■ Foreign affairs
Shady funding denied
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied yesterday it had given funds to former Nicaraguan president Arnoldo Aleman for his party's election campaigns. A Nicaraguan investigator said in a press conference Thursday that Aleman's ruling Constitutionalist Liberal Party falsely reported its campaign funds in the country's 2001 election. The party reported US$5.1 million of campaign funds, but the investigator said evidence showed the party has actually garnered around US$35 million. The investigator said US$24 million of the party's unreported campaign funds are directly linked to Taiwan's donations. In response, ministry spokesman Richard Shih (石瑞琦) said the ministry's aid to Nicaragua is for the government and its people rather than any individual.
Sanctions for Iran sales
A local firm has been sanctioned by the US for violating an embargo against Iran by selling it items forbidden by the US, the State Department reported Friday. Adam Ereli, the deputy spokesman for the State Department, said US intelligence shows that the Goodly Industry Company of Taiwan, along with 12 other firms, have since Jan. 1, 1999 sold goods or technology to Iran that could be used for the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction. These firms have violated US legislation enacted in 2000 and have thereby been deprived of the right to deal with the US government for two years, Ereli said. Among the 13 offenders, five are Chinese firms. Goodly is believed to be the first Taiwan firm sanctioned under the act.
Kaohsiung group tours Europe
A delegation from Kaohsiung has embarked on a European tour to obtain information about urban development with a view to boosting Kaohsiung's development. The 25-member delegation, headed by Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Lin Yun-chien (林永堅), arrived in Rome April 1, where they were received by Rome Deputy Mayor Mariapia Garavaglia. The two sides exchanged opinions on their urban development experiences. Prior to their visit to Rome, the delegation had also visited London, Bonn and Barcelona to absorb experiences of urban development in those cities that could be applied to development in Kaohsiung.
Snow and hail fall
A strong convection current not only brought torrential rain to most of the country yesterday but also brought snow to Hohuanshan and hail to Yushan in central Taiwan, a very unusual occurrence for April, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB). Snowy season on the 3,416m Hohuanshan usually ends in February, but the humidity from a cold front the previous day prompted a rare spring snowfall that lasted for nearly an hour and covered the mountain with 2cm of snow, according to the CWB. Weather forecasters attributed the snow to the strong convection current that led to there being clouds as high as 5,000 or 6,000m. Meanwhile, Yushan -- the nation's highest mountain -- had a hail shower.
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
Taiwanese worked more hours than people in all but three other countries in the world last year, Ministry of Labor data showed. Singapore placed first in average hours worked among the 40 economies surveyed, with an average of 2,288 hours per worker last year, the data showed. The city-state was followed by Colombia with 2,172 hours — based on 2019 data — and Mexico with 2,124 hours, it showed. Taiwan came in fourth, with 2,021 hours, it showed. South Korean workers clocked the third-most hours in Asia, with 1,908 hours, followed by Japan with 1,598 hours, it showed. However, compared with 2019, the survey found
The US 7th Fleet yesterday confirmed that a US Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and Friday. “The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey [DDG 105] conducted a Taiwan Strait transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy [RCN] Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Winnipeg, October 14-15, 2021,” the US 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region,” it added. The transit marked the
‘COUNTERPRODUCTIVE’: The German, French and Singaporean missions said that Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions are hindering local projects and business operations Several foreign missions in Taiwan have urged the government to ease its strict COVID-19 border controls, which they say are hurting in-person exchanges and business operations. The missions made the appeal in response to media inquiries on how the border controls have affected their respective countries’ exchanges with Taiwan, amid growing concerns voiced privately by Taiwan-based foreign offices and businesses regarding the restrictions. Taiwan has maintained strict entry requirements since March last year, generally prohibiting most arrivals except for citizens and foreign residents, while it has required those who enter the country to undergo a stringent 14-day quarantine. Although the rules have been