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Tsai ‘respects judicial independence’

By Jason Pan

The Presidential Office yesterday said it was not consulted before the preparatory committee for the National Congress on Judicial Reform decided to drastically reduce the number of Supreme Court judges and give the president the power to appoint judges without legislative approval. “President Tsai [Ing-wen (蔡英文)]FULL STORY

Rights campaigners press for refugee law

By Abraham Gerber

Following a round-table forum with legislators and government officials, international campaigners yesterday called for swift passage of a national refugee act. The forum in Taipei was sponsored by the Legislative Yuan’s International Human Rights Caucus, the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network and the Taiwan Association forFULL STORY

Lee Ming-che ‘in good health,’ TAO spokesman says

The Chinese government yesterday said that rights campaigner Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who has been detained on suspicion of endangering national security, was in good health and that it had reassured his family in a letter. Lee is a staff member of Wenshan Community College in Taipei,FULL STORY

Hunger strike launched to back referendum changes

By Abraham Gerber

The People Rule Foundation yesterday launched a 16-day hunger strike outside the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei, calling for the immediate passage of draft amendments to the Referendum Act (公民投票法). “The DPP needs to follow through in pushing Taiwan down the last stretch toFULL STORY

Tougher fines for repeat DUI offenders proposed

By Shelley Shan

People suspected or convicted of drunk driving, or driving under the influence (DUI), could face tougher punishments after lawmakers on the Legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday passed the preliminary review of amendments to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例). The amendment to Article 35 andFULL STORY

Foundation launches a case judgement database

By Jason Pan

The Judicial Reform Foundation yesterday called for more transparency and accountability in the judicial system as it launched a new database containing the written judgements of court cases. The database will allow the public to scrutinize the decisions and conduct of judges and prosecutors, foundationFULL STORY

E. coli fears hit TRA lunch boxes

By Shelley Shan and Lee I-chia

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday said that it is to suspend sales of three boxed lunch meals produced by Cidu (七堵) and Hualien railway stations after local media reported that they contained excessive levels of E. coli bacteria. The railway operator is renowned for itsFULL STORY

School sorry over faked interview

By Sean Lin

Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School yesterday apologized on behalf of a student — who has been admitted by National Taiwan University’s College of Medicine — for allowing a classmate to pretend to be him in an interview with reporters. Chao Wen-chieh (趙文傑), a third-grader at theFULL STORY

Taipei’s public land sunset clause sparks rival protests

By Sean Lin

Opponents and supporters of a sunset clause dating from former Taipei mayor Hau lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) administration which allows people to donate land earmarked for public infrastructure projects and receive floor space in new buildings in exchange, yesterday demonstrated outside Taipei’s Regent Hotel, where Taipei MayorFULL STORY

Source of dioxin-tainted eggs just one farm: FDA

By Wu Lian-yi and Jonathan Chin

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday called a news conference to announce that it has identified the sole source of a recent dioxin-tainted eggs scare as a farm named Hungchang (鴻彰) in Changhua County. On Friday last week, the FDA announced that it discovered dioxin-taintedFULL STORY

Tropical storm off Philippines unlikely to hit Taiwan: CWB

A tropical depression east of the Philippines developed into a tropical storm yesterday morning, but it is unlikely to have an effect on Taiwan due to the approach of seasonal northeasterly winds and a cold weather front in the coming days, the Central WeatherFULL STORY

‘Unlucky’ homophones behind ID card changes

By Tsai Hsu-yuan, Hsu Kuo-chen and William Hetherington

A father in Taichung on Tuesday sought to change his newborn daughter’s national identification card after receiving a card number that was homophonically inauspicious. The father said he wanted to change the card since the last four digits of its number, “5748,” in Mandarin sounded tooFULL STORY

Malagasy meets long-lost family in Taitung County

After overcoming several challenges, a woman from Madagascar has finally met with her relatives in Taiwan, realizing her father’s dream of many years. Her father, who is a member of the Amis community, which is concentrated in Taitung County, went to Madagascar in his 30sFULL STORY

Man fined for spreading false bird flu information

A man has been fined NT$50,000 (US$1,658) for spreading false information about bird flu on the Internet, Tainan City Government officials said on Tuesday. The man left a comment on Tainan Mayor William Lai’s (賴清德) Facebook page earlier this year, saying that a duck farmFULL STORY

Obese Indonesian boy’s father thanks Taiwanese for offer

The father of an obese Indonesian boy has thanked a Taiwanese hospital and the Jakarta Taiwan Entrepreneur Association for their offer to help his son. After media outlets reported that the boy’s parents were worried their son could die from his condition, Taiwan’s China MedicalFULL STORY

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