EDITORIAL: US warnings an opportunityA memorandum from US Air Mobility Command Commander General Mike Minihan, leaked on social media on Friday, warns of a US military conflict with China over Taiwan as soon as 2025. Minihan’s comments, which Agence France-Presse said were confirmed by the Pentagon, present an opening for Taipei to press Washington to step up its defense measures. US lawmakers in 2017 proposed such visits in a version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Most notably, then-US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi visited in August last year in defiance of warnings from the Chinese government. On Monday last week, Punchbowl News reported that US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy is planning to visit Taiwan in the coming months, despite renewed warnings from Beijing.
January 31, 2023 04:15 UTC
Pay of top bankers covering Asia cut up to 50 percent after deal droughtBloombergTop bankers in Asia ex-Japan at Wall Street’s biggest firms are experiencing their worst payouts since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago, people familiar with the matter said. Compensation for nonperformers has fallen 60 to 70 percent, with many being left out all together from the bonus pool. Goldman plans to slash 3,200 jobs globally and has already made two rounds of reductions in Asia since September last year, firing mostly China-focused bankers. Managing directors were the hardest hit. Citigroup Inc, for example, is raising compensation for its junior investment bankers by as much as 15 percent.
January 30, 2023 23:33 UTC
Philippines to offer foreign tourists tax refund from 2024Reuter, MANILAPhilippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has approved a value-added tax (VAT) refund program for foreign tourists by next year to attract more visitors, the Presidential Communications Office said yesterday. The plan is to allow foreigners to receive a VAT refund on items they are taking out of the Philippines, similar to what many other countries offer. Marcos is to issue an executive order to implement the tax refund plan. Last year’s total comprised 2.02 million foreign nationals and 628,445 Filipinos based abroad, which compared with only 163,879 tourists recorded in 2021 and was still significantly lower than the pre-pandemic annual level of 8.26 million. The government aims to boost visitor arrivals this year to 4.8 million tourists.
January 29, 2023 23:39 UTC
Brazil open the door to breaking foreign coach tabooAFP, SAO PAULO, BrazilMore than two decades since their last FIFA World Cup triumph, and without a local consensus pick, Brazil are considering breaking an unwritten taboo: hiring a foreign coach. After six years in the job, Tite left the Brazil post last month following the Selecao’s World Cup quarter-final exit against Croatia. Then-Brazil head coach Tite, front right, and Neymar, front left, react during their FIFA World Cup quarter-final match against Croatia in Doha, Qatar, on Dec. 9 last year. Brazil did once have foreign coaches, although their reigns were fleeting. With Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, Tite won the Copa Libertadores, two Brazilian titles and the Club World Cup in a five-year period.
January 29, 2023 11:31 UTC
In addition to a bomb threat received on Friday morning via e-mail, the MRT operator also received an e-mail at about 7am yesterday saying that a mass killing would occur on the transit system. Police have identified a suspect and the public should not be worried, Chiang said. Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an speaks to reporters in Taipei yesterday. The division yesterday said the two e-mails were tracked to the sender’s Internet protocol address, which was routed through an overseas virtual private network. The student had been identified sending six other e-mailed threats to the MRT operator this year, it said.
January 29, 2023 03:55 UTC
New Taipei City brightens Pingsi venues for visitorsBy William Hetherington / Staff writer, with CNAThree areas in New Taipei City’s Pingsi District (平溪) have been brightened by colorful light installations in an effort by the city’s Tourism and Travel Department to draw visitors. Installations at Jingtong Sky Lantern Pavilion, the entrance to Shihfen Scenic Area and at Pingsi Railway Station are worth visiting day or night, the tourism department said on Friday. A woman stands under a light display at the Shihfen Scenic Area in New Taipei City in an undared photograph. Visitors can also travel to the district on route 795 of the Taiwan Tourist Bus Travel Service (台灣好行), it added. In Shihfen, visitors can explore the remnants of structures built when the area was originally settled as a coal mining town.
January 28, 2023 23:41 UTC
Asteroid mining start-up to launch first missionsBy Loren Grush / BloombergAsteroid mining start-up AstroForge Inc is planning to launch its first two missions to space this year as it seeks to extract and refine metals from deep space. The missions are part of AstroForge’s goal of refining platinum-group metals from asteroids, with the aim of bringing down the cost of mining these metals. The company is planning to then launch its second craft, to scout out a previously identified near-Earth asteroid for a future mining mission. AstroForge is not announcing the target, and says it will probably not do so until it is done mining the asteroid. AstroForge’s emergence in the space industry comes a few years after the demise of an asteroid mining boom.
January 28, 2023 22:01 UTC
Real Madrid advance to semisMADRID DERBY: After Atletico’s Stefan Savic was sent off, Karim Benzema tucked home from a Marco Asensio pass and Vinicius Jr netted right at the deathAFP, MADRIDKarim Benzema and Vinicius Jr’s extra-time strikes on Thursday earned Real Madrid a 3-1 win over rivals Atletico Madrid to reach the Copa del Rey semi-finals. Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr, left, scores against Atletico Madrid in their Copa del Rey quarter-final at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on Thursday. Photo: APAtletico took the lead through Alvaro Morata after 19 minutes, but Rodrygo’s sensational slalom run past three defenders and slick finish pulled Real Madrid level with 11 minutes remaining. Real Madrid added another name to a long injury list when Ferland Mendy had to be replaced before halftime, with Eduardo Camavinga slotting in at leftback and Dani Ceballos coming on. Atletico defender Savic foolishly handed Real Madrid the edge when he was sent off for two yellow cards in two minutes.
January 28, 2023 02:26 UTC
Brazil’s Stefani, Matos win mixed doubles titleAP, MELBOURNEBrazilian duo Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos yesterday beat India’s Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 to win the Australian Open mixed doubles title in Mirza’s last match at a Grand Slam tournament before she retires. Mirza, who has won six Grand Slam doubles championships — three in mixed, including the 2009 Australian Open — is to retire next month after a tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Brazil’s Luisa Stefani, left, and Rafael Matos hold the trophy after winning the Australian Open mixed doubles final in Melbourne yesterday. Stefani and Matos are undefeated as a pairing, having won all seven matches together at the United Cup and at Melbourne Park. Now here we are, winning our first Grand Slam together in Australia in this beautiful court ... it’s a dream come true.”
January 27, 2023 22:15 UTC
Ukraine support to be Japan’s priority at the G7: diplomatReuters and AFP, TOKYO and WASHINGTONJapan, this year’s chair of the G7, expects Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to dominate talks among the world’s major advanced economies, Japanese Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs Masato Kanda said. “Sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine will be a top priority at G7 financial leaders’ meetings under Japan’s chair,” said Kanda, who is to oversee G7 deputy-level talks on economic policy this year. Among other issues at the top of the G7 agenda would be global debt problems, he said. A Leopard 2 battle tank throws fog grenades during a drill in Ostenholz, Germany, on Oct. 17 last year. “We shoot and shoot and shoot, but after five minutes another wave of 20 enemies is coming at us.”
January 27, 2023 04:16 UTC
Tsai taps new national security head‘THE MAN FOR THE JOB’: A report said Cheng Wen-tsan would be the deputy of Chen Chien-jen, who was earlier confirmed to be Tsai Ing-wen’s nominee for premierStaff writerPresident Tsai Ing-wen yesterday (蔡英文) appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥) as new National Security Bureau director-general and Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) as Presidential Office secretary-general, ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle. The report came a day after the government confirmed that former vice president Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) was nominated by Tsai Ing-wen to be the new premier. Deputy Foreign Minister Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥) delivers a speech in the European Values Taiwan-Czechia-Ukraine Forum hosted by the Prague-headquartered think tank EVC, in Taipei on Oct. 28 ,2022. The current Cabinet is to resign on Monday, while the new members are to take office on Tuesday, it said. “Chen Chien-jen is the man for the job, and we all have great expectations for him to lead us into the elections.”Additional reporting by CNA and Jason Pan
January 27, 2023 04:16 UTC
Man apologizes for hotel no-showHOT-SPRING RETREAT: A hotel in Japan incurred a loss of about US$1,846 after a Taiwanese man failed to show up for his reservation due to a misunderstood message A Taiwanese man who failed to show up for a hotel reservation in Japan has apologized and offered compensation, the hotel said yesterday. The man, surnamed Lee (李), reserved a room at the Yufuin Tsubaki hot-spring hotel in Oita for the Lunar New Year holiday, but failed to show up on Friday. Lee yesterday called the hotel to apologize and offered to compensate the losses caused by his failure to show up, a hotel employee surnamed Yashiro said. Lee’s wife also called on Sunday to apologize, she said. Lee had booked a two-night stay with upscale seafood and beef meals, the hotel said.
January 26, 2023 18:01 UTC
Theater announces spring rebrandARTISTIC FLAIR: National Taichung Theater aims to revamp its upcoming season with plays, musicals and dances by Taiwanese and international performersStaff writer, with CNANational Taichung Theater (NTT), which opened in 2016, is rebranding its spring season this year in a bid to encourage audiences to explore new and unknown territory in the performing arts, the venue said. The National Taichung Theater is pictured on May 16, 2021. Over the past six spring seasons from 2017 to last year, the Taichung theater programmed the Taiwan International Festival of Arts and co-presented some productions with the National Theater and Concert Hall in Taipei, the statement said. Rodrigues is also scheduled to stage his Dans la mesure de l’impossible, a play based on first-hand stories of humanitarian aid workers, at the National Theater in Taipei. For this theater production, Lepage uses a Japanese ancestral puppetry technique called Bunraku, the theater said.
January 26, 2023 16:04 UTC
Too early to weigh in on Chen Chien-jen, Ko saysTOUGH YEAR AHEAD: As premier, Chen would have to immediately deal with a tax rebate, global economic issues and high tensions with China, a legislator saidBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporter, with CNAIt is uncertain whether Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) would perform well as premier, Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday, as politicians weighed in after the Presidential Office confirmed that the former vice president would succeed Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌). The report came after Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Thursday last week announced that he and his Cabinet had submitted their resignation to Tsai. Photo: CNANoting that Chen’s nomination must be approved by the legislature, Ko said that Chen has a good relationship with people and is polite. Regarding whether Chen would do a better job than Su as premier, Ko said that whether Chen can do the job well is yet to be seen, and it is too early to evaluate him. He also said that he hopes Chen could appoint his Cabinet heads according to their expertise and based on the principle of meritocracy.
January 26, 2023 06:08 UTC
War with China not an option, Tsai tells pope‘PATIENCE’: Continued dialogue with Beijing is the guiding principle to his efforts to safeguard the church’s followers in China, Pope Francis saidBloomberg and APPresident Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told Pope Francis that war with China was “not an option,” reaffirming her desire to avoid a conflict that could drag in the US. In the letter, which was released on Monday, Tsai expressed her support for the Vatican’s positions on Russia’s war against Ukraine and restated her stance on maintaining stability across the Taiwan Strait. Pope Francis holds a child during the weekly general audience at the Vatican yesterday. Photo: Vatican Media / Reuters“Preserving regional security has become a key consensus shared by national leaders,” Tsai wrote. The pope sidestepped a question about how the Vatican’s relationship with Taiwan affects the dialogue.
January 26, 2023 05:44 UTC