■ Communications DoCoMo may lower rates \n \nNTT DoCoMo Inc, the world's second-largest provider of mobile phone services, should consider lower fixed rates for users who send and receive smaller volumes of data, DoCoMo's Chief Executive Masao Nakamura said. KDDI Corp, Japan's second-biggest mobile phone company, offers a two-tier pricing system. In August, the company started charging low-volume data customers 2,100 yen (US$19) a month. Users who send and download larger amounts are charged twice as much. DoCoMo, KDDI and Vodafone KK are competing for subscribers to services that let users quickly send e-mail, download video and send pictures over high-speed Internet connections. \n \n■ Aviation \nPilots to mull pay cut \n \nLeaders of the pilots' union at bankrupt US Airways are taking their time to decide whether to forward a proposed contract to their members that would cut average pay by 18 percent. A spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) valued the concessions at US$1.8 billion through five years -- the third concession that pilots have made to the company since 2002. Union negotiators met Friday and Saturday with the union's master executive council and up to 80 pilots at a hotel in Charlotte, where US Airways has its largest hub. ALPA represents the airline's 3,000 pilots. The meeting was adjourned Saturday afternoon with the conferees still undecided on whether to recommend that union members approve the tentative contract. The group will resume meeting tomorrow in Pittsburgh, union spokesman Jack Stephan said. \n \n■ Luxury goods \nHobby rocket developed \n \nA Japanese university has developed a small rocket targeting hobbyists that will sell for ?2.1 million (US$19,000) when it soars onto the market this month. The Camui-50P rocket was developed by a team from Hokkaido University and can fly as high as 1km within three seconds after take off, according to the Hokkaido Aerospace Science and Technology Incubation Center. Measuring 1.6m long and weighing 10.5kg, the rocket has a cavity that can carry a small payload, such as a camera, weighing up to 0.5kg, it said. "[The rocket's] commercialization will have the effect of familiarizing people with space research," said HASTIC, which is selling the product. \n \n■ Emerging markets \nCapital inflows seen rising \n \nNet private capital flows to emerging markets are projected to reach US$226 billion this year, bringing them to levels not seen since the Asian crisis in 1997/1998, an international finance group said Saturday. It will rise to US$229 billion in 2005, the Institute of International Finance said in Washington. Net private capital flow amounted to US$213 billion last year. "The upward trend in flows is being supported by a rebound in direct investment and continued net bank lending at a time when emerging market economies are experiencing their highest growth in 20 years," the group said in a report released on the sidelines of the annual International Monetary Fund-World Bank meeting in Washington this week-end. The group, which has more than 340 member institutions in over 60 countries, said emerging market bonds regained the attention of investors last year.
TWEET CONFIRMED: The US’ Morgan Ortagus backed up Taiwan, saying China only admitted that human-to-human transmission was possible as late as Jan. 20 Taiwan warned the WHO and China about possible human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus at the end of last year, but the global health body did not make it public, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Department of International Organizations Director-General Bob Chen (陳龍錦) made the remark at a news briefing in Taipei, when asked about statements made by US Department of State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus. “Dec. 31— that’s the same day Taiwan first tried to warn WHO of human-human transmission. Chinese authorities meanwhile silenced doctors and refused to admit human-human transmission until Jan. 20, with catastrophic consequences,” Ortagus wrote on
ON THE LOOKOUT: A Lockheed EP-3 reconnaissance plane was yesterday seen flying southwest of Kaohsiung, according to Twitter account ‘Aircraft Spots’ A Twitter account that tracks military aircraft movements has indicated an increase in US military activity near Taiwan, coinciding with an increase in Chinese military activity in the area. Planes from the US Seventh Fleet have been sighted frequently above the South China Sea in the past several days, and a US Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane was seen flying close to Taiwanese airspace southwest of Kaohsiung yesterday, according to posts by the Twitter account Aircraft Spots. The EP-3 was seen circling above the same area, Aircraft Spots said, adding that other planes from the fleet were seen in the past few days
A Taipei resident who had breached his home quarantine order was found on Tuesday night in an Internet cafe and fined NT$1 million (US$32,976), Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said yesterday, as the Taipei City Government announced a short-term COVID-19 relief plan. Huang on Tuesday afternoon publicized the name of the man, Chen Tse (陳冊), who on Saturday last week returned from Beijing and was ordered to undergo 14-day home quarantine. However, city monitoring officials were unable to contact him by mobile phone or at his home. Chen was found by police at an Internet cafe on Nanyang Street, Huang said
ACCLIMATION: Chen Shih-chung said that only ‘soft’ policies have been carried out so far, but ‘hard’ measures would be implemented if the coronavirus situation worsens The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday recommended that indoor events of more than 100 people and outdoor events with more than 500 people should be canceled, as 19 new imported cases of COVID-19 were announced, bringing the total number in Taiwan to 235. “The center recommends that from now, indoor events of more than 100 people and outdoor events with more than 500 people should be suspended to reduce the risk of COVID-19 community transmission,” said Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the center. Event organizers should refer to six indicators listed in the response guidelines