“In comparison, the clear criminal record certificate is ridiculously overpriced.”The certificates used to be requested mainly for immigration or study-abroad purposes, so there were not many applications. The first copy of the certificate costs NT$100 and a second copy costs NT$20, but only if requested on the same occasion. According to government regulations, offices have two-and-a-half business days to issue clear criminal record certificates, the division said. The certificate might only be a page or two if the applicant has no criminal record, the Ministry of the Interior’s National Police Agency said. However, for applicants with an extensive criminal record, the labor cost of confirming the record with judicial and law enforcement agencies is higher, it said, adding that the fee was set with these considerations in mind.
In a show of anger fueled by the embassy move, protesters set tires on fire, sending plumes of black smoke into the air, and hurled firebombs and stones toward Israeli troops across the border. The Israeli military said its troops had come under fire and accused protesters of trying to break through the border fence. It said troops shot and killed three Palestinians who were trying to plant a bomb. The march was also directed at the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem later yesterday. Since weekly border marches began in late March, 79 Palestinian protesters have been killed and more than 2,300 wounded by Israeli army fire.
By Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporterMembers of the Legislative Yuan’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee yesterday called for a single agency to coordinate the regulation of industrial chemicals, a task that is now split between nine agencies. The committee required governmental agencies to report at yesterday’s meeting on the management and inspection of chemicals. Once draft amendments to the Toxic Chemical Substances Control Act (毒性化學物質管理法) are passed, the Cabinet will establish a national board for chemical management, coordinated by his agency, Environmental Protection Administration Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) told lawmakers. The Chin-Poon fire highlighted the division among agencies, given each seems to do its own job without sharing information with the others, KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) said. “The National Fire Agency is considering conducting joint inspections with the ministry,” agency Director-General Chen Wen-lung (陳文龍) said, adding it would ask companies and factories to provide firefighters on duty with floor plans detailing the storage locations of chemicals.
By Chen Yi-chia and Jonat han Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee has completed reviewing regulations that aim to protect users of online games and other applications from fraud and other predatory practices. Out of 54,255 total incidents last year, the committee processed 3,102 cases of gaming-related consumer disputes, it said. The proposed regulations were drafted by a panel of regulators who consulted the industry, and would address shortcomings in laws and regulations, it said. For certain types of breaches, the proposed regulations would invoke the Consumer Protection Act (消費者保護法) and impose fines of up to NT$500,000, Chen said. Online gaming has long been among the top five sectors generating consumer disputes, alongside fashion accessories, telecoms, peripheral merchandise and cram schools, Department of Consumer Protection Deputy Director Wu Cheng-hsueh (吳政學) said.
The meeting on Thursday was part of the annual US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference, but it was the first time Taiwan had hosted such an event. No other entity appears capable of facilitating the integration of defense industries and guiding the sector’s growth, let alone pushing passage of a national defense industry revival bill. However, those hard-won defense industry capabilities were dissipated by shifts in the international political situation and the nation’s defense budget priorities over the following years. It also appears that a streamlined system for bringing together the products and capacities of the national defense industries would be needed. While the text of the draft act to revive national defense industries was completed last year, the Legislative Yuan has yet to review it.
Last month’s fire took a heavy toll on the Taoyuan Fire Department because the firefighters were given limited information on the hazardous chemicals stored at the factory before going inside, association advisor Cheng Ya-ling (鄭雅菱) said. Fires at factories in the past several months have killed not only firefighters, but several migrant workers, MENT representative Wu Ching-ju (吳靜如) said. This also increases the risks for firefighters, who must rescue those trapped in dormitories,” Wu said. Residents have the right to know and the Environmental Protection Administration’s Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau should establish a mechanism to give the public access, he said. “I hope the government can understand what firefighters, migrant workers and residents who live near factories really need,” National Association for Firefighters’ Rights secretary-general Chu Chih-yu (朱智宇) said.
It was this question that drove the Changhua County Government’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs to launch its “sounds of history” digitization project. “There is usually less emphasis on history preserved in sound, but it is an element that could complement our understanding of history from text and imagery,” bureau Director Chen Wen-pin (陳文斌) said. One of the great sources of preserved audio is the Radio Taiwan International (RTI) branch in the county’s Lugang Township (鹿港), he said. Another source of preserved audio is the 65-year-old Kuo Sheng Broadcasting Station in Changhua City, Chen said. Recordings of interviews with White Terror era victims should also be preserved, Chen said.
Fubon Financial chairman Richard Tsai (蔡明興) attributed the improvement to steady operations at main subsidiaries Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽) and Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行). The life insurance arm generated NT$9.29 billion in net income in the first three months of this year, driving 56.3 percent of overall earnings. Fubon Bank saw its interest income pick up 19.2 percent to NT$11.4 billion last quarter, even though fee income softened 8.1 percent, the data showed. While interest spread shed three basis points, an increase in foreign-currency loans and investments allowed net interest margin to add three basis points to 1.06 percent, the bank said. Fubon Financial posted NT$6.01 billion in net income for last month, raising cumulative profits to NT$22.46 billion, or earnings of NT$2.2 per share, the group said.
The spate of bombings has rocked Indonesia, with the Islamic State group claiming the church attacks and raising fears about its influence in Southeast Asia as its dreams of a Middle Eastern caliphate fade. However, that changed on Sunday as a family of six — including girls aged nine and 12 — staged suicide bombings of three churches during morning services in Surabaya, killing 18, including the bombers. “It ordered and gave instructions for its cells to make a move,” Karnavian said of the Islamic State’s role in the church attacks. Abdurrahman has been connected to several deadly incidents, including a 2016 gun and suicide attack in Jakarta that left four attackers and four civilians dead. Despite their apparent allegiance to the Islamic State group, the church-bombing family were not returnees from Syria, police said yesterday, correcting their earlier statements.
By Shelley Shan / Staff reporterThe Taiwan Broadband Communications (TBC) last night resumed the broadcast of Formosa News channel on its cable systems. TBC earlier this month suspended the broadcast of Formosa News because its understanding of a temporary content authorization differed from that of Formosa TV, Wong said. As requested by the NCC, Formosa TV reported the fee that it would charge TBC for carrying only Formosa News, Wong said, and TBC showed the commission its contracts with Formosa TV from the past three years. Asked what the commission meant by “immediately,” Wong said that, legally, TBC could decide when to resume the broadcast of Formosa News upon receiving the official document from Formosa TV. “However, we want both TBC and Formosa TV to put the interests of viewers first,” he said, without naming any specific date.
Staff writer, with CNAHeping Island Park (和平島公園), which has been closed for more than six years, is to reopen in July, Tourism Bureau officials said yesterday, presenting a tourism campaign to name 10 unique rock formations in the park. The park, like Yehliu (野柳) and its singular rock formations, is known for its spectacular terrain created by marine erosion, including wave-cut beaches and sea cliffs. Two possible names have been selected for each of the formations, based on animals the rock’s shape resembles, such as a crocodile, rhino or boar. Members of the public are asked to vote for their favorite rock names online at www.hpipark.org. Along with the UK’s South Downs and the US’ Bryce Canyon, Heping Island Park was in 2014 chosen by US-based Chinese-language SinoVision television network as one of the world’s most stunning places to watch the sunrise.
By Lisa Wang / Staff reporterLCD panel maker HannStar Display Corp (瀚宇彩晶) yesterday said net profit last quarter more than halved from a year earlier as demand for handset panels dwindled and prices declined. Net profit tumbled to NT$873 million (US$29.35 million) in the first three months of this year, compared with net profit of NT$1.83 billion in the same period last year, the company said in a statement. Net profit plunged 48 percent from about NT$1.67 billion, or NT$0.51 per share, in the fourth quarter of last year. In the first quarter of last year, the company made NT$1.7 billion in net profit, or NT$0.26 per share. The company said panel prices are stabilizing, which would help boost this quarter’s revenue.
The bureau issued a statement after blogger Kathy Cheng pointed out multiple mistakes in its posts on Twitter and Instagram last month. They were produced by the firm Tiger Party, which was recruited by the bureau’s New York office. She was subsequently blocked from accessing the bureau’s Twitter account after reposting the errors on Facebook. They were told to correct all the errors immediately,” the bureau said. “We humbly accept all kinds of criticism to help us refine the quality of our tourism campaigns,” the bureau said.
By Ann Maxon / Staff reporterCriticizing National Taiwan University for failing to resolve the controversy over its president-elect Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), the National Taiwan University Student Association yesterday said it would propose a motion to review the school’s regulations at next month’s council meeting. A provisional school affairs meeting on Saturday decided that the university should urge the ministry to approve Kuan’s selection and that the school would take legal action if the ministry refused. To better implement university autonomy, it must take on a more active and responsible role and overhaul its regulations,” the group said in a statement. The association would propose a motion to review the university’s regulations at the next council meeting, scheduled for June 9, the group said. According to Article 9, the ministry must appoint the president selected by public universities, Lu said in a separate statement.
By Lin Sheng-liang / Staff reporterThe Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) aims to double its number of administrative positions in the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections, party sources said. Of the six special municipalities and counties that it now governs, Hsinchu County is the only one that is unpredictable, the member said. While the KMT cannot afford to lose any of those areas, it is also hoping to double its number of local government heads to 12, party sources said. Popular KMT Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) last week joined a campaign trip for KMT Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), who is standing for mayor in that city, KMT sources said, adding that the party plans to channel more resources into the race. As for Taipei, party statistics showed that 35 percent of the city’s residents support the KMT, while a quarter support the DPP, sources said.