Reuters, TOKYOThree Japanese automakers yesterday confirmed the safety of aluminum components made by Kobe Steel Ltd, allaying some concerns that Kobe’s falsified quality data had compromised the safety of the products. Kobe Steel, Japan’s No. Toyota Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co and Mazda Motor Co said that hoods and other exterior parts used in their cars which were made from aluminum directly supplied by Kobe Steel were safe. Toyota identified aluminum plates supplied by Kobe Steel for the hoods and rear hatches of Toyota and Lexus brand vehicles. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism plans to probe the safety of automobiles, trains and planes using Kobe Steel products, a spokesman said.
AP, LONDONRoyal Dutch Shell PLC on Wednesday opened its first electric vehicle recharging points at three gas stations in Britain, part of the oil giant’s efforts to respond to a global push toward zero-emission vehicles. Their opening comes only days after Shell agreed to buy electric vehicle charging firm NewMotion. “We recognize that the electric vehicle market is growing in the UK. It’s growing very fast,” Shell UK future fuels manager Jane Lindsay-Green said, adding that statistics show an increase in electric vehicle registrations. Shell said the UK is the first country in which its recharging service will be available.
“For the fourth quarter, we now forecast strong revenue growth of 10 percent quarter-on-quarter, driven by the ramp-up of our 10nm technology,” TSMC co-CEO Mark Liu (劉德音) said. TSMC supplies 10nm chips to Apple Inc and Huawei Technology Inc (華為). It said the revenue contribution from the 10nm chips might rise to 25 percent this quarter, from 10 percent last quarter. Revenue this quarter is to rise to between US$9.1 billion and US$9.2 billion, compared with last quarter’s NT$252.11 billion (US$8.34 billion). To support the multi-year growth target, TSMC said that capital spending over the next few years would be slightly higher than US$10 billion per year.
AFP, SAN FRANCISCOSamsung Electronics Co on Wednesday announced that it is upgrading its Bixby digital assistant and making it available for a range of connected devices, setting up a clash with Amazon.com Inc’s Alexa and others competing for leadership in artificial intelligence (AI). The new Bixby 2.0 is to be open to developers in a move to put the personal assistant on more devices, the company said at its developer conference in San Francisco. “Bixby 2.0 will be ubiquitous, available on any and all devices,” Samsung executive vice president Chung Eui-suk said in a blog post. The move puts Samsung and Bixby squarely in competition with Alexa, the AI program powering Amazon’s connected speakers and on many third-party devices including appliances and cars. We think of it as a service across all devices in the home — TVs, appliances, even cars.”
Reuters, SYDNEYIrish President Michael Higgins yesterday said that he was confident the country would have Australian support for their bid to host the Rugby World Cup for the first time in 2023. Ireland will go up against bids from South Africa and France in the World Rugby board vote on Nov. 15 and Australia would normally be expected to back their fellow southern hemisphere power. Hailing the “incredibly successful job” Ireland did hosting the women’s Rugby World Cup earlier this year, Pulver said the country’s bid did not suffer by comparison with the other two on financial terms. “The financial outcomes from a World Cup are very important as they allow World Rugby to fund the game for the rest of the four-year cycle. “I hope that the bid is successful and I am very happy to lend support to it.”
AFP, CHICAGOChris Taylor homered and drove in two runs, and Yu Darvish pitched six-plus strong innings on Tuesday as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 to move within one win of a World Series return. The Dodgers, whose 1988 championship marked their last appearance in Major League Baseball’s title showcase, took a commanding 3-0 lead over the reigning World Series champion Cubs in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series. The Dodgers responded in the second inning. The winner of the series will face either the New York Yankees or Houston Astros in the World Series starting on Tuesday next week. The Yankees and Astros were tied 2-2 in their American League Championship Series after New York’s 6-4 home win on Tuesday.
GuardianThe specialist British police unit investigating child abuse in soccer has received 142 new referrals since publishing its last updated figures in June and is investigating complaints involving more than 330 clubs. These referrals include basketball, rugby union, gymnastics, martial arts, tennis, wrestling, golf, sailing, athletics, cricket and swimming. “Allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse are complex and often require specialist skills and knowledge and can take time to progress. “We continue to urge anyone who may have been a victim of child sexual abuse to report it, if they are ready to do so, by dialing 101, or contacting the dedicated NSPCC helpline, regardless of how long ago the abuse may have taken place. Anyone with any information regarding child sexual abuse is also urged to come forward,” he added.
In the eastern province, one of Indonesia’s poorest, genetics and geography have combined to produce a string of successful players and teams. Solossa’s club Persipura Jayapura, known as the “Black Pearls” because of Papuans’ dark skin, have won the national title five times, making them Indonesia’s most successful team. It is a proud achievement for Papua, known for its low-level insurgency and antipathy toward Indonesia’s Javanese rulers since it was annexed in the 1960s. Papuans come from Pacific-origin Melanesians and the province, bordering Papua New Guinea, has a warlike, tribal past including cannibalism. Soccer commentator Akmali Marhali, who works with the Save Our Soccer think tank, said Papuan players have a well-earned reputation for fitness and agility.
“You hurt for him,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Hayward, his former star at the Butler Bulldogs. I really feel for him.”James scored 29 points — 13 in the fourth quarter — in his most extensive action in three weeks because of a sprained left ankle. The superstar also fed Kevin Love for a critical three-pointer with 46.3 seconds left to put the Cavs up 102-98. James said seeing Hayward get hurt reminded him of grisly injuries to Paul George, Shaun Livingston and Louisville’s Kevin Ware. Stevens said Hayward would be taken directly to the hospital in Boston once the Celtics’ plane lands.
Of the 2,447 people who participated in the vote, 2,424 demanded legal protections for live-in caregivers and 2,413 supported the right of migrant workers to switch employers without restriction, said the Taiwan International Workers’ Association (TIWA), which staged the mock referendum. The third issue on the ballot was about the private employment brokerage system, which has been criticized for charging migrant workers high fees. The vote was not restricted to migrant workers, with 338 ballots cast by Taiwanese, it said. Migrant workers are required to present evidence to prove the unreasonable working conditions that do not fulfill their contract to apply for a transfer of employment, Sumiyati said. Noting that there are more than 600,000 migrant workers employed in 300,000 workplaces, Hsueh said the existence of employment brokers is simply “a matter of supply and demand.”As long as there is strong demand for migrant workers, employment brokers would not shut down just because the government has ordered them to; they would go underground, making their supervision more difficult, he said.
The discovery of gravitational waves with light, named GW170817, was made by the US-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the Europe-based Virgo detector, which started a race among scientists to find the source. The next day, a team led by Ryan Foley at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile identified the gravitational waves’ source in the NGC 4993 galaxy about 130 million light years away. Studying the collision of neutron stars can help scientists explore the origin of gold and other heavier elements in the cosmos, Yu said. As the merger of neutron stars produced a “kilonova” brighter than any other previously discovered stars, scientists around the world are watching it for any changes, he said. The discovery of the optical counterpart of the gravitational waves should be accredited to the this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics laureates — Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne — who made contributions to the LIGO detector and observation of gravitational waves, Yu said.
Reuters, MANILAPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday declared Marawi liberated from Islamic State group militants, although the military said that 20 to 30 rebels were still holding about 20 hostages and fighting it out. Duterte said that the liberation was not a cause for celebration and later apologized to the people of Marawi for the destruction. Padilla said the military believed Malaysian operative Mahmud Ahmad was in Marawi, but poses no threat. “Dr Mahmud is an academic, he’s not a fighter,” Padilla said. Philippine Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana, who estimated Marawi operations to have cost 5 billion pesos (US$97.4 million), said that reconstruction could start in January next year.
By Shelley Shan / Staff reporterAbout 600 cyclists from 32 countries are to compete in the Taiwan King of the Mountain Challenge (KOM) that begins on Friday. Launched in 2012, the KOM Challenge has become one of the highlights of the Taiwan Cycling Festival. The Taiwan KOM Challenge has developed a reputation among cyclists at home and abroad as a competition that they must attempt at least once, the Tourism Bureau said. Taiwanese Feng Chun-kai (馮俊凱), an East Asia Games gold medalist and 2012 Philippines KOM Champion, is to compete this year. For the first time, the number of foreign cyclists outnumbers local cyclists, with 318 of 592 cyclists coming from overseas.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterAbout 80 percent of budget hotels inspected by the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee (CPC) failed at least one item, a committee report showed. Eighteen hostels (72 percent) failed the standard contract inspection, including 14 that had deposit and refund policies that failed to meet legal standards. Two hostels failed all four inspection items — The Light Hostel’s (承億輕旅) Tainan branch and the Taipei Travelers International Hostel (台北旅人國際青年旅館) in New Taipei City, consumer ombudsman Wang Te-ming (王德明) said. The Light Hostel was fined NT$110,000 while the Taipei Travelers International Hostel was fined NT$60,000, he said. Light Hostel’s public relations manager, surnamed Chien (簡), said its management knows about the problems and would review operations at all its branches and make any necessary improvements.
Fairphone’s products also feature modular designs, which allow for easier repair and upgrading, Lee said. Apple earned a “B-” for its attempts at sustainability. However, it still needs to improve its product design, given most of its products are difficult to repair and maintain, Lee said. Amazon earned an “F,” Huawei a “D” and Samsung a “D-” for lack of attention to carbon emissions and not embracing renewable energy, the survey said. It is time Taiwan’s manufacturers and recyclers develop new industrial models, she said.