Healthcare costs rose 1.52 percent, while living costs advanced 1.33 percent, it said. The state-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) increased prices of natural gas and liquefied natural gas by 19.5 percent this year. The core CPI — a more reliable long-term indicator of consumer prices because it excludes volatile items — increased by 1.3 percent, it said. In the first 11 months of this year, consumer prices gained 0.57 percent. Import prices rose 5.44 percent in US dollar terms, while export prices increased 4.64 percent, it said, as costs for basic metal, mineral and chemical products continued to go up.
AFP, NEW DELHISri Lanka yesterday were reeling on 31-3 while chasing a daunting 410-run victory target in a pollution-tainted third Test in New Delhi blighted by scenes of bowlers vomiting on the ground. Fast bowler Mohammad Shami dismissed opener Sadeera Samarawickrama off a roaring bouncer, but stopped in mid-over to vomit, crouching down and then gulping water. In the morning session it was Sri Lanka paceman Suranga Lakmal who threw up twice. A doctor at the stadium examined three Sri Lanka players and said their vital signs were normal. Apart from Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan and Dhananjaya de Silva took a wicket each.
By Shelley Shan / Staff reporterApart from collecting tolls from motorists, the electronic toll collection (ETC) system now has another function: assisting police in catching speeding drivers. The bureau then conducted a cross-analysis of a list of 31 top speeding drivers identified by the ETC system and those caught by the National Highway Police Bureau in September and October. The freeway bureau does not have authority to punish these speeding drivers, Wu said, adding that only highway police have the authority to crack down on speeding drivers. 3), as well as the overpass connecting Wugu (五股) and Yangmei (楊梅) along the Sun Yat-sen Freeway (Freeway No. Speeding drivers found to be at fault in a collision will have their licenses revoked, it said.
By Tao Chieh-hsiu and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writerA special exhibit on Matsu processions opened on Monday at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to introduce visitors to Taiwanese culture and religious practices. The exhibit is titled “Hello Miss Lin,” a reference to the surname attributed to the sea goddess, arguably the nation’s most popular Taoist deity. The exhibition also features an automated dispenser of oracle slips typically found in the nation’s Taoist temples, as well as free and customized stickers. The Taoyuan airport is an excellent platform for introducing Taiwan’s unique art and culture to the world, said Ku Suching (古素琴), chairwoman of Tasa Meng Duty Free Store, a co-organizer of the exhibition. The exhibit at Terminal 2, D Section, of the airport is open until Feb. 28.
Staff writer, with CNA, KaohsiungA shipping container of smuggled cigarettes estimated to have a market value of about NT$25 million (US$833,528) was yesterday seized at the Port of Kaohsiung, customs officers said. The 40-foot shipping container was found to contain about 500,000 packs of cigarettes — including popular brands “Maple” and “King” — and were worth an estimated NT$25 million. Several shipments of smuggled cigarettes have been seized at the port since October. On Oct. 12, customs officers seized 11,300 boxes of smuggled cigarettes worth about NT$250 million, and on the following day intercepted a shipment of 900 boxes valued at NT$20 million, customs officers said. On Oct. 17, a shipment of smuggled cigarettes valued at about NT$20 million was uncovered, they said.
By Ted Chen / Staff reporterThe Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday meted out penalties to CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控) for providing total bail money of NT$100 million (US$3.33 million) to a number of employees, but mostly to a major shareholder, who were charged with embezzlement in June last year. More than NT$90 million of the bail money was earmarked for Jeffrey Koo Jr (辜仲諒), a major shareholder and scion of the company’s founders. This was not the first time that CTBC Financial had provided bail money for the major shareholder, Wellington Koo said, adding that he hopes that the company will not repeat the infraction. The commission said that the incident reflects shortcomings in the company’s compliance protocols and that as CTBC Financial had numerous run-ins with the law in the past, it should be no stranger to the pitfalls of providing bail money to its employees. Furthermore, the company’s president was found to have provided inadequate information to the board of directors and had misled them into giving their approval to furnish the bail money, the commission said.
By Sean Lin / Staff reporterThe Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例), which aims to remove authoritarian-era symbols and retry cases of injustice from that era, was passed by the Legislative Yuan yesterday evening. A nine-member Transitional Justice Promotion Committee is to be created, to be overseen by the Executive Yuan, with its chairman nominated by the premier and approved by at least half of the members of the Legislative Yuan. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has undermined the nation’s political system by creating an agency with administrative, judicial and investigative powers. The passage of the act heralds the dawning of a new authoritarian era, KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said. “When the KMT regains political power, we will also propose a transitional justice bill targeting [President] Tsai’s [Ing-wen, 蔡英文] authoritarian rule,” he said.
By Lauly Li / Staff reporterIntel Corp, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Asia Pacific Telecom Co (APT, 亞太電信) yesterday jointly unveiled a multi-access edge computing (MEC) platform and facial recognition technology, the result their collaborative efforts in 5G technology solutions. Hon Hai participated in the platform’s development with Intel and is in charge of sensor manufacturing for facial recognition technology, while APT provides network connectivity, the companies said. Facial recognition is one of the applications that can be used on the platform, Lu said, adding that Hon Hai has been using facial recognition with door access control at two of its plants in New Taipei City for one-and-a-half years. Instead of clocking in and out, more than 200,000 employees at the two plants use facial recognition to report for work and enter the plants, he said. Facial recognition on the platform can also be used in department stores, Lu said.
Staff writer, with CNAThe Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) on Monday said that next year passengers would be given a full refund if the train they are traveling on is more than 30 minutes behind schedule. The TRA has decided to unilaterally revise its agreement with passengers on Jan. 1, the railway operator said. “A train delayed more than 30 minutes is a serious inconvenience to passengers, so they will receive a full refund if they choose to take another mode of transport,” TRA section head Wang Wen-chien (王文謙) said. The refund would also apply when a train service has been suspended, Wang said. Currently, passengers who ask for a refund on the day of travel are charged a processing fee that is up to 20 percent of the cost of the ticket, the TRA said.
By Jason Pan / Staff reporterPolice on Monday arrested two men in Taoyuan on Monday on charges of firearms possession and suspicion of involvement in gang-related activity. They said they found a cache of firearms and bullets when they arrested a 28-year-old man surnamed Chen (陳) and a 25-year-old man surnamed Huang (黃). The two men are friends and are suspected of being involved in organized crime, police said, adding that Chen is allegedly a member of the Bamboo Union gang (竹聯幫), while Huang is allegedly a member of the Celestial Way gang (天道盟). A search of Huang’s car revealed several backpacks containing seven pistols, 13 unfinished handguns and a cache of bullets, police said. In other developments yesterday, Yilan County prosecutors announced the successful apprehension of a local gang led by a man surnamed Lin (林) and the arrest of 21 other suspects.
The North’s missile test on Tuesday last week showed that China “has not delivered on North Korea” as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has promised, Institute for Korean-American Studies fellow Joseph Bosco said in an article titled “There have to be consequences for China” published on Wednesday on the Web site RealClearWorld. Instead, China “continues to deliver for North Korea,” undermining the UN Security Council sanctions for which it voted, he said. China has parlayed its leverage over North Korea into leverage over the West, which has granted China immunity regarding its violations of international law on trade, currency, intellectual property, human rights, Taiwan, and maritime and aviation security, Bosco said. In taking the call, Trump told China that “he does not regard as sacrosanct the ‘one China’ policy,” let alone care for Beijing’s distorted “one China” principle, he said. There are myriad ways the Trump administration can deepen its relationship with Taiwan on diplomatic, economic and military fronts, he said.
By Tseng Nai-chiang / Staff reporterChiayi County Commissioner Helen Chang (張花冠) is holding an exhibition of her paintings to raise funds for next year’s Lantern Festival, which is to be held in the county. Chang Ming-da (張明達), a Democratic Progressive Party member who is seeking his party’s nomination for county commissioner next year, said that he had donated NT$300,000 (US$9,988) to the festival. “I am doing this to support commissioner [Helen] Chang,” he said. The total budget needed for the festival is about NT$550 million, of which NT$50 million must be raised by the county government. The county is still NT$20 million short, Helen Chang said, expressing hope that the show, which runs until Jan. 14, could raise at least NT$10 million.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThe National Policy Foundation yesterday called for extending the coverage of a proposed transitional justice bill instead of targeting the former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime. The foundation, a think tank founded by the KMT, held a news conference following an announcement last week by Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) that the draft bill would be submitted for a third reading today. The proposed bill is against procedural justice, the law, the Constitution, democracy and the rule of law, Wang said, adding that if it passes the third reading, the KMT would consider requesting a constitutional interpretation. Words such as “authoritarian period” and “authoritarian rule” in the draft bill are ambiguous, Wu said, questioning whether there were no transitional justice issues after 1992. Laywer Chang Chun-lun (張鈞綸) said that transitional justice should not be achieved by legislation targeted at a specific period and through interpretations made by a commission, suggesting that the KMT request a constitutional interpretation if it is passed.
By Ye Kuan-yu and Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporter, with staff writerAn “anthropomorphic jar” is today to go back on display in New Taipei City’s Shihsanhang Museum of Archeology after the conclusion of a month-long conservation project by Louvre Museum artifact conservator Stephanie Nisole. When the jar was unearthed 60 years ago, it was in pieces and required reassembly, Chen said. Nisole dismantled the jar and cleaned its surfaces with a brush before reassembling the 65 pieces, Chen said. The anthropomorphic jar “showcases the exceptional pottery techniques and creativity of the Aboriginal Shihsanhang people,” Chen said, adding that the artifact was in 2006 labeled an “important national artifact” under the Cultural Heritage Protection Act (文化資產保存法). The conservation and restoration of cultural artifacts is an important mission of the museum, Chen said, adding that it partnered with Academia Sinica to invite Nisole.
China is not a top-tier nation in baseball and positive effects on Taiwanese baseball from the tournament would be limited, Hsu said. The Chinese Taipei Baseball Association should not go along with China, he said, adding that the Sports Administration should investigate whether the association accepted financial aid and whether it reported issues to the government in advance. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said the tournament was a fake exchange as part of China’s “united front” strategy. The tournament is considered a cross-strait technical exchange, Chinese Taipei Baseball Association secretary-general Kung Fu-hao said, adding that it aims to mutually improve skills and does not involve politics. The 16 participating Taiwanese schools — consisting of colleges, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools — included Chung Yuan Christian University, Shih Hsin University, National Taiwan University and National Pingtung University of Science and Technology.