Canada shy of `Street View'
The "Street View" feature of Google Maps, with its close-up views of city streets and recognizable shots of people, could violate a Canadian law protecting individual privacy, officials said on Wednesday. Google Inc introduced street-level map views in May, giving Web users a series of panoramic, 360-degree images of nine US cities. Some of the random pictures feature people in informal poses who can clearly be identified. Canada's Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart wrote to Google early last month asking for more details. She said if the Street View product were expanded to Canada without being amended, it could well violate privacy laws.
■ REAL ESTATE
China to clamp down further
China's central bank is likely to clamp down further on property speculation in a bid to curb soaring real estate prices, state media said yesterday. New regulations, which could be released as early as this week, will specifically target people who buy a second apartment, the China Daily reported, citing an unnamed official at the bank. The rules are expected to require second-time home buyers to make a down payment of 40 percent, as opposed to as little as 20 percent for first-time home buyers, the paper said.
Bombardier grounds Q-400s
Plane maker Bombardier ordered the grounding of at least 40 percent of its Q-400 turboprop planes after a Scandinavian Airlines aircraft skidded off a runway with 52 people aboard, the second such incident in three days. No one was injured on Wednesday when the landing gear failed, forcing the emergency touchdown in Lithuania. However, the accident followed the crash landing late last week of a Scandinavian Airlines flight that suffered a similar failure in Denmark, injuring five people. The grounding Wednesday forced the cancelation of at least 200 flights worldwide.
HK bar benders end strike
One of Hong Kong's longest-running industrial strikes has ended after 36 days, with hundreds of specialist construction workers accepting a 14-percent pay rise and slightly reduced working hours. The strike had grounded work at dozens of construction sites for more than a month and laid bare the plight of workers in the city -- where the wealth gap has widened noticeably since 1997. After the latest in a string of marathon meetings on Wednesday night, around 200 bar-bending metal workers voted to accept a daily wage of HK$860 (US$110). Working hours were cut from nine to eight hours.
Airbus trims management
Thomas Enders, newly installed chief executive at Airbus, on Wednesday streamlined his management committee at the struggling European aircraft maker. Enders, a German named to head Airbus in July under a management overhaul, reduced the committee from 12 to nine members while trying to maintain a balance between French and German interests in the company. The new team comprises four Germans, three French nationals, an American and a Briton. Committee member Thierry Baril of France was handed the delicate task of heading the human resources department at a time when Airbus is implementing a sweeping restructuring that should see the elimination of 10,000 jobs.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit