Lockheed to build `Orion'
NASA picked Lockheed Martin Corp on Thursday as the prime contractor to build the Orion spaceship, which will replace the aging shuttle fleet and take astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972. The contract's initial phase, valued at US$3.9 billion, would get the US space agency one ship made to carry crew and another for cargo; people are expected to fly on the new vessel by 2014. The first lunar voyage should happen by 2020. The Orion space vessel is a departure from the shuttle's winged design, and looks more like the capsules that carried Apollo astronauts to lunar orbit in the 1960s and 1970s.
Strike at Kia ends
South Korea's Kia Motors Corp said it resumed normal operations yesterday after reaching a tentative agreement with its labor union over a wage increase. The management and the union agreed yesterday on a 5.7 percent increase in basic salary and various incentives. The tentative agreement will be put to vote on Tuesday. The union had been on partial strike since July, demanding a 7.1 percent wage increase and better working conditions. Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co, said its production losses amounted to nearly 48,000 vehicles during the strike.
Asahi Tec eyes Metaldyne
Japanese auto parts maker Asahi Tec's shares surged 20 percent yesterday on news that it plans to buy US rival Metaldyne Corp. Asahi Tec plans to purchase Michigan-based Metaldyne Corp, said Mari Mori, but she could not immediately comment on how much the firm plans to spend for the purchase. Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported the company plans to acquire Metaldyne for an estimated ¥100 billion (US$850 million) to ¥150 billion. Metaldyne officials were not immediately available for comment.
Nokia buying gate5
Nokia Ojy said on Thursday it will buy gate5, a German designer of navigation software, allowing the world's largest cellphone maker to offer maps on its mobile devices. "Maps and navigation are natural elements to be offered in mobile devices, but this area hasn't developed as fast as expected by the market," said Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's general manager for multimedia. "Acquiring gate5 enables Nokia to offer consumers the world-leading mobile location applications, such as maps, routing and navigation at an accelerated speed." Nokia said the deal should be completed by the end of the year but did not disclose financial details. Founded in 1999, gate5 is headquartered in Berlin and has about 70 employees.
Official tackles growth risks
High oil prices, a slowing US economy and financial market volatility are the key risks to Asia's robust economic growth, IMF managing director Rodrigo Rato said. Oil prices are unlikely to fall back dramatically, he said, urging countries to learn to cope with soaring fuel costs. Asia faces similar risks as the rest of the world but the region is "particularly sensitive" to growth in the US and oil prices, which are currently above US$70 a barrel, Rato said. "In addition, while the region has shown resilience to the financial market volatility in May and June, further volatility in global financial markets could affect capital flows, growth and inflation," he said.
EXTRADITION DEAL? A former prosecutor said that the US Department of Justice might ask Taiwan to extradite the men in return for the US doing something in return The US won arrest warrants for three Taiwanese men — a former president of China-based Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co (福建晉華) and two engineers — charged with stealing secrets from Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc. The effort to apprehend the three men — former Fujian Jinhua president Stephen Chen (陳正坤), and Ho Chien-ting (何建廷) and Wang Yong-ming (王永銘), who work for Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) — is notable because they were charged in 2018 in the first case filed under the “China initiative” of US President Donald Trump’s administration targeting trade-secret theft, hacking and economic espionage. However, legal experts have said
There was a net reduction last year in the number of Taipei residents and this year is expected to set a 23-year high for population decline in the city, Ministry of the Interior statistics released yesterday showed. From January to last month, 18,861 more people moved out of Taipei than moved into the capital, an increase of 7,000 from the same period last year, the data showed. That is a 7.2 percent decrease in the city’s population since the start of the year, the biggest drop in both percentage and total number among all municipalities and counties nationwide, the data showed. The data
COUNCILS CLASH: The Mainland Affairs Council said a new office in Hong Kong is to assist people with issues related to investment, study and employment in Taiwan The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday denied an accusation by the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council that its Taiwanese counterpart in the territory was “interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.” The Hong Kong council leveled the accusation after Taipei’s Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council this month announced it would establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office to facilitate humanitarian aid for Hong Kongers. The new office is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday. The MAC yesterday asked the Hong Kong council to “not misinterpret” the government’s intentions. The two Taiwan-Hong Kong councils were established in 2010 to
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012