S Korea to set up fund
The South Korean government said yesterday it would set up a 40 trillion won (US$27 billion) fund to buy bad loans from financial firms and purchase assets from ailing companies. The finance ministry disclosed details of a restructuring fund that was announced last month amid growing jitters about the global economic downturn. State-run Korea Asset Management Corp will issue government-guaranteed bonds to buy bad loans from financial firms and assets from ailing firms that will be restructured by creditors, the ministry said. It said the government would seek approval from parliament next month to revise related laws.
Citi says capital enough
Citigroup Inc chairman Richard Parsons said on Thursday that the bank did not need any more capital injections from the government and expressed confidence that Citi would remain in private hands. Asked in an interview whether Citigroup needed additional government capital injections, Parsons said: “No, I think actually, particularly with the latest conversion ... Citi is actually one of the better capitalized banks in the world.” Parsons was speaking on the sidelines of a Business Roundtable event where US President Barack Obama addressed business executives. He also brushed aside any prospect of the US government nationalizing the giant bank. “I don’t think the administration is heading in that direction,” Parsons said. “But I have a lot of confidence in the future viability and strength of a privately held Citi.”
Google offers transcription
Internet search giant Google on Thursday expanded its push into the telephone market, offering a service that provides a single number for home, work and cellphones and turns voicemail into e-mail. Google Voice automatically transcribes voicemail messages into e-mail or SMS text messages and provides a transcript in a user’s e-mail inbox on their mobile phone or computer. “When you receive a voicemail Google Voice will automatically transcribe it into text so you can read what the voicemail is about,” Google said in an instructional video on the company blog. It warned, however, that since the transcripts are “fully automated” through voice recognition technology, they “may include mistakes.”
Toyota plans cheap hybrid
Toyota plans a low-cost hybrid to challenge Honda’s success with the cheapest model on the market — a move that could spark a price war over the fuel-efficient cars, the Nikkei Shimbun said yesterday. Toyota’s new gas and electric-powered hybrid will have a price tag of below ¥2 million (US$20,500) — about 20 percent to 30 percent cheaper than its Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid, the daily said. Toyota will initially launch the vehicle in Japan as early as 2011 with a smaller engine than the 1.5-liter Prius, it said without naming its sources. Toyota refused to comment on the report.
New iPhone OS next week
Apple plans to give the world a peek next week at its next-generation operating system for iPhones. The company on Thursday invited news reporters to a “town hall” event at its headquarters in Cupertino, California, and promised a “sneak peek” at the upcoming iPhone 3.0 operating system. It said the event would center on a new software developers kit for its popular multi-purpose mobile devices.
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
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