Handover of power now includes @POTUS handle

AP -- Donald Trump built his campaign on early morning tweet storms and hashtag-worthy slogans. Now president, he's in control of the White House's powerful social media arsenal, including the official @POTUS Twitter account that has nearly 14 million followers. Trump sent his first tweets as president from @realDonaldTrump, the personal account where his thousands of candid views on everything from immigration to golf course conditions helped propel him into a political force. A few hours later, the @POTUS account sprung to life with a photo from the swearing-in. Obama sent a farewell tweet from @POTUS on Friday morning and followed up a few hours later with one from his personal account (seen below).

January 21, 2017 16:39 UTC

Women's marches kick off Down Under

SYDNEY -- Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders on Saturday took to the streets in reaction to Donald Trump's inauguration, kicking off the Women's March day of global protest against the new U.S. president. Organizers say more than 600 coordinated protests will take place around the world in defense of women's rights and against hatred and bigotry following Trump's inauguration. But there were no reports of trouble Down Under where Women's March organizers had called for a peaceful protest. "Hatred, hate speech, bigotry, discrimination, prejudicial policies — these are not American problems, these are global problems," Women's March Sydney co-founder Mindy Freiband told the crowd. Under Sydney's summer sun there were not too many sporting the pink "pussyhats" — woolly hats with cat ears — that have become a symbol of the Women's March movement.

January 21, 2017 16:39 UTC

At Davos, Biden, Xi hammer home the need to defend global order

Leaders in Western countries, led by the United States, had to defend the liberal global order that their forefathers had shown "foresight, audacity and big heartedness" in building. Noting the unease felt around the world following recent events, he addressed the Republican elephant that has been hanging about the WEF's cavernous Congress Hall for the past two days. He pointedly called out Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, he said, "has a different vision of the future." He charged that Putin was behind cyber attacks and misinformation to influence electoral outcomes in Western democracies, including the recent U.S. elections. The U.S., for its part, had stood for an international order where countries were free to decide their own futures and associate with others as they saw fit.

January 21, 2017 16:39 UTC

It just keeps getting chillier: Cold air mass pushes temps to new low

TAIPEI -- Taiwan on Saturday saw the coldest weather so far this winter as the island came under the influence of a strong cold air mass, with 16 weather stations recording temperatures at new lows since the season started, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said in a statement. The cold weather was felt islandwide, with Tamsui in Northern Taiwan seeing the country's lowest mercury at 10.4 degrees Celsius, forecasters said. The effects of the cold air mass are also pronounced in Southern Taiwan. The mercury dropped to 13.1 degrees in Tainan, 15.8 degrees in Kaohsiung and 18.2 degrees in Hengchun, according to the CWB. The cold air mass, after reaching its strongest level on Saturday, will start to weaken, the bureau said, predicting that Taiwan will see warmer weather from next Wednesday.

January 21, 2017 16:37 UTC

Output prediction for 2017 manufacturing sector upgraded

TAIPEI -- The government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute's Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK) has raised its forecast for the output growth of Taiwan's manufacturing sector for 2017, as the global economy shows signs of improving. According to a research report released by the IEK, the production value of the local manufacturing sector for 2017 could rise 2.52 percent from a year earlier to NT$17.32 trillion (US$550 billion). In 2016, the output of the local manufacturing sector fell 3.97 percent from a year earlier amid weak global demand in the first half of the year. The IEK said that the industry could see its output rise further by 7.2 percent in 2017. Despite an upbeat mood about the local manufacturing sector, the IEK said that Taiwan should remain cautious about the possible impact resulting from Trump, who strongly supports protectionism, determined to put "America First" on his agenda.

January 21, 2017 16:36 UTC

Lewandowski gets superb winner as Bayern beat Freiburg

MUNICH -- Robert Lewandowski showed impressive dexterity to score an injury-time winner as Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich scraped a 2-1 win at Freiburg on Friday. The Poland striker was near the penalty spot when he jumped up to expertly chest down Franck Ribery's high cross with his back to goal. Lewandowski turned sharply, flicked the ball up with his right foot and then still had enough balance to volley a low shot into the bottom corner with his left. It was Lewandowski's 14th league goal in 17 games this season and arguably one of the best of his career. The 28-year-old Lewandowski smacked a chance over from close range from Brazil midfielder Douglas Costa's cross, but then made amends a minute later when he volleyed in the equalizer.

January 21, 2017 16:36 UTC

Durant scores 32 as Warriors defeat Rockets

HOUSTON -- Kevin Durant scored 32 points and the Golden State Warriors used a big third quarter to build a huge lead and coast to their sixth straight victory, 125-108 over the Houston Rockets on Friday night. Curry finished with 24 points and made five 3-pointers, including one with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining that left the Warriors up 117-93. Dwight Howard and Thabo Sefolosha combined by 24 points for Atlanta, which has won 10 of 12. Frank Kaminsky had a solid night off the bench for the second straight game, scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Kyle Lowry had 24 points and DeMar DeRozan added 23 points for the Raptors, who have lost two straight.

January 21, 2017 16:36 UTC

Calls for Samsung heir arrest, Park removal

SEOUL -- Tens of thousands of protestors braved icy weather and slippery roads for a rally in Seoul Saturday, demanding impeached President Park Geun-hye's removal and the Samsung heir's arrest for corruption. Park was impeached by parliament last month over an influence-peddling scandal and the Constitutional Court now must confirm the impeachment. Protestors chanted slogans demanding the arrest of Park and business tycoons including Lee Jae-yong, heir to the Samsung empire, calling them "co-culprits" in the scandal. "Arrest Park and Lee Jae-yong immediately," protesters chanted loudly, waving banners and brandishing candles during the evening rally in the capital. Park has faced criticism that she tried to curb free speech and labor rights as president.

January 21, 2017 16:36 UTC

HTC launches new 'VR for Impact' program

TAIPEI -- Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturer HTC Corp. (宏達電), which is keen to diversify its product line by exploring the virtual reality business, has launched a "VR for Impact" program to fund the development of VR content and technologies. In a statement, HTC said it will invest US$10 million in the VR program, which is expected to create a positive impact and change, in a bid to support the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. HTC, which has launched its first VR headset, the HTC Vive, said VR's ability to immerse people into an experience is unmatched, and that VR can drive the world to act on global issues. Through the launch of the VR for Impact program, HTC is calling for ideas about social change caused by VR technology on its website and the first winning projects will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, the Taiwanese firm said. We encourage all players in the VR eco-system to join, as only together can we drive real impact," Wang added.

January 21, 2017 16:36 UTC

As he exits the presidency, Obama voices optimism for the future

He was gracious to President Donald Trump to the end, warmly welcoming his successor to the home where he raised his daughters. Yet to those fearful about Trump's presidency, Obama suggested it would be a mere blip. "This is just a little pit stop," Obama told supporters just before departing Washington. Obama leaves the national stage as a widely popular figure, with his poll numbers approaching 60 percent. Yet inside the White House, the Obama imprint that once appeared indelible suddenly seemed more fleeting.

January 21, 2017 16:36 UTC

Four more survivors pulled out of avalanche-hit hotel

FARINDOLA, Italy -- Emergency crews pulled out four more survivors from the rubble of a hotel crushed by an avalanche and were searching Saturday for more who may still be alive as family members awaited word if their relatives were among the lucky ones. Dozens of family members and friends kept a tense vigil overnight, and four were rewarded with the arrival of their loved ones at the hospital early Saturday. Firefighter spokesman Alberto Maiolo said a total of four bodies had been found in the rubble. Some 30 people, including guests and workers, were believed to have been inside the hotel when the avalanche struck. In all, four children were safely brought out of the rubble and taken to Pescara hospital, where they were reported in good condition.

January 21, 2017 16:36 UTC

More eateries opt to close over Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year has been one of the busiest periods offering handsome profits for restaurants. The new five-day workweek law requires employers to pay their employers more than two times their regular pay when they have to give up their holidays and work. Food-material suppliers are also changing their delivery schedules for the Lunar New Year holidays, the paper added. L'Hotel de Chine hotel chain has announced a plan to expand its full-time staff by 10 percent in 2017 in response to the five-day workweek law. Meanwhile, rising labor costs resulting from the five-day workweek law are heaping pressure on fast food chains.

January 21, 2017 16:36 UTC

Japanese firms must prepare for 'hard Brexit'

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her country's intention to have a "hard Brexit," with an emphasis on restricting immigration and pulling out of the EU single market. The single market adopts free movement of people, goods, capital and services as a principle. The fact that May, for the first time, accepted a hard Brexit apparently marked one step forward toward the start of negotiations with the EU. May plans to send a formal Brexit notification to the EU by the end of March, but there are a mountain of difficult tasks to tackle. The British supreme court is currently examining whether parliamentary approval is necessary for the notification.

January 21, 2017 16:36 UTC

Newborn abandoned in Tainan alley

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A newborn boy was found alive on Saturday after being left overnight in an alley near Fort Zeelandia in Tainan. "He was found naked and his body temperature was very low," said Huang Po-hsun (黃柏巽) of Tainan City Government's Fire Bureau (安平消防隊). Liu said he had followed the sound into an alley and found a newborn with an umbilical cord still attached. Taiwan saw its coldest day of winter on Saturday, with apparent temperature in Tainan dropping to as low as 10 degrees Celsius. The suspect, a 25-year-old woman surnamed Wu, was not available for comment.

January 21, 2017 16:36 UTC

Abstentions mark a rancorous start to Trump era

Hope running through my veins, I pushed the necessary buttons, and waited for my machine to light up with news from cyberspace. "You've gone overboard lately on Mr. Trump. I further mused that I usually applaud people who are independent in thinking, and active in their politics. The honorable Mr. Lewis had stepped forward in a way sure to leave still another mark of courage on his legacy. He is universally regarded as a hero, they said, "an icon in the civil rights movement" (although today the same network condemns him).

January 21, 2017 16:36 UTC

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