■Trade \nEU opens doors to GMOs \n \nSeeking to avoid a trade battle with Washington, the European Parliament paved the way for new biotech foods to be sold in Europe if they are clearly labeled. But the Bush administration complained that the labeling requirements are onerous. Under the new laws, hundreds of American-made foods would have to be labeled as having genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, because many of them contain starches or syrups derived from genetically engineered corn. The 626-member EU assembly, meeting in Strasbourg, France, gave final approval Wednesday to legislation introducing the tougher labeling of new genetically altered food products. That will enable consumers to tell whether products contain biotech ingredients and allow the European Union to do away with its five-year freeze on the introduction of new biotech products. \n■ Economic aid \nBush urges development \n \nUS President George W. Bush on Wednesday pledged to promote Palestinian development to instill an "economic hope" needed to foster peace with Israel. Bush's remarks came as his administration was considering increasing economic aid to the Palestinian Authority and for the first time providing it directly, rather than through international groups that bypass the authority. "The circum-stances of who we are dealing with in the Palestinian Authority have changed from night to day," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. Bush is also seeking a Middle East free trade agreement. Bush spoke by telephone with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah. "I urged them to continue to stay involved in the process," he said. "We must condemn terror at all instances, we must cut off money to terrorist organizations in order to keep this progress moving." \n■ Internet \nSoftbank offers games \n \nSoftbank Corp, Japan's second-largest provider of high-speed Internet services, plans to start a Web-based game service this month, with the aim of offering 100 game titles by the year ending next March. Billionaire Masayoshi Son's Tokyo-based company will open the Web site to its "BB Games" service on July 25. To bolster content, Softbank will tie up with 80 South Korean game makers. The company will eventually expand the number of game titles to 300, Softbank said in a news release distributed to reporters. \n■ Electronics \nAirwaves go toward WiFi \n \nMore of the world's airwaves will be allocated to wireless Internet users under an agreement reached by negotiators at the World Radiocom-munication Conference, the Associated Press said, citing US and EU officials. A conference committee and one plenary session have cleared the way to expand the space available for wireless local-area networks. The move is likely to be approved before the meeting ends, the wire service said. Wireless fidelity, or Wi-Fi, enables a broadband Internet connection to be shared by different computers within a short range. Cable-free access points have appeared in offices, cafes, airports and hotels. The 180-nation conference sets standards on the use of airwaves in different countries. The meeting is being held in Geneva. \nAgencies
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.