AFP, SingaporeSingapore yesterday ordered the Facebook page of an anti-government Web site to warn readers it regularly posts falsehoods, the first time authorities have taken such action under a tough law against misinformation. This means it is required to carry a notice warning readers that it “has a history of communicating falsehoods,” the statement said. In the past weeks, its Facebook page also spread falsehoods about COVID-19 in Singapore, it said. The Web site is run by Alex Tan, who says he is an Australian citizen based overseas. Singapore’s government, which regularly faces criticism for curbing civil liberties, insists the legislation is necessary to stop the spread of damaging falsehoods online.
The optimism outweighed Goldman Sachs Group Inc slashing its crude demand growth forecast for this year almost in half and lowering its first-quarter oil price estimate by 16 percent. “There’s no doubt this rally will inspire more confidence for oil markets,” KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc analyst Leo Mariani said. The past two weeks have been rife with uncertainty for oil markets as Riyadh’s push for an early meeting this month and fresh production cuts face an impasse with Russia. The outbreak has intensified concerns about crude demand, prompting technical experts from the coalition to propose deepening supply cuts by 600,000 barrels per day to relieve excess inventories. Gold rose US$7.60 to US$1,582.70 per ounce and silver rose US$0.12 to US$17.72 per ounce, while copper fell US$0.01 to US$2.61 per pound.
It would not normally raise production to meet short-term demand, but the masks are easy to produce and only NT$3 apiece, he said. People only have a few options when buying a mask — such as surgical masks, dust masks, industrial masks and respirators — but masks are likely to become more comfortable, closer fitting and more effective, Hsu added. Companies such as Motex keep production local, because they recognize the importance of having a local source for something as important as masks, he said. Hsu praised the government’s vigorous response to COVID-19, saying that NT$200 million (US$6.7 million) was invested into mask production, administrative procedures were expedited and military personnel were offered as additional labor for mask production. “The government is also working with manufacturers to ensure an uninterrupted supply of non-woven fabric,” he said.
“Taiwan is no longer livable,” he wrote to his son Lien Chen-tung (連震東), who was already working in China. Lien Heng moved to Shanghai and died there three years later. Lien Chen-tung’s son, Lien Chan (連戰), was also a prominent KMT member, serving as vice-president from 1996 to 2000. Although it has been criticized for its biases, factual errors and questionable references, Lien Heng’s General History of Taiwan is considered the first comprehensive publication on the nation’s past. That same year, he drafted an outline of what would be his most famous work, The General History of Taiwan.
The TAIEX on Friday closed up 23.92 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,815.70, after moving between 11,788.87 and 11,840.79. As buying on the local main board accelerated, the TAIEX edged past 11,800 points, reaching close to 11,900 at one point, they said. Driven by ample liquidity, the uptrend continued until profit-taking emerged, which offset the gains to some extent by the end of the session, they added. Although the gains of some tech heavyweights such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) petered out, interest in certain electronic component stocks remained solid, helping the tech sector steam ahead, Huang said. Among the the large tech stocks that failed to sustain their earlier gains, TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, closed unchanged at NT$335 after hitting a high of NT$337.
The National Theater Concert Hall (NTCH) yesterday morning announced that two dance troupes, Michael Keegan-Dolan’s Teac Damsa from Ireland and the London-based Candoco Dance Company, had been unable to obtain the necessary overseas performance insurance to cover their trips to Taipei. Given concerns that sharing food has a high risk of viral transmission, organizers decided to postponed the production until the fall. It lost the Hong Kong show when the entire month-long Hong International Art Festival was scrapped on Feb. 10 due to the COVID-19 outbreak in China, with the territory’s government postponing most of its large performance venues. The NTCH and Weiwuying said that tickets for the canceled shows are refundable. Information on the resumption of shows will be posted on its Web site and Facebook page, it said.
An independence advocate was found guilty on Feb. 7 of inciting others to burn the national flag, in a ruling that overturned a previous acquittal. The issue of an individual’s right to “insult” national symbols has drawn attention in the sports world. Since August 2016, some NFL players have knelt during the US national anthem out of protest against police violence toward African-Americans. There is no definitive answer as to whether people should be allowed to desecrate national symbols, but not everyone adheres to the same imagined communities or same values espoused by those communities. If citizens are prohibited from protesting a nation through destroying its symbols, it risks opening the floodgates for further suppression of free expression.
Taichung Prefectural Hall was one of five major prefectural halls constructed during the Japanese colonial era. Turning over the building to the central government without any compensation is unacceptable, Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) said, adding that such a decision belittled the hall. The city government had received multiple complaints regarding the decision, which was made under former Taichung mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), Lu said. Lin had previously signed an agreement with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs to turn over the hall and “upgrade” it to a national-level museum. By maintaining the hall’s historic status, the municipality hopes to draw more tourists to West Central District (中西), Lu said.
By Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporterA joint letter by the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan and foreign groups is calling on the WHO and other global bodies to close wildlife markets to reduce human and animal health risks, citing the COVID-19 outbreak in China as an example. Wildlife markets have also been associated with other epidemics, such as the global outbreaks of SARS in 2002 and 2003, and Ebola epidemics in Africa in recent years, it said. While China has announced a temporary ban on wildlife trade and wildlife markets across the country, the measures should be made permanent, it added. Stopping wildlife trade also safeguards biodiversity, as 1 million animal and plant species are on the verge of extinction, the letter said. Wildlife sales in Taiwan have declined significantly since a 1994 amendment to the Wildlife Conservation Act (野生動物保育法) banned the trade of protected wildlife, but some eateries still sell wildlife, such as the Formosan Reeves’ muntjac and civets, Lin said.
Ngwenya’s farm — in Ntabazinduna, 40km north of Bulawayo — is so remote that he can go a year or more without seeing the agriculture extension officers who are sent by local charities to assist small-scale farmers like him. Many still rely on traditional weather-predicting systems and occasional visits by on-the-ground extension officers to get crucial information and advice. However, using satellite data, groups like TMG can access weather information that is more accurate than the general forecasts supplied by the meteorological department, said Lwazi Mlilo, an agronomist working with TMG. With mobile phone technology, they can get that information to farmers faster than they would by sending people out to hard-to-reach farms, he added. Last year, the UN agency said that satellite data had the potential to help Africa’s farmers “be better prepared for drought and increase agricultural production with less water use.”
To be sure, saving the English realm is all the Brexiteers ever cared about, but what sort of realm has a prime minister who lies to its queen, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson did when he suspended the British Parliament last year? However, if he were around today, De Gaulle would point out that Johnson’s Britain has neither Europe nor the open sea. Still, it is painfully clear that Brexit is a defeat for the idea of Europe — that metaphysical chimera, that geopolitical Harlequin’s coat of many colors. Without the UK, Europe will become more stifling. It will have the ruins of Rome, the splendor of Athens and the ghost of Bohemian novelist Franz Kafka.
“It is not that they did not choose Taiwan; it is that even if they had chosen, they must wait a long time,” Ma said. “We cannot just let children who have lived in Taiwan for so many years roam the streets,” he added. “Let them come home and be united with their families, President Tsai. Chinese children of Taiwanese and Chinese couples who hold residence or visitor permits, but not ROC passports, would not be allowed into the country, he said. While such children have equal rights to healthcare in Taiwan, priority must be given to ROC citizens in the face of a fast-spreading epidemic, he said.
Developers have been selling US dollar bonds, despite property sales having come to a halt due to the shutdown of large parts of China’s economy as a result of the outbreak. Unigroup also faces as much as 8.3 billion yuan (US$1.19 billion) in domestic bond redemptions next month. The company suffered a net loss of 3.2 billion yuan for the first half of last year. It had 165.6 billion yuan in interest-bearing liabilities as of the end of June last year, according to its half-year financial report. The group and its subsidiaries also have a combined 54.6 billion yuan of onshore and offshore bonds outstanding, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
By Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporterThe Philippine government yesterday decided to remove Taiwan from a temporary travel ban, its second reversal this month amid an outbreak of COVID-19 in China and the shadow of Beijing’s influence. The task force would also evaluate lifting the travel ban on Macau, he said, adding that any resolution of travel restrictions in connection with COVID-19 would be regularly reviewed. Manila on Monday added Taiwan to the travel ban, which originally only targeted travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau when it was announced on Feb. 2, citing its “one China” policy. Later yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed Manila’s decision, thanking those who had contributed to the positive development. From January to November last year, 455,776 Philippine tourists visited Taiwan, up from 419,105 in 2018, Tourism Bureau data showed.
Staff writer, with CNAAn 85-year-old Taiwanese passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise liner, which is quarantined off the Japanese city of Yokohama, was yesterday admitted to a hospital in Japan after testing positive for COVID-19, his son said. His pleas for help were answered, the son said, thanking those who assisted in obtaining medical care for his father. The son said that on Monday, he had also contacted Taiwanese representatives in Japan to tell them about his father. However, on Feb. 2, an 80-year-old passenger, who had disembarked in Hong Kong, was confirmed to have the coronavirus, and the cruise liner returned to Yokohama one day ahead of schedule. “It’s not our choice to be confined to a cabin and quarantined in a way that could make us sick,” he said.