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Twelve charged over Kaohsiung blasts

By Jason Pan

Public prosecutors yesterday charged 12 people, including the head of LCY Chemical Corp (李長榮化工), over a series of gas pipeline explosions in Greater Kaohsiung on July 31 and Aug. 1 that left 32 dead and more than 300 people injured. The explosions were mainly caused byFULL STORY

US and Cuba agree to revive diplomatic ties

The US and Cuba moved to end five decades of Cold War hostility on Wednesday, agreeing to revive diplomatic ties in a surprise breakthrough that would also ease a crippling US trade embargo. In the wake of a prisoner exchange, US President Barack Obama said WashingtonFULL STORY

Ting Hsin made political donations, Clara Chou says

By Alison Hsiao

Media personality Clara Chou (周玉蔻) yesterday alleged that Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團) had donated NT$200 million (US$6) in cash under the table as a political donation, but did not specify whether it was made to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) or the government. TheFULL STORY

Yang Ming accuses coast guard of selling out nation

By Jason Pan

A Taiwanese shipping company has accused the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) of “selling out Taiwan’s national sovereignty” by seeking judicial injunctions in China’s maritime court in litigation for damage compensation arising from a shipping collision in Taiwan’s waters. The accident occurred on May 12, 2011, inFULL STORY

Putin vows rapid economic recovery, digs in on Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday tried to quell fears of economic collapse and promised rapid recovery from the worst financial crisis of his rule, but stressed that his position on Ukraine has not shifted. Speaking at an annual news conference, the Russian leader said that theFULL STORY

KMT’s Alex Tsai surfaces, ignites furor2014-12-18

By Alison Hsiao and Shih Hsiu-chuan

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元), who served as campaign director for KMT Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文), sparked an uproar yesterday with his first public appearance since the Nov. 29 elections, saying that he knew it would take a “miracle” forFULL STORY

Capital gains tax could be put off for three years2014-12-18

By Crystal Hsu

The legislature’s Finance Committee yesterday kept the taxable hurdle unchanged for active stock traders, but pushed back its implementation from next year to 2018, as all parties struggled to strike a balance between fair taxation and invigorating the capital market. The decision, which still needs secondFULL STORY

Rover finds clues that Mars may harbor life2014-12-18

Life on Mars? Today? The notion may not be so far-fetched after all. A year after reporting that NASA’s Curiosity rover had found no evidence of methane gas on Mars, all but dashing hopes that organisms might be living there now, scientists reversed themselves on Tuesday. CuriosityFULL STORY

US remains committed to sale of warships2014-12-18

By William Lowther

The US is committed to helping the nation defend itself and is serious about that commitment, a US Department of State official said on Tuesday when asked about the impact of a potential frigate sale to Taiwan on relations with China. “We remain committed to helpingFULL STORY

Putin agrees to talks on Ukraine in conference call2014-12-18

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French, German and Ukrainian counterparts agreed in a telephone call early yesterday that they wanted talks between Kiev, Moscow and rebels controlling parts of eastern Ukraine to resume as soon as possible. The telephone conversation came after the White HouseFULL STORY

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