Coca may be highly profitable, but a group of Colombian growers have taken the bold step of uprooting the illegal crop used to make cocaine and replacing it with coffee for export to Britain and France. \n"They talk of us like we're mad, but we will keep it up," said Luz Dari Menezes, an agricultural technician with the Cosurca (southern Cauca) cooperative responsible for the development. \nIn a country like Colombia, which is still the world's biggest cocaine producer at 700 tonnes a year despite US-backed efforts to eradicate the drug, the project's pioneers have built their own success with coffee. \n"Far from being the end, the story is only just beginning for new international economic scenarios for fair trade," said Rene Ausecha, engineer and manager of Cosurca. \nThe 1,200 families belonging to Cosurca, south of Popayan in far southwestern Colombia, near the Equator, since 1999 have ripped out "more than 200 hectares of coca [the raw ingredient for cocaine], replacing it with Arabica" coffee, he said. \nDuring a ceremony at the Chico museum in Bogota, the cooperative owners announced the launch of permanent coffee sales in Europe through their own export service, Expocosurca, with aid from the International Narcotics Control Board, which since 1994 have reaped US$2 million. \nSuch winds of change in Colombia, where drug lords produce five percent -- some US$4 billion -- of the nation's gross domestic product, is greeted with great reluctance. \n"We are faced with permanent social tension," said Dari Menezes. \nHer colleague Adriana Ledesma agrees: "We are constantly having to try and convince our compatriots in Cauca" province, where Popayan is the main town. \nBefore the experiment was launched by Cosurca "people were certainly richer, bought cars, motorbikes and weapons ... We tried to make them see that it's not just money that's important," the women say.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday issued a rebuttal to former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who said a fistfight in the Legislative Yuan might have been “provoked from the outside” to destabilize Taiwan. Rice made the comment in an online discussion about the AUKUS alliance of Australia, the UK and the US hosted by the Policy Exchange forum in London on Thursday. On mention of Taiwan, she was quoted by The Australian as predicting that Beijing would use paramilitary forces and acts of sabotage to destabilize the nation. “There was a fistfight in the Taiwanese parliament a few weeks ago
A Taiwanese YouTuber suspected of creating and selling deepfake porn videos featuring more than 100 politicians and influencers was on Monday released on bail after being arrested the previous day. Chu Yu-chen (朱玉宸), 26, who uses the name Xiaoyu (小玉) on YouTube, was arrested on Sunday in New Taipei City, along with two suspected accomplices, a 24-year-old YouTuber surnamed Yeh (耶), known as Shaiw Shaiw (笑笑), and a 22-year-old man Chuang (莊). The three suspects were on Monday escorted to the New Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for further questioning on suspicion of distributing obscene videos and publicly insulting others, in contravention of
CHINA WORRIES: A source said the AIT held a meeting at which Taiwan lawmakers and US officials discussed expediting shipments of arms that were paid for Taiwanese officials have reportedly reached out to the US to discuss the possibility of expediting the delivery of F-16 jets to Taiwan, CNN said on Friday. While the “Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific Command has watched with increasing concern as China has rapidly modernized its military and improved its training with an eye to Taiwan,” the US Department of State is wary of taking a more aggressive stance against China, a CNN report said. US President Joe Biden’s “administration has discussed with Taiwanese officials the possibility of expediting the delivery of American-made F-16s to Taiwan, according to Taiwanese and US officials familiar with the talks,”
FAMILY: While the CECC agrees ‘in principle’ to allowing entry to foreign spouses and children of foreigners in Taiwan with a residence permit, the issue is still being reviewed A nationwide level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended for two weeks until Nov. 1, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, adding that agencies are still discussing whether to allow foreign spouses and children of foreigners in Taiwan with a residence permit to enter the nation. “In principle we agree to relaxing the entry regulations for the group, but relevant agencies are still reviewing and discussing the matter,” said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The center on Sept. 13 eased border restrictions for foreign dependents of Taiwanese nationals. They can apply