SEOUL - The United States will go to war with North Korea if it fires missiles at Guam, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday, issuing another strong warning to the nuclear armed regime. "We'll know if it's going towards Guam within moments," Mattis said of the missiles, on an unannounced visit to the Pentagon's press room. "I think if they fire at the United States, it could escalate into war very quickly. If the missiles land in waters short of Guam, the decision will be left to President Donald Trump, he added. In an unusually strong rhetoric last week, Trump said the North would experience "fire and fury" if it continued to threaten the United States.
August 15, 2017 09:11 UTC
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Know the eternal math student question of "When will I ever use this in real life?" A Taiwanese math whiz has set out to prove the applicability of math using a most practical topic: getting train tickets on the cheap. Guo Jun-yi (郭君逸), an assistant professor at National Taiwan Normal University, has written a whole treatise on the topic. The answer depends on whether you think changing seats halfway through your trip is worth saving NT$10. "I don't think anyone should do this just to save NT$2 — it's just asking to give yourself a headache."
August 15, 2017 08:48 UTC
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taipei District Prosecutors Office will question former President Ma Ying-jeou on Wednesday as a defendant in the corruption investigation concerning the construction of the Taipei Dome, local media reported. The office of the former president has confirmed that Ma has received a subpoena and will appear at the prosecutors office Wednesday. Prosecutors have not specified the nature of the subpoena or regarding what case Ma is to be questioned. However, most reporting now suggests that Ma is being called in regarding the failure to secure proper financial reimbursement from Farglory, the build-operate-transfer (BOT) contractor for the Taipei Dome project. The committee cited audio recordings apparently revealing then-Taipei Department of Finance Director Lee Sush-ter (李述德) — who presided over the Sept. 23 meeting — referring to the deal Ma and Chao made at the meeting.
August 15, 2017 07:52 UTC
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Two Taipei councilors have been charged for allegedly enriching themselves by making fraudulent applications for assistants' pay. Taipei District Prosecutors Office announced the charges Tuesday against a current council member, Tung Chung-yan (童仲彥), and a former councilor, Chin Li-fang (秦儷舫). Tung is accused of using the funds to pay off personal credit card and loan debts. A former Democratic Progressive Party member, Tung is no stranger to scandal. He left the party in January after his wife accused him in a media interview of domestic violence and infidelity.
August 15, 2017 06:56 UTC
BEIJING - China vows to comply with UN resolution, halts import of coal, iron, lead and seafood from North Korea from August 15. The joint announcement on Monday said Beijing issued the ban to fulfil United Nations Security Council Resolution 2371, which targets Pyongyang's intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July. Observers noted that the ban has gone further than a February statement by the Ministry of Commerce, which responded to an earlier Security Council resolution on North Korea and announced China's suspension of coal imports from North Korea for the rest of this year. "It's not appropriate to use one issue as a tool to keep pressure on the other issue," Hua said. Kong was to replace Wu Dawei, a former vice-foreign minister who served as the country's top envoy on the peninsula issue since 2010.
August 15, 2017 06:49 UTC
KATHMANDU - The death toll from floods across the country over the past four days has reached 91, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Monday. At least 38 people are missing.With rains slowing down, the government has stepped up efforts to send relief and medicines to flood-affected areas. The Ministry of Health and Population said it has deployed health workers in flood-affected areas to prevent possible outbreaks of diseases. After an aerial inspection of the flood-affected areas, PM Deuba also spoke with the victims at Gairigaun of Itahari. At least eight people have died in Sunsari floods over the past four days.
August 15, 2017 06:33 UTC
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan's power problems continued Tuesday after a generator broke down at the same plant where a fallen tower had put the country's energy supply on red alert earlier this month. The coal-powered generator at the Ho-Ping power plant in Hualien went offline early Tuesday morning, according to the Central News Agency. However, the government said the loss of the power input from the generator would not impact Taiwan's supply power, which is currently on the third-highest orange alert. The downing of the Ho-ping transmission tower left Taiwan on red alert for much of August. A red alert is in place when the country's operating reserve falls below 900,000 kW.
August 15, 2017 06:00 UTC
NEW YORK - A giant inflatable rat with an uncanny resemblance to Donald Trump appeared in New York's midtown on Monday ahead of the president's visit to the city. Complete with blonde quiff, dark suit and red tie, artist Jeffrey Beebe's "Trump rat" appeared two blocks away from Trump Tower, where the President is expected to stay for the first time since he took office in January and moved to Washington. Trump is expected to arrive in New York on Monday evening. Beebe says the rat is an "enduring sign of resistance and ridicule" against Trump, specially designed for protests against the U.S. president. The New York Police Department announced they would step up security in the center of Manhattan for the President's visit.
August 15, 2017 05:37 UTC
BERLIN -- Hertha Berlin eventually triumphed 2-0 in a German Cup tie at away to third division Hansa Rostock on Monday in a game marred by crowd trouble. Twice in the second half, straight after the restart and then again in the 76th minute, the match was halted as fans let off pyrotechnic devices. The second stoppage lasted some 15 minutes as fans burned opposing colours and parts of the Ostsee Stadium were seen on fire. There were scenes that "no person in a football stadium wants," Hertha sport director Michael Preetz told ARD. Early in the second period, Dynamo did call Schalke keeper Ralf Faehrmann into action but this offered only brief respite.
August 15, 2017 05:37 UTC
HONG KONG - Police in Hong Kong arrested an opposition party member early Tuesday after CCTV footage allegedly contradicted his claim that he had been kidnapped and tortured by agents from mainland China. However, Lam's claims were contradicted by CCTV footage and witness statements obtained by police, as well as an independent investigation by Hong Kong news agency Factwire. The Factwire report showed CCTV footage of Lam walking to another part of Hong Kong unscathed around an hour after he said he had been snatched. The footage showed a figure matching Lam's appearance and gait putting on a cap, surgical mask and sunglasses as he walked unaccosted. Should he be convicted of making a false report, Lam faces a fine of HK$1,000 (US$130) and up to six months in prison.
August 15, 2017 05:26 UTC
WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday ordered an examination of Chinese trade practices, one of the key points of friction between the world's two biggest economies. Trump signed an order asking U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine whether U.S. trade with China - including China's alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property - warrants investigation. "For too long this wealth has been drained from our country while Washington has done nothing," Trump said, declaring he would not "turn a blind eye" to China's trade practices. Trump has consistently raised issues over what he has called China's "unfair" trade practices. China warned the U.S. that both sides would lose out if Trump begins a trade war between the world's two largest economies.
August 15, 2017 05:15 UTC
SEOUL - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has "praised" a plan for "an enveloping fire at Guam," during an inspection of the Strategic Force Command of the Korean People's Army (KPA), North Korean state news agency KCNA reported Tuesday. Kim "praised the KPA Strategic Force for drawing up a close and careful plan" for a potential attack on the U.S. territory during Monday's visit, according to KCNA. "If they shoot at the United States, I'm assuming they've hit the United States. Earlier Monday, South Korean Defense Minister Song Young Moo said the probability of a threatened North Korean strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam was "extremely low." Song said North Korea was "technically capable" of reaching Guam, the Yonhap news agency reported, but added that it would carry out its threat only in an "extreme case."
August 15, 2017 05:03 UTC
CAPE TOWN - At least 350 people, including 100 children, have died in massive mudslides on the outskirts of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, local media has reported. More than 350 unidentified bodies had been taken to the morgue at the city's largest hospital, Connaught Hospital, the Sierra Leone Telegraph reported. Volunteers could be seen in the neighbourhood of Lumley helping to extricate mangled bodies with their bare hands. Photos published in the Sierra Leone Telegraph showed people wading through streets of thick muddy water reaching up to their hips. It has poor infrastructure with only a rudimentary sewage system in most areas, while many streets are unpaved, meaning they can easily turn to mud.
August 15, 2017 04:07 UTC
SEOUL - South Korea President Moon Jae-in pledged Tuesday to do "whatever it takes" to stop war on the peninsula, saying South Korea is the only country to make a decision on any military action and the crisis must be tackled peacefully. In his first Liberation Day address, the liberal leader called for North Korea to freeze nuclear and missile tests as a condition for talks. "There cannot be a war on the Korean Peninsula ever again," Moon said. "No one can decide on military action without the consent of South Korea. North Korea should at least cease additional nuclear and missile provocations in order to create the condition for dialogue," the president said.
August 15, 2017 02:37 UTC
WASHINGTON — The Cassini spacecraft — now just weeks away from the end of its mission — is due on Monday to begin the first of five final orbits around Saturn. Cassini will enter new territory when it goes into the final orbits starting with its pass over Saturn starting at 12:22 a.m. (1622 GMT) on Monday. It will come as close as 1,630 kilometers above Saturn's cloud tops when it executes the five passes, the US space agency said, describing the passes as "ultra-close" through Saturn's upper atmosphere. The five final orbits will allow scientists to learn what Saturn looks like on the inside and get high-resolution images of the planet's rings. The mission, formally known as the Cassini-Huygens mission, is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.
August 14, 2017 23:59 UTC