DPP appeals for Wu, Hong
Eleven Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday urged Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) to file an extra appeal against a final ruling involving senior DPP politicians Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) and Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌) in the sale of a Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar) property in 2004. The Taiwan High Court on March 13 upheld a ruling that Wu, who was chairman of Taisugar in 2003, had violated Taisugar’s rental-only policy and sentenced him to three years and 10 months in prison, while Hong was given two years and four months for lobbying. The DPP lawmakers said that the policy regulating state-owned enterprises’ public land leases and superficies was abolished on March 2001, before the property deal was made. Hong argued that he had not interfered in the real-estate deal, while Wu said the sale was completed six months after he had left Taisugar and that he was not the main individual responsible for the deal.
Toys fail safety tests: bureau
Four out of 20 samples of inflatable toys tested in southern Taiwan were found to contain excessive amounts of plasticizer, the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection said recently. The substandard items, picked at random in Greater Kaohsiung and Pingtung County in the run-up to the summer season, when water activities are popular, contained plasticizer at levels 200 to 500 times higher than the national safety limit of 0.1 percent, the bureau said. In addition, 11 of the items were not labeled in accordance with the Commodity Inspection Act (商品檢驗法), with infringements such as mislabeling of the toys’ names and age limits, and failing to identify the materials used, place of origin, names of the importer and manufacturer and safety warnings, the bureau said. Fines of NT$100,000 (US$3,340) to NT$1 million can be imposed on dealers who fail to recall the substandard items and make corrections, it added.
All-female troupe to perform
The all-female Japanese musical theater troupe Takarazuka Revue will be performing for the first time in Taiwan this month as the group marks its 99th anniversary, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday. More than 40 troupe members will perform at the National Theater from Saturday to April 14, the ministry said, adding that a Japanese parliamentary delegation would also arrive for Saturday’s performance. The troupe is scheduled to meet with Japan’s representative in Taipei today, according to the Taipei office of the Interchange Association, Japan.
Israeli bands at festival
Nine Israeli bands and individual artists will join the Spring Scream music festival in southern Taiwan via the Internet, the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei said yesterday. The musicians will give a six-hour concert in Tel Aviv that will start at 6pm tomorrow, and local viewers will be able to watch the live performance on a big screen set up at the music festival’s venue in Kenting (墾丁), the office said. It will be the first time for foreign musicians to give a live performance at the music bash via the Internet, the office said. Israeli DJ Orly Yaakobi will be in Taiwan to host the six-hour performance and introduce the acts to the local audience, it said. This year’s Spring Scream is scheduled to run from today to Sunday at Kenting’s Oluanpi Lighthouse National Park. The festival will feature about 250 bands and DJs on eight stages, the organizers said.
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to
The Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. It will be the first time in 60 years that the event has not be held at the mosque. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. This year Ramadan began on April 23 and is to
KAOHSIUNG VOTE: A city official allegedly wrote a message calling on supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu not to participate in the vote next month Prosecutors on Wednesday initiated an investigation of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director-General Tsao Huan-jung (曹桓榮) for allegedly telling supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to interfere with a recall vote against Han, while pan-green politicians denounced the mayor and his team for devising ways to obstruct voting. After receiving complaints from residents, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office launched its probe of Tsao for alleged breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Complainants provided evidence that Tsao on Saturday last week wrote on messaging app Line that Han supporters should not vote in the June 6 recall vote, saying: