Fri, Jul 03, 2020
The government should consider rebalancing its COVID-19 prevention efforts with its economic interests as prolonged isolation from the international community could contribute to Taiwan being “mainlandized” by China, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) consultants said at a recent meeting. The council yesterday revealed the key remarks of the consultants, who were asked to comment on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on China and cross-strait relations. Taiwan’s success in disease prevention has been hailed worldwide, but the government should consider a reasonable relaxation of restrictions, one academic said, adding that overly severe border controls cannot be sustained over a long period. The consultants said that the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) should consider balancing pandemic prevention with economic development and that the general economy should be a factor when assessing the risks of a further rolling back of the regulations. Taiwanese students and businesspeople are not barred from entering China, but Chinese students are barred from entering Taiwan, the academic said. Another consultant said that Taiwan could consider holding videoconferences with Chinese doctors to exchange opinions on COVID-19 and vaccine developments. However, some experts cautioned against adopting the idea, saying that it could lead to Chinese-made vaccines being imported to Taiwan. The government should hold Chinese products to the strictest standard, they added. The MAC said that it would consider a gradual rolling back of regulations depending on the local virus situation, adding that it has made contingency plans for possible scenarios resulting from relaxed regulations. It said it has initiated a cross-agency discussion on the issue and that further information would be provided should a decision be reached. Regarding calls to screen the public for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the CECC on Wednesday said that it would consider a general screening if scientific research recommends it or a new high-risk group is discovered. A general screening in
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in US supply chains,” said Brenda Smith, executive assistant commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade. This is the second time this year that CBP has slapped one of its rare detention orders on shipments of hair weaves from China, based on suspicions that people making them face human rights abuses. The orders are used to hold shipping containers at US ports of entry until the agency can investigate claims of wrongdoing. Uighur American advocate Rushan Abbas, whose sister, a physician, went missing in China almost two years ago and is believed to be locked in a detention camp, said women who use hair weaves should think about who might be making them. “This is so heartbreaking for us,” she said. “I want people to think about the slavery people are experiencing today. My sister is sitting somewhere being forced to make what, hair pieces?” Wednesday’s shipment was made by Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co. In May, a similar detention was placed on Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Co, although those weaves were synthetic, not human, the agency said. Hetian Haolin’s products were imported by Os Hair in Duluth, Georgia, and I & I Hair, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. I & I’s weaves are
Taiwanese should avoid unnecessary visits to or transit through Hong Kong, Macau or China after the passing of “outrageous” national security legislation for the former British colony, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said yesterday. Speaking to reporters in Taipei, Chiu said the legislation was “the most outrageous in history” with a reach that extended everywhere. However, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Hong Kong would continue to operate, he said. “We would not take the initiative to withdraw it, unless there are external factors,” he said. “We would stay until the last minute.” In related news, the Chinese government and pro-Beijing activists in Hong Kong condemned what they called foreign meddling in the territory’s affairs, as more countries moved to offer Hong Kongers refuge and impose sanctions on Beijing over the new legislation. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) said no amount of pressure from external forces could “shake China’s determination and will to safeguard national sovereignty and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.” He urged the US to stop interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs, and not sign a sanction bill into law, referring to the US House of Representatives approval on Wednesday of a bill rebuking China over its crackdown in the territory. If the bill becomes law, “China will definitely take strong countermeasures, and all consequences will be borne by the US side,” he said. The Chinese embassy in London said that Britain’s offer to extend residency rights to up to 3 million Hong Kongers eligible for British National Overseas passports would be in breach of “international law and basic norms governing international relations.” “We firmly oppose this and reserve the right to take corresponding measures,” it said in a statement, without elaborating. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday said his government is also considering a move
The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed the third reading of a bill to convert Taiwan’s 17 irrigation associations into a government body, despite strong opposition from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and some farmers. There are 17 irrigation associations nationwide and one joint association in Taichung, a Council of Agriculture Web site showed. When the legislature passed amendments to the Act of Irrigation Association Organization (農田水利會組織通則) in 2018 requiring the entities to be legally defined as public juridical persons, the government was already seeking “illegitimate ways” to “infringe upon assets belonging to irrigation associations,” KMT Legislator Kung Wen-chi (孔文吉) said. The amendments also stated that the head of each association should be appointed by the government, starting in October. The government has passed the draft in a bid to nationalize the associations’ assets, which are valued at about NT$75.6 billion (US$2.56 billion), Kung said, adding that the assets belong to the associations’ members and should not be taken by the nation. KMT Legislator Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said that during Japanese colonial rule, Taiwanese began to think of agricultural irrigation infrastructure as public constructions, giving rise to the irrigation associations, which have been operating on their own terms for more than 100 years. However, the Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) has resorted to a “tyranny of the majority” to forcibly pass the bill so that it can “seize associations’ assets under the guise of upgrading them to government bodies,” Lin said. The KMT would not allow the DPP to take advantage of its parliamentary majority and act in such a wanton way, Lin said, adding that the KMT vows to demand a constitutional interpretation on the issue. DPP caucus secretary-general Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) said that if irrigation associations are non-governmental entities, they cannot enforce the law or crack down on people involved in illegal activity related to agricultural irrigation and
Taiwanese fishers’ operations in the East China Sea are still protected under a Taiwan-Japan agreement and remain the same, despite an administrative name change to some islands, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association’s office in Taipei said yesterday. The Ishigaki Municipal Assembly on Monday last week passed a bill to change the administrative name of the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) — known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan — from “Tonoshiro” to “Tonoshiro Senkaku.” The islands are a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea claimed by Taiwan, Japan and China. The rights of Taiwanese fishers are not affected by the Ishigaki council’s name change, association’s spokeswoman Takano Hanae said, describing media reports that their fishing rights have been affected as misleading. Taiwanese vessels are still entitled to the fishing rights in waters listed in the 2013 Taiwan-Japan Fisheries Agreement, Hanae said, adding that Japan does not want to make any unilateral changes to the “status quo.” The association hopes to continue deepening Japan-Taiwan cooperation based on the existing platforms, Hanae said, as Taiwan is an important friend of Japan. In related news, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) yesterday morning canceled a planned afternoon visit to Yilan County to support efforts to reassert Taiwan’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutais, citing a conflict of schedule.
NOT GIVING UP: Thousands of people took to the streets in an anti-government protest yesterday — the 23rd anniversary of Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China Hong Kong police yesterday made their first arrests under a new national security legislation imposed a day earlier by China’s central government, detaining at least seven people suspected of breaching it during protests by thousands of people. One man with a Hong Kong independence flag was arrested at a protest in the territory’s Causeway Bay shopping district, police said. Police arrested another woman for holding up a sign displaying the British flag and calling for Hong Kong’s independence. Three other women were detained for possessing items advocating independence. Further details were not immediately available. Hong Kong police wrote on Facebook that they arrested more than 180 people on various charges, including unlawful assembly, possession of weapons and breaching the national security legislation. The arrests came as thousands of people took to the streets in an anti-government protest on the 23rd anniversary of Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997. For the first time, police banned this year’s annual march. Protesters shouted slogans, lambasted police, and held up signs condemning the Chinese government and the new security legislation. The legislation, imposed by China after pro-democracy protests in the territory last year, makes secessionist, subversive or terrorist activities illegal, as well as foreign intervention in the territory’s internal affairs. Any person taking part in secessionist activities, such as shouting slogans or holding up banners and flags calling for the territory’s independence, is contravening the legislation, regardless of whether violence is used. The most serious offenders, such as those deemed to be the masterminds behind the crimes, could receive a maximum punishment of life in prison. Lesser offenders could receive jail terms of up to three years, short-term detention or restrictions. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) endorsed the new legislation in a speech marking the handover of the territory — officially called the Hong
The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office yesterday officially began operations, marking a milestone in the government’s support for Hong Kongers in their pursuit for democracy and freedom, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said. Chen and Katherine Chang (張小月), chairwoman of the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Cooperation Council, which oversees the office, yesterday unveiled the new unit’s plaque at a ceremony in Taipei. The office is tasked with helping Hong Kongers who plan to study, work, invest, start a business or settle in Taiwan. It would also aid Hong Kongers whose security and freedom are at risk due to political factors on a case-by-case basis, as stipulated in Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例). Tu Chia-fang (杜嘉芬), a former director of the council’s Department of Hong Kong, Macao, Inner Mongolia and Tibet Affairs, is the new office’s director, while Yu Pi-ru (游璧如), a former senior specialist at the department, is the deputy director. The office has a staff of 20 and is equipped with 20 telephone lines that offer services in Cantonese. The lines were mostly busy yesterday. The office’s name plaque uses a font often seen on Hong Kong’s shop signs, showing the government’s expectation of fostering positive interactions with Hong Kongers, Chen said during the ceremony. Asked about the national security legislation that China imposed on the territory on Tuesday, Chen said that Article 38 would not just affect Hong Kongers, but people worldwide, including Taiwanese. The legislation would apply to people without permanent residency in Hong Kong if they are found to have committed crimes defined in the act outside Hong Kong, the article states. Article 29 of the legislation states that people who encourage Hong Kong residents’ hatred for the central government or the Hong Kong government would face a series of outcomes, including
COVID-19: The patient is a man in his 50s who had been working in Mexico. People on the same flight are either self-isolating at home or practicing self-health management The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced one new confirmed case of COVID-19, a man in his 50s who returned from Mexico the previous day, while identifying 23 people who have had close contact with the person. The man said he had been working in Mexico since early February, and between June 17 and Monday last week, he had migraine, coughing, weakness in the limbs and a fever, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) told a news briefing in Taipei. While the man had visited local medical facilities in Mexico, he had not been tested for COVID-19, Lo said. The man said that he had felt better after seeking treatment, Lo added. When the man arrived in Taiwan, he told immigration officials that he had been unwell over the past 14 days, Lo said. He was placed in isolation after having samples taken, Lo said. He had contact with 23 people, 11 of whom have been placed in home isolation, Lo said. The 11 are a colleague of the patient and 10 passengers on the same flight, Lo said, adding that one other passenger had left the country and did not enter Taiwan. The 11 crewmembers had adopted proper protective measures onboard and only need practice self-health management, he added. As of yesterday, the nation had 448 confirmed cases, with seven deaths. They include 357 imported cases, 55 local infections and 36 cases reported from the navy’s supply ship Panshih (磐石), with only 10 remaining in quarantine, CECC data showed. The CECC yesterday also amended a regulation requiring foreign visitors to present a medical report that says they are Sars-CoV-2 negative. Since Monday, foreigners can apply to visit Taiwan for reasons other than tourism and regular social visits, but have to undergo 14 days of home quarantine when they
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,” said Hsiao Chun-wei, 38, who brought her young son. The passengers received boarding passes, and proceeded through security and immigration before boarding a China Airlines Airbus A330, where flight attendants chatted to them. “I hope the epidemic ends soon so we can really fly away,” a 48-year-old woman surnamed Tsai said. The airport is using the event to show off renovations completed while passengers have stayed away and show people what COVID-19-prevention measures they are taking. The airport usually offers flights to Tokyo, Seoul and several Chinese cities, and is also an important domestic hub. With fewer flights operating, passenger numbers have plummeted 64 percent in the first five months of this year compared with the same period last year, official data showed. Still, in one bright spot, domestic travel is booming. The two main domestic carriers — China Airlines unit Mandarin Airlines and EVA Airway’s Uni Air — have added extra capacity over the summer on routes to outlying islands and the east coast.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines yesterday suspended consular services until further notice after a receptionist who works in same building was confirmed to have COVID-19. TECO, the de facto Taiwanese embassy in the Philippines, made the announcement in an advisory posted on its Web site on Wednesday. TECO was to honor appointments scheduled for yesterday and today, the advisory said. A receptionist at the RCBC Plaza Tower 1 in Metro Manila, which houses the office, was on Monday confirmed as infected with the novel coronavirus, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing in Taipei yesterday. As TECO has two receptionists at a shared counter on the tower’s ground floor, the office has instructed them, along with local staff in the visa section who have regular contact with them, to isolate at home for 14 days beginning yesterday, Ou said. “At the moment, no TECO personnel or Taiwanese official assigned to the office have been diagnosed with COVID-19. They remain healthy,” she said. As of 4pm yesterday, the Philippines had reported 38,805 cases of COVID-19, with 1,274 deaths, while 10,673 people have recovered, Philippine Department of Health data showed. Meanwhile, the ministry said that a Taiwan embassy employee in Honduras who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in May has recovered. “The embassy staffer twice tested negative for the virus on June 22 and 25. The individual was then assigned to an embassy team that works from home,” Ou said.
The government is allocating more than NT$13 billion (US$439.4 million) to bail out tourism companies that continue to struggle despite strong promotional measures for domestic tours, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday. Life Travel and Tourist Service Co, after operating for more than 30 years, on Wednesday said that it had to lay off 100 employees after its business declined by 90 percent in May because of the restrictions on international travel, a key revenue driver. Asked if the travel agency’s downward trend was a bellwether for the travel industry in the months to come, Lin told reporters that the Executive Yuan is compiling a budget plan for a third relief fund package, which would be used to bail out businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan is scheduled to be reviewed by the Legislative Yuan during its extraordinary session, Lin said, adding that the government is hoping that it would be passed before the end of this month. The funds to be allocated to travel agencies, hotels, tour service operators and businesses at international airports would partially cover the salaries of their employees from this month to September, Lin said. “The first and second relief fund packages have proven effective in preventing many businesses from going bankrupt or laying off workers,” Lin said. “However, as the nation still restricts the entry of international tourists and limits local residents from traveling overseas to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, we hope that the third relief package can subsidize the payment of salaries to workers in businesses affected by the pandemic,” he said. Workers are an important asset in the tourism industry, he added. Several travel agencies have succeeded in changing their business models from international tourism services to organizing tours for domestic travelers, but other agencies are still having
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urged people to use tampons according to the instructions printed on their packaging and never use a tampon for more than eight consecutive hours. Tampons, usually made of cotton and synthetic fibers, are classified as a class II medical device that can only be sold in pharmacies, the FDA said on Sunday, adding that pharmacies since 2014 can sell tampons online or by mail order. People should choose a tampon based on absorbency to suit their individual needs, wash their hands before using it and carefully read the instructions for each brand to ensure safe usage, the FDA said. Moreover, they should change their tampon every four to eight hours, never wear a tampon for more than eight hours and immediately change a tampon after swimming or bathing, it said. The agency added that a properly inserted tampon should not be noticeable. Incorrect usage could lead to increased risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare, but life-threatening, complication caused by certain types of bacterial infections, it said. Incorrect usage includes not washing hands before changing or inserting the device, using tampons that are more absorbent than needed or wearing one for longer than is recommended, the FDA said. Symptoms of TSS include a sudden fever, rashes, fatigue, fainting or dizziness, it said. If a person feels discomfort or unusual symptoms while using a tampon, they should remove it and seek medical attention immediately, the FDA added. People should remember three steps when purchasing medical devices: identify the product as a medical device; check the package label for the medical device license number, trade name, manufacturer’s address, product name and manufacturing date; and carefully read the instructions, the FDA said.
BOOST FOR 5G: In related news, Premier Su Tseng-chang said the introduction of 5G networking and the adoption of artificial intelligence systems should be accelerated Maximum spending on the second phase of the Cabinet’s Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program was set at NT$510 billion (US$17.24 billion) after the Legislative Yuan yesterday approved a funds ceiling, which was bolstered by NT$90 billion left over from the first phase. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said at the Executive Yuan in Taipei that ministries should comply with requests from the National Development Council (NDC), the Directorate-General of Budgeting, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) and others to complete a detailed financial plan by the middle of this month. The program, initiated on July 7, 2017, is to facilitate infrastructure for transportation, hydraulic engineering, green energy, smart technology, balancing advancements in urban and rural areas, as well as improved facilities for raising children, food safety and fostering talent, the NDC Web site says. Ministries should be careful about budget allocations, and improve collaboration and mutual understanding, Su said. The first phase of the project was given NT$420 billion from September 2017 to August next year, but NT$90 billion is yet to be allocated. According to the Special Act on the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program (前瞻基礎建設特別條例), funding for the second phase should only be allotted after a legislative review, and should not exceed the ceiling or scale of the first phase. In related news, Su said that he instructed the Ministry of Economic Affairs to accelerate the introduction of 5G networking and adoption of artificial intelligence systems. The ministry briefed Su on its plans to make Taiwan a hub for advanced manufacturing and semiconductor engineering. Service providers this week announced the commencement of 5G services in Taiwan. If the nation becomes self-sufficient in semiconductor production, and research and development of related technology, it could become a major link in the global supply chain, which would increase incentives for foreign investment and bolster firms’ competitiveness, Su said. The local semiconductor industry should seek to be
TAIWAN TRIP? The former US national security adviser said that he looked forward to another visit and that a Chinese-language edition of his book was an interesting idea Regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November, Taiwan needs to continue working with members of the US Congress, former White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday. In an interview with the Central News Agency, Bolton was asked whose election would be more advantageous for Taiwan, after his comments to the media that he would not be voting for US President Donald Trump or former US vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate. There is a “rethinking going on across the board” with regard to US policy toward China, as the long-held assumption that a wealthier China would become more democratic and responsible internationally has turned out to be wrong, Bolton said. “So it’s possible that the Democratic Party will actually be tougher on China,” Bolton said. “I think that’s important for Taiwan. Hard to say what Trump is going to do once he doesn’t have to be re-elected anymore,” he said. “From the Taiwanese perspective, I think what that means is, you have to continue the long-standing strategy of working with members of Congress in both the Democratic and Republican parties, where support for Taiwan remains very, very strong,” he said. “That’s the only realistic way to approach the [US] election, whoever wins.” Taiwan needs to continue its diplomatic efforts around the world to show the contribution that it makes economically and politically, he said. Bolton, who has published a memoir titled The Room Where It Happened, had planned to visit Taiwan earlier this year, but had to cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that he looks forward to visiting Taiwan soon. “I’m very much looking forward to coming back. I think no matter who wins in November in the US, this is going to be a very important time for Taiwan in the years ahead,” he said. Asked whether
More than NT$4.2 billion (US$141.96 million) has been earmarked to develop smart transportation systems in Taiwan and one of the crucial items in the four-year project is to support field trials for autonomous and connected vehicle technologies using 5G, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday. The ministry hosted a seminar in Taipei on potential 5G applications for transportation systems, which was attended by more than 350 people, including government officials, and representatives from business association and technology firms. Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said in the opening remarks that Taiwan has officially entered the 5G era with the launch of services this week by the three main telecoms. As the development of smart transportation technology is an important factor demonstrating the nation’s competitiveness in the international community, the ministry is launching a four-year project to develop intelligent transportation systems nationwide with a budget of NT$4.287 billion, Lin said. One of the key elements is to encourage the private sector to conduct experiments on smart transportation systems using 5G technology, he said, adding that the Office of Science and Technology Advisers would build a testing ground in New Taipei City’s Danhai New Town (淡海新市鎮). “The property would be equipped with sensors, a smart signaling system and a computing system to collect and analyze data,” Lin said. “It can also be used to conduct field trials for autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles and connected vehicle technology.” The ministry said that it teamed up with Huacom Systems Inc to establish an office to manage the 5G testing ground. Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Chuan-neng (林全能) said that the Statute for Industrial Innovation (產業創新條例) was amended last year to allow private companies to receive tax credits for investing in 5G service facilities.
A memorial event for democracy advocate Chen Wen-chen (陳文成) was held in Taipei yesterday on the 39th anniversary of his death. Chen, who was a statistics professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the US, was found dead on National Taiwan University (NTU) campus on the morning of July 3, 1981, during a visit to Taiwan. A day earlier, he had been interrogated by the Taiwan Garrison Command, a Martial Law-era state security agency that has since been disbanded. Although Chen’s death remains unsolved, a report by the Transitional Justice Commission in May said that he was likely murdered and that the Taiwan Garrison Command might have been involved. The evening memorial had been scheduled for the Dr Chen Wen-chen Incident Memorial Square (陳文成事件紀念廣場) at NTU, but was moved inside the First Student Activity Center due to rain. It was co-organized by the NTU Student Association, the NTU Graduate Student Association, the Dr Chen Wen-chen Memorial Foundation and the Professor Chen Wen-Chen Memorial Foundation. Vice President William Lai (賴清德), Transitional Justice Commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Dr Chen Wen-chen Memorial Foundation chairwoman Yang Huang Maysing (楊黃美幸), Professor Chen Wen-chen Memorial Foundation board member Huang Ching-chih (黃靜芝) and National Human Rights Museum Director Chen Chun-hung (陳俊宏) were among the attendees. Organizers led attendees in a minute’s silence in honor of those affected by the 228 Incident and the White Terror era. Yang Huang said that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) owed Taiwanese “many apologies.” It matters less who carried out the alleged murder than who ordered it, she said. Leather Lattice (皮格子樂團) performed three songs in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) that the band said were inspired by the White Terror era and Chen Wen-chen’s death. Performances by Ai-wen (艾文) and Monbaza Chang (張耘之) were among several others at the event, which began at 7pm and was ongoing as of press time last
CHANGE OF TACK: Revenue from EVA’s passenger business in the first five months of the year fell 54 percent, while its cargo sales increased by 57.9 percent, it said EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) yesterday said that it aims to bolster its cargo capacity in expectation that revenues from its robust cargo business would offset losses from its passenger business due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The nation’s largest airline by fleet size in April began using passenger jets to carry cargo in the passenger cabins without transporting any people, in a bid to utilize its idle planes with many flights canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it said. EVA, with 77 passenger jets and only five Boeing 777 cargo aircraft, plans to use more passenger jets for cargo operations to take advantage of the rising freight rates and demand, EVA president Clay Sun (孫嘉明) told an investors’ conference. It would take three approaches to enlarge its cargo capacity, including providing cargo-only flights using the holds of passenger jets, putting cargo goods on passenger seats by fastening them and even removing the seats to increase capacity, Sun said. EVA has received more rush orders to transport medical goods and electronic products than last year, Sun said. The airline expects the demand to keep rising in the second half of this year, as consumption would likely rebound with outbreaks slowing down, he said. The demand for COVID-19 vaccine and drug cargo is also predicted to emerge after biotech companies develop them and gain marketing approvals, Sun said, adding that the demand would last for some time. The airline is to reschedule its cargo flights for different regions to adapt to the global supply transfer amid the pandemic and ongoing US-China trade tensions, he added. For the first five months, EVA’s passenger business revenue retreated 54 percent from a year earlier to NT$19.59 billion (US$662.14 million), with the number of passengers falling 61 percent to 208 million, corporate data showed. By comparison, its cargo sales advanced 57.9 percent year-on-year to NT$16.27 billion,
NO EASY EXIT: More than 20 hotels are looking to leave the market, but they cannot find a buyer, due to pricing differences, rather than a lack of interest, an analyst said Commercial property transactions last quarter picked up 3.1 percent from three months earlier to NT$13.82 billion (US$467.11 million), while land deals held firm above the NT$80 billion mark, driven by demand from life insurers and developers amid the record-low interest rate environment, Cushman & Wakefield Taiwan (戴德梁行) said yesterday. However, the latest data for commercial property deals, a gauge of investment interests, represented a 53.6 percent decline from the same period last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic sidelined buyers. Factory and office buildings constituted the bulk of transactions in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taichung during the April-to-June period, the company’s valuation and advisory services director Wendy Hsueh (薛惠珍) told a news briefing. Wan Hai Lines Ltd (萬海航運) paid NT$2.12 billion for an office building from Chong Hong Construction Co (長虹建設), which is to be completed later this year, and spent another NT$540 million buying office space on Taipei’s Zhongxhiao E Road, Hsueh said. Wan Hai plans to turn the Chong Hong building into its new headquarters and use the other office space to accommodate future expansions. “The purchases make sense as demand for office space is gaining momentum, induced partly by global supply chain realignment amid the virus outbreak and US-China trade tensions,” Hsueh said. The Cabinet yesterday announced its target to build Taiwan into the region’s technology hub, especially for high-end semiconductor firms that might generate NT$5 trillion in business by 2030. Taiwanese semiconductor firms command global leadership positions in making and designing top-grade chips. General Interface Solution Ltd (英特盛) purchased a factory complex in Taichung for NT$1.77 billion and Getac Technology Corp (神基) bought another complex for NT$1.03 billion in Taoyuan, Hsueh said. Cushman & Wakefield Taiwan general manager Billy Yen (顏炳立) said that more than 20 hotels would like to exit the market, but cannot secure buyers due to pricing differences, rather than a
The nation’s major life insurers this month are continuing to cut the declared interest rates for interest-sensitive products, due to falling bond yields amid a low-interest rate environment, the companies said yesterday. Life insurers release rates on a monthly basis, based primarily on their investment returns, which they use to calculate policyholders’ distributions. Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) on Wednesday said it would reduce the declared interest rates for 62 US dollar-denominated policies by a range of 5 to 10 basis points, and those for 77 New Taiwan dollar policies by a range of 1 to 10 basis points. After the revision, the rates for its US dollar products slid to between 1.95 percent and 3.2 percent, while those of its NT dollar policies fell to a range of 0.47 percent to 1.9 percent, corporate data showed. Cathay Life, the leading insurer with a market share of 19.19 percent, cut rates as yields of corporate bonds, which make up a big portion of its portfolio, declined last month, with 10-year US Treasury yields remaining at a historically low level, or less than 1 percent, Cathay Life executive vice president Lin Chao-ting (林昭廷) told the Taipei Times by telephone. Meanwhile, the insurer’s cost of foreign exchange hedging remains high, as the NT dollar was the only Asian currency that has kept strengthening against the US dollar over the past few months, which made its hedging programs ineffective, Lin said. Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) and Yuanta Life Insurance Co (元大人壽) also lowered rates. Nan Shan Life kept the rates for its US dollar policies unchanged, but cut the rates for its NT dollar products by 10 basis points, driving the rates to 1.95 percent, corporate data showed. Yuanta Life slashed the rates for 17 US dollar-denominated policies by a range of 40 to 50 basis points, and rates
Taiwan has for decades singlehandedly borne the brunt of a revanchist, ultra-nationalist China — until now. Ever since Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had the temerity to call for a transparent, international investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing has been turning the screws on Canberra. This has included unleashing aggressive “wolf warrior” diplomats to intimidate Australian policymakers, enacting punitive tariffs on its exports, and threatening an embargo on Chinese tourists and students to the nation. A tense situation became more serious on June 19 after Morrison revealed that a “sophisticated state-based actor” — read: China — had launched a large-scale cyberattack against Australia, targeting all levels of government, political organizations, essential service providers and critical infrastructure. It is not the first time that Australia has been targeted by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Unit 61398 cyberwarfare group. In September last year, Reuters said Australian intelligence had found that China was responsible for a hacking attack on the Australian parliament and three of its largest political parties prior to the general election in May that year. However, the range and depth of the latest attack have unnerved Canberra. Beijing has shown that it is willing to launch an offensive cyberattack as a means to coerce a foreign nation on a scale that many Western intelligence analysts had hitherto assumed would only be employed during a wartime scenario. In response, Canberra on Tuesday announced that it would spend A$1.35 billion (US$935 million) over the next decade in cyberweapons and defenses, as well as recruit at least 500 additional cyberspies. It is the largest investment that the Australian government has ever made in such capabilities. In addition to the cyberthreat, Beijing has also been using old-fashioned espionage to influence Australia’s domestic politics. The latest case to rock the nation occurred on Friday last week when New
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Reform Committee has announced the party’s latest cross-strait policy, which it is calling: “Affirming the contribution of the 1992 consensus.” However, several former party chairs are unhappy that the so-called “consensus” looks set to be consigned to the history books by KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) and have accused the KMT’s Central Committee of aping the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Chiang has strongly rejected accusations that he is turning the party into a “DPP lite.” Disappointingly, despite the months that have passed since the KMT was trounced in January’s presidential and legislative elections, the party is still bogged down in a quagmire of its own making, rehashing old arguments and making little progress toward meaningful reform. The main reason for the KMT’s poor showing at the elections is clear: foreign policy, or specifically, pursuing a cross-strait policy that has already been publicly rejected. During the 2016 presidential and legislative elections, which returned the DPP to power with a historic legislative majority, voters rejected then-president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) cross-strait formula, which recognized the “1992 consensus,” while maintaining that each side could interpret what it meant in its own way. Two years prior, the Sunflower movement captured the public mood and galvanized voters against the cross-strait service trade agreement with China that the Ma administration was attempting to ram through the legislature without proper scrutiny. The then-following elections were a turning point for the nation — a categorical rejection of the pro-China policies of the Ma era. Today, the public mood is even clearer than it was four years ago. The “1992 consensus” that the KMT claims to have achieved with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was long ago contorted and compressed by Beijing to mean simply “one China.” Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) used a set-piece speech to try to bamboozle Taiwan
The term “competency” is prominent in the 12-Year Basic Education Curriculum Guidelines introduced on Aug. 1 last year. According to the National Academy for Educational Research, competency is the knowledge, capacity and attitude to solve problems and face future challenges. The shift in focus is a bid to keep up with rapid changes in the world and to solve problems caused by favoring credentialism, but however good the intention might be, the policy is also a burden for many schools. The competency-based curriculum brings a driving force for change to schools. Many educators with great enthusiasm for teaching are eager to sign up for workshops on the new guidelines — even at the expense of their own time — so that they can shift their teaching toward building competencies, and inspire and motivate their students to learn. Many of these dedicated educators are experienced senior teachers and some of them have won the National Excellent Teacher Award, and they all infuse tremendous positive energy into K-12 education. The new curriculum is to inevitably lead to longer teaching times, because in-class activities must be diverse and encourage students’ participation. Another headache for teachers is how to juggle teaching progress and teaching depth so that they can achieve both. On the students’ side, preparation for lessons is necessary, as they must find out which parts of the material they do not understand so that they can raise questions in class, allowing for in-depth discussions. This would effectively reduce lecture time and bring lessons in line with the spirit of the new curriculum: “Taking the initiative, engaging the public and seeking the common good.” This new way of teaching breaks out of the classroom framework, no longer just taking place between the opening and closing bells of the school day. The question is how to equip students and motivate
DENIED: Chelsea, who had hoped to take advantage of Leicester City’s defeat at Everton, were instead beaten for the first time since the restart of the Premier League West Ham United on Wednesday rocked Chelsea’s top-four hopes and boosted their survival bid with a dramatic 3-2 win, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice as Arsenal climbed back into European contention with a 4-0 thrashing of Norwich City. Chelsea were hoping to take advantage of third-placed Leicester City’s 2-1 defeat at Everton earlier in the day, but the Blues were instead beaten for the first time since the Premier League restart. West Ham were denied the opening goal at the London Stadium when the video assistant referee ruled that Michail Antonio was offside as he lay on the ground while Tomas Soucek slotted home. Willian fired Chelsea ahead from the penalty spot five minutes before halftime after Issa Diop tripped Christian Pulisic. Soucek headed home in first-half stoppage-time as West Ham finally scored their first goal since the restart. Antonio put West Ham in front in the 51st minute when he slid in to convert Jarrod Bowen’s cross. Willian’s superb 70th-minute free-kick drew Chelsea level, but it was West Ham who broke away to win it in the 89th minute when substitute Andriy Yarmolenko finished a brilliant counterattack. Chelsea are one point behind Leicester and only two ahead of Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers as the race to qualify for the UEFA Champions League intensifies with six games left. West Ham’s crucial first win since the restart moved them three points clear of the relegation zone. At the Emirates Stadium, Aubameyang moved alongside Jamie Vardy as the Premier League’s top scorer on 19 goals, on a night of contrasting fortunes for the Golden Boot contenders. Arsenal registered a third straight win to move up to seventh against a Norwich side ever more resigned to relegation. Canaries goalkeeper Tim Krul did his side no favors by gifting the opener to Aubameyang when he was caught trying to dribble past the Gabon international. Aubameyang’s
Legendary batsman Everton Weekes, the last of the famed West Indies “Three Ws,” died on Wednesday at the age of 95 and was hailed as “a founding father” of the sport in the Caribbean. “Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of an icon. A legend, our hero, Sir Everton Weekes,” Cricket West Indies (CWI) wrote on Twitter. “Our condolences go out to his family, friends and many fans around the world. May he rest in peace.” Barbadian Weekes was part of a feared post-World War II West Indies team who also featured Clyde Walcott and Frank Worrell. Walcott died in 2006, while Worrell passed away in 1967. All three had been born within 2km of each other over an 18-month period. Today, the national stadium in Bridgetown is named the Three Ws Oval. Weekes played 48 Tests between 1948 and 1958, scoring 4,455 runs at an average of 58.61. His highest Test score was 207. “A most amazing pioneer in West Indies cricket,” CWI president Ricky Skerritt said. “A tremendous gentleman and a wonderful human being. He was literally a founding father of our cricket. May he rest in peace.” Skerritt hailed Weekes’ “amazing legacy as both a great cricketer and a great human being. He was the last of the famous three Ws to pass to the great beyond.” “I had a personal relationship with Sir Everton,” Skerrit said. “I had the opportunity last year to go to visit him at his home in Barbados when he had come out of hospital after he had had a very serious illness. We had a chance to chat about his career. He was a most amazing man and just one of the most humble and decent and wonderful people you could ever meet.” Weekes, who last year had a heart attack, made 15 centuries, including five in an
Alexis Sanchez on Wednesday scored a penalty and set up two goals as Inter thrashed Serie A relegation candidates Brescia 6-0, while city rivals AC Milan snatched a last-gasp draw away to lowly SPAL. Sanchez teed up Ashley Young to volley Inter ahead at the San Siro after just five minutes and the Chile forward dispatched a spot-kick to double the lead following a foul on Victor Moses. Danilo D’Ambrosio powered in a third just before halftime from a looping cross by Young, with Roberto Gagliardini rising to head home a Sanchez free-kick as Inter grabbed a fourth on 53 minutes. Christian Eriksen bagged his first Serie A goal since his January move from Tottenham Hotspur, forcing in from point-blank range after an excellent Jesse Joronen save denied Romelu Lukaku. Antonio Candreva completed the romp two minutes from time with a crisp low drive into the corner as Inter clawed back to within eight points of leaders Juventus with nine games still to play. “We kept our foot on the gas and the fact that we didn’t concede is a big positive,” Inter coach Antonio Conte told broadcaster DAZN. Sanchez, who made just his fourth league start this term, had his loan deal from Manchester United extended earlier in the day until the end of the Italian season. “We brought him here for his qualities. Unfortunately we lost him as an option for a long time,” Conte said. “He’s now starting to find his feet, even if he’s still not the Sanchez I was such a big fan of in England. What I can say, however, is that he’s on the right track. He put in a great performance today.” Brescia, who were again without Mario Balotelli due to an ongoing contract dispute, dropped to the foot of the table. They remain eight points from safety and are
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer club for 30 years and “felt an urge” to voice his feelings over their recent Premier League win, but 10 minutes after his initial detention, he was released. Thousands marched on Wednesday in defiance of protest bans and police warnings that acts of secession — including waving pro-independence flags or shouting slogans — could see them charged. They were met with tear gas, water cannon, pepper spray and pepper balls. The national security legislation, enacted in just six weeks in an opaque legislative process in Beijing, went into effect at 11pm on Tuesday. The full details of the legislation were published afterward. On Wednesday afternoon, Hong Kong Secretary for Security John Lee defended police arresting people under legislation that no one is familiar with. “We will do education, but if something has outrageously broken the Hong Kong legislation, then the police have a duty to take action,” he said. Lee was explicit about the legislation’s aims to crush any community sentiments for independence. “With education prevention and enforcement, we can turn the tide to let people know that protection on national security is everybody’s responsibility, and that advocacy for independence in Hong Kong is against the law,” Lee said.
EMBATTLED: David Clark resigned as minister of health following criticism of his breaches of strict lockdown rules, as the nation gears up for elections in September New Zealand’s embattled minister of health David Clark resigned yesterday after security slipups at quarantine facilities where COVID-19 was detected just days after officials declared it had been eliminated from the country. Clark’s departure, which also followed criticism of his personal breaches of strict lockdown rules earlier in the year, comes as New Zealand heads into a September general election. “It has become increasingly clear to me that my continuation in the role is distracting from the government’s overall response to COVID-19 and the global pandemic,” said Clark, who was criticized for taking his family on a beach trip and driving to a mountain biking track. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who had earlier refused calls to sack Clark, citing his critical role in the nation’s response to the pandemic, said she agreed with his decision. Ardern remains popular, lauded for her compassionate response to last year’s Christchurch shootings and swift handling of the coronavirus crisis. However, blunders by her ministers have drawn opposition claims that there is a lack of talent in her Cabinet. Ardern’s popularity skyrocketed early in the pandemic as she took decisive action to limit its spread, imposing one of the world’s toughest lockdowns. However, opinion polls released last week show the conservative National Party has managed to trim some of Labour’s lead. “She has no confidence in anyone else not to drop the ball,” National Party leader Todd Muller said. Grant Duncan, an associate professor of politics at Auckland’s Massey University, said that the opposition had been granted an opportunity to “talk of the government’s failure to deliver and incompetence.” Clark’s resignation would help dampen that rhetoric, he added. Ardern early last month said that New Zealand had eliminated COVID-19, but warned that there would almost certainly be new cases, as she lifted social distancing restrictions. Just days later it was revealed that
People appear to be bunkering cash amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study that seeks to debunk the notion that the pandemic was hastening the demise of paper money due to e-commerce or fears of infection. Anecdotal evidence across advanced economies suggests a decisive move away from cash, with lockdowns boosting online sales and more stores only accepting card payments. However, data cited by former Bank of England policymaker Charles Goodhart and coauthor Jonathan Ashworth show a marked increase of bills in circulation in the US, Canada, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Australia, Brazil and Russia. While some analysts have said that going completely cashless would help the global economy become more efficient, an abrupt end would hurt people with no access to the banking system. It would also pose a challenge to small businesses that find the costs of going completely digital too expensive. “While the economic shutdowns and increased use of online retailing are currently diminishing cash’s traditional function as a medium of exchange, it seems that this is being more than offset by panic-driven hoarding of banknotes,” Goodhart and Ashworth wrote in a paper for the Centre for Economic Policy Research. “Cash in circulation has actually been growing strongly,” they wrote. The findings jar with the view expressed by US President Donald Trump’s former economic adviser Gary Cohn, who said the virus was speeding up the disappearance of cash. It is easy to see why such a prediction could be appealing. The use of paper money has been on the decline in some countries for years, due to the spread of credit cards and the technological developments that led to the rise of mobile-phone wallets. A research report by HSBC Holdings in April said that the shift away from cash an “acceleration of an already ongoing trend.” Reserve Bank of Australia Assistant Governor Michele
Some Californian restaurants on Wednesday shut their doors as new measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic threaten to scupper US Independence Day plans, with beaches closed, fireworks displays scrapped and family reunions put on hold. Confirmed cases across the US have surged to more than 50,000 a day and the death toll has topped 128,000 ahead of a July 4th weekend shaping up to be like none in recent memory. Indoor restaurants, bars and movie theaters across much of California were ordered to close for at least three weeks, in a major reversal of the state’s reopening process. California Governor Gavin Newsom’s order affects 70 percent of the nation’s most populous state, including Los Angeles, where Dodger Stadium is to host COVID-19 testing rather than professional baseball this weekend. “It’s unfortunate that the city opened up, I think, a little too early,” said Marisol Martinez, waiting in line. California — with more than 6,000 COVID-19 deaths — was initially praised for its swift pandemic response, but has set new daily case records in the past week after reopening. Beaches in California as well as Florida, normally packed with sun-seeking vacationers, have been shut down after the coastal states experienced an alarming surge in cases. Scores of towns and cities across the US have dropped their traditional parades and fireworks displays to avoid bringing together the crowds which spread the virus. With airline travel considered a risky proposition by many, far fewer families are getting together for the reunions and cookouts that traditionally mark the holiday. However, not everything has been canceled. US President Donald Trump, who is facing a tough re-election battle in November and is eager to portray a semblance of normalcy, plans to travel to South Dakota today for a fireworks display at the Mount Rushmore monument to four of his predecessors. The White House said Trump is
Taiwan’s rapid economic development between the 1950s and the 1980s is often attributed to rational planning by highly-educated and impartial technocrats. Those who look at history through blue-tinted spectacles argue that, for much of the post-war period, the government was staffed by Chinese who fled China after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lost the civil war “who had no property interests in Taiwan and no connections with a landlord class,” leaving “the KMT party-state more autonomous from societal influences than governments [elsewhere in East Asia],” writes Gaye Christoffersen in Market Economics and Political Change: Comparing China and Mexico. At the same time, of course, the KMT regime benefited from considerable amounts of US aid, and was able to leverage infrastructure left behind by the Japanese colonial government. Whether the party did a better job than those in charge of South Korea is debatable. When reviewing the final decade of KMT dictatorship, among the names that stand out are Sun Yun-suan (孫運璿, 1913-2006) and Li Kwoh-ting (李國鼎, sometimes known as K.T. Li, 1910-2001). Neither stood in any kind of election, yet both became among the most powerful people in the nation. The official residence of the former and the private home of the latter have been preserved as memorials to the men and their achievements. If you’ve an interest in Taiwan’s recent history, they’re certainly worth visiting. At both, admission is NT$50. A PREMIER’S OFFICIAL RESIDENCE What’s now called the Sun Yun-suan Memorial Museum (孫運璿科技‧人文紀念館) was the official residence, and then the retirement abode, of a man who some think would’ve risen to the presidency were it not for the stroke he suffered in 1984, when he was 71 years old. This handsome two-story building, which blends Western and Japanese architectural styles, was built in the mid-1920s. Sun moved here in 1980,
For those of you who whiled away hours on the sofa watching society crumble in the face of marauding zombies, deadly aliens and infectious diseases — it’s time to reap the rewards. Psychologists have found evidence that fans of apocalyptic movies — where global order is upturned — may be more resilient and better prepared to deal with the coronavirus pandemic than the rest of us. The bleak scenarios thrown up by films such as Contagion, from panic buying and isolation to fear of others and fake claims of miracle cures, appeared to help viewers take the outbreak in their stride and work out how best to handle the crisis. “If it’s a good movie, it pulls you in and you take the perspective of the characters, so you are unintentionally rehearsing the scenarios,” said Coltan Scrivner, a psychologist who specializes in morbid curiosity at the University of Chicago. “We think people are learning vicariously. It’s like, with the exception of the toilet paper shortage, they pretty much knew what to buy,” he added. The researchers questioned 310 volunteers on their movie preferences and viewing histories before asking them how prepared they felt going into the pandemic and what levels of anxiety, depression, irritability and sleepless they had experienced. Horror movie fans appeared less distressed by the crisis than most, but those who favored “prepper movies” — where society collapses — ranked as more resilient and better prepared, both mentally and practically. The finding held when the psychologists controlled for age, sex, how fond people were of movies in general, and personality traits such as neuroticism and conscientiousness. Scrivner suspects many factors are at play. Movies like Contagion, which rocketed in popularity as coronavirus spread, make aspects of the pandemic such as quarantine and supply shortages seem less strange, he believes. “You’ve seen it a hundred times
It was an “angry little book” telling the story of one of the great misunderstood pioneers of medicine that grabbed the attention of Mark Rylance , the Oscar-winning English actor. “I hadn’t known about Semmelweis, his work or the tragic way he was oppressed by the medical authorities,” he said. “But then I picked up a copy of an old French biography, reprinted in translation by a friend of mine at Atlas Press, and found it very moving.” Now Ignaz Semmelweis, the groundbreaking 19th-century Hungarian doctor who discovered that invisible germs can convey deadly disease, will be the acclaimed actor’s next stage role and could also be central to a unique and timely theatrical experiment this summer. The book Rylance chanced upon, Semmelweis: A Fictional Biography by the controversial Louis-Ferdinand Celine and published in 1936, gave a fiery and impassioned version of the life of Semmelweis, charting how he was ignored or derided throughout his career. MISUNDERSTOOD DOCTOR “Working in Vienna, this brilliant immigrant doctor, who was nervous of speaking in public because of his strong Hungarian accent, realized that it was bacteria, which he called ‘cadaveric particles,’ that were infecting patients in their hundreds. He had no microscope, but used reason, observation, deduction and even his sense of smell,” said Rylance, who last year took the idea for a play about Semmelweis to Tom Morris, artistic director of The Bristol Old Vic and one of the devisers of the international stage hit War Horse. Together they created an ambitious production, calling in the writer Stephen Brown to work on a script. “The play is not just about the fact Semmelweis was a genius who came to these conclusions 20 years before Joseph Lister or Louis Pasteur. It is about the way a renegade like that needs other people around them to help communicate. He
What are your favorite songs so far this year? Music platform KKBOX recently released its mid-year charts. Taiwanese band 831’s Miss You 3000, theme song of hit drama Someday and One Day, topped the platform’s Mandarin chart as of June 25, followed by Hong Kong singer G.E.M.’s Full Stop and Selfless which took the second and third spots, respectively. The singer now boasts four Top 10 hits. Canadian singer Justin Bieber’s Yummy topped the Western chart, followed by Idina Menzel and Aurora’s Into the Unknown, the theme song for Disney’s 2019 animated blockbuster Frozen 2. Bieber and Quavo’s Intentions landed the third place. The original soundtrack for Frozen 2 also became the most popular Western album. Japanese band Official Hige Dandism’s I Love... took the top spot on the J-pop chart, while South Korean group Super Junior’s 2Ya2Yao! was No. 1 on the K-pop chart. Hits from several popular Korean dramas, such as Crash Landing on You and Itaewon Class, also made it to the list. (Eddy Chang, Taipei Times) 今年目前為止，你最喜歡的歌有哪些？音樂平台KKBOX近日發表年中累積排行榜，台灣樂團八三么為神劇《想見你》所演唱的主題曲《想見你想見你想見你》，在六月二十五日為止榮獲華語榜冠軍！香港女歌手鄧紫棋的《句號》與《透明》分居二、三名，並在前十名強佔四席。 加拿大小天王小賈斯汀以《Yummy》登上西洋榜冠軍，緊追在後的是女星伊迪娜曼佐、極光少女歐若拉合唱的《Into the Unknown》，該曲是迪士尼去年賣座動畫強片《冰雪奇緣2》的主題曲，小賈斯汀和饒舌歌手奎佛合唱的《Intentions》高居第三，《冰雪奇緣2》原聲帶則成為最受歡迎西洋專輯。 日本樂團Official髭男dism所演唱的《I Love…》稱霸日語榜，南韓男團Super Junior的《2Ya2Yao!》稱霸韓語榜，《愛的迫降》、《梨泰院Class》等夯劇的原聲帶亦有多首金曲上榜。 (台北時報張聖恩)
A : I was just thinking, would a shaved dog have an increased chance of contracting skin cancer after being exposed to the sun? B : Yes, absolutely. A : Are there any other problems associated with shaving off a dog’s coat? B : Yep, removing the protective coat exposes their skin to increased bacteria, which could lead to skin infections and irritation. A : 我剛剛在想，被剃毛的狗，會不會因為皮膚暴露在太陽底下，而比較容易罹患皮膚癌？ B : 是的，絕對會。 A : 那還有什麼問題，是跟剃掉狗毛有關的？ B : 有的，剃掉有保護性的那層毛，會讓狗的皮膚暴露在更多的細菌中，這有可能導致皮膚感染和發炎。 English 英文: Chinese 中文:
Segway Inc. announced last week that it will end production of its iconic two-wheeled personal vehicle starting July 15. When the company launched the product nearly two decades ago, it boldly claimed that its namesake two-wheeler would revolutionize the way people move, but it only sold 140,000 units across the world. The Segway was criticized for the high price tag of US$4,950 (about NT$147,000). It was also challenging to ride, because riders must maintain a balance at a specific angle for the vehicle to move forward, and can easily be thrown off if they lose control. Several months after buying the company, British tycoon Jim Heselden was killed when the Segway he was riding fell into a lake in 2010. Additionally, media reports of battery explosions when the self-balancing transporter overheated were common. The vehicle is banned in nearly half of US cities and it is classed as a “motorized vehicle” in Europe. In Taiwan, riding the Segway on the road is prohibited. (Eddy Chang, Taipei Times) 賽格威公司上週宣布自七月十五日起，將停止生產具代表性的雙輪個人電動平衡車。在近二十年前問世時，賽格威最初發下豪語，誇口說這輛同名的雙輪車會徹底改革人們移動的方式，然而多年來全球總共只售出十四萬輛。 賽格威過去因售價高達四千九百五十美元（約十四‧七萬台幣）而遭到批評。駕馭它也是一大挑戰，因為騎士必須從特定角度保持平衡，車子才會前進，一旦失控就很容易被拋下踏板。英國富商吉姆赫斯登在買下該公司幾個月後，於二○一○年因騎著賽格威暴衝到湖裡而死。 此外，平衡車電池過熱爆炸的媒體報導時有所聞。因此它在將近半數的美國城市被禁止，在歐洲則被視為一種「動力車輛」，而台灣亦不允許賽格威在道路上行駛。 (台北時報張聖恩)
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