Brazil reports the US
Brazil will ask the WTO to formally investigate US farm subsidy programs, which it says includes payments for ethanol production, a senior Brazilian official said on Tuesday. The South American country, which has already won a series of WTO rulings over US cotton subsidies, will make its request for an investigative panel soon, said Roberto Azevedo, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry's trade chief. The dispute could become a major case for the global commerce body, which has largely steered clear of energy issues in its 12-year history.
Microsoft patches released
Microsoft Corp released four software patches on Tuesday to fix security flaws, including one that could allow hackers to take over computers running the company's instant messaging programs. Only one of the flaws carried the company's most severe "critical" rating, and it only applies to the Windows 2000 operating system. To be affected, users would have to visit a Web site and install a program that could then run malicious code on their computers, said Mark Griesi, a security program manager at the Redmond-based software maker.
EU warns China over goods
The EU will ban imports of some types of Chinese consumer goods unless the country responds to EU concerns about health and safety standards, the bloc's consumer protection chief said. "If China fails to respond positively or sufficiently to our request by October, we will move to the next step, which is a ban of certain goods such as toys," Consumer Protection Commissioner Meglena Kuneva told European parliamentarians. Kuneva has requested a report from the Chinese authorities over EU concerns regarding an influx of unsafe products from China such as toys, toothpaste and certain foods.
Wellington tightens rules
New Zealand is introducing tougher regulations for non-bank financial institutions after a string of failures of finance companies, the government said yesterday. Finance Minister Michael Cullen warned the new laws would not be a quick-fix for the finance industry, which has been hit by a run on funds mirroring credit fears in the US and elsewhere. New laws will require all financial institutions taking deposits to be registered with the central Reserve Bank of New Zealand and to comply with minimum prudential requirements. Among the requirements, non-bank institutions will have to get a credit rating from an approved agency, follow a minimum capital to debt ratio and restrict lending to related parties.
US' CFOs bearish: poll
Confidence in the US economy has plunged sharply in recent weeks among hundreds of chief financial officers (CFO) working for US firms, a survey released on Tuesday showed. The survey of 580 US CFOs, conducted by Duke University and CFO magazine, found confidence had dropped to its lowest point since the survey began six years ago. Credit market turbulence, weak consumer demand and high labor costs were cited as the top concerns. The poll found that 61.7 percent of the CFOs were more pessimistic, while 13.6 percent were more optimistic about US economic prospects during the third quarter compared with the prior quarter.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
RELATIONSHIP ‘TERMINATED’: US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the president’s action was ‘an act of extraordinary senselessness,’ a tone Chinese media echoed US President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Washington would withdraw funding from the WHO, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government. Trump said in a White House announcement that Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the organization to mislead the public about the outbreak. “We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” he said. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be