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).
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.
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.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up