AFP, LOS ANGELESKawhi Leonard tallied 29 points as the San Antonio Spurs advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs with a 103-96 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday. Tony Parker delivered 27 points for the Spurs, who eliminated the Grizzlies by winning the Eastern Conference series in six games. “He is playing at an MVP level and I hope he can keep it going because we are going to need him in the next round,” Parker said of teammate Leonard. Elsewhere, DeMar DeRozan delivered 32 points as the Toronto Raptors rebounded after blowing a 25-point second-half lead to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 92-89 to reach the second round. Toronto advance to face the second-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round, a rematch of last season’s East finals.
AFP, MANCHESTER, EnglandMarouane Fellaini was sent off for brainlessly headbutting Sergio Aguero in an otherwise forgettable 0-0 draw between Champions League qualification rivals Manchester United and Manchester City on Thursday. City remain fourth, a point behind third-placed Liverpool with a game in hand, with United — who also have a game in hand on Jurgen Klopp’s side— a point further back in fifth place. “We were the better team in the first half, they were the better team in the second half,” United manager Jose Mourinho said. “They had more of the ball, more chances, but my players were amazing the way they fought.”“Marouane Fellaini is frustrated. He says that with another player, it would probably not be a red card,” Mourinho said.
Huang said Taiwan understands the priorities of the US government with regard to regional affairs and stressed the mutual trust between the two nations. During an interview in Taipei on Thursday, Tsai said that her administration would not exclude the possibility of another telephone call with Trump. The president wanted to “stress that Taiwan and the US should maintain close communications and not rule out any possible form” of dialogue, Huang said. Trump, as US president-elect, took a congratulatory telephone call from Tsai in early December last year. It was the first known contact between leaders of the two sides since the US switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.
By Ian Bartholomew / Contributing ReporterBack in December 2015, I wrote about a vegetable (Taipei Times, Dec. 26, 2015) that went by the cutesy name of “baby veg” or wawacai (娃娃菜). It is a member of the Brassica family (juncea Coss. Gemmifera to be specific) and is related to mustard greens, though with a much gentler flavor. Wombok is now widely available outside Asia and is prized for its sweetness and tenderness, along with a much subtler flavor than headed cabbage. The miniature version of this cabbage, which uses the moniker of wawacai, exaggerates the aesthetic and culinary aspects of its larger manifestation.
Staff writer, with CNAA Chinese-language version of Jerusalem (耶路撒冷), a cookbook on Israeli dishes, was launched in Taipei on Wednesday, with Israel’s top envoy playing cook to promote the book and his country. “But these are not well known to many Taiwanese.”The Chinese version of the cookbook is intended to introduce Israeli food and culture to Taiwanese, she said. Israeli Representative Asher Yarden and his wife, Tamar, attended the event to support the book and play chef, making two common Israeli dishes: shakshuka and tabbouleh. Asher Yarden said he hoped the book would help promote Israeli culture in Taiwan. The office said the book fair will also display a selection of books from Israel, when the country celebrates its 70th anniversary.
By Alison Hsiao / Staff reporterPurchasing arms is not the policy the public expects of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on the eve of the anniversary of her inauguration, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday. “An arms purchase then is the perfect pretext for another Tsai-Trump call,” he said, adding that the price of the arms would be up to Washington when Taipei is on the receiving end of a political favor. “Does Taiwan really need F-35s that cost more than US$100 million each and come with extremely high maintenance fees?” Tang asked. “Does the president not get which side — large or small — should be the one to show flexibility and deal with the relationship with more wisdom?” Tang asked. “It is impossible [for Tsai] to make improvements to cross-strait relations if she will not face up to the key to the problem,” he said.
Staff writer, with CNAPresident Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said the nation attending the World Health Assembly (WHA) relates directly to the nations’ right to good health and it should not be undermined for any reason. Tsai acknowledged the US government’s support of Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations. The US strongly supports Taiwan’s participation as an observer at the WHA and it hopes the nation can attend the event again this year to continue its contributions to global health, he added. The WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, is scheduled to hold its annual meeting from May 22 to May 31 in Geneva, Switzerland. Taiwan first attended the WHA as an observer in 2009.
ESPN on Wednesday announced a wave of layoffs, cutting about 100 positions, according to US media reports, including some on-camera personalities. ESPN’s troubles are led by the continuing slump in subscriber numbers, down 9 million since 2011, even though the company still claims 90 million subscribers. “Because of the maturation of streaming and the emergence of other sports channels, [ESPN is] in a much tougher situation,” said Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College in Massachusetts. He said ESPN is likely to lose 2 million or 3 million more subscribers each year for the next five years before the slide slows. And ESPN is set to launch a fully online offering later this year, based on BAMTech technology, Disney CEO Bob Iger said.
By Jason Pan / Staff reporterThe Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday said it would file an appeal to a higher court after the Taipei District Court last month acquitted Sunflower movement activists of all charges stemming from the storming and occupation of the Legislative Yuan’s main chamber in 2014. “The court ruling cited the concept of ‘civil disobedience,’ which as yet has uncertain status in the legal system regarding judicial investigations of criminal cases. Therefore, it is necessary to re-examine the case, to confirm the court’s interpretation and its application,” a statement from the prosecutors’ office said. The statement also disputed the reasons given in Taipei District Court’s ruling. Prosecutors said that the concepts of “civil disobedience” and “citizens’ right of resistance” had never before been cited in a ruling in the nation’s courts and therefore the ruling might have been flawed.
US President Donald Trump said on Thursday in an interview that a major conflict with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, though he would prefer a diplomatic resolution. South Korea, a US ally and home to major electronics parts makers such as Samsung Electronics Co, LG Display Co and SK Hynix Inc, would be particularly vulnerable to any military attack from its northern neighbor. South Korea supplies more than half of components such as memorychips and flat screens. Despite escalating tensions, investors are pouring money into South Korea’s financial market, and companies are flocking to the stock market to raise billions of US dollars. Any military conflict on the Korean peninsula could have a dramatic effect on the memorychip market in particular, as Samsung’s and Hynix’s main operations are clustered in South Korea.
By Sean Lin / Staff reporterThe Ministry of Education plans to allocate NT$2.1 billion (US$6.9 million) to establish more than 1,000 “technology classrooms” at elementary and junior-high schools nationwide. A draft bill on the establishment of the technology classrooms stipulates that junior-high schools with 24 classes should have one living technology classroom, with a classroom being added for every 25 classes. An estimate by the ministry shows that 1,385 living technology classrooms would be built at junior-high schools nationwide. The computer classrooms at elementary and junior-high schools are to be renamed “information technology classrooms,” with 75 and 204 such classrooms to be built at elementary and junior-high schools respectively. Asked how the classrooms will be different from existing computer classrooms, Lin said that the new classrooms will be equipped with manual, electronic and measuring devices so that students can solve problems through hands-on tasks.
By Abraham Gerber / Staff reporterHuman rights advocates yesterday called for a boycott of travel to China and purchases of Chinese products, criticizing China’s Taiwan Affairs Office for refusing to provide new information on the case of detained Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲). “Even though the Taiwan Affairs Office kept emphasizing that Lee is healthy and well, there is no way to be sure because Taiwanese have not been allowed to contact with him, not even his wife,” Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Chiu E-ling (邱伊翎) said. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should designate China a level “red” dangerous nation to which to travel, Chiu said. Lee disappeared last month after entering Guangzhou Province on what his wife has stated was a mission to share Taiwan’s experience of democratization. Taiwan Association for China Human Rights chairman Yang Hsien-hung (楊憲宏) called on the government to push for the passage of a Chinese human rights accountability act that would bar Chinese government officials linked to human rights abuses from entering Taiwan.
By Abraham Gerber / Staff reporterThe Executive Yuan’s Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program should be withdrawn and redrafted with clearer justifications for the projects, Taiwan Democracy Watch said yesterday, condemning the planned use of a “special budget” to fund the program. “The government should use the normal annual budgetary process to fund these projects, rather than relying on a special budget,” Taiwan Democracy Watch chairwoman Chen Chao-ju (陳昭如) said. Tamkang University public administration professor Tu Yu-yin (涂予尹) said that plans to pass an enabling law for the program’s budget risked allowing for a “hasty” approval, while many details remain undefined. “A real budgetary proposal would have clear, specific detailed items, but that level of detail is not something an enabling law can really address,” Tu said. “The Executive Yuan has the burden of proof to demonstrate that special budgetary mechanisms are necessary,” National Taiwan University legal professor Liu Ching-yi (劉靜怡) said.
BloombergThe French economy grew less than forecast in the first quarter as consumer spending weakened and exports dropped. The 0.3 percent increase in GDP was weaker than the 0.4 percent pace forecast in a Bloomberg survey. Exports fell 0.7 percent and household spending barely grew, according to the data published yesterday, but the previous quarter’s expansion was revised higher to 0.5 percent. Voters chose between them on Sunday next week, with polls showing Macron, a 39-year-old centrist, on track to defeat populist, anti-euro Le Pen. “It’s true that growth is improving, things are going better,” he said at a news conference in Frankfurt.
Staff writer, with CNASouth Korean actor Gong Yoo, who is visiting Taiwan for the first time, yesterday expressed surprise at his popularity among Taiwanese fans and said he should have come earlier in his career. Gong said at a news conference in Taipei yesterday that he was surprised when he heard the tickets had been snapped up so quickly. Although he was once told by a Taiwanese fan at an event in Japan that he has many Taiwanese fans, he was still somewhat skeptical, until now. I’m really sorry about that.”The 37-year-old model-turned-actor made his acting debut in the South Korean TV series School 4 in 2001. Commenting on the phenomenal success of the film and TV series, Gong said he did not expect them to be such a big success when he took on the roles and felt lucky to have gotten the parts.