By Steven Crook / Contributing reporterWhat are the three most visited places of worship in Changhua County’s Lukang (鹿港)? That’s easy: The exquisite Longshan Temple (龍山寺), the delightfully timeworn Tianhou Temple (天后宮) and the 21st century, made-of-glass Husheng Temple (護聖宮). It’s harder to say which of Lukang’s many religious sites is the most intriguing. The ancestors of Ding Shouquan (丁壽泉), the imperial examination degree holder and senior official, who in 1893 commissioned the construction of Lukang Ding Mansion (鹿港丁家古厝), were undoubtedly Muslims. Beitou Kuocuo Baoan Temple (北頭郭厝保安宮), rebuilt most recently in 1991, is on the corner of Yongfeng Road (永豐路) and Siwei Road (四維路), less than 300m north of Tianhou Temple.
Marriott was strongly criticized by Chinese authorities in January for listing Taiwan — along with Tibet and Hong Kong — as separate countries on its Web sites. “We are sternly protesting against Marriott International unilaterally listing our hotel as ‘Taiwan, China’” on the simplified Chinese version of a booking Web site for members, the ad read, adding that the firm would “dissolve” its contract. The traditional Chinese option on the Web site still lists the nation as “Taiwan.”Four Points by Sheraton business hotel brand, under the Starwood brand, was bought by Marriott in 2016. Lily Cheng (程麗莉), a spokeswoman for the Zhonghe hotel, told Agence France Presse that its name would be changed and it would no longer take reservations from Marriott’s booking system. The Linkou hotel, a joint venture between Marriott International and Taipei-based YeaShin International Development Co (亞昕國際開發), had its soft opening on July 30.
AFP, TAIPEIIsaac Hou (胡啟志) is one of Taipei’s best-known street artists, famous for his mesmerizing acrobatics using a giant spinning hoop. The 37-year-old Taiwanese-American is a master of the metal Cyr wheel, whirling himself around while stretched out inside the ring. Hou, who also practices the Brazilian dance-like martial art capoeira, as well as ballet, jazz and tango to balance his body, said he finds street performing liberating. He turned to the Cyr wheel as an alternative to torch juggling, which he had started to do for a living. However, the freedom he finds as a street artist also has its complications.
It referred another group of 246 plaintiffs to the Taiwan High Court for a retrial. After the ruling, the RCA Self-Help Association, which is made up of former RCA employees and deceased workers’ family members, vowed to keep fighting, saying that they would not compromise on their demands. According to information from the association, more than 1,300 former RCA employees have been diagnosed with cancer, while 221 of them have died from cancer and related illnesses. RCA opened its Taoyuan factory in 1970, under its subsidiary RCA Taiwan Ltd. Environmental groups and labor activists have described the contamination at the RCA factory as the worst industrial disaster in Taiwan’s history.
By Shelley Shan / Staff reporterA music video introducing Taiwan as a travel destination to Japanese tourists had gone viral as of yesterday morning, accumulating more than 50,000 Facebook views since it was released on Saturday last week. The video, titled Let’s Meet In Taiwan (我們在台灣見吧), was produced by Taiwanese musician Sandy Huang (黃小玫). On Facebook, Huang said that she composed a rap song and produced a video for it because her Japanese friends have often asked her about which places they should visit in Taiwan. As of press time last night, the video had about 56,000 views and had been shared more than 1,000 times. In the video, Huang also warns Japanese tourists to use traffic signals only as a reference and watch out for cars and motorcycles when crossing the street.
By Sherry Hsiao / Staff writer, with CNAThe Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday warned Taiwanese living in China of a potential risk of government surveillance, after Beijing announced that it would allow people from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau to apply for residence permits starting on Sept. 1. The residence permit would be used to prove the identities of Taiwanese, Hong Kongers and Macanese in China, Long said. The council would look into the difference between the temporary residence permit and the residence permit, as well as whether there is a substantial difference between obtaining the residence permit and registering a household in China after the details of the regulations are announced, Chiu said. Through the surveillance system, Beijing might already possess the facial recognition records of more than 1 billion people, he added. Taiwanese who wish to work or study in China should beware of the potential risks involved with obtaining a residence permit, he said.
However, the office’s performance report showed that although Taoyuan International Airport Corp has greatly increased its investment in infrastructure and expanded the areas for security processing and immigration, the airport still failed to meet five of its own key performance indicators. By contrast, Singapore’s Changi Airport and Hong Kong International Airport achieved 90 percent of their goals in every category. International travelers only spent 8 minutes and 15 minutes at passport control in Changi Airport and Hong Kong International Airport, respectively. 1 in airport immigration and No. 4 in airport security processing in Skytrax’s annual global airport customer satisfaction survey this year, the company said.
Staff writer, with CNAPresident Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday held talks with Honduran Vice President Olga Alvarado, in which Tsai promised to further promote agricultural cooperation between the two nations. Tsai spoke with Alvarado for nearly an hour after attending the inauguration of Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez earlier in the day. They focused their talks on agricultural cooperation, with coffee and avocados high on their agenda, said National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥), who also attended the meeting. The president told Alvarado that Taiwan would assist Honduras in further developing its avocado cultivation and distribution methods, from production to marketing, Tsai Ming-yen said. During a meeting between Abdo Benitez and Tsai Ing-wen, the Paraguayan leader expressed gratitude toward his counterpart’s participation in his inauguration ceremony, Lee added.
By Lisa Wang / Staff reporterDRAM prices could start to dip next quarter as supply outgrows demand, ending nine straight quarters of growth, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) forecast yesterday. Average DRAM prices will see a slight decline between 1 and 3 percent next quarter from this quarter, with PC DRAM chips, which account for 15 percent of overall DRAM consumption, falling as much as 4 percent due to inventory buildup among PC vendors, TrendForce said. “PC DRAM chips usually serve as an indicator for other types of DRAM chips, as they are highly sensitive to supply-demand dynamics,” TrendForce said. Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) has said that it plans to ship a small volume of DRAM chips for server use by the end of this year. High set-top box inventories could pile more pressure on prices for specialty DRAM chips, it said.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterTaipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday questioned why opinion polls are asking questions about support for him in the 2020 presidential election when he has never voiced a desire to run for the job. After attending a handover ceremony for municipal school principals, Ko was asked by reporters about an opinion poll released on Tuesday that found nearly 40 percent of respondents supported Ko in running for presidency in 2020. “This is interesting. I have never said I am going to run for president, so why are you asking that in the opinion poll?” Ko said. “It is interesting that the lowest support rate nationwide I get is in Taipei,” Ko said.
Beijing also “pressured the World Peace Choral Festival to ban a Taiwanese choir from singing at the UN headquarters” on Saturday, it said. China’s actions elicited strong protest from Taiwan and drew the attention of the international press, NHK reported. The decision to revoke Taichung’s right to host the Games runs counter to the spirit of the Olympic Games, Lin said in a letter to the committee. The committee also failed to cite any contractual contravention by the city and provided no rationale for its decision, Lin wrote. Article 24 of the host city contract stipulates that disputes should be solved amicably through negotiations, the paper quoted Lin as saying.
By Su Fang-ho and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writerA preview of the regulations to implement the Patient Right to Autonomy Act (病人自主權利法) is to be published by end of this month, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said yesterday. Touted as the first of its kind in Asia, the legislation grants terminally ill people and some other patients the right to refuse life-sustaining treatment. Conflicts between patients and medical professionals over the extent of patient autonomy could become an issue and the government has to implement the act with care, she said. The ministry also expects to complete the draft regulations for implementing the law and publish them before the end of the month, she said. In the draft regulations, medical institutions are responsible for giving advice regarding living medical wills, the cost of which is mostly not covered by the national health insurance, which could impede the law’s implementation, Yeh said.
AP, MEXICO CITYAeromexico plane crashes; all 103 aboard surviveAn Aeromexico jetliner taking off in a blustery storm smashed down into a nearby field, but skidded to a stop virtually intact, and all 103 people aboard were able to escape advancing flames before fire engulfed the aircraft. “It was really, really ugly,” said Lorenzo Nunez, a passenger from Chicago who fled the plane with his two sons and wife. Survivors said the Embraer 190 plane burst into flames right after it hit the ground. Romulo Campuzano, head of a political party in Durango State who was on the plane, told Foro TV that both wings were on fire as he bolted from the aircraft. Strong wind and heavy rain with marble-sized hail lashed Durango City, even damaging hangars at the airport.
By Yang Chun-hui and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is seeking applicants for its Legislative Yuan internship program, Deputy Secretary General Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said yesterday. The three-year-old program aims to provide political experience for those who might want to become politicians. The goal is to prepare the interns before and after they start their internships, Ho said. For those interested in devoting themselves to public affairs, the internship would allow them to learn more about the work, Hsu added. Former program participants who returned to their studies after their internships have said they were still interested in entering politics, Hsu added.
However, criticizing companies for capitulating to China’s demands is not the solution, as companies must answer to their shareholders, Mazza said, adding that governments must do more. China is seeking to “compel speech” in democracies around the world and there is already evidence of individuals and corporations self-censoring to stay on Beijing’s good side, Mazza said. “Beijing seeks to shape a world that is safe for the Chinese Communist Party. Weakening foreign democracies is, perhaps, the best way to do so,” he said. Beijing has proven that it can censor speech in the US without incurring any real cost, he said.