Aerospace giant Honeywell International Inc will pay a US$500,000 fine for hazardous waste violations at its plant in Kingman, Arizona, officials said. The plant, which repairs and overhauls aircraft wheels and brakes, was cited in 2005 for failing to have permits to treat hazardous waste, improperly labeling waste containers and improperly training workers. Employees could have been exposed to hazardous chemicals, Steve Owens, director of the state's Department of Environmental Quality, said on Friday. Honeywell has made sure the violations won't be repeated, spokesman Bill Reavis said.
Cracks found in nine aircraft
Japan Airlines Corp (JAL) has found cracks in pipes in nine of its MD-90 airplanes, including one which made an emergency landing last week, it said yesterday in a statement. JAL will investigate the cause of the cracks jointly with Boeing Co, the manufacturer of the planes, "as the cases can be caused by defects at the manufacturing process," it said. JAL conducted an emergency check of all its MD-90 planes after one made an emergency landing at Kansai International Airport on Feb. 17 on a domestic flight. Out of 42 MD-90 planes, nine were found with cracks in the pipes, it said.
France reforms industry
A series of reforms in the way wine is produced in France, which include labeling wines by grape variety as well as by region, appear to have boosted the beleaguered industry. The latest figures show wine and spirit exports grew by 13 percent last year, to reach a record 8.74 billion euros (US$11.5 billion), with a notable increase in foreign sales of still wines. France's share of the still wines market in the US -- set to become the world's biggest consumer next year -- has gone up two points to 14 percent, at the expense of Australia.
New scam unveiled
Hong Kong tourism chiefs have been alerted to yet another scam played on the lucrative flood of mainland Chinese visitors -- being threatened with fines if they refuse to visit certain shops. The racket emerged when a caller to a radio phone-in show said relatives on a tour had been told they would have to pay a surcharge if they wanted to break with the itinerary. The scam followed a move by the Hong Kong Travel Industry Council to curb "zero-fee" tours, in which travelers receive free holidays in return for an agreement to spend a fixed minimum amount at shops that pay the tour operators a cut of sales.
New meals for the elderly
Worried about an elderly relative living alone in another part of the country? Order a prepared meal for home delivery to an elderly person and one Japanese convenience store chain will check on the recipient's health and report back via the Internet, the Mainichi Shimbun said on yesterday. The FamilyMart chain, the third biggest in the country, is launching the service because the number of old people in Japan is rising and many of them live alone. Japan's population is the oldest in the world, with one fifth aged 65 or older. Census figures for 2005 showed that 3.86 million elderly people were living alone.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut