By Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterAward-winning global cruise brand Royal Caribbean International wants to attract Taiwanese passengers, one of the largest source markets in Asia with a 25 percent growth in passengers last year. “Taiwanese are keen cruisers and we want to whip up their appetites with the exciting experiences of Royal Caribbean,” Royal Caribbean Asia-Pacific managing director Angie Stephen said. The number of passengers entering and leaving Keelung Port exceeded 600,000 last year, making Taiwan the second-largest source of tourists for Asian cruise ships, the US hospitality firm said, citing the Asia Cruise Trends report. Royal Caribbean was founded in Norway and is based in Miami, Florida. With a 21.9 percent market share worldwide, the line operates 25 ships and has five additional ships on order.
BloombergFlight attendants and TV producers seeking a career change might want to look up Japan’s third-biggest bank. Mizuho Financial Group Inc wants the hospitality and media veterans to woo investors and company executives with their strong communication and social skills, said Yuki Maeda, head of corporate access across Asia. While bankers and analysts already have connections with top executives at Japanese firms, the corporate access staff are responsible for organizing events and meetings that bring them together with investors. “Cabin attendants have good hospitality and English skills,” Maeda said. Requests for meetings with Japanese company executives increased 12 percent in the year ended that on Sept. 30.
AGENCIES, WASHINGTONUS President Donald Trump yesterday said he had spoken with Saudi King Salman, who “denies any knowledge” of what happened to the Saudi journalist who disappeared after entering the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul last week. Trump tweeted that he “just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened ‘to our Saudi Arabian citizen.’ He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer. Saudi Arabia has pledged to economically retaliate for any US punitive action. Saudi Arabian officials were allowing Turkish investigators to enter the consulate yesterday. A Turkish diplomatic source said it was expected that the joint search with Saudi Arabian authorities would “take place towards the evening.”
Staff writer, with CNA, BrusselsThe first-ever labor affairs consultation meeting between Taiwan and the EU last week represents a milestone in bilateral cooperation, Deputy Minister of Labor Lin San-quei (林三貴) said yesterday. “This year, the first-ever labor affairs consultation meeting represented the beginning of a regular exchange mechanism to facilitate future cooperation between the two sides,” Lin said. Lin first talked with European Commission Deputy Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Adriana Sukova for almost one hour. “The consultation meeting gave EU officials a better understanding as to the value of such a view-exchange mechanism with Taiwan,” Lin said. While pushing for further cooperation with the EU, Lin said he hoped the second consultation meeting in Taipei next year would proceed just as smoothly.
Units from all branches of the military took part in the Joint Air Exercise from 5am to 8am in response to a simulated Chinese invasion. Ground crew began preparations at 4am and the fighter jets took off at 5:40am. While simulated fighter interception is commonplace, the air drills that took place yesterday were much larger than previous joint air exercises, the official said. In response to the rising military threat from China, Southeast Asian nations and the US have been bolstering their defenses with joint military exercises and Taiwan should not be an exception, the official said. The armed forces are to increase the frequency and realism of the nation’s military drills through the institution of an operational preparedness month and other measures, the official said.
By Chen Yu-fu and Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe Transitional Justice Commission’s plans to establish a psychotherapy center for victims of political repression have been scrapped due to a lack of funding, sources said last week. Chang was tasked with finding a location for the center, a commission member said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Members of the commission hoped that Huang would discuss funding for the center with the Executive Yuan, but he resigned unexpectedly, they said. While the commission would not be opening a psychotherapy center, it would not cancel its plans to provide counseling to victims of political repression, the unnamed commission member said. The commission would continue to train therapists and social workers, they said, adding that a pilot counseling program has already started.
The six attractions are Shihbajianshan (十八尖山), the Temple of the City God (城隍廟), Nanliao Fishing Harbor (南寮舊漁港), Splendor Coast (風情海岸), Green Grass Lake (青草湖) and the Cingcing Grasslands (青青草原). The number of visitors to the harbor from April to August exceeded 2 million, up 50 percent from the same period last year, he said. The city government has worked hard to refurbish tourist spots suffering from a lack of maintenance and added features, Yan said. Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) has been promoting small-scale city tours to attract visitors from other municipalities, the city government said. Over the past three years, the city government has staged art festivals and increased collaboration with local hotel operators to add momentum to the city’s tourism, it said.
BloombergTesla Inc is beefing up its vehicle charging infrastructure in Hong Kong to help lure back customers after an end to the territory’s tax breaks for electric vehicles caused sales to plunge. The two-level, 50-stall destination charging facility in Kowloon Bay can provide full charge to a car battery in a few hours, a company spokeswoman said in Hong Kong. Destination charging facilities are ideal for people working, living or shopping in the area, the spokeswoman said. Tesla already has 92 superchargers at 21 supercharger facilities in Hong Kong. In mainland China, it has more than 1,300 superchargers and 2,000 destination charging facilities in more than 170 cities.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterGovernment-funded influenza vaccinations became available yesterday across the nation. From 2015 to last year, more than 90 percent of people who had serious flu complications and 87 percent of the deaths from serious complications had not gotten vaccinated, Taipei Department of Health Commissioner Huang Shier-chieg (黃世傑) said. Antibodies develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination, so people eligible for the government-funded shots should get one as soon as possible, he added. CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that people with egg allergies can get vaccinated starting this year, as studies suggest that flu vaccines are safe for those with the condition and rarely cause allergic reactions. Huang said that Taipei residents aged 65 to 74 are also eligible for PCV13 shots funded by the city government.
The visit, beginning today, also shows how far US-Vietnamese relations have advanced since the tumultuous years of the Vietnam War. Three months after his visit, a US Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, made a port call at Da Nang. Mattis in June said the placement of these weapons is “tied directly to military use for the purposes of intimidation and coercion.”This time Mattis is visiting Ho Chi Minh City. The last Pentagon chief to visit Ho Chi Minh City was William Cohen in 2000; he was the first US secretary of defense to visit Vietnam since the war. The Mattis trip originally was to include a visit to Beijing, but that stop was canceled amid rising tensions over trade and defense issues.
I even like pubs that don’t serve craft beer — you know, the ones with pool tables and distinctly sticky floors. But for me, drinking comes second to hanging out with friends — something nice to do before a gig or cinema trip. I rarely entertain the idea of having a few at home on a week night — and I’m not alone in my self-restraint. Figures released by the Health Survey for England last week show that in 2015 one in three 16 to 24-year-olds was teetotal, compared with one in five in 2005. Hedonism, once the height of youth culture, has lost its cool factor.
AFP, SEOULThe head of South Korean flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co — whose family have been embroiled in multiple scandals including one involving macadamia nuts — was yesterday indicted on charges of embezzling tens of millions of US dollars and other offenses. Prosecutors charged chairman Cho Yang-ho with embezzling more than 20 billion won (US$18 million) and unfairly awarding contracts to companies controlled by his family members, Yonhap news agency said. Cho is the chairman of Hanjin Group, which includes Korean Air and used to own the now-bankrupt Hanjin Shipping line. The 69-year-old is also accused of taking 152 billion won from the state insurance agency in medical care benefits by illegally running a pharmacy under a borrowed name. His two daughters, who held management positions at Korean Air, previously became viral sensations for temper tantrums dubbed the “nut rage” and “water rage” scandals, forcing Cho to issue a public apology and remove them from their posts.
By Shelley Shan / Staff reporterTaoyuan and Tainan have unveiled plans to construct underground railway lines on the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) system after one officially opened in Kaohsiung on Sunday. The city said an underground railway line would eliminate eight overpasses, eight underground passageways and 20 railway crossings. The Taoyuan Department of Rapid Transit Systems said the underground railway project would include revamping the station facilities at Taoyuan, Neili (內壢) and Jhongli, as well as building four new stations. The Tainan City Government said that construction of an underground railway line in the city would begin by the end of this year or the beginning of next year. According to the Railway Bureau’s plan, construction on the line in Tainan should be completed in 2022 at a cost of NT$29.36 billion (US$948.93 million).
The office unveiled the report at a seminar in Taipei on the trends in the logistics industry in Taiwan and Germany. Representatives and industry experts shared their views on industrial trends, with a focus on business opportunities in Hamburg for Taiwanese logistics companies. That makes Taiwan and Germany natural partners in the logistics industry, and cooperation between the two sides’ logistics companies offers mutual benefits, German Trade Office Taipei executive director Axel Limberg said. “As Germany is leading in logistics performance and Taiwan is looking to modernize its logistics infrastructure, exchange of experience will not only enable bilateral firms to learn from each other, but also strengthen the economic ties between Germany and Taiwan,” Limberg said, adding that Taiwan relies on a well-functioning logistics industry to drive its economy. Taiwanese authorities have been promoting the nation’s logistics industry and have invested in its expansion, modernization and adoption of related infrastructure, the report said.
By Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporterPresident Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday inaugurated the National Biotechnology Research Park in Taipei’s Nangang District (南港), saying its opening marks a giant step in the development of the nation’s biotech industry. The park houses the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Food and Drug Administration, the Ministry of Science and Technology’s National Laboratory Animal Center, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Development Center for Biotechnology, an incubation center, two Academia Sinica research centers and a bioinformatics center. While some of the agencies moved in last year, the park’s inauguration had been put off several times. With Academia Sinica leading the project and a budget of more than NT$20 billion (US$646.4 million), the park was set up on a site that used to house the Ministry of National Defense’s 202nd Arsenal. “Taiwan’s essential competitiveness in the next generation will stem from the biotech and biomedical industries,” Tsai said in her speech at the opening, expressing her hope that the park would be connected with the Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park to form an industrial corridor.