By Chen Wei-han / Staff reporterThe Cabinet yesterday approved next year’s government budget, which projects NT$1.985 trillion (US$65.49 billion) in spending, with infrastructure, social welfare, drug prevention and the New Southbound Policy to see the largest increases. While the Cabinet budgeted NT$164.3 billion for public construction works, the category would also draw funds from the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program — a special category separate from the annual budget — for a combined expenditure of NT$379.1 billion, the highest public construction budget since 2012. Drug prevention, long-term care services and the New Southbound Policy are to see the largest budget increases. Food safety is to receive NT$5.45 billion, while NT$13.92 billion is to be given to air pollution control and Aboriginal policies are to receive NT$8.89 billion. Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said public construction, industrial renovation, drug prevention, food safety, education and social welfare are the priorities, and the Cabinet must focus its resources on those sectors.
One of these is canvas manufacturing, with three well-known companies founded in three different eras offering three unique styles. “Lots of people learned how to make canvas products from my grandfather and then opened their own stores,” Tseng said. The store offers many types of canvas products, including handbags, car canopies and rain gear. “We used to make canvas bags that banks used to transport banknotes,” he said. Her Cherng Canvas (合成帆布), known for its lightweight cotton and canvas printed handbags, was founded in 1956.
The KMT and the NPP tendered the motions to form the committee, with KMT caucus secretary-general Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) saying that its functions should include “establishing the facts” about the nation’s energy policy. “The Legislative Yuan needs to be responsible for and actually investigate what happened, instead of just summoning Premier Lin Chuan (林全) for a dressing down,” NPP caucus convener Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said. Hsu reiterated the caucus’ calls for the resignations of Chen and Taipower chairman Chu Wen-chen (朱文成), following the resignation of minister of economic affairs Lee Chih-kung (李世光). While the legislature had established investigative committees on prior occasions, it currently only has the power to view documentary evidence, he added. The Constitution vests investigative power in the Control Yuan, which is charged with supervising and monitoring other government bodies.
By Su Meng-chuan and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerA vocational high-school student in Taichung was awarded a Red Dot Design Award for his illustration of Pokemon Go players. The players seemed like zombies milling about mindlessly as they stared at their smartphones or tablets, anxious to nab Pokemon, Lee Chang-hu (李昌虎) said. The following year, he was the only high-school student to win a prize — a bronze medal — in the Taiwan Poster Competition. Wang said that he had checked the Ministry of Education’s Web site and believed that Lee might be the first high-school student in the nation to have won a Red Dot Design Award. The school said it would finance the trip to Berlin for Wang and Lee to attend the awards ceremony.
Reuters, HELSINKIHMD Global Oy, a Finnish start-up looking to reinvigorate the Nokia phone brand, on Wednesday unveiled the Nokia 8, hoping to cash in on rising consumer demand for high-quality audio and video features. The new top-of-the-line Nokia sports a dual-sight video feature that enables simultaneous live-streaming on social media from both front and rear cameras on a split screen. Once the world’s dominant phonemaker, Nokia Oyj sold its handset operations to Microsoft in 2014, leaving it to focus on telecoms network equipment. It took over the Nokia feature phones business in December last year and has a licensing deal giving it sole use of the Nokia brand on all phones and tablets. Last month, HMD announced that CEO Arto Nummela, a former Nokia executive, was leaving the company for personal reasons, without elaborating.
Ho allegedly extended loans to Sun Power Development and Construction Co (三寶建設), run by a relative of his wife, Chang Hsing-ju (張杏如), without sufficient collateral, violating the limitations on transactions between interested parties as stated under the act, prosecutors said. At 10pm, Chou ruled that the four could be released and set Ho’s bail at NT$400 million. In return, Ho demanded 20 percent of the loans, or US$12 million, for Ho’s investment in Link Mart. Prosecutors has indicted Ho for breach of trust, receiving illegal benefits from trading partners under the Financial Holding Company Act (金融控股公司法) and falsifying financial statements. Yu and Chen were indicted on breach of trust as stated under the Financial Holding Company Act, the Securities Exchange Act and the Criminal Code, prosecutors said.
A proposed amendment to the Status Act For Indigenous Peoples (原住民身分法) would add plains Aborigines to the two existing categories of “mountain Aborigines” and “lowland Aborigines,” the Council of Indigenous Peoples said. “The terms ‘mountain Aborigines,’ ‘lowland Aborigines’ and ‘plains Aborigines’ all refer to Aborigines under the 10th constitutional amendment, just as the Indian, Inuit and Metis peoples are recognized by the Canadian constitution,” the council said. Plains Aborigine is an anthropological grouping, with Kavalan people being the only plains Aborigines attaining state recognition, although they are mostly recognized as lowland Aborigines. Since the 1990s, plains Aborigines, including the Ketagalan, Pazeh, Kaxabu, Makatao, Hoanya, Papora and Taokas, have launched campaigns calling for official recognition of Pingpu peoples. “The amendment fulfills the name rectification objectives of plains Aborigines seeking official recognition for more than 20 years,” Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said.
Telecom carriers have reported difficulties installing the devices inside some of the venues for the Games and can only rely on base stations nearby to boost transmission, commission spokesman Weng Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said. They include National Taiwan University, National Taiwan Sports University, Hsin Wu University, Tamkang University and Fu Jen Catholic University. The sporting venues in these universities are either very large or in basements, commission specialist Yang Chao-tong (楊朝棟) said. Telecom carriers have tried to compensate by enlarging the areas covered by stations nearby, but it is not enough to improve reception in these venues, Yang said. “Either they are concerned about potential health hazards caused by electromagnetic waves, or they do not think the equipment is necessary because they are hosting only a few preliminary games,” Yang said.
By Jason Pan / Staff reporterTaipei District Prosecutors’ Office officials on Wednesday permitted former Taipei Department of Finance commissioner Lee Sush-der (李述德) to return home, but placed him under house arrest and banned him from leaving the country. They also said they would not rule out summoning former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for further questioning in connection with the Taipei Dome corruption case. After 14 hours of questioning, Lee at about 11pm was the last person among the five to leave the prosecutors’ office. During the contract negotiation process for the Taipei Dome build-operate-transfer project in September 2004, there were reportedly several crucial meetings between the Taipei City Government and Farglory executives. Lee reportedly told prosecutors that Ma met with Chao in September 2004, when Ma allegedly agreed to grant a waiver from paying royalties on the complex.
By Tsai Ya-hua and Ho Yu-hua / Staff reporters“Green” burials have become more popular, especially in Taipei and New Taipei City, city officials say. As of June, 5,296 tree burials were conducted at the Jinshan park, while the park in Sanjhih has seen 790 burials. Fewer than 60 people had “green” burials when the county adopted the practice in 2015, but the number more than doubled to 122 last year, Cheng said. “Green” burials were least common in Miaoli and Changhua counties, Ministry of the Interior data showed. Last year, the number increased to 39, while 38 tree burials have been carried out so far this year, Chiu said.
AFP and Reuters, WASHINGTON and BEIJINGWhite House strategist Steve Bannon argued forcefully in an interview published on Wednesday that the US is in an “economic war” with China, and the confrontation with nuclear-armed North Korea is just “a sideshow.”“To me the economic war with China is everything and we have to be maniacally focused on that,” he said in the interview with the American Prospect. “There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it,” he said. On Korea, they’re just tapping us along. It’s just a sideshow.”Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩), appealed for dialogue to preserve stable relations when asked about the comments by Bannon. “There is no winner in a trade war,” Hua said at a regular news briefing.
AP, WASHINGTONUS Federal Reserve policymakers were worried last month about inflation, but for two opposing reasons. One group of Fed policymakers felt inflation was falling too low and argued for caution in raising interest rates. The policy debate was revealed in minutes released on Wednesday of the Fed’s July 25 and July 26 meeting. In last month’s discussion, the minutes showed that some officials expressed concern about the recent decline in inflation, even though unemployment has continued to decline. The inflation debate explored a number of issues, the minutes showed, including the possibility that long-held views on the relationship between tight labor markets and higher inflation might no longer be valid.
It must have felt like deja vu for the Frenchman, who fell 6-3, 6-4 to drop to 0-15 against Nadal. Del Potro advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 win over American qualifier Mitchell Krueger, winning each set on a late break. Australian Nick Kyrgios beat Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) to reach the third round, where he faces unseeded Croatian Ivo Karlovic. 1 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva in the second round. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, a 6-2, 6-4 winner against Russia’s Elena Vesnina.
Reuters, PHNOM PENHCambodian authorities this month have arrested nearly 400 Taiwanese and Chinese on suspicion of operating a telecom scam to defraud people in China, Cambodian police said yesterday. In recent years, it has deported more than 600 Chinese and Taiwanese to China after arresting them on suspicion of telecom scams. Since 2011, Taiwan and China have cooperated in investigating telecom fraud in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and elsewhere. Some of the suspects arrested in Cambodia are to be sent to China this week, Uk Heisela said. Last month, Cambodia deported 105 Chinese and Taiwanese suspects to China, prompting a protest from Taipei to Phnom Penh.
Asustek said it holds high expectation for sales of the ZenFone 4 series, as the company did not launch any handsets in the first half of the year. To drive up its ZenFone sales, Asustek has reportedly spent nearly NT$60 million, half of the firm’s annual marketing expenses, to hire South Korean actor Gong Yoo as the brand ambassador for the Asia-Pacific region, excluding China. Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) analyst Calvin Wei (魏建發) said he was conservative about the short-term outlook for Asustek’s smartphone business. Daiwa Capital Markets analyst Steven Tseng (曾緒良) on Friday last week said in a note that he estimated Asustek’s increasing smartphone sales would benefit the firm’s profitability this quarter. The company’s stock price lost 0.2 percent to close at NT$243.5 in Taipei trading yesterday, ahead of the firm’s product launch.