228 evidence indicts Chiang: academic

Staff writer, with CNAEvidence shows that Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) should be held responsible for the 228 Incident, an academic said on Thursday. Chen Yi-shen made the statement at a conference in Taipei to launch six more volumes of the Collected Files of the 228 Incident published by Academia Historica. The 228 Incident was triggered by a clash between government officials and an illegal cigarette vendor in Taipei on Feb. 27, 1947. The National Archives Administration has identified about 13,000 cases relating to the 228 Incident and political persecution, Wu said. Documents relating to the 228 Incident include a telegram issued on March 6, 1947, released in 1992, and two others dated Feb. 28 and March 4, 1947, released in 2008, National Taiwan University history professor Chen Tsui-lien (陳秀蓮) said.

February 24, 2017 16:01 UTC

Researchers find method to cultivate sea sparkles

Marine ecologists from National Taiwan Ocean University on Thursday unveiled their findings at a news conference in Pingtung County’s Kenting (墾丁). Chiang Kuo-ping (蔣國平), a professor of environmental biology and fisheries sciences at the university, said previous studies by the team had found that Noctiluca scintillans, or sea sparkles, was one of the organisms causing blue tides. The team linked sea sparkles to blue tides by isolating the species in cultures created from samples taken from the sea during blue tides, a conclusion that was later reinforced by RNA analysis performed with next-generation sequencing techniques, he added. Following a year of research, the team developed a method for recycling 20 liters of sea water without losing the sea sparkles, which was the most challenging technical hurdle to commercial breeding of the organism, Chiang said. The method allows researchers to breed the organism in tanks holding up to a tonne of water, he said.

February 24, 2017 16:01 UTC

Twenty-six test positive for drugs in air base probe

A total of 51 pouches were found at the base and 26 people — up from 20 on Thursday — tested positive for drug use, the office said. The positive urine samples were sent to Tri-Service General Hospital for secondary testing to confirm the results, the office added. Deputy Minister of National Defense Cheng De-mei (鄭德美) yesterday confirmed that one mid-level air force officer — a major — was among the 26. “A second test is necessary because a positive result could also be due to the ingestion of medicine for a cold or pain relief. Some have raised questions over why no witnesses have come forward and a lack of video footage of people dropping off the drug packages.

February 24, 2017 16:01 UTC

MAC urges China to resume talks on fighting crime

Staff writer, with CNAMainland Affairs Council Deputy (MAC) Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) on Thursday called on China to resume cross-strait consultations as soon as possible and not allow politics to impede joint efforts to combat crime. If China wants to combat crime, the priority should be to resume cross-strait consultations and not let politics get in the way of joint efforts to catch criminals, he said. This is not the first time Beijing has sought to have Taiwanese fraud suspects deported to China to face investigation. It said that since April 2014, it has returned a total of NT$17.69 million to Chinese fraud victims. China has sent back NT$14.42 million in swindled funds to Taiwan since then, in six separate cases, the ministry said.

February 24, 2017 16:01 UTC

Indonesian deported over suspected IS link

Staff Writer, with CNAAuthorities on Wednesday deported an Indonesian woman on suspicion of being a member of the Islamic State (IS) group. The woman was arrested by Indonesian police upon her arrival at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Indonesian media reported. Kaharudin Ali, an Indonesian immigration official stationed at the airport, was cited by local media as saying that the 34-year-old woman, identified as Tri Astiningsih, is a suspected IS member. She was escorted by Taiwanese officials during the flight to Jakarta, where Indonesian anti-terrorist personnel met her at the airport, the reports said. The official said that several other Indonesians were also being closely monitored for their suspected links to the IS.

February 24, 2017 16:01 UTC

Same-sex partnership act discriminatory: NPP’s Hsu

By Alison Hsiao / Staff reporterEnacting a separate law for same-sex couples is discriminatory, New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said yesterday after an online media outlet made public a report commissioned by the Ministry of Justice on the impact of a “same-sex partnership act.”Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) in December said that the ministry was evaluating the possibility of setting up a separate partnership act for same-sex couples — instead of amending the Civil Code to allow same-sex marriage. Online media outlet Up Media on Thursday said it had obtained a copy of the report commissioned by the ministry on the proposed same-sex partnership bill, which recommends following a gradual legislative process and claims that a separate partnership act for same-sex couples at this stage would be a way to avoid intense social polarization. According to the report, same-sex couples are not to be legal “spouses,” but “same-sex partners” to whom the Civil Code terms concerning properties, inheritance and adoption governing married would apply. The proposed act would also prohibit a person from forming a partnership with more than one person, or to simultaneously have a partner and a spouse, it said. This is one issue that is not going to be resolved by simply having those supporting or opposing same-sex marriage talk and commending each other for holding a dialogue,” Jason Hsu said.

February 24, 2017 16:01 UTC

Tainan unveils second road dedicated to poetry

By Yang Chin-cheng and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writerTainan’s Yanshui District (鹽水) recently announced the completion of a second “poets’ road,” the second of its kind in Tianliao Borough (田寮) celebrating historical poets from the region. The two poets’ roads are unique in the nation for their celebration of poetry from the era, the officials said. The two monuments line both sides of a farm road and form a set of attractions together with a garden labyrinth, officials said. said the first poets’ road monument features 110 works from the Japanese colonial era up until the present. “When visitors come here they will have a better understanding of the 350 years of Taiwan’s literary history,” Lin said.

February 24, 2017 16:01 UTC

Nantou illegal climbing regulations take effect

By Chang Hsieh-sheng, Hsieh Chieh-yu, Chang Ching-ya and J / Staff reporters, with staff writerThe Nantou County Government earlier this month began enforcing regulations that stipulate fines for illegal mountain climbing and makes hikers responsible for a portion of search and rescue costs. According to the new regulations, people who intentionally enter unauthorized areas and neglect to carry GPS devices or other communication equipment are to be responsible for search and rescue costs, in addition to paying a fine of between NT$3,000 and NT$50,000. Although the county has enacted the regulations, a portion mandating mountain climbers to buy accident insurance has not yet been implemented, fire department Director Lin Tsung-chi (林聰吉) said on Wednesday. In addition, the county hopes the central government can reach a deal with insurance providers to include helicopter search and rescue costs in insurance schemes, Lin said. I believe the regulations will have a deterrent effect on illegal mountain climbing and would result in less waste of disaster response resources,” Nantou County Firefighter Association president Hung Ming-kuo (洪明科) said.

February 24, 2017 16:01 UTC

Tourism Bureau softens standards for bus drivers

By Shelley Shan / Staff reporterFollowing protests from travel agencies and tour bus operators, the Tourism Bureau has slightly eased its standards for tour operators when determining a bus driver’s maximum daily driving distance during domestic tours. The bureau on Wednesday night disclosed its official guidelines for tour operators when designing one-day trips. According to the bureau, many tour operators had rescinded offers for some one-day tours before and after the announcement on Tuesday. “We are not using a driver’s daily driving distance as a standard to crack down on tour bus drivers whose working hours might exceed statutory limits. The last thing the bureau wants is for tour operators to compete over a thin profit margin, she said.

February 24, 2017 16:01 UTC

Indonesian worker in Taiwan sent back to Jakarta for allegedly joining IS

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- An Indonesian woman working in Taiwan was recently deported to Jakarta after being nabbed for allegedly joining the Islamic State (IS), marking the first deportation case of its kind, the Central News Agency (CNA) said Friday. Kaharudin Ali, director of the immigration bureau at Jakarta International Airport, told the CNA that his bureau picked up a female Indonesian citizen named Tri Astiningsih at the airport as she was sent back from Taiwan aboard flight CI761 on Feb. 22. This was the first time Taiwan has deported an suspected Indonesian member of IS back to Jakarta, Ali said. Under tight escort by Taiwanese police officers, Tri was sent back to Jakarta Airport, where Indonesia dispatched a special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team to pick her up. Ali also revealed that there were some Indonesian workers in Taiwan suspected of joining the IS, but said that all were under tight surveillance by Taiwanese police.

February 24, 2017 15:14 UTC

Yunlin reports bird flu infection hours after ban lift

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Hours after a ban on poultry slaughter and shipping was lifted on Friday, the Yunlin County Government said two farms had reported that its birds tested positive for H5 flu infection. Around 18,000 chickens and 750 geese were culled in the afternoon and authorities are investigating how the avian flu had spread. He said that Friday's test results were the first instance of bird flu infection in geese. Liao said that 25 poultry farms with confirmed outbreaks were spread out and not concentrated in a single area of Yunlin. He urged farm owners to continue proper management and to carry out influenza precautionary measures such as disinfection.

February 24, 2017 08:12 UTC

Don't blame new labor policy for rising prices: TIER

The President Tsai Ing-wen administration's new workweek policy kicked off last December and quickly garnered criticism of it leading to rising product prices. Businesses claimed they were seeking to raise prices to counteract rising personnel costs. When commenting on the new workweek policy's impact during the press conference that released the newest report for February, TIER said the public should not view rising prices as a product of the new workweek policy, citing rising commodity prices worldwide. Sun said that aside from Taiwan, no other country was burdened with implementing a new workweek law, suggesting that rising the rising price of commodities was the critical factor behind rising consumer good prices. In terms of this year's forecast, Sun described 2017's economic situation as akin to reaching the light at the end of a tunnel and leading to an upbeat outlook.

February 24, 2017 07:18 UTC

China's Recon buys $100M majority stake in Millennium Films

HONG KONG (AP) — China's footprint in Hollywood is expanding following a wire and cable maker's purchase of a controlling stake in independent studio Millennium Films, which produced "Rambo" and "The Expendables." Recon Holding said Thursday it is taking a 51 percent stake in Millennium for $100 million. The terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, give Recon majority ownership of Millennium and its library of 300 films. Xia owns Recon Holding through his conglomerate Recon Group. One of its companies, Lotus Health Group, is the world's second biggest maker of food additive monosodium glutamate.

February 24, 2017 06:32 UTC

High-risk groups should prepare for cold weather

Tainan Municipal An-Nan Hospital neurologist Tsai Ming-chun (蔡銘駿) said while there was still controversy surrounding claims that cold weather could bring about strokes, he stressed a major factor was poor autonomic nervous systems. New research shows patients who suffered from a stroke appeared to have poor autonomic nervous systems. Patients whose major blood vessels in the brain were blocked made up 80 percent of those deemed to have poor nervous systems, and around 60 percent of patients' poor nervous systems resulted from blocked minor blood vessels. Symptoms of a poor autonomic nervous systems include dizziness, bloating, dry eyes, palpitations, cold hands and feet or a complete or partial loss of eye sight. High-risk groups for poor autonomic nervous systems include those who suffer from cardiovascular disease, have had strokes in the past, are over 65 years of age, or those who have diabetes, Parkinson's disease or spinal damage.

February 24, 2017 05:55 UTC

Another contender joins fray for KMT leadership

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) announced her bid to run for party chairperson on Friday, bringing the current number of candidates to six. In an earlier radio interview, she said that ex-President Ma Ying-jeou supported her ideology, though he politely refused to sign her petition. Party rules state that all contenders must collect signatures from 3 percent of party members in order to become eligible. Pan said that Ma told her he supported each candidate, therefore it was unsuitable for him to sign Pan's. Pan said she told Hung that everyone hoped the KMT would become better and that there will be no conflicts.

February 24, 2017 03:41 UTC

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