sinha, co-chair of the National Institute on Ageing and director of geriatrics at Toronto’s Sinai Health System and University Health Network.

Many facilities have been so focused on preventing outbreaks that they’ve been unwilling to develop creative ways of keeping their residents mentally and physically stimulated, he said.

“The majority of nursing homes across the country have found an excuse to not do something,” he said. “You even have these homes who are marketing it, ‘We’re going above and beyond to keep you safe.’ We translate that to mean, ‘We are locking you in your room for good.’ They are actually violating people’s human rights.”

And for many residents, Dr. Sinha pointed out, time is running out: The average stay in a Canadian nursing home, to put it gingerly, is just two years.

“I’d like to take them on a bus to Niagara Falls, or anywhere, even if we can’t get off the bus. When can we do that?” said Sue Graham-Nutter, the head of two nursing homes in Toronto where 98 percent of residents have been vaccinated. She is haunted by last spring’s outbreak that killed many of her residents, but she worries many more will die before they are afforded some basic joy.

“They want to go and hang out with their friends,” said Ms. Graham-Nutter, the chief executive of Rekai Centres. “When can we do that?”

Lawyers say the rules restricting residents from leaving breach rights laid out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “Long-term care residents should be able to come and go like everybody else,” said Jane Meadus, a lawyer at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, a legal clinic for seniors. “Does the fact you live in long-term care give you less charter rights?”

Few of her clients are willing to challenge their home’s restrictions, however.

“They are afraid the home will somehow retaliate, or try to remove them from the home,” said Ms. Meadus. “We are talking about institutions that have a lot of power over a very vulnerable population.”

Jonathan Marchand is one exception. Last summer, he slipped out of his care home near Quebec City and moved into a makeshift cage erected near the provincial legislature, to stage a protest. Mr. Marchand, a 44-year-old network engineer, suffers from muscular dystrophy and requires a ventilator to breathe. For years, he’s fought to leave the institution and spend the government money to hire his own caregivers at home.

The pandemic gave him another powerful argument. After five nights sleeping in his motorized wheelchair and on a cot, he returned to the facility, with a government promise to work on a pilot project for community living.

Since then, he has not been allowed to leave the property except for medical reasons, he says. While he calls the rules unjust and unfair, he understands why they are there — because of the devastation an outbreak from variants could wreak.

“Long-term care facilities were the first things to close down; they will be the last thing to open up,” he said. “I think they will be very cautious in opening up, and I can’t blame them for it.”

Still, some people have decided not to wait for the rules to change, but to relish the small joys vaccination provides.

Suzanne Charest rushed to an Ottawa hospital last month after being notified by her father’s nursing home that he had suffered what seemed like another heart attack. He was in so much pain, she said, he talked frantically through the night, as if it might be their last time together. Thankfully, it was a false alarm.

The next day, after he was back in the nursing home, Ms. Charest, who like her father has been vaccinated, did something she hadn’t done in almost a year.

She hugged him.

Catherine Porter reported from Toronto. Reporting was contributed by Allison Hannaford in North Bay, Sarah Mervosh in New York and Danielle Ivory in New Jersey.

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Tech’s Legal Shield Appears Likely to Survive as Congress Focuses on Details

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald J. Trump called multiple times for repealing the law that shields tech companies from legal responsibility over what people post. President Biden, as a candidate, said the law should be “revoked.”

But the lawmakers aiming to weaken the law have started to agree on a different approach. They are increasingly focused on eliminating protections for specific kinds of content rather than making wholesale changes to the law or eliminating it entirely.

That has still left them a question with potentially wide-ranging outcomes: What, exactly, should lawmakers cut?

One bill introduced last month would strip the protections from content the companies are paid to distribute, like ads, among other categories. A different proposal, expected to be reintroduced from the last congressional session, would allow people to sue when a platform amplified content linked to terrorism. And another that is likely to return would exempt content from the law only when a platform failed to follow a court’s order to take it down.

open to trimming the law, an effort to shape changes they see as increasingly likely to happen. Facebook and Google, the owner of YouTube, have signaled that they are willing to work with lawmakers changing the law, and some smaller companies recently formed a lobbying group to shape any changes.

December op-ed that was co-written by Bruce Reed, Mr. Biden’s deputy chief of staff, said that “platforms should be held accountable for any content that generates revenue.” The op-ed also said that while carving out specific types of content was a start, lawmakers would do well to consider giving platforms the entire liability shield only on the condition that they properly moderate content.

Supporters of Section 230 say even small changes could hurt vulnerable people. They point to the 2018 anti-trafficking bill, which sex workers say made it harder to vet potential clients online after some of the services they used closed, fearing new legal liability. Instead, sex workers have said they must now risk meeting with clients in person without using the internet to ascertain their intentions at a safe distance.

Senator Ron Wyden, the Oregon Democrat who co-wrote Section 230 while in the House, said measures meant to address disinformation on the right could be used against other political groups in the future.

“If you remember 9/11, and you had all these knee-jerk reactions to those horrible tragedies,” he said. “I think it would be a huge mistake to use the disgusting, nauseating attacks on the Capitol as a vehicle to suppress free speech.”

Industry officials say carve-outs to the law could nonetheless be extremely difficult to carry out.

“I appreciate that some policymakers are trying to be more specific about what they don’t like online,” said Kate Tummarello, the executive director of Engine, an advocacy group for small companies. “But there’s no universe in which platforms, especially small platforms, will automatically know when and where illegal speech is happening on their site.”

The issue may take center stage when the chief executives of Google, Facebook and Twitter testify late this month before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has been examining the future of the law.

“I think it’s going to be a huge issue,” said Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, the committee’s top Republican. “Section 230 is really driving it.”

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‘It’s Better to Walk Through a Minefield’: Victims of Myanmar’s Army Speak

The soldiers from Myanmar’s army knocked on U Thein Aung’s door one morning last April as he was having tea with friends, and demanded that all of them accompany the platoon to another village.

When they reached a dangerous stretch in the mountains of Rakhine State, the men were ordered to walk 100 feet ahead. One stepped on a land mine and was blown to pieces. Metal fragments struck Mr. Thein Aung in his arm and his left eye.

“They threatened to kill us if we refused to go with them,” said Mr. Thein Aung, 65, who lost the eye. “It is very clear that they used us as human land mine detectors.”

The military and its brutal practices are an omnipresent fear in Myanmar, one that has intensified since the generals seized full power in a coup last month. As security forces gun down peaceful protesters on city streets, the violence that is commonplace in the countryside serves as a grisly reminder of the military’s long legacy of atrocities.

an ethnic cleansing campaign that a United Nations panel has described as genocidal. Soldiers have battled rebel ethnic armies with the same ruthlessness, using men and boys as human shields on the battlefield and raping women and girls in their homes.

The generals are now fully back in charge, and the Tatmadaw, as the military is known, has turned its guns on the masses, who have mounted a nationwide civil disobedience movement.

The crackdown widened on Monday in the face of a general strike, with security forces seizing control of universities and hospitals and annulling press licenses of five media organizations. At least three protesters were shot dead.

Tatmadaw. It came to power in a 1962 coup, saying that it had to safeguard national unity. For decades, it has fought to control parts of the country, inhabited by ethnic minority groups, that are rich in jade, timber and other natural resources.

During the last three years, the Tatmadaw has waged war intermittently against ethnic rebel armies in three states, Rakhine, Shan and Kachin. The most intense fighting has been in Rakhine, where the Arakan Army, an ethnic Rakhine force, is seeking greater autonomy.

Civilians are often casualties in these long-running conflicts, as 15 victims, family members or witnesses in these three states attested in interviews with The New York Times.

was systematic and widespread during the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, Human Rights Watch found. The same fate befalls women of other ethnic groups in conflict areas.

“The Myanmar military is violating human rights in many ways,” said Zaw Zaw Min, founder of the Rakhine Human Rights Group. “Women are raped, villages are burned down, property is taken and people are taken as porters.”

In June, when soldiers arrived in U Gar village in Rakhine State, Daw Oo Htay Win, 37, said she hid in her house with her four children and newborn granddaughter. That night, the infant’s cries betrayed their presence to four soldiers, who entered the house. They gave her a choice: have sex with them or die. For the next two hours, three soldiers raped her while the fourth stood guard.

Ms. Oo Htay Win, her daughters and the baby slipped out the back door in the morning and took refuge in the city of Sittwe, where she now lives. She said her husband, who had been away, abandoned her after learning of the rape.

Though most victims of rape by soldiers stay silent, she brought criminal charges. After the soldiers confessed, they were tried, found guilty and sentenced to 20 years.

“I hate these three soldiers for destroying my life,” she said. “I have lost everything because of them.”

The convictions were a rare victory in a country where the military is seldom held accountable by civilians. And few victims receive compensation, even when they suffer permanent injuries and large financial losses. If they do, it’s minimal.

In the western part of Rakhine State, where traveling by river is common, the Tatmadaw often commandeers private boats to ferry troops and supplies. In March of 2019, U Maung Phyu Hla, 43, a boat owner from Mrauk-U Township, said soldiers forced him to take troops up the Lay Myo River to fight Arakan Army forces.

On the seventh trip upriver, they came under heavy fire. Shot in the thigh, Mr. Maung Phyu Hla said he slipped into the water and swam to a nearby village, where residents rescued him. An officer later gave him a token payment of about $350, a fraction of his losses and medical expenses.

“Who dares to complain?” he asked. “The answer is no one.”

Some villagers try to escape the conflicts, only to get caught up in violence anyway.

In March 2018, U Phoe Shan’s family and other villagers were fleeing from fighting in Kachin State in northern Myanmar. They were headed to a camp for displaced people when they encountered Tatmadaw forces on the road.

Mr. Phoe Shan, 48, said the soldiers ordered him to walk at the head of a group of about 50 troops through a forested area. Fifteen minutes into the woods, he said, he stepped on a mine. He was hospitalized for three weeks with wounds to his legs.

“If we protest, we may be shot dead,” he said. “It’s better to walk through a minefield.”

For the victims of these atrocities, life rarely returns to normal. Loved ones who have been taken never return home. Those who suffer crippling injuries find it difficult to work.

In Shan State in eastern Myanmar, U Thar Pu Ngwe, 46, who had been pressed into service, was struck in the leg by shrapnel when a soldier stepped on a mine.

He now walks with difficulty, and it takes him three times as long to go anywhere, he said. He has had to reduce the amount of land he farms, cutting his income by more than half.

“That incident changed my life,” he said. “I was a happy man but not anymore after that.”

He urged the Tatmadaw to stop using civilians in battle. “If you want to fight,” he said, “just do it on your own.”

Hannah Beech contributed reporting.

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A Women’s March in Mexico City Turns Violent, With at Least 81 Injured

MEXICO CITY — Hundreds of women marched on Mexico’s seat of government Monday, some carrying their children, others blowtorches, bats and hammers, prepared for a confrontation they hoped would force the country to tackle rampant violence against women.

The International Women’s Day protest was fueled by anger at President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has backed a politician accused by several women of rape in a country that suffers some of the world’s worst rates of gender violence. Despite a rift within the governing party over the issue, Mr. López Obrador has supported the politician ahead of June elections.

As the protesters gathered around the national palace — Mr. Lopez Obrador’s residence and the seat of government — their ire was focused on a metal fence that had been erected to protect the building from being overrun. Women wearing black balaclavas pulled down parts of the barricade as the police fired volleys of flash-bang grenades into the crowd, causing several small stampedes.

At least 62 police and 19 civilians were injured by late Monday evening, according to Mexico City’s security branch.

an average of 10 women were killed in Mexico every day, and there were some 16,000 cases of rape. An investigation by one news site, Animal Politico, found that from 2014 to 2018, only about 5 percent of all sexual assault allegations, including rape, resulted in a criminal sentence.

It is that impunity that has enraged Mexico’s feminists, leading some groups to embrace violence as a tactic to force the nation to pay attention to their demands.

“We fight today so we don’t die tomorrow,” women chanted Monday as they marched across the city to the national palace. Others declared, “The fault is not mine, not because of where I was or what I was wearing.”

Over the weekend, activists spray-painted the barricade around the palace with the names of women killed by their husbands, boyfriends or supposed admirers.

filled the capital’s streets after several grisly assaults against women sparked public outrage, including the killing of a 7-year-old girl who was found disemboweled in a body bag.

A day later, tens of thousands of women stayed home from work in a nationwide strike to protest the violence.

accused of sexual assault by several women. The candidate, Félix Salgado Macedonio, is running for governor in the state of Guerrero, pending a party poll to confirm his candidacy.

On the morning of Monday’s protest, the president again accused conservative groups of co-opting the feminist movement, and claimed that women’s marches had begun only after he took power. He pointed to his own government as a commitment to his struggle for equality, the first cabinet in Mexican history to have half the seats filled by women.

Mr. López Obrador defended the wall his government erected around the national palace. And he said that while he supported the feminist movement, he would not tolerate the violence or the vandalism seen during the women’s march last year.

Ms. Granados and her daughter said the wall felt out of keeping for a president who says he is a man of the people.

“Look, I don’t agree to destroy monuments or damage, right?” Ms. Granados said. “But it is also clear to me that a monument is not worth more than the life of a girl.”

Her daughter, Ms. Puente, piped up.

The wall, she said, “is a contradiction.”

Ana Sosa in Mexico City contributed reporting.

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Man Threatened to Lynch 2 Congressmen, U.S. Says

A Missouri man who prosecutors say threatened to lynch a Black congressman the day after the Jan. 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol and a Jewish congressman in 2019 was ordered by a federal judge on Monday to remain in custody.

The man, Kenneth R. Hubert, made the menacing comments toward the two Democratic representatives, Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri and Steve Cohen of Tennessee, according to prosecutors, who contended that Mr. Hubert’s release on bond would present a danger to the community.

Mr. Hubert, 63, of Marionville, Mo., pleaded not guilty during a detention hearing on Monday in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo. He is charged in an indictment unsealed last week with two counts of threatening to kill or harm a United States official and one count of using an interstate communication to make a threat. His trial is scheduled to begin in May.

Prosecutors said that Mr. Hubert had an extensive history of leveling threats at elected officials and political party employees, the most recent of which came on Jan. 7 when, they say, he left a phone message at Mr. Cleaver’s Independence, Mo., office that contained a racial slur and expletives. Mr. Cleaver, who is from Kansas City, Mo., is Black.

The Kansas City Star. “And your words rise to the level of posing a danger.”

David Mercer, a federal public defender for Mr. Hubert, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday, but was quoted by The Star as telling Judge Rush that his client did not have a criminal record and that he had an increased risk of contracting the coronavirus if he remained in jail because of unspecified medical conditions.

Mr. Cleaver said in an email statement on Monday night that it was important to note that Mr. Hubert did not live in Mr. Cleaver’s congressional district and that the two had never met.

“But then, hate has such bad eyesight that a thrown rock might hit anyone within range,” Mr. Cleaver said. “Maybe it’s good that he remain in a place where there are no rocks.”

Mr. Cohen’s chief of staff declined to comment on Monday night, citing the continuing legal proceedings.

On the day of the Capitol siege, prosecutors said, Mr. Hubert left two voice-mail messages at the Missouri Democratic Party offices threatening to emulate the actions of the rioters.

Using an expletive, he asked if they saw what was “happening at the Capitol,” according to a transcript. “It’s coming your way next,” he said.

Mr. Hubert had previously made derogatory and threatening comments in phone calls to the Council on American-Islamic Relations in St. Louis and a federal judge in Montana, prosecutors said.

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Biden’s two German shepherds are moved to Delaware after a ‘biting incident’ at the White House.

WASHINGTON — President Biden’s two German shepherds have been moved to the family home in Delaware after one of the animals showed ongoing aggressive behavior to White House staff, according to a news report.

A report published by CNN on Monday evening said that the dogs, Champ and Major, had been moved after Major had what one person described as a “biting incident” with a member of the White House’s security staff.

White House officials in the East and West Wings did not respond to requests for comment on Monday evening. A person familiar with the dogs’ whereabouts said that Champ and Major had been moved to the family home in Delaware, but added that it was typical for them to stay there when Jill Biden, the first lady, was traveling. Dr. Biden is currently on the West Coast visiting with military families as part of her Joining Forces initiative.

The dogs joined the Bidens at the White House shortly after the Bidens relocated to Washington. Since then, they have been allowed to roam unleashed on the White House grounds and have been given carte blanche to explore the complex. They are often part of the backdrop in Oval Office photos.

People magazine during a joint interview with her husband published in February. In that interview, Mr. Biden said that Champ was 14 years old, and Major was about a year-and-a-half old.

adopted Major in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association after his daughter sent him a Facebook post about a litter of puppies up for adoption. Major was part of a six-pup litter that had been exposed to toxins and were nursed back to health before the agency listed them for adoption.

Major underwent a “special training” to become acclimated to the Biden household, and was fostered for several months before the Bidens officially adopted him, Kerry Bruni, the association’s director of animal care, said at the time.

“I imagine he has to learn how to travel on planes and stuff that normal house dogs don’t have to worry about,” Ms. Bruni said.

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Hong Kong Star Ferry converted into a luxury yacht

Hong Kong (CNN) — The Star Ferry is one of Hong Kong’s most affordable attractions. But the Star Ferry yacht is another story.

The iconic boats, which transport locals and tourists alike between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, have long been one of the city’s most famous symbols — and popular photo ops.

Only one of these ferries has ever been sold into private hands, and it has since been converted into a yacht. That yacht is now up for sale, giving the general public a look at what became of this beloved vessel.

Named Golden Star, it went up for sale in 2011 after one of the city’s cross-harbor ferry lines (between the neighborhoods of Hung Hom and Wan Chai) was discontinued amid expansion of the MTR subway.

Normally, the front of a Star Ferry is packed with commuters.

Normally, the front of a Star Ferry is packed with commuters.

Courtesy Ocean Expeditions

The man who bought it — he does not wish to reveal his name and uses an intermediary to respond to the press — is reportedly a Hong Kong native who had a deep, nostalgic connection to the ferry system. He worked in Hung Hom and regularly commuted via Star Ferry.

Under his decade of ownership, the ship (known as DOT) was converted into a floating mansion with 6,000 square feet of living space. That space includes four state rooms, offices, an on-board movie theater, a formal dining room, rooftop spots for sunbathing and a living room that is reportedly home to Hong Kong’s single biggest sofa. There’s also space for a 14-foot-tall Christmas tree every year.

DOT runs on solar power (yes, those are solar panels on the top) and harnesses waste water, making it fully self-sufficient. There’s also air conditioning, which anyone who has suffered through a humid Hong Kong summer will appreciate.

Transport fans will notice another significant change on DOT — its color.

Star Ferries in Hong Kong are generally painted white on the upper deck and dark green on the lower. This wasn’t a purely aesthetic decision. After World War II, the British army still had a surplus of dark-green paint left over, so it was used on many public works projects throughout the city — including ferries and, later, trams.

These days, DOT is all-white, but it’s hard to miss the familiar shape of the boat against Hong Kong’s turquoise waters.

Star Ferry’s long history

The 120-year-old Star Ferry is Hong Kong’s oldest form of public transport. The origins of this commuter service can be traced back to one man.

The first Star Ferry service across Victoria Harbour began in 1888, and the ride took between 40 and 60 minutes depending on water conditions.

These days, thanks to a combination of more modern boats and more reclaimed land shrinking the size of the harbor, a trip on the Star Ferry takes just a few minutes. But those few minutes are all you need to take in some of the city’s beautiful waterfront architecture, and even the most jaded commuter finds themselves gazing at the harbor sunset.

When these regular ferries began running, it was the first instance of regular, regulated transport between the island and the peninsula. Travelers could hail private boats (kaitos, a low-fi version of water taxis), but there was no consistency or ability to plan a trip in advance.

Hong Kong’s public trams — nicknamed “ding dings” for the sound of the clanging signal they make — would not start until 1904, and the MTR subway system unveiled its first stations in the 1970s.

All boats in the Star Ferry fleet have the word “Star” in their name. There are two remaining routes — between Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) at the southern tip of Kowloon and Central Piers on Hong Kong Island, and between TST and Wan Chai. The three neighborhoods are home to a large percentage of Hong Kong’s hotels, meaning that a ride on the ferry is both scenic and convenient.
And even though Hung Hom lost its “Star,” it didn’t lose ferry service. The southern Kowloon neighborhood — home to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and its Zaha Hadid-designed flagship building — has local ferries that connect it to the working-class North Point neighborhood and will soon have another connecting it to Central.

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