Staff writer, with CNAGasoline prices are to be cut by NT$0.1 per liter, while diesel prices are to rise by NT$0.4 per liter this week, Taiwan’s two major refiners announced yesterday. The refiner said it planned to raise gasoline and diesel prices by NT$0.8 and NT$0.4 per liter respectively this week, following a hike in international crude oil prices, but to maintain domestic gasoline prices at lower levels than neighboring markets in the region, it decided to cut gasoline prices by NT$0.1 per liter and raise diesel prices for the second consecutive week. Last week, international crude oil prices surged as Saudi Arabia pledged to cut production and Venezuela’s crude oil production remained at its lowest level in more than 50 years. That resulted in an increase in CPC’s weighted oil price formula to US$63.54 per barrel last week, up from US$62.19 a week earlier. After the adjustments, prices at Formosa gas stations nationwide would be NT$26.3 per liter for 92-octane unleaded, NT$27.7 per liter for 95 unleaded, NT$29.8 per liter for 98 unleaded and NT$24.9 per liter for super diesel, the company said.
By Jason Pan / Staff reporterA raid on a “cannabis factory” in New Taipei City’s Wugu District (五股) led to the confiscation of 120 cannabis plants and the arrest of one man, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said on Friday. During questioning, Chen told investigators that he had bought the equipment and cannabis seeds online from suppliers in other nations, Ko said. He allegedly told police during the raid that he was sorry the plants had not matured so he could sell them, Ko added. The teen, surnamed Huang (黃), and her 28-year-old boyfriend, surnamed Lee (李), had allegedly smoked a joint at Lee’s home before going outside, the police report said. Paramedics took Huang to a local hospital, where Lee allegedly told the medical staff that the couple had smoked a joint.
But in recent years, daily throngs of tourists have relegated the card players to a dark corner of the courtyard. “You might say the elderly have made way for the photo takers’ convenience, to not get in their way,” Hui concedes. A mural by local graffiti artist Alex Croft featuring rows of tenement houses draws a constant stream of tourists to the steeply sloping Graham Street in downtown Central district. “I was taken aback as I didn’t expect the crowds, but it’s good for taking photos,” Park says. “Their saving grace is the sharp corner — vehicles entering Graham Street are going slowly.
Chinese-language Web site sdaxue.com (上大學) has since 2013 been exposing fake schools, including many identifying themselves with “Chinese,” “Beijing” or Huabei (華北) to appear more impressive. Some fake schools have names that resemble those of genuine ones, with only a few different characters. For example, a fake school named “Guangzhou Polytechnic College” tried to sound like Guangdong Polytechnic College, a real establishment in Guangdong Province’s Zhaoqing City. Another fake school named “Guangdong College of Science and Trade” sounded a lot like the Guangdong Vocational College of Science and Trade, but the latter is the true one. Chinese media have reported that some fake universities are set up by fraud rings, which also provide fake diplomas.
The number is should rise to 50 million next year and reach 300 million in 2021, it said. Global smartphone shipments are expected to drop 3.3 percent annually to 1.4 billion units this year, TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) forecast. That would present headwinds for CHPT, given that about 65 percent of its revenue of NT$3.28 billion (US$106.32 million) last year came from smartphone application processors. “There is a high possibility that CHPT will see its revenue dip for the first time since its share debut in 2016,” Huang said. The final quarter is traditionally a slow season and net income fell 7.82 percent last quarter from NT$1.79 billion in the third quarter of last year.
We are pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory!” he wrote. Trump has sworn to pull US forces from Syria after the group’s territorial defeat, raising questions over the fate of Washington’s Kurdish allies and Turkish involvement in northeast Syria. He set up a governing system with courts, a currency and flag that at its height stretched from northwest Syria almost to Baghdad, encompassing about 2 million inhabitants. “Thousands of civilians are still trapped there as human shields,” he said. SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said the forces had caught several militants trying to flee among the civilians.
AFP, ADELAIDE, AustraliaNelly Korda added to an amazing family tradition of winning top titles Down Under yesterday by claiming the LPGA Australian Open by two shots in Adelaide and celebrating with a scissors kick. 16 American has been the form player of the past few months, and has now scored two wins and two other top-three finishes in her past five events. In carding a 17-under-par 271 and holding off South Korean challenger Ko Jin-young, Korda joined her father, sister and brother in being crowned an Open champion on Australian soil. Dad Petr got the ball rolling by winning the Australian Open tennis Grand Slam in 1998, beating Marcelo Rios, and celebrated with his trademark scissor kick. Her sister Jessica then won the Australian Open golf title in 2012, duplicating her father’s celebration, as did brother Sebastian when he took out the Australian Open tennis boys’ title last year.
A small tropical reef fish was able to recognize itself in a mirror, scientists said on Feb. 7 in a finding that raises provocative questions about assessing self-awareness and cognitive abilities in animals. The study involved experiments in which the fish species Labroides dimidiatus, called the bluestreak cleaner wrasse, was given a mirror self-recognition test, a technique developed in 1970 for gauging animal self-awareness. When a transparent, rather than brown, mark was applied, the fish never tried to remove it. Jordan, however, questioned whether the test represents a reliable measure of animal cognitive abilities. “I don’t claim that fish lack self-awareness, but rather that the minimal required explanation for the behaviors we observe in the mirror test does not require invocation of self-awareness, self-consciousness, or theory of mind,” Jordan said.
February 16, 2019 16:02 UTC
However, smaller firms across several industries are not racing to diversify just yet. “If I have kinnars [transgender women] and [gay] men walking around, I will lose all my customers. They are not ready for such things,” Bhoshne said, adding that his restaurant is most frequented by truckers, farm workers and local villagers. If there is an effeminate boy, he’s in big trouble, and they won’t employ trans [people] for heaven’s sake,” Kavi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. India is home to nearly 56 million LGBT+ adults, according to Paris-based Out Now Consulting, a marketing company that helps businesses target gay clients.
AFP, SAN FRANCISCOSamsung Electronics Co on Friday announced that it plans to open three US retail stores to promote its Galaxy line of smartphones as the South Korean giant sets to launch an updated flagship handset. It made the move after feedback from customers, Samsung said in a statement. Samsung is on Wednesday holding a product launch in San Francisco amid speculation it might launch a folding smartphone, which would make it the first of the major handset makers in the segment. Samsung has previously opened pop-up stores in the US and has a center showcasing its technology in New York City. “Our new Samsung Experience Stores are spaces to experience and see Samsung technology brought to life, to empower people to do what they never thought was possible before,” Samsung Electronics America president Y.H.
AP, MUNICHThe response by the US to China detaining two Canadians in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a Chinese Huawei Technologies Co (華為) executive has not been strong enough, US Senator Lindsey Graham said on Friday. It was just grabbing two Canadians,” Graham said. Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, who appeared on the panel with Graham, mouthed the words “thank you” to Graham after he said it. Some analysts have said the US response to China’s arrests of the two Canadians has been muted. Trump has not commented on the Canadians, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has, saying that China ought to release them.
Everything from the cactus — once considered sacred by the ancient Aztecs — can be transformed to yield nutritional and medical benefits, except for its prickly spines. A 2017 study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) concluded that prickly pears could be the answer to much of the world’s food security woes and prevent soil erosion. In Sidi Fredj, once an impoverished town in the Souk Haras Province bordering Tunisia, Gueldsami, like his father and grandfather before him, farms prickly pears. Although Algeria — where most of the fertile land is free of pesticides — has no organic certification body, oil from Sidi Fredj obtained an “organic” label from European agencies and is sold as such abroad. In Sidi Fredj, the Gueldsami family and others have seen their revenues increase thanks to farming and selling of the prickly pears.
AFP, WASHINGTONResearchers this week announced they had developed an automatic text generator using artificial intelligence (AI) that is very good — so good, it is keeping the details private for now. That software developed by OpenAI could be used to generate news stories, product reviews and other kinds of writing that could be more realistic than anything developed by computer before. “Due to our concerns about malicious applications of the technology, we are not releasing the trained model,” OpenAI researchers said in a blog post on Thursday. The news suggested a potential breakthrough in efforts to develop computer-generated text that could be believable, but also potentially dangerous. “The public at large will need to become more skeptical of text they find online, just as the ‘deepfakes’ phenomenon calls for more skepticism about images,” the researchers wrote, referring to AI-manipulated videos, which have been on the rise.
The institute, which is affiliated with the Ministry of National Defense, said that it would present the results of its most recent research: the Land-Based Air Defense Missile System that is paired with a command-and-control system, which it also researched and built. The institute said that it briefed the ministry on the air defense system at the 2017 Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition and has lobbied for it to place orders. The institute said that it hopes to ride a wave of interest and offers of cooperation from the previous show, as well as realize its goals of breaking into the international defense market. In addition to promoting products made by the nation’s defense industry, the institute said that it has included environmentally friendly technology as part of its display this year: a rotary kiln incinerator. The device was designed to dispose of small-caliber ammunition, particularly ordnance expended during battle, it said.
AFP, BRUSSELSThe EU’s trade surplus with the US reached a record level last year, data showed on Friday, increasing the risk that US President Donald Trump’s anger could reignite a trade war. Trump is a furious critic of Europe’s high trade surpluses, accusing the EU — and especially Germany — of unfair practices against US workers, much as he does with China. Last year, the EU trade surplus with the US reached 139.7 billion euros (US$157.81 billion), 20.1 billion more than in 2017, Eurostat said. Imports from the US also increased to a total of 266.7 billion euros, but the increase was significantly lower, which is why the EU trade surplus climbed to the fresh record. “I won’t interpret any figures ... but trade relations are much more than trade surpluses or trade deficits,” the spokesman said.