Reuters, NEW DELHIDenmark’s Carlsberg A/S and India’s United Breweries Group have filed pleas with Indian authorities, seeking leniency in a probe into alleged collusion to fix beer prices, five sources familiar with the matter said. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been investigating the two companies, as well as the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (AB InBev). A Carlsberg spokesman in India said it was “cooperating fully with the CCI” and had done so from the beginning of the probe. An AB InBev spokesman in India said the company takes antitrust compliance “very seriously,” but declined to comment further. Individual executives can also be fined, though AB InBev could escape all of its share of the fines as it reported the issue.
BloombergLVMH has agreed to acquire Belmond Ltd in a deal that values the operator of high-end hotels and New York’s 21 Club at US$2.6 billion. The French luxury-goods company agreed to pay US$25 a share in cash for London-based Belmond, a 42 percent premium over Belmond’s closing price in the US on Thursday. The agreement ends a four-month sale process as Belmond sought to take advantage of a strong hospitality market. LVMH, owner of the Louis Vuitton brand and champagne maker Dom Perignon, is a surprise winner for Belmond. Belmond, which used to be known as Orient-Express Hotels, owns or has stakes in more than 30 high-end hotels.
Staff writer, with CNATaiwan People News is on Dec. 31 to cease daily operations after six years due to financial difficulties, founder Chen Yung-hsing (陳永興) said on Thursday on the news Web site, thanking readers for their support. Shareholders decided to stop daily operations because of the costs of running a daily news Web site. Over the past six years, Taiwan People News has spent NT$72 million (US$2.33 million), Chen said, adding that the decision was made with great reluctance, but it is time to say goodbye. Research conducted in October by Taiwan Media Watch, a non-governmental organization committed to maintaining press freedom and promoting media self-regulation, found that the Taiwan People News Facebook page was one of the most trustworthy and diverse among the 36 organizations publishing daily news in Taiwan. Organized by Chen, Nobel Prize laureate Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) and film director Wu Nien-jen (吳念真), Taiwan People News publishes news without charge and seeks to reflect public opinion in Taiwan, according to its Web site.
AFP, KATOWICE, PolandNations at UN climate talks were haggling yesterday over the world’s plan to avert disaster as host Poland dumped a draft decision text on delegates just hours before the summit was due to end. Negotiators told reporters that delegates from nearly 200 nations were still far apart on several issues, from how the fight against climate change is funded to the levels of help given to countries already experiencing its effects. Ministers at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change must agree on a common rule book to make good on promises made by countries in the 2015 Paris Agreement. A major sticking point remains finance: Developing nations have said they cannot afford to make their economies greener without reliable, transparent funding from richer nations. ActionAid global climate lead Harjeet Singh said that rich countries were “playing a cruel joke” on developing nations.
By Yang Chun-hui / Staff reporterExecutive Yuan Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) yesterday registered as a candidate in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson election after being nominated by a group of “middle generation” party members. Cho would be competing with former DPP secretary-general Michael You (游盈隆) and former Kaohsiung County deputy commissioner Kuo Tai-ling (郭泰麟) for leadership of the party. A dominant party has emerged in Taiwan — it is known as the “Hate the Democratic Progressive Party Party,” Cho said. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Nov. 24 resigned as the party’s leader after the DPP suffered heavy losses in the nine-in-one elections. In the local elections, the DPP won only six of the nation’s 22 mayoral and commissioner seats, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) took 15.
By Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporterNational Chiao Tung University professor Wu I-chen (吳毅成) presented an intelligent “Life-Learning System for Go” training and grading system for go players at the Future Tech Expo in Taipei yesterday. The system is the result of a years-long endeavor he hopes could help players make faster progress. Cloud computing technology supplier Ubitus Inc provided Wu’s lab with graphic processing units. Before the match, the Chinese and Japanese systems had been the second-strongest systems since Google’s AlphaGo retired, Chou added. Considering that AlphaGo is able to train itself without studying human game records, Wu hopes that his system can also reduce reliance on human players, Wu said.
Staff writer, with CNAForeign students would be allowed to take Taiwan’s teacher certification exam for the first time next year, with all applicants now required to pass the exam before taking part in an internship, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The ministry released information on next year’s certification exams for teachers at kindergartens, as well as elementary, junior and senior-high schools. It included the announcement that for the first time, foreign Chinese-language students would be allowed to sit the exam if they first pass a pre-service teacher education program. Applicants would also have to pass the exam before starting a teaching internship, a rule introduced in August to boost the exam pass rate, Department of Teacher Training and Art Education Director-General Cheng Yuan-chuan (鄭淵全) said. The old rule required applicants to finish the internship first, but many found teaching uninteresting and did not take the certification exam, resulting in a pass rate of about 60 percent, Cheng said.
Wu made the remarks in an instant messaging group used by the clique. The move would negatively affect Tuan’s role as one of the group’s leading figures, Wu added. Cho called Tuan’s harsh criticism of the party “completely unacceptable” and asked whether the DPP had been wrong to push pension reforms for retired civil servants, military personnel and public-school teachers. Legislation to eliminate a much-criticized 18 percent preferential interest rate for the retirees in six years was led by Tuan, Cho said. He added that while those errors cause him pain, his endorsement of Cho was the last straw.
By Huang Hsin-po and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, and staff writerChunghwa Post Co workers’ health is at risk because the company is importing uniforms that contain high levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFC), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday. Last year’s edition of the company’s regulations for purchasing workers’ uniforms said that the clothing should have category 4 soil resistance, DPP legislators Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) and Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said. Legislators said tests showed that the uniforms were 92,000 parts per million (ppm) PFC. Chunghwa Post has shown a disregard for the health of its employees, Hsiao said. Chunghwa Post associate manager Kuo Chun-yang (郭純陽) said the company cares for its workers, but the issue was a theoretical problem related to the clothing industry.
The city yesterday reopened the market, with officials praising the massive public help and quick police reaction that led to the death of suspected shooter Cherif Chekatt late on Thursday. Unable to open the door, Chekatt turned and shot at the three officers with a handgun, two of whom returned fire and killed him, Heitz told a news conference in Strasbourg. Questions remain over how Chekatt was able to evade the tight security perimeter set up around the market. However, many residents were not convinced after Chekatt managed to slip through the controls with a handgun and a knife. “You can’t ... arrest someone just because you think he might do something,” Parly told Radio Classique.
Staff writer, with CNALee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), the wife of jailed Taiwanese democracy advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲), has received approval to visit her husband in China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Thursday. MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) told a news conference in Taipei that Chinese authorities had approved a request for Lee Ching-yu to see her husband on Monday and Tuesday. Lee Ming-che is in Chishan Prison in Hunan Province, Chiu said, adding that an official from the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) would accompany Lee Ching-yu on the trip to China. The foundation on Wednesday was notified by a Taiwanese business association in Hunan that a request for a visit was approved, SEF spokesperson Kuan An-lu (管安露) said. Lee Ming-che has been detained in China since March last year.
Faced with a difficult battle, as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the DPP have also named candidates for the seat, Chen said that she would do her utmost to win the public’s support. DPP Taipei City Councilor Ho Chih-wei (何志偉) was nominated to run for the Shilin-Datong constituency after talks of a possible collaboration between the party and the “white force” led by Ko, an independent, did not come to pass. He would endeavor to win back the public’s trust, but would not be unduly concerned with the by-election, Ho said. Polls show that he should receive support from at least a quarter of the people who voted for Ko in the nine-in-one elections, Ho said. Ho’s chances of winning would not be diminished, despite there being no collaboration, Gao said.
By Stacy Hsu / Staff reporterExperts from 10 countries in the Indo-Pacific region yesterday gathered in Nantou County for a workshop on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief under the Taiwan-US Global Cooperation and Training Framework. The workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) at the National Fire Agency Training Center in Jhushan Township (竹山). It was designed to boost international cooperation to integrate private, civil and public-sector disaster-response measures with regional preparedness and response efforts. It was the 15th workshop and the second one on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief since the framework was implemented in 2015. AIT Deputy Director Raymond Greene said that yesterday’s workshop highlighted the US’ belief that Taiwan is a regional leader in disaster prevention and response.
BloombergDomestic banks, voracious lenders to Chinese companies in recent years, are starting to cool their appetite as they contemplate the longer-term consequences of the US-China trade dispute. On average, China made up 54 percent of the total book value of domestic banks’ assets last quarter, up from 50 percent at start of last year. It all means that despite attractive pricing, domestic lenders are getting “more conservative” toward Chinese private-sector enterprises, But said. Domestic banks, flush with US dollar deposits at home, punch above their weight in Asia. A pullback in credit from domestic banks would add to the woes of Chinese companies that have struggled to secure financing in wake of the deleveraging crackdown.
Most recently I discovered what locals describe as white stem buk choy (牛奶白菜), a firm leafed variety of Brassica rapa chinensis with a thick white stem and a mustardy flavor. The latter, in flavor at least, is closer to mustard greens, sometimes with a hint of bitterness. In appearance it is similar to white stem buk choy with meaty stems and firm leaves, though the stems are tinged with green and the leaves are flatter, not crenelated as with buk choy. Nutritionally, buk choy is also packed with all kinds of good things. Meat Sauce Pasta with White Stem Buk ChoyRecipe(serves four)White stem buk choy is most notable for its robust flavor and crisp stems.