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Lawmakers doubt need for local DARPA

By Chen Wei-han

A plan to establish a local version of the US’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) at the Ministry of National Defense was criticized yesterday during a legislative review, as lawmakers from across party lines said the plan would overlap with existing defense ministry functionsFULL STORY

Chungshan Institute’s R&D on right track: official

By Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin

Research and development (R&D) of defense projects conducted by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology are on the right track, a senior Ministry of National Defense official familiar with the institute said. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, made the remarks inFULL STORY

New poll finds Chen Shui-bian remains divisive

By Chen Wei-han

A recent poll found that close to half of Taiwanese believe that former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) did not receive fair trials, but more than half do not think he was a victim of political persecution, the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation said yesterday. Chen servedFULL STORY

Push for same-sex marriages started by DPP and NPP

By Abraham Gerber

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday pledged to renew a push to amend the Civil Code to legalize same-sex marriage, while the New Power Party (NPP) unveiled similar draft legislation. “While many local governments accept household registrations from same-sex couples, it is just an executive measureFULL STORY

New AIT chairman in Taipei this week to meet officials

The American Institute in Taiwan’s new chairman, James Moriarty, is on a week-long visit to Taipei, during which he will meet President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Moriarty arrived on Sunday for his first official visit since taking over from RaymondFULL STORY

Review of Judicial Yuan nominees a failure, critics say

By Abraham Gerber

A recent legislative review of Council of Grand Justices nominees deserves a “failing grade,” despite some progress, judicial reform groups said yesterday, calling on political parties to allow legislators to vote their conscience in today’s confirmation vote. “While there was overall progress as legislators were relativelyFULL STORY

Hungerstriking protester in Kaohsiung hospitalized

A hunger striker protesting the Kaohsiung City Government’s demolition of a local community for an urban renewal project was hospitalized after fainting from dehydration on Sunday, fellow protesters said. Residents Self-Rescue Association assistant Tseng Wei-tang (曾維堂) collapsed after a 33-hour hunger strike, and hisFULL STORY

Bureau to subsidize tour guides

By Shelley Shan

Travel agencies that hire tour guides who can speak Southeast Asian languages will receive government subsidies, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday. The policy is part of the government’s “new southbound policy” that seeks closer relations with Southeast Asian nations in tourism, education and economy. While theFULL STORY

Taiwanese susceptible to diabetes

By Lee I-chia

Doctors yesterday said the pathogenic factors leading to type 2 diabetes for Taiwanese might differ slightly from those that affect Westerners, in that East Asian people tend to have weaker insulin secretion and a higher body fat ratio. Diabetes Association of the Republic of China secretary-generalFULL STORY

Gelotophobia linked to parts of the brain blocking emotions

By Hung Mei-hsiu and Jake Chung

People with gelotophobia, or a fear of being laughed at, might have more active and dormant parts of the brain that prevent them from feeling the same emotions as people without the condition, National Tsing Hua University Institute of Learning Sciences assistant professor Chan Yu-chenFULL STORY

Marlins to decide on WBC: pitcher

By Shelley Shan

Taiwanese pitcher Chen Wei-yin (陳偉殷), who plays for the Miami Marlins, said in Taipei yesterday that he would let the Marlins decide if he should represent Taiwan at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) next year. Chen returned to Taiwan from the US with his family earlierFULL STORY

Employees fear layoffs before Lunar New Year

Nearly 70 percent of employees worry that they could be laid off ahead of next year’s Lunar New Year holiday amid concerns over an economic slowdown at home and around the world, a survey conducted by online job bank yes123 showed yesterday. The job bank surveyedFULL STORY

Calls for stricter soybean classification

By Lee I-chia

While nearly 80 percent of soybeans used for food are genetically modified, the Customs Administration should strictly classify imported soybeans into different grades for different uses, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Frida Tsai (蔡培慧) said yesterday. A total of 2.685 million tonnes of soybeans were imported lastFULL STORY

Grave robbers disturb dead in Puyan

By Chen Kuan-pei and Jonathan Chin

A spate of grave robberies at a public cemetery in Changhua County’s Puyan Township (埔鹽) has left residents feeling concerned over the defilement of their ancestors’ graves and bad feng shui. Feng shui refers to the Chinese system of geomancy by which the auspicious positioning ofFULL STORY

Students collect old shoes to help save Africans from fleas

By Ho Tsun-han and Jonathan Chin

Taichung high-school students on Saturday collected 1,650 pairs of used shoes as part of a charity drive to combat a deadly disease-transmitting foot parasite in Africa. Lai Hsing-yu (賴星佑) and Ho Cheng-hsing (何承興) from Mingdao High School in Taichung said students wanted to collect used shoesFULL STORY

Cleaning crew encourages students to recycle more

By Lee Jung-ping and Jake Chung

The municipal cleaning crew in Taoyuan’s Dasi District (大溪) has combined the district’s renown for spinning tops with recycling in a bid to teach children the importance of recycling and caring for the environment. The crew said it collects pieces of wood sawn off during theFULL STORY

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