WTO chief warns on talks
WTO Director General Supachai Panitchpakdi warned the 147 WTO mem-ber states on Monday that failure to re-energize global trade talks by the end of this month could freeze liberal-ization for years to come. Supachai released a written statement as negotiators gathered at the WTO for discussions on a draft compromise proposal aimed at unlocking stalled trade talks by an end-of-the-month deadline. "A failure this month means the continuation of an unsatis-factory status quo, certainly for the remainder of this year and next and possibly for years to come," Supa-chai said. "At a time when protectionist pressures lie just below the surface, when people across the world are demanding change, the 147 member governments of the WTO must deliver," he said.
Hoya profit surges
Hoya Corp, the world's largest supplier of glass plates used by semicon-ductor and flat-panel display makers, said first-quarter profit rose 66 percent as consumers bought more TVs and por-table electronic devices.
Group net income rose to ?16.2 billion(US$149 mil-lion) for the three months ended June 30, from ?9.8 billion a year ago, the com-pany said in a statement. First-quarter sales rose 17 percent to ?75 billion from ?63.9 billion. Hoya is benefiting from growing demand from makers of equipment to build parts for digital consumer products such as liquid crystal display TVs and digital cameras and audio players. Operating profit, general and administrative costs, at its electronics optics division rose 45 percent.
EU OKs Sony-BMG link
The EU has approved the merger of Sony Music and Bertelsmann AG's BMG unit in a deal that gives the four "majors" control of about 80 percent of the world music market, a Bertelsmann spokesman said on Monday. "The merger was approved without conditions," said spokesman Oliver Herrge-sell, in a telephone inter-view. The EU's executive body, the European Com-mission, had been widely expected to endorse anti-trust chief Mario Monti's decision to approve the merger. Monti reversed his merger team's initial objec-tions to the deal after two days of closed-door hear-ings last month with the companies and third parties, including independent labels and companies involved in the emerging legal market for online music downloading. Bertels-mann said it is now looking forward to concentrating
on the integration of the two companies. The deal leaves 80 percent of the market
in the hands of four groups: Sony-BMG, Vivendi Uni-versal, EMI and Warner Music. Sony-BMG and Vivendi Universal control about a quarter each.
Warner inks cinema deal
Warner Brothers has agreed with a local partner to open 10 multiplex cinemas in cities across China, state media reported yesterday. The deal, signed on Monday with the Guangzhou Jinyi Film and Television Invest-ment Co, calls for Warner Brothers International Cinemas to provide tech-nical support, training and administrative expertise for the theaters, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Warner Brothers will manage and operate the new multiplex cinemas. The new theaters are planned for Beijing, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Xian and Hang-zhou, Xinhua said.
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
HELPING HAND: Taiwan is ready to help other nations and will not sit idly by while the global fight against the coronavirus continues, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan, as a responsible member of the international community, is to offer humanitarian assistance to nations hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by sending them masks and medicine, as well as sharing with them an electronic system that the government has been using to track down people that need to be quarantined, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. With the nation’s daily production having reached 13 million masks and soon to reach 15 million, the government is to donate 10 million masks to medical personnel in nations most severely affected by the coronavirus, Tsai said at the Presidential Office in Taipei. The