A380 receives certification
The Airbus A380 received certification from European and US aviation authorities on Tuesday, clearing its last official hurdle before the first 555-seater superjumbo is scheduled to be delivered to Singapore Airlines Ltd next October. Officials from the European Aviation Safety Agency and US Federal Aviation Administration signed airworthiness certificates for the much-delayed plane at a ceremony at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, southern France. The A380's clearance for commercial takeoff offered some much-needed good news for Airbus -- which has fallen behind rival Boeing Co on orders this year.
Winny inventor convicted
A Japanese court yesterday convicted the inventor of popular file-swapping software for copyright violations but refused to jail the programmer, who has become a cyberspace icon. Isamu Kaneko, 36, created the "peer-to-peer" Winny software, which lets users exchange files such as computer games and movies over the Internet for free. Kaneko, who was a research assistant at Tokyo University until his arrest in 2004, was ordered to pay a ?1.5 million (US$13,000) fine in Japan's first ruling on file-sharing software. But the Kyoto District Court turned down a call from prosecutors for a one-year prison sentence for Kaneko, who pleaded not guilty.
Hannover to sell Praetorian
Germany's Hannover Re AG said yesterday it is selling its US-based specialty insurer Praetorian Financial Group Inc to Australia's QBE Insurance Group Ltd for US$800 million. "This successful sale demonstrates that it was the right decision to carve out our US primary specialty business into Praetorian," Hannover chief executive Wilhlem Zeller said. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, and expected to be completed by June, is part of the Hanover-based reinsurer's commitment to focus on its core markets. Praetorian provides insurance on what the industry calls niche products, such as art collections, cell phones, jewelry businesses and even pet insurance.
Court acquits executives
A Japanese court yesterday acquitted three former executives of Mitsubishi Motors Corp in a fatal crash that prosecutors said was caused by a design flaw, Kyodo News agency reported. The Yokohama Summary Court also found the company not guilty over a 2002 accident in which a tire fell off a Mitsubishi truck, killing a 29-year-old woman, Kyodo said. The victim's two children were also injured. Prosecutors accused the three executives -- Takashi Usami, 66, Akio Hanawa, 65, and Tadashi Koshikawa, 64 -- of falsifying defect reports on its truck wheel parts, and failed to take measures to avoid vehicle recalls.
Fed keeps rates unchanged
The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Tuesday for the fourth straight time as worries about inflation continued to trump concerns about the slowing economy. At its final meeting for the year, the central bank left its target for the federal funds rate at 5.25 percent. The funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other, has been at that level since June, when the Fed raised rates for the 17th time in a two-year effort to combat rising inflation. The decision means that banks' prime lending rate will remain at 8.25 percent.
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
‘CORRUPTION’: One DPP lawmaker and two KMT legislators were held incommunicado, while former NPP chairman Hsu Yung-ming was released on bail in the Pacific Sogo case The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that three lawmakers be held incommunicado amid a probe into allegedly bribery relating to an ownership dispute over Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). The three are Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) of the Democratic Progressive Party, and Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Also held incommunicado were Su’s office director Yu Hsueh-yang (余學洋) and Sufin’s office director Ting Fu-hua (丁復華), as well as Kuo Ke-ming (郭克銘), a political lobbyist and general manager of Knowledge International Consultancy (是知管理顧問公司). The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Friday raided the offices of six incumbent and former