The DuPont Co agreed to pay as much as US$343 million on Thursday to settle allegations the chemical giant contaminated drinking water in West Virginia and Ohio with a key ingredient used in its Teflon products. \nAs many as 60,000 residents around DuPont's Washington Works plant on the Ohio River near Parkersburg sued over exposure to the chemical C8, also known as ammonium perfluorooctanoate, or PFOA. \nIf the settlement is approved by a West Virginia judge, DuPont will fund a US$5 million study of whether C8 causes disease in humans. If a scientific panel finds such a link, DuPont will pay up to US$235 million for medical tests on residents. DuPont will spend an additional US$10 million to remove as much C8 from the area's water supply as possible. That includes building state-of-the-art water treatment plants for communities in the two states. \nDuPont will also pay US$70 million into a fund to be overseen by a court-appointed administrator, with at least US$20 million of that going toward health and education projects. About US$22.6 million of the potential settlement is earmarked for lawyers' fees and expenses. \nThe proposed settlement follows a July report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleging DuPont failed to properly report the discovery of C8 in drinking water near the Washington Works and in the blood of pregnant employees at the plant. \nThe EPA is seeking millions of dollars in fines from DuPont, which has said it had no legal obligation to provide information about C8 releases. \nTeflon is one of DuPont's most popular products. The nonstick substance can be found in everything from cookware and clothing to car parts and flooring.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient