Toyota keeps eyes glued
Japanese automaker Toyota has developed a safety technology that it says will keep the driver's eyes on the road. An image-processing computer system developed by Toyota Motor Corp and a Toyota affiliate uses a camera near the steering wheel to detect when the driver stops looking straight ahead. The system flashes a light on the dashboard display and emits a beeping noise when the eyes start to wander. If the driver still doesn't respond, brakes kick in, Toyota said yesterday. The feature will be offered in Lexus luxury models set to be sold in Japan in spring next year.
■ South Korea
Roh calls for integration
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun called yesterday for efforts to integrate the Asia-Pacific economies, saying it will bring a "brighter future" for the region. Roh made the remark at the opening ceremony of this year's meeting of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council in Seoul which wraps up today. He said seeking a regional economic bloc like the EU and the North American Free Trade Agreement would be "far more efficient" than pursuing individual free-trade agreements between countries. "There is much to be done for the sake of a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific region," Roh told the forum, according to prepared comments provided by his office. "Compared with the EU and the NAFTA, the level of economic integration is still low."
■ Hong Kong
BA fined for rights violation
British Airways PLC has been fined HK$5,000 (US$641) after pleading guilty to violating the labor rights of the head of its Hong Kong cabin crew union, officials said yesterday. In the first successful prosecution of its kind in Hong Kong, the airline pleaded guilty on Monday to a charge of preventing or deterring union leader Carol Ng from exercising her labor rights under Hong Kong laws, judiciary spokesman Mackenzie Mak said. The airline allegedly "informally monitored" Ng and issued written and verbal warnings to her last August in an attempt to deter her from taking part in union activities, according to a Labor Department summons. British Airways said it accepted the court ruling and felt "comfortable that this low fine reflects the seriousness of the case."
■ Hong Kong
Disneyland mulls long hours
Hong Kong Disneyland said yesterday it is considering extending opening hours and adding more shows as the territory's Financial Secretary expressed concern about the large crowds and long lines when the park is operating at its capacity. "The queues are really long," when the park is filled to its capacity of 30,000 people, financial secretary Henry Tang said late on Monday. "We don't want tourists to think it's a downer to have to queue up for so long," Tang said. The park officially opens next Monday, but it has already been receiving guests on a number of rehearsal days. The park has been open from 10am to up to 9pm during the rehearsal days. Hong Kong Disneyland is expected to draw 5.6 million people in its first year of operation, with mainland Chinese tourists accounting for about a third of that number.
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘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
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South