By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThere is no schedule for finishing construction of the Taipei Dome, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday, adding that he has realized there are many aspects of the project that need help from the central government. The Taipei City Government favors an investment company established in Japan that consists of two Taiwanese firms, a Thailand-based company and Japan’s Softbank Group, the magazine said. Asked to confirm the report, Ko said: “We have not set a timetable for the Taipei Dome project, meaning that it must be legal, safe and reasonable.”“If I could set a timetable for it, I would have solved it before running for re-election last year, but safety cannot be neglected, so it must go through the legal procedure,” he said. “I see the Taipei Dome project as the culmination of past mistakes,” he added. Complaining about the problem is useless, he said, adding that all that he can do is deal with the aftermath.
By Jason Pan / Staff reporterThe High Court yesterday upheld a conviction of former Hualien County commissioner Fu Kun-chi, finding him guilty of insider trading and speculative stock trading, for which he was given a two-year, 10-month sentence. It was the third ruling in the high-profile case, which began in 1997 and involved several other prominent figures. The court said in a statement that Fu was found guilty of insider trading, stock price manipulation and other related charges, as well as contravening the Securities and Exchange Act (證券交易法). The statement said that the group mainly focused on five listed companies: Taiwan Pineapple, Yu Cheng Construction, Ever Fortune Industrial Co, Hualon Corp and Kai Chu Ceramics, which has since been taken over by KPT Industries. The investigation found that Fu, Huang Tsung-hung and Ma borrowed NT$4 billion from Huang Jen-chung to manipulate the stock prices of the four firms and generate bogus transactions.
Staff writer, with CNAThe government yesterday confirmed that it has offered a US$100 million loan to Nicaragua for humanitarian reasons to help the Central American nation rebuild following months-long riots. Taiwan hopes the money can help Nicaragua’s government restore social order and help people get back to living normal lives, he said. The loan could be controversial, as the US late last year enacted a law making it harder for Nicaragua to access multilateral loans. Washington has also imposed sanctions on officials close to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, including his wife, Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo. Lee’s comments followed a report by Reuters that said the Nicaraguan National Assembly on Tuesday accepted the US$100 million loan offered by Taiwan.
Fines for those bringing pork from countries affected by African swine fever were increased on Dec. 17 last year to NT$200,000 (US$6,488) for a first offense and NT$1 million for second offenses. Smuggling and international travelers carrying meat products in and out of Vietnam were exacerbating the problem there, he said. The Central Emergency Operation Center for African swine fever said the virus has been found in an increasing number of pork products from China. Vietnam is now the third Asian country to be affected by African swine fever, after China and Mongolia. A UN official in September last year said that it was inevitable that the disease would spread from China to its neighboring countries, most likely through infected pork products being transported across borders.
By Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterLocal securities houses support odd-lot intraday trading, but want supplementary measures to avoid confusion and boost efficiency, Taiwan Securities Association (券商公會) chairman Ted M.H. The trade association has proposed implementing odd-lot intraday trading, but the Financial Supervisory Commission said that the group should obtain the consent of all peers after some expressed misgivings about the practice in 2016 . Unlike Taiwan, most countries do not require investors to purchase a standard unit of shares during trading hours, but allow investors to buy any number of shares they want, he said. The adoption of odd-lot intraday trading could benefit retail investors by lowering the purchase threshold of high-priced stocks and help boost the market, he added. Ho, who is also the chairman of Yuanta Securities Co (元大證券), said that investors intent on odd-lot intraday trading should do so over the Internet rather than calling stock brokers by telephone to enhance efficiency.
BloombergMalaysia is making progress in talks with China to revive a rail project that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s government said it would cancel, Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Saifuddin Abdullah said. China is willing to reduce the US$20 billion price tag for the East Coast Rail Link project and talks are “in the last mile,” Saifuddin said in an interview on Tuesday. Discussions have been led by Daim Zainuddin, an adviser to Mahathir, with the aim of reaching a smaller project size and cost, he said. “China understands our constraint and they’re willing to scale down the size of the project and the cost. Mahathir last month struck a conciliatory tone and said that the Malaysian government canceled the rail project only due to cost, leading to renewed talks.
ReutersThe San Diego Padres have reached an agreement with free agent infielder Manny Machado on a 10-year, US$300 million deal, according to multiple reports on Tuesday. Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler told The Athletic that the deal was not done. Two of the runners-up for Machado, the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies, were informed of Machado’s decision on Tuesday afternoon. The White Sox on Monday night met with Machado’s representatives, according to general manager Rick Hahn. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that the Padres have not ruled out another big move, as their projected US$110 million payroll — including Machado — is still lower than most teams.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThis year’s first Zika virus case was yesterday confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which also said it had recorded five new measles cases. When he returned to Taiwan on Friday last week, the boy was screened for infection at the airport quarantine station due to his fever, the centers said. The results came back yesterday, with the boy testing positive for the Zika virus, it said. Twenty-one Zika virus cases have been confirmed in Taiwan since 2016, all of which were contracted in other countries — mostly Southeast Asian countries. The centers on Tuesday confirmed two indigenous cases of measles — a woman in her 20s and an eight-month-old baby — and yesterday reported another three — two women and a man, all in their 30s.
It is important to consider whether a peace accord would really meet the needs of Taiwanese, Raymond Sung (宋承恩), an international law academic and deputy executive at the Taiwan New Constitution Foundation, said on Monday. Sung also questioned the necessity of signing a peace accord. The threat to peace in Taiwan comes from the other side of the Taiwan Strait, he said. Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations is more important than a peace accord at this moment, Sung said. Taiwan should not sign a peace accord with China, as it is the least friendly nation toward Taiwan, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said on Tuesday.
The standoff saw the yuan fall more than 5 percent last year, raising speculation that China was deliberately weakening its currency to offset the impact of tariffs. China’s foreign-exchange intervention has long been a political target in the US and Trump vowed to declare China a currency manipulator during his 2016 campaign. The US has also increasingly insisted on currency provisions in trade agreements. A yuan deal with China is likely to be important for Trump’s domestic politics, too. US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has been a long-standing advocate of using trade sanctions to respond to alleged Chinese currency manipulation.
The physicality of lightsaber combat is part of why the French Fencing Federation threw its support behind the sport and is now equipping fencing clubs with lightsabers and training would-be lightsaber instructors. Like virtuous Jedi knights, the French federation sees itself as combating a Dark Side: The sedentary habits of 21st-century life that are sickening ever-growing numbers of adults and children. They don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs,” federation secretary-general Serge Aubailly said. Police officer Philippe Bondi, 49, practiced fencing for 20 years before switching to a lightsaber. It showcased how far the sport has come in a couple of years, but also that it is still light years from becoming mainstream.
Sabbir Rahman’s gallant maiden ODI century saved Bangladesh from total humiliation after they lost three wickets with just two runs on the board chasing New Zealand’s imposing target of 331. The tourists were 242 all out in 47.2 overs after the Black Caps were sent into bat and made 330-6 at University Oval. Paceman Tim Southee, overlooked in New Zealand’s past six ODIs, took 6-65 to guarantee himself almost certainly a berth at the tournament. “Henry’s shown he’s a versatile player for us... He’s a key component of our batting lineup,” Black Caps coach Gary Stead said, adding that Munro might make the trip as injury cover. Bangladesh made a horrible start to the run chase when Tim Southee claimed a trio of top-order wickets in his opening two overs to leave the visitors reeling on 2-3.
31 Hsieh rallied from a set down to overcome the world No. Second seed Kvitova had to dig deep to overcome qualifier Jennifer Brady of the US 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 in 2 hours, 12 minutes. Kvitova also won a three-setter in the second round on Tuesday against fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova. Third seed Halep also advanced with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine in 1 hour, 20 minutes. “I know how she’s playing, it’s not my favorite style because she doesn’t give any power on the ball.
By Shelley Shan / Staff reporterThe Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) has confirmed that it is stopping its scooter delivery service on Friday next week due to falling demand. The railway began transporting fruit, pets, scooters and other goods in 1961, with annual cargo exceeding 6 million pieces in its heyday. Since being designated historic sites, the Taichung and Tainan railway stations are being restored, limiting the space available for scooter consignment, it added. Travelers can use their smartphones to order and receive e-tickets, which they can use to board trains, it said. This story has been corrected since it was first published to state that scooter delivery service will end on Friday next week.
Staff writer, with CNAThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to send its first-ever trade mission to Taiwan in April, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said on Tuesday. Citing a USDA news release issued in December last year, AIT spokeswoman Amanda Mansour said that the visit would be from April 22 to April 24. The trade mission was originally to scheduled for March, but was recently rescheduled to April. The US has long criticized Taiwan’s zero-tolerance policy regarding meat product imports and views Taiwan’s ractopamine ban as a trade barrier. The dispute has complicated trade talks and led to talks under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) being suspended from 2008 to 2012.