Trump’s healthcare bill dies on vine

“If [Democrats] got together with us and got us a real healthcare bill, I’d be totally OK with that. Minutes later House Republicans, short of votes, had withdrawn the health bill. Ryan said he had recommended the bill be pulled when he realized the votes were lacking. As it was announced, the House went to recess, with Democrats shouting in a taunting manner, “Vote, vote, vote,” daring Republicans to bring the bill up. “Ultimately, the ‘Trumpcare’ bill failed because of two traits that have plagued the Trump presidency since he took office: Incompetence and broken promises.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

Teachers, veterans protest over poster

By Abraham Gerber, Cheng Hung-ta and Jake Chung / Staff reporters, with staff writerMembers of teachers’ unions yesterday joined retired military personnel in a march to the Executive Yuan in Taipei to protest pension reform promotional materials, condemning the use of the term “unjust” on a poster. “If you want to push for pension reform, you can make your case, but there is no need to use the word ‘unjust,’” he said. “The government should be objective and stop portraying us as fat cats and the enemy,” Huang added. The government has been reneging on its promises and alleging that civil servants, educators and military personnel have been growing fat from too much money, he said. “The content of the poster was mistaken and inappropriate,” said Department of Information Services Director Kao Tsun (高遵), who met with protesters outside of the Executive Yuan.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

China protest expected for Akama trip

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- China is expected to react angrily to Japan's sending of a senior official to Taiwan in a rare visit since Taipei and Tokyo severed diplomatic ties in 1972, Japanese media reported Saturday. Jiro Akama, deputy minister of internal affairs and communications, arrived in Taipei to attend an event promoting Japanese tourism, becoming the highest ranking Japanese official to visit Taiwan since 1972. Beijing has yet to respond to Akama's visit, but NHK said Japan is braced for strong opposition from China, according to the Central News Agency. Before departing for Taipei, Akama told NHK at the airport that his attendance of a promotional event in Taipei did not mean any change in Japan's relations with mainland China or with Taiwan, according to CNA. Last year, Beijing expressed "strong dissatisfaction" with Japan's decision to change the name of its de facto embassy in the Republic of China to include the word "Taiwan."

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

Brawl follows China ice hockey game

Video footage showed China defenseman Cui Yunjie throwing the chair back over the glass into an area where spectators can walk. Wang and fellow China forward Wang Jing (王京) were penalized and suspended for one game for their roles in the fracas. The game itself was a fractious affair, with 18 penalties shared between the two sides before the two after the siren. Israel also have three wins after beating Turkey 6-2 yesterday, while Bulgaria have one and New Zealand none. The final round of games is on tomorrow at the Taipei Annex Arena, with China to play Turkey in the first game, Bulgaria taking on New Zealand and Taiwan to play Israel in the last game, which is to begin at 8pm.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

Service to honor Fisher and Reynolds

LOS ANGELES -- Stars and fans will gather Saturday for a public memorial to honor late actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher nearly three months after their deaths. The ceremony is slated to feature music by James Blunt and "Star Wars" composer John Williams and display Hollywood memorabilia that Reynolds collected throughout her life. "She said, 'I want to be with Carrie,'" Reynolds' son, Todd Fisher, told The Associated Press after his mother's death. Fisher and Reynolds had a strained relationship that Fisher explored in her writing, but they later reconciled and became trusted confidantes brought closer by painful events in their lives. Fisher died after finishing work on "The Last Jedi," the eighth film in the core "Star Wars" saga.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC



Democracy activists march ahead of Hong Kong's chief executive election

HONG KONG -- Pro-democracy activists and hundreds of supporters marched in Hong Kong Saturday ahead of a vote for the city's next leader which they reject as a sham. Hong Kong's next chief executive will be chosen by a pro-China committee on Sunday morning with former deputy leader Carrie Lam widely seen as Beijing's favorite for the job. Tsang drew thousands of supporters to his final campaign rally in central Hong Kong Friday night, and is a clear favorite in most public opinion polls. One 59-year-old protester who gave her name as Miss Lau said most Hong Kong residents want their own vote. "I'm a Hong Kong citizen — it is my right," she told AFP.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

US judge grants asylum to Singapore blogger

CHICAGO -- A blogger from Singapore who was jailed for his online posts blasting his government was granted asylum to remain in the United States, an immigration judge ruled. Judge Samuel Cole issued a 13-page decision Friday, more than two weeks after Yee's closed-door hearing on the asylum application. Yee left Singapore with the intention of seeking asylum in the U.S. after being jailed for several weeks in 2015 and 2016. Cole said testimony during Yee's hearing showed that while the Singapore government's stated reason for punishing him involved religion, "its real purpose was to stifle Yee's political speech." "I think this is a major embarrassment for the government, that all along claimed Amos' persecution was not political," Kenneth Jeyaretnam, an opposition politician who gave testimony supporting Yee's asylum, told The Associated Press.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

Tamkang layoff proposal sparks student protests

By Lee Ya-wen / Staff reporterStudents at Tamkang University in New Taipei City on Friday staged a protest against a layoff plan they said the school proposed to avoid paying pensions and National Health Insurance premiums for its part-time teaching staff. Rallying in front of a school building, a group of protesters held up placards, shouting: “Protect teachers’ right to work. Hsieh said he launched a petition urging the university to abandon the plan and reinstate all the courses it plans to cancel. English department associate professor Wang Hui-chuan (王慧娟) said her department had 68 part-time lecturers, but only 38 full-time lecturers. The department’s faculty was shocked when they learned of the layoff plan, which would shift the burden of teaching to full-time teaching staff after part-time lecturers are dismissed, she said.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

World Cup Qualifiers: Wales manager defends Bale in Ireland battle

AFP, DUBLINWales manager Chris Coleman spoke out in defense of his players after Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman sustained a broken leg during their World Cup qualifying match. There were one or two complaints from our boys, that your boys were a little bit late here and there,” Chris Coleman said. “From where I was sitting, he had to go for the ball,” Chris Coleman said. There’s no Bale saying, ‘I got that one wrong.’ He wants to appeal the yellow card,” Chris Coleman said. O’Neill confirmed Seamus Coleman had been taken straight to hospital with a broken leg.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

Ex-Penn State president convicted over child-sex scandal cover-up

The three officials told Sandusky he could not bring children onto the campus anymore but did not report the matter to police or child welfare authorities. The scandal sent shockwaves through Penn State. In addition, the NCAA fined Penn State US$48 million and briefly erased more than 100 of Paterno's football victories from the record books. Another prosecutor, Laura Ditka, said Spanier was "convicted for all the children who came toPenn State after what Mike McQueary saw that night." 'A profound failure of leadership'Two of Spanier's former lieutenants, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment charges a week ago and testified against Spanier.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

Zhonghong buys stake in SeaWorld

Zhonghong Zhuoye Group Co (中弘卓業) said in a statement released on Friday night that it would buy a 21 percent stake in SeaWorld Entertainment, whose shows featuring killer whales have been slammed by animal rights groups. The Chinese firm bought its stake from Blackstone Group LP at a price of US$23 per share, with the transaction expected to be worth approximately US$430 million. The purchase, which is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of this year, will make Zhonghong the largest shareholder in SeaWorld, with the possibility of raising its stake to 24.9 percent. “Zhonghong Group is making a significant, long-term investment in SeaWorld, reflecting their appreciation of the strength of our brand, our potential to grow the company and a shared commitment to protect wildlife and the environment,” SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby said. Founded in 1959, SeaWorld Entertainment is the operator of twelve parks across the US, including three amusement parks called SeaWorld dedicated to marine attractions, with killer whale and dolphin shows.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

Dubai airport implements US ban on laptops, tablets

AFP, DUBAI, United Arab EmiratesDubai International Airport and its flag carrier Emirates yesterday began implementing a ban on laptops and tablets on direct flights to the US, on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. An estimated 1.1 million people are expected to pass through the busiest international airport as the city marks the United Arab Emirates’ spring break, Dubai Airports Co senior vice president for communications Anita Mehra said. Dubai International Airport expects 89 million passengers this year. The ban also covers all electronics sold at Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths told local radio earlier this week. The US ban affects nine airlines from eight countries: Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

Keystone pipeline approval brings headache for Canada's Trudeau

Trudeau has sought to strike a balance between two competing policies — supporting Canada's oil and gas sector, which is the sixth largest in the world, and slashing global-warming greenhouse gases. In doing so, Trump has reignited a nearly decadelong feud between environmental activists and the energy industry, leaving Trudeau squeezed in the middle. It's an awkward position that Trudeau has "desperately clung to," said energy specialist Pierre-Olivier Pineau of HEC school in Montreal. The approval of the Keystone pipeline, the first and most favored of projects touted by the industry, will however help to shore up his support on the center-right. And it will help a political ally — a fledgling progressive government in Alberta led by Rachel Notley.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

Gov't makes U-turn on proposed lifting of fungicide ban

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Health authorities have put the brakes on lifting a ban on the use of fluopyram on tea plants, submitting to safety concerns from the public about the fungicide. Some local media reports claimed that the policy reversal was probably a decision made directly by Premier Lin Chuan. Chen said that there are three factors behind the sudden decision: public concern; impact on tea products' domestic sales; and the lack of a pressing need to lift the ban. Asked whether the original decision was made under pressure from Bayer, the producer of fluopyram, Lin said he was not aware of any pressure from the manufacturer. In Taiwan, fluopyram can be found in some legal pesticide products that are allowed to be used on lychee, longyan and some other fruits.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC

Is it crunch time on the Korean Peninsula?

SINGAPORE -- The United States talks tough on North Korea, but could it do more? This week's missile test launch from the east coast of North Korea, deemed a failure by monitoring stations in the South and at the U.S. Pacific Command, underscores the deteriorating situation on the Korean peninsula and heightened panic in Pyongyang's ruling elite. That this year's Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises, as the U.S.-South Korean war games are known, have caused unprecedented consternation in Pyongyang is no secret. The new American President has said North Korea is a "big, big problem and we will deal with that very strongly." Donald Trump also subsequently sallied forth with his famous tweet: "North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S.

March 25, 2017 15:56 UTC




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