AP, BANGKOKSoutheast Asian leaders yesterday pressed their call for self-restraint in the disputed South China Sea and renewed their alarm over the US-China trade dispute, with one leader saying it might spiral out of control. Long-raging territorial conflicts and the protracted trade dispute are high on the agenda in the final two days of meetings of ASEAN leaders. The US is not included in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which Prayuth said would encompass the world’s largest free-trade region. Duterte has said that he would raise the territorial conflicts in the South China Sea following the June 9 ramming of an anchored Philippine boat by a larger Chinese fishing vessel in the disputed Reed Bank (Lile Bank, 禮樂灘). ASEAN has been in talks with China to negotiate a nonaggression pact called the “code of conduct” to prevent major armed clashes in the region.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterPolice officers were deployed at 9,082 protest events and rallies in Taipei last year, the highest number of such events in the nation, the Taipei Police Department said on Saturday. A total of 192,788 officers were deployed to protect participants and prevent disorder, it said, adding that there have been more than 2,000 such events annually over the past few years. Department statistics showed that 75,610 officers were deployed to 2,161 rallies in 2015; 81,544 were deployed to 2,379 rallies in 2016 and 108,509 were deployed to 2,747 rallies in 2017. The significant increase in last year’s numbers was mainly due to the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24, with 143,202 officers deployed to 7,185 rallies from Aug. 24 to Nov. 24. As presidential and legislative elections are to be held on Jan. 11 next year, it would continue to ensure the safety of the participants and guide traffic at such events, the department added.
Staff writer, with CNAA total of 1,173 same-sex couples have registered their marriages, while two have gotten divorced since the nation on May 24 became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, government statistics released yesterday showed. 748 (司法院釋字第748號解釋施行法) went into effect, Ministry of the Interior statistics showed that among the 1,173 same-sex marriages registered so far, 790 have been between women and 383 between men. On the day the bill took effect, 526 couples registered marriages, ministry data showed. The number of same-sex marriages recorded so far in five of the nation’s 22 cities and counties has been fewer than 10, while none have been registered in Lienchiang County. Over the past month, 9,644 marriages between people of different sexes have been registered, averaging 321 per day, compared with 39 same-sex marriages per day, the statistics showed.
EVA yesterday maintained only 37 percent of its transport capacity due to the strike, with 113 of 180 scheduled flights canceled, Wang said. The ministry had suggested that transport unions give advance notice before launching a strike. It also proposed that the unions provide a strike authorization period, during which they must specify when a strike would begin and end. We will communicate this idea to the Ministry of Labor,” he added. The Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union said the concept of a strike authorization period is similar to giving advance notice of a strike.
AP, SEOULUS President Donald Trump sent North Korean leader Kim Jong-un an “excellent” letter, the North’s state-run news agency reported yesterday, quoting Kim as saying he would “seriously contemplate it.”The White House declined to confirm that Trump had sent a letter to Kim. Kim “said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content,” the Korean Central News Agency reported. “Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong-un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content,” the agency said. North Korean state media said Kim and Xi discussed the political situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula and reached unspecified consensus on important issues. The US blamed the breakdown on excessive North Korean demands for sanctions relief in exchange for only a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThere is a clear rural-urban divide in Taiwan, and Hualien and Taitung counties should prioritize traffic infrastructure improvement, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said in Hualien’s Yuli Township (玉里) yesterday. Ko on Friday began a three-day visit to the east coast, and arrived in Yuli yesterday morning. 9 only has two lanes, making it difficult for drivers to safely overtake another vehicle, Ko said. 9 should be expanded to four lanes to reduce traffic injuries,” Ko said, adding that improved infrastructure is needed in the region. Improved transportation is crucial for bridging the rural-urban gap, he said.
AP, BELO HORIZONTE, BrazilA brace by Darwin Machis and a goal by Josef Martinez helped Venezuela beat Bolivia 3-1 and advance to the Copa America quarter-finals on Saturday. Venezuela, who have never won the Copa America or qualified for a FIFA World Cup, finished Group A second to Brazil. After two goalless draws with Peru and Brazil, Venezuela knew they had to bring their most attacking formation against Bolivia at the Mineirao Stadium to advance. Venezuela coach Rafael Dudamel said the team showed solidity by imposing their game on Bolivia. Bolivia coach Eduardo Villegas was philosophical about his team’s performance in their third loss at the tournament.
By Ann Maxon / Staff reporterThe number of EVA Airways flight attendants on strike has risen to 2,000, the Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union said yesterday, adding that so far, only one person has chosen to return to work. Despite the rain yesterday and today, an increasing number of flight attendants have been joining the strike as they return to Taoyuan, union secretary-general Cheng Ya-ling (鄭雅菱) said. The union is not only fighting pressure from EVA, but also fake news about the strike, she said. For example, a report published on Friday said that the flight attendants on strike are spoiled “princesses” and that the union has instructed its members to bully non-members, Cheng added. EVA flight attendants began their strike at 4pm on Thursday after negotiations with management broke down earlier in the day.
APUnderdogs on Saturday had a big day at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt as Uganda won on their return to the tournament after 41 years and Madagascar held Guinea to a draw on their debut. Burundi, another Africa Cup first-timer, pushed mighty Nigeria all the way. Uganda previously played at the Africa Cup in the late 1970s. They can run and run and run.”Nigeria top Group B ahead of Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi. Madagascar also made their Africa Cup debut straight after in a double-header at the Alexandria Stadium.
By Chen Cheng-hui / Staff reporterSwancor Holding Co Ltd (上緯投控) on Friday announced that its board of directors has resolved to sell its renewable energy and offshore wind farm subsidiary, suggesting that the company is to exit the offshore wind farm business. Swancor Holding is expected to receive a disposal gain of US$9.14 million to US$84.63 million, the filing said. Swancor Holding has invested in two offshore wind farms in the waters off Miaoli County’s Jhunan Township (竹南), with the 128-megawatt project operated by Formosa I Wind Power Co (海洋風力發電) scheduled to be operational by the end of this year and become Taiwan’s first offshore wind farm project to generate power. The company said in the filing that it had fulfilled its initial obligation to facilitate the development of the nation’s green energy industry and therefore decided to sell Swancor Renewable. However, Swancor Holding chairman Robert Tsai (蔡朝陽) in a post on his personal Facebook page on Tuesday last week indicated his intention to withdraw from the wind farm business.
AFP, WASHINGTONThe US launched cyberattacks against Iranian missile control systems and a spy network after Tehran downed a US surveillance drone, according to US media reports. Iran has denied seeking a nuclear weapon and said its program is for civilian purposes. A multinational accord reached by Tehran and world powers in 2015 sought to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief. “We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday,” Trump said on Twitter. “I look forward to the day that Sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous nation again - The sooner the better!” he wrote.
Staff writer, with CNA, WASHINGTONTaiwan has made “significant” progress in improving rights for Muslims, the US Department of State said on Friday in its International Religious Freedom report for last year. “The number of halal-certified restaurants and hotels increased from 120 to 160 during the year,” the report said. “As a beacon of religious freedom and tolerance, Taiwan is committed to further strengthening ties with the Holy See via substantive cooperative initiatives spanning democracy, religious freedom and human rights,” the report quoted Chen as saying. The imam of the Kaohsiung Mosque also provided assistance for the relocation, the report quoted the city as saying. “The monks had to fly to Thailand every two months to renew their visas,” the report said.
AFP, LONDONThe UK’s leadership contest was yesterday rocked by reports that police were called to a late-night “row” between front-runner Boris Johnson and his partner, just hours before campaigning opened to win over grassroots Conservatives. Whoever takes the Conservative Party leadership in the week beginning July 22 — and therefore becomes prime minister — would then face the looming Brexit deadline of Oct. 31. The battle is likely to feature pledges from both contenders to take the UK out of the EU safely and in one piece, succeeding where outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May repeatedly failed. With arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party ahead in the polls, Johnson is widely viewed as the one Conservative who could compete in the party’s heartlands. A poll for the Daily Telegraph — for which Johnson writes a column — showed six out of 10 Brexit Party backers jumping over to the Conservatives should the man known simply as Boris take charge.
BloombergOil on Friday rocketed to its biggest weekly gain in more than two years as US President Donald Trump’s aborted airstrikes against Iran left Middle East tensions simmering with the endgame uncertain. Crude futures rose in New York to complete a 9.4 percent rally for the week. Trump said that he was in “no hurry” to respond, despite a series of provocations in the oil-rich region. The US benchmark notched its biggest weekly increase since December 2016. However, investors want a resolution to the dispute, not merely more talks, Yergin said.
ReutersJuan Martin del Potro is unsure if he has played the last match of an injury-hit career after refracturing his kneecap during the Queen’s Club Championships, the Argentine said. Del Potro’s injury curse struck again on Wednesday as the former US Open champion slipped during his victory over Denis Shapovalov and pulled out of the grass-court tournament. “If that match was the last of one my career, I don’t know. Since winning the 2009 US Open, del Potro has undergone three left wrist surgeries and another to his right wrist, but he fought back each time to return to the tour. I don’t know what will happen next,” he said.