By Sean Lin / Staff reporterA motion by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to set the minimum monthly pension for retired civil servants, including public-school teachers, at NT$32,160 (US$1,056) passed its second reading yesterday. A proposal by the New Power Party (NPP) to set the minimum pension at NT$22,208, the median disposable income, was only backed by the NPP caucus’ five legislators. The average replacement rate is 97 percent and would still be 77 percent after the pension reform is completed, he said. Legislators for and against the pension reform gave speeches in between the votes, with the KMT caucus criticizing President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) pension reform plan. The money the government would save through pension reform pales in comparison with the Cabinet’s Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, which has a budget of NT$882.49 billion, they said.
June 22, 2017 15:56 UTC
By Chien Huei-ju, Liu Hsiao-hsin and William Hetherington / Staff reporters, with staff writerChinese Taipei Surfing Association secretary-general George Tsai (蔡濯羽) is to lead Taiwan’s first national surfing team to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the association said. Tsai, who has been actively promoting surfing in Taiwan, took fourth place in the open category of the longboard surfing championships held in the nation in March. He also led the Taiwanese team in an international surfing competition held last month in France. Tsai, 41, said he visited Yilan County’s Wushi Harbor (烏石港) more than 10 years ago after the Hsuehshan Tunnel opened. Despite this growing industry, locals still consider surfing to be nothing more than a recreational activity, seeing fisheries as more important to the township, Tsai said.
June 22, 2017 15:56 UTC
Average overtime pay per worker per month from January-April rose 9.01 percent from a year earlier to NT$1,693 (US$55.69), the DGBAS said. In April alone, average overtime pay per worker rose 5.27 percent from a year earlier to NT$1,719, the DGBAS said. Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨), deputy director of the DGBAS' census department, reiterated that the new work hour rules had boosted overtime pay given by employers. Employers are required to pay overtime for work on the flexible day off. Meanwhile, average monthly wages, comprising regular salary and non-regular wages such as overtime pay and bonuses, rose 1.83 percent year-on-year for April to NT$44,359, the DGBAS said.
June 22, 2017 14:15 UTC
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Foxconn Technology Group plans to move its fully automated manufacturing supply chain to the United States, the company founder said on Thursday. Foxconn is considering investing about US$10 billion in six states mostly around the Great Lakes, with projects over a five-year period, said Terry Gou (郭台銘), chairman and CEO of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., better known as Foxconn. Gou said the group has been in touch with the White House's American Innovation Office and six states in the Midwest, the heart of the US manufacturing sector. The supply chain could include display making, semiconductor packaging, big data and cloud-related technologies, Gou said at the company's annual shareholders' meeting in New Taipei.
June 22, 2017 14:15 UTC
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's leading trade fair for the food industry is also an important event for food packaging machine makers and food processing solution providers. The trade show played host to the second annual Smart Machinery Competition on Thursday, with the homegrown pharmaceutical packaging company Yenchen Machinery Company emerging as the national champion. Close behind were the finalists, including Chanmag Bakery Machine Company, Yang Jenq Machinery Company, Excell Precision Company and Yi Hong Environment Technology Company. Their talks focused on the huge opportunities that the Indonesian market afforded to Taiwanese food machinery and equipment makers, as well as new smart machine policies of Taiwan's current administration. And this is where Taiwan's machinery industry is involved — Taiwan can help them create value," Lin said.
June 22, 2017 14:03 UTC
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Six members of a Taiwanese tourist group were injured in western China's Xinjiang region on Thursday when their tour bus ran off the road, Taiwan's Tourism Bureau said that day. The bus was carrying 19 people and traveling near the town of Qiaku'ertu when the accident occurred at 4:48 p.m., according to the bureau. The six injured passengers, aged between 57 and 69 years old, were taken to local hospitals for treatment for their injuries which included broken bones, concussion and bruises, but are reportedly not life-threatening. Another two will return to Taiwan for treatment on Friday and another plans to rejoin the tour group, according to Life Tour, the travel agency which organized the tour. Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正), deputy head and spokesman of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, said officials had contacted the Chinese side and will arrange for families of the injured to visit China.
June 22, 2017 13:52 UTC
Italian nun Sister Maristella Piergianni, who has cared for the underprivileged in Taiwan for more than 50 years, was recently granted Taiwanese citizenship and a Taiwanese ID card, fulfilling her dream of becoming a naturalized citizen. "I've always wanted to be Taiwanese," said the 74-year-old, who was excited to receive the Taiwanese ID card and pledged that she will continue her efforts to help those in need. In 1992, she was transferred to a center for special education in Hsinchu City, where she worked for 12 years. The center was later managed by St. Joseph Social Welfare Foundation. Piergianni later moved to the Missionary Sisters Del Sacro Costato before she started working at St. Joseph Social Welfare Foundation in 2014, where she cares for mentally challenged children.
June 22, 2017 12:45 UTC
TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Taiwan Research Institute said on Thursday it has raised its forecast for gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Taiwan for 2017 to more than 2 percent, at a time of rising global demand. The institute, one of the leading think tanks in Taiwan, upgraded its GDP growth forecast from 1.74 percent to 2.01 percent. The institute joined a growing list of think tanks to hike their GDP predictions to more than 2 percent. The think tank said that foreign fund movements, China's economic growth, cross strait ties and domestic power supply could affect the domestic economy in the second half of the year. Despite slower growth in the second half of the year, the institute said Taiwan's economic growth is expected to remain stable throughout 2017.
June 22, 2017 12:45 UTC
BANGKOK -- Bangkok city officials are planning a "landmark" new street food market, as Thailand's military government clamps down on the capital's street food scene, local media reported Thursday. The proposed market will feature "more than 200 food vendors affected by [the government's new policy]," said deputy commerce minister Sontirat Sontijirawong, according to the Bangkok Post. "The area will become a landmark for street food," he added. In April, city leaders said that all street food in Bangkok would be banned by the end of 2017. The announcement took many by surprise, especially as the Thai capital in March was named the world's top street food destination for the second straight year by CNN.
June 22, 2017 12:00 UTC
South Africa's Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that the speaker of parliament can order a secret ballot in an upcoming no-confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma, a move that would open the way for members of his own party to vote against him. Zuma has already survived several no-confidence motions, but he is now facing increasing criticism within his own African National Congress (ANC). Analysts say a faction of the ANC could turn against Zuma if the ballot is secret. Speaker of parliament Baleka Mbete, a member of the ANC, had earlier said she had no powers to order a secret ballot. The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) proposed the no-confidence vote after Zuma sacked popular finance minister Pravin Gordhan in March, prompting two ratings agencies to downgrade South Africa.
June 22, 2017 10:30 UTC
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Police said on Thursday that they have arrested three Vietnamese men in connection with the killing of a Vietnamese migrant worker and the wounding of two others in a brawl that took place in New Taipei on June 18. All three suspects are Vietnamese migrant workers who have absconded from their legal jobs. One of the suspects, a 23-year-old surnamed Nguyen (阮), turned himself in on Tuesday, according to the New Taipei City Police Department's Xinzhuang Precinct. The two other suspects, a 21-year-old surnamed Bui (裴) and a 27-year-old surnamed Phi (斐), went into hiding but were arrested on Wednesday in Taoyuan's Guishan District, the police said. The three suspects were allegedly involved in the brawl at a Vietnamese restaurant in New Taipei on June 18 that resulted in the death of a 25-year-old Vietnamese migrant worker surnamed Pham (范) and the wounding of two of his friends.
June 22, 2017 09:56 UTC
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's postage rates are set to be raised on Aug. 1 for the first time in over two decades, the Chunghua Post Co. said Thursday. Postage for regular mail will be raised from NT$5 to NT$8, while registered mail will be raised to NT$30 from the current NT$25. Meanwhile, postage stamps in the denominations of NT$2.5 and NT$3.5, currently used for postcards and printed products, respectively, will be phased out, although existing stocks will continue to be honored by the post company. Chunghwa Post said it will hold a news conference on Monday to announce details of the hikes.
June 22, 2017 09:45 UTC
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Two MIM-23 Hawk missiles veered off course during a military exercise in the southern Taiwan county of Pingtung Thursday, but there were no reported casualties, according to the Air Force. Due to fuel combustion problems, the missiles veered off course shortly after being launched and exploded within the restricted area, the Air Force said. The mishap is the latest in a series of mistakes — some fatal — made by the military in the past year. The following month, three military personnel were killed after their tank fell into a stream in Pingtung when returning from a training drill. In March this year, eight military personnel at an Air Force base in Taichung tested positive for Category 1 drugs.
June 22, 2017 08:58 UTC
An old-school drink made with vinegar and once favored by farmers on hot days is making a comeback at bars in the U.S.Switchel, as the drink is called, is being used in cocktails by growing numbers of barkeepers in New York. However, people often put their own spin on it, according to The Washington Post, including preserved blueberries or guajillo peppers. One bartender described switchel's taste as jarring at first, but something that people could easily get used to. Back in the 17th century, farmers drank it on hot days to restore their electrolytes. The refreshing drink is also known as haymaker's punch, Switchy or Swizzle in the U.S.
June 22, 2017 08:37 UTC
The suspect shouted "Allahu akbar" — the Arabic phrase for "god is greatest" — and expressed hatred for the United States before the attack on Wednesday morning, according to investigators. The stabbing occurred at about 9:45 a.m. (1345 GMT) at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan — about 100 kilometers northwest of Detroit. Ftouhi arrived in the United States on Friday after crossing the border at the Lake Champlain border crossing in upstate New York, Gelios said. He made his way to Flint and walked around inside the airport, leaving some baggage in a restroom before the attack. We are all going to die," Gelios said, adding "he has a hatred for the United States."
June 22, 2017 08:15 UTC