COA details farmers’ losses
Agricultural losses from heavy rain in central and southern Taiwan in recent days had amounted to more than NT$50 million (US$1.65 million) as of yesterday morning, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said.
Pingtung County had been the hardest hit region, suffering agricultural losses totaling NT$17.92 million, followed by Changhua at NT$11.52 million, Yunlin at NT$10.18 million, Kaohsiung at NT$8.61 million, Hsinchu at NT$1.95 million and Tainan at NT$510,000, COA figures showed. Damage to crops has amounted to NT$50.66 million, with rice, leafy vegetables, cabbage, green onions, cantaloupes and watermelons among the hardest hit. About 1,982 hectares of farmland in central and southern counties have been damaged by the heavy rain and resultant flooding, the COA said.
Chinese tourists allowed
Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said yesterday that the Presidential Office would soon lift the ban on tourists from China, Hong Kong and Macau visiting the building. The Presidential Office building will re-open to the public for sightseeing on weekdays tomorrow following the transfer of power on May 20. The Presidential Office building, built during the Japanese colonial period from 1895 to 1945, was declared a “national historic site” in 1998. The building was first opened to the public two days a year in 1995 during former president Lee Teng-hui’s (李登輝) tenure, and former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) extended the opening times, opening the building to the public from 9am to 11:30am Monday to Friday.
President’s team competes
Despite President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) last-minute withdrawal from a dragon boat competition on Friday after being criticized for failing to visit flood-hit areas, the Presidential Office still organized a rowing team of officials. The team was led by Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Yeh Chin-chuan (葉金川), and competed against the Taipei City Government team led by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌). A total of 167 teams raced to the finish line at Taipei’s Keelung River yesterday as the 2008 Taipei International Dragon Boat Championships kicked off. The annual dragon boat race is the highlight of the dragon boat festival, which runs through today at Taipei’s Dajia Riverside Park (大佳河濱公園). The city government also invited residents to experience paddling the dragon boats and other activities at the festival, which will run till today.
Quebec, Taiwan reach deal
Taiwan’s representative office has reached an agreement with the provincial government of Quebec that, starting last Sunday, the two sides would mutually recognize the other’s driver licenses. Taiwanese residents with a valid Canadian driver’s license issued by Quebec can bypass the usual process of a road and written test before obtaining a Taiwanese driver’s license. The same is true for Canadian residents with a valid Taiwanese driver’s license. Those who qualify for the new perk must submit their applications to the Directorate General of Highways under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taiwan, or to the Societe de l’assurance Autombile Quebec (SAAQ) in Canada. For more information, visit www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/reach_us/index.php or www.thb.gov.tw/index.aspx.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s