We interview, you pay
Australia budget airline Jetstar has found a new way to cut costs and boost profits: charge job applicants for their interviews. "It's a cost recovery process for Jetstar," airline spokesman Simon Westaway told the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday. "We're making nothing on this." Jetstar charges prospective international flight attendants A$89 (US$66) for an interview. The Qantas Airways subsidiary expects to interview more than 1,000 applicants for the 240 jobs on offer.
Citibank punished for glitch
Japan's financial watchdog said yesterday it had punished Citibank Japan, ordering it to improve its computer system and submit a report, over a problem in May that botched hundreds of thousands of bank transactions and affected 97,000 individual customers for a week. The Financial Services Agency ordered Citibank, NA Japan branches to fundamentally re-evaluate and redevelop their current system of governance, internal control and outsourcing following a series of system failures involving transaction processing that affected thousands of individual and corporate customers earlier this year.
Apple drops legal action
Apple Computer has dropped its legal challenge against two Internet publishers who reported secret details about its new products, attorney Kurt Opsahl of the Electronic Freedom Foundation said on Thursday. Apple let the deadline to challenge an earlier appeals court ruling pass and filed court paperwork indicating it had abandoned the option, said Opsahl, who represented news Web sites PowerPage and AppleInsider in the case. Apple argued in court that the information could only have been leaked to the Web sites by someone who violated a confidentiality agreement with the company and that the Web site operators had to tell them who it was.
Ford halves dividend
Ford Motor Co, the second-largest US automaker, halved its dividend on Thursday to help stem losses at its North American unit. The payout for shareholders falls to US$0.05 a share from US$0.10 with the third quarter, Ford said in a statement. Ford is cutting spending after a US$1.6 billion pretax loss in its North American auto operations last year. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker in January announced a plan to cut 30,000 jobs and shut 14 North American plants by 2012.
Exploration bids invited
China will allow foreign companies a rare chance to conduct exploration for oil and gas in parts of the resource-rich Tarim Basin in the northwest of the country, the country's top energy company said yesterday. The China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the nation's largest oil and gas producer, said it will invite bids from foreign companies for exploration in nine potential oil and gas blocks in the basin. CNPC said in a statement on its Web site that several foreign oil companies had already expressed an interest in participating in projects in the Tarim Basin but provided no names. The statement suggested that a major motive of permitting foreign participation was to attract technological know-how from overseas.
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.