Major sea level rise on the horizon, study warns

MIAMI -- Scientists who study patterns of natural shifts in the Earth's climate said Thursday they have uncovered a "worrisome" signal that major sea level rise could be on the way. But what concerns scientists is that sea level back then was 6-9 meters above what it is today. "The trend is worrisome," said the report led by researchers at Oregon State University, University College Dublin, the University of Wisconsin and the Science Museum of Virginia. These naturally occurring shifts are different than the much faster pace of warming facing the Earth today, as humans burn fossil fuels for energy and send heat-trapping carbon emissions into the air, leading to ice melt and sea level rise. Scientists have already predicted the Earth is likely to see multiple meters of sea level rise in the years to come, a development that will swallow many of the planet's coastal communities, currently home to one billion people.

January 20, 2017 16:03 UTC

'Dump Trump': protesters in the Philippines

MANILA -- Hundreds of Filipinos converged on the U.S. embassy Friday to denounce Donald Trump ahead of his inauguration as president of the United States, accusing him of sexism, racism and xenophobia. Chanting "Dump Trump," the protesters from leftist groups also expressed concerns that Trump was a threat to the millions of Filipino immigrants living in the United States. The Philippines, a former American colony, has strong cultural and economic ties with the United States. However leftist groups have long railed against the United States for exporting its capitalist model and for what they see as continued American domination of the Philippines. In Hong Kong a man chained himself to the gate of the United States consulate Friday afternoon in protest over Trump's inauguration.

January 20, 2017 16:03 UTC

4 dead, 20 hurt in Melbourne car attack

MELBOURNE -- A car ploughed into pedestrians on a popular shopping strip in the heart of Australia's second-largest city on Friday, killing four people including a young child and injuring 20 more. Witnesses described "bodies flying through the air" and people running out of the path of the speeding vehicle in the central mall area of Melbourne. "What we do know of the person is there is an extensive family violence history involved." A fourth person was confirmed dead by police late Friday, but their age and gender were not released. A fourth child aged 13 was treated and discharged late Friday.

January 20, 2017 16:03 UTC

Popular movement will fight Trump cuts: Redford

PARK CITY, United States -- Robert Redford refused to be drawn on Donald Trump as the Sundance Film Festival opened Thursday, but vowed a popular "movement" would fight funding cuts the incoming president plans to make. It always has, it probably always will," Redford, 80, told reporters as he kicked off the annual showcase for independent films at the ski resort of Park City, Utah. However, without referring directly to Trump, Redford said he expects cuts to arts and other funding, acknowledging that many fear "things are getting dark and the darkness is closing in around them." are now going to realize that they are going to be directly affected and they are going to step up," Redford said. Meanwhile, talk show host Chelsea Handler will lead an anti-Trump "women's march" on Saturday in Park City, one of hundreds of similar events planned across the country for the same day.

January 20, 2017 16:03 UTC

Crew enters Hawaii dome for 8-month Mars study

Six carefully selected scientists have entered a man-made dome on a remote Hawaii volcano as part of a human-behavior study that could help NASA as it draws up plans for sending astronauts on long missions to Mars. The four men and two women moved into their new simulated space home Thursday afternoon on Mauna Loa, settling into the vinyl-covered shelter of 1,200 square feet, or about the size of a small, two-bedroom home, for an eight-month stay. They will have no physical contact with people in the outside world and will work with a 20-minute delay in communications with their support crew, or the time it would take for an email to reach Earth from Mars. The NASA-funded project will study the psychological difficulties associated with living in isolated and confined conditions for an extended period.

January 20, 2017 16:03 UTC



Gambia's Jammeh stares down deadline

BANJUL, Gambia -- Gambia's Yahya Jammeh faced a "last chance saloon" deadline to step down as troops from five African nations stood by for action and key regional leaders flew in to make a final plea. The pair were due in Banjul as troops already inside The Gambia postponed military intervention to give Jammeh, who was defeated in elections last month, a final chance to leave the presidency and the country quietly. A previously announced noon (1200 GMT) deadline was expected to be extended to give the two leaders, who took off for Banjul after 1100 GMT, enough time to meet Jammeh. Diplomats in Banjul had confirmed the last-ditch peace push, with one describing a "last chance saloon" moment before foreign troops led by Senegal remove Jammeh by force. In Conakry, minister and Conde advisor Kiridi Bangoura said Jammeh would be offered asylum in the country of his choice.

January 20, 2017 16:03 UTC

Scorsese throws the spotlight on Taiwan in epic historical drama

Legendary director Martin Scorsese credited Taiwan as an integral part and character in his epic historical drama "Silence" at a press conference for the movie on Friday. "Taiwan and this film, for me, are inextricably connected," Scorsese said. Ultimately, the landscape of Taiwan becomes a character in the film," Scorsese said in a 60-second behind the scene production reel shown for the first time at the event. Chang applauded those involved in the project for making "the first international epic film that was 100 percent produced in Taiwan." These changes, according to the director, included aging, changes in relationships and "becoming a father again at a late age."

January 20, 2017 16:03 UTC

China growth edges up in Q4, but '16 weakest year since 1990

BEIJING -- China's economic growth sank to its lowest level in three decades in 2016 as Beijing braces for a trade battle with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Still, for the full year, growth came in at a lackluster 6.7 percent, down from 2015's 6.9 percent and the weakest since 1990's 3.9 percent. Asked about the potential impact of action by Trump, Ning said China should maintain "medium to high-speed growth." Chinese leaders have cautioned the economic outlook is "L-shaped," meaning once the downturn ends, growth is unlikely to rebound. Growth fell to 1.7 percent in the last quarter, down from 1.8 percent in July-September and 1.9 percent in the previous quarter.

January 20, 2017 16:03 UTC

Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' extradited to the US to face charges

NEW YORK -- Mexican drug baron Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, one of the world's most notorious criminals, was extradited to the United States on Thursday to face charges on the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration. Guzman heads the Sinaloa cartel, which is accused of generating much of the deadly violence in Mexico's decadeslong drug war and providing tons of narcotics to the United States. Underworld LegendThe drug kingpin landed at MacArthur Airport on Long Island, the U.S. Justice Department said. His extradition caps a Hollywood-worthy cat-and-mouse game between Mexican authorities and the slippery 59-year-old drug lord, who escaped from prison twice. Guzman is charged in six separate indictments throughout the United States, one of which was in New York.

January 20, 2017 16:03 UTC

Sovereign fund banks on prospects in United States

"The Belt and Road countries, both developed and developing ones, will be very important investment destinations for CIC going forward," Qi said. He added that US President-elect Donald Trump is promoting infrastructure and manufacturing and that is where Chinese investors could offer help. As for developing countries, Qi said many countries such as Georgia and Azerbaijan lacked a cement industry. Currently, a lot of Chinese cement companies were helping these countries build their cement capacities. Qi added that manufacturing costs in a lot of Southeast Asian countries have been much lower than those of China.

January 20, 2017 16:03 UTC

Review calls for death penalty to be thrown out

By Jason Pan / Staff reporterInternational human rights experts yesterday presented a report recommending the abolition of capital punishment, work to relieve prison overcrowding, liberalizing policy over drug users and decriminalizing adultery. The review was the second of its kind since the covenants were adopted by Taiwan in 2009. Nowak urged President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to take decisive steps by introducing a moratorium on executions, with the aim of full abolition of the death penalty in the near future. “We recommend the government constructs new prison facilities and reduces the number of detainees by liberalizing some of the harsh policies regarding drug users,” he said. The committee recommended legislative changes to reduce the length of criminal proceedings and to provide adequate reparation in cases of excessive detention, Nowak said.

January 20, 2017 16:03 UTC

History of KMT land sale scrutinized

The league purchased a 501 ping (1,656m2) property on Linsen S Road from the KMT’s Women’s Affairs Committee in 1964. Chen presented a file showing that 414 ping of the land was registered under the Army Command Headquarters, while the remaining 87 ping belonged to the National Property Administration. Even if NT$1.5 million paid to the Army Command Headquarters for use of the land is included, the KMT spent NT$6.5 million to get 400 ping of land in the center of Taipei, Chen said. Chen said the KMT sold the land at a high price — NT$1.19 million per ping — to the league’s Social Welfare Foundation in 1999. The KMT government at the time is suspected of coercing the league into buying the land, Chen said, adding that his report showed official notices issued to the league for them to buy the land.

January 20, 2017 16:03 UTC

Lawmakers urge action against phone scammers

Fraudulent calls made through special software, while seeming to have originated from landlines, actually come from modified Internet telephone numbers, DPP Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) said. A phone number generated through a local platform could be tracked as long as it uses a server in Taiwan, Huang said. Phone calls routed through a server abroad would be difficult to track, as foreign nations might not want to cooperate on the matter, he added. Commission official Lo Chin-hsien (羅金賢) said mobile phone numbers — including prepaid cards — in Taiwan all require double sets of IDs prior to being set up, offering more protection. People making phone calls through mobile software, such as Line or Skype, using legally obtained phone numbers would display the ID number provided by telecommunication companies, Lo said.

January 20, 2017 16:02 UTC

Changhua pushes preservation efforts

The county’s Department of Cultural Affairs listed the Changhua City residence of Tu, the first county commissioner elected in a popular election in 1952, as a potential heritage site for conservation. The firm’s owner was familiar with a legal loophole that allowed the company to demolish the building before it could be reviewed, department Director Chen Wen-pin (陳文彬) said. To prevent similar incidents, the county government has established a task force consisting of the county’s police department, Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Public Works and Department of General Affairs, he said. Regarding the Tu residence incident, he said the county government would take the construction company to court. A series of unnoticed demolitions of historic buildings has shocked and enraged historical preservation circles nationwide.

January 20, 2017 16:02 UTC

VP clarifies labor insurance hike

Staff writer, with CNAA draft proposal to reform the pension system seeks to incrementally increase the labor insurance premium from 9.5 percent to 18 percent over a 10-year period, rather than doing so in one step, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said yesterday. Under the proposal, the labor insurance premium is to be raised by 0.5 percentage points every year starting next year, said Chen, who heads the Presidential Office’s Pension Reform Committee. For workers whose insured salary is NT$30,000 (US$951), raising the premium rate by 0.5 percentage points a year would mean an increase of NT$30 per month in their share of the labor insurance premium, he said. The proposal is to be presented at a national conference on pension reform at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei tomorrow. The adjustment to the labor insurance premium is needed to narrow the huge fiscal shortfall in the pension program and prevent it from going bankrupt, which is expected to occur in 2027 or earlier, Lin said.

January 20, 2017 16:02 UTC



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