Wed, Mar 30, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

MEDIA

Tsai nominee on Time list

President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is among the 127 nominees for Time magazine’s annual list of “the 100 most influential people” for this year. As of Wednesday last week, Tsai was ranked within the top 30, garnering 1.2 percent of votes in an online poll by readers of the magazine, tied with US singer Beyonce and Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg. Tsai was ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (1.1 percent), US Vice President Joe Biden (1 percent), Apple CEO Tim Cook (1 percent) and US Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton (0.9 percent). Leading the poll was US Senator Bernie Sanders, another Democratic presidential candidate, who has garnered 4.3 percent of votes. Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi (2.8 percent), South Korean boy band Big Bang (2.1 percent), US President Barack Obama (2 percent) and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousufzai (1.9 percent) rounded out the top five. In sixth through 10th place were Pope Francis (1.7 percent), US singer Lady Gaga (1.7 percent), US first lady Michelle Obama (1.7 percent), US actor Leonardo DiCaprio (1.6 percent) and British actress Emma Watson (1.5 percent).

DIPLOMACY

Allies to attend inauguration

Leaders of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in the Pacific region are scheduled to attend the May 20 presidential inauguration, a foreign affairs official said yesterday. I-Kiribati President Taneti Maamau, Nauruan President Baron Waqa, Palauan President Tommy Remengesau, Tuvaluan Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, Marshallese President Hilda Heine and Solomon Islands Governor-General Frank Kabui are to lead delegations to attend the ceremony, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Director-General Elliot Charng (常以立) said at a regular news briefing. President-elect Tsai of the Democratic Progressive Party is to become Taiwan’s first female president when she is inaugurated, succeeding President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). The six countries are among Taiwan’s 22 diplomatic allies, half of which are in Central America and the Caribbean.

SECURITY

Tugboat crew kidnapped

Ten Indonesian crew members on board a Taiwanese-owned tugboat have been kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants in the Philippines, Philippine military officials said late on Monday. No Taiwanese nationals were on the ship, the officials said. The boat was hijacked on Sunday near the province of Tawi-Tawi in the southern Philippines on its way from Jakarta to Manila, the officials said, adding the crew were kidnapped and asked to call the boat’s owner in Taiwan to demand an undisclosed sum. According to sources, the Philippine military has located the boat at Port Languyan, Tawi-Tawi, and believes that the crew are being held captive on Basilan Island in the Sulu Archipelago, where Abu Sayyaf militants are active. Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Armanatha Nasir yesterday confirmed that the tugboat Brahma 12, flying an Indonesian flag, had been recovered by the Philippine government, but its 10 Indonesian crew members were still being held captive. Armanatha said his ministry did not know exactly where the crew members were and that the top priority at the moment is to ensure their safety. The kidnappers have indeed demanded a ransom, he said, citing information from the ship’s owner.

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