TV station disputes ruling
TVBS, a Hong Kong-invested TV station in Taiwan, said yesterday that it refuses to accept a decision by the Government Information Office (GIO) that it has violated the law and will seek remedial measures in line with law. TVBS, which recently drew the ire of the government and the Democ-ratic Progressive Party (DPP) by exposing damning evidence of a ranking former official suspected of invol-vement in the Kaohsiung mass rapid transit scandal, was responding to the GIO's move a day earlier to slap the station with a NT$1 million (US$29,722) fine for violating the Satellite Broadcasting Law, which limits foreign capital in broadcast media.
New agency for foreigners
In the face of a continued inflow of foreigners, Taiwan will soon establish an agency exclusively dedicated to immigration affairs, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. The ministry official made the comment one day after the Legislative Yuan gave its final approval for establishing an immigration administration to take charge of all aspects of immigration affairs. Vice Minister of the Interior Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) said a day earlier that the immigration administration can begin operations soon to tackle "the many problems" arising from the continued entry of foreign brides from China and other Southeast Asian countries as well as blue-collar and skilled workers.
Taiwan helps fight bird flu
Taiwan will donate US$500,000 at the up-coming 13th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit to assist in the regional effort against bird flu, an official said yesterday. "Fighting bird flu is one of the main topics of the APEC summit, so we will announce there that Taiwan will donate US$500,000 to contribute to the regional fight against bird flu," Liao Tung-chou (廖東周), deputy chief of the Foreign Ministry's Department of International Organizations, told a seminar. The summit will be held in Busan, South Korea, on Nov. 18 and Nov. 19. Leaders from the 21 APEC member states will meet to discuss regional economic issues and how to fight bird flu.
Misbehavior out: Hsieh
Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday said that violence or any sort of misbehavior cannot and should not be rationalized. Hsieh said during the weekly Cabinet meeting that "when behavior is wrong, it is wrong anyway." He was commenting on writer and poet Tu Shi-san (杜十三) threatening to kill every member of the premier's family. However, the premier said that he would affirm Tu's confession when Tu said that he would apologize for what he did and take responsibility for it. Hsieh said that he understood that some people would support Tu's behavior and said that Tu does not have to apologize.
Two probe Lafayette case
Public prosecutor-general Wu Ying-chao (吳英昭) yesterday confirmed at the legislature that prosecutors Albert Tsai (蔡秋明) and Lo Jung-chien (羅榮乾), in charge of the Lafayette frigate scandal investigation, are in Switzerland investigating records of bank deposits made by fugitive Taiwanese arms broker Andrew Wang (汪傳浦). "The probe of those bank documents could mean a breakthrough in the scandal," Wu said. A Swiss Federal Commission on Oct. 29 approved the handover of bank files to foreign judicial authorities concerning the controversial sale of French warships to Taiwan.
GREATER NUMBER: The sorties might have been a response to the US and the EU expressing concern on Friday over China’s ‘provocations’ in the Taiwan Strait Twenty-five Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected around Taiwan from 6am Saturday to 6am yesterday, including eight airplanes that had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and another two that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ were a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a BZK-005 uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Ministry of National Defense said. The aircraft that flew across the median line include two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, four J-16 multipurpose fighters and two J-10 jets, the ministry’s official Web site showed. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it
LUNAR NEW YEAR PEAK: Taiwanese who are in China should get vaccinated and consider returning early, as infection rates are expected to increase, the CECC said China faces five major problems once COVID-19 begins spreading there, with a peak in infections likely during the Lunar New Year holidays, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Wang wrote on Facebook that according to the center’s data, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in China is worth noting, as the new Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BA.5.2 spreading in China are highly infectious and are more transmissible than the previously dominating Omicron subvariants. “The virus cannot be eliminated even under China’s strict control measures,” he wrote. “Its policy
‘SEXUAL ASSAULT’: Taipei prosecutors said that cooperation agreements between Taiwan and the Czech Republic grant Czech officials protection against prosecution The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday reaffirmed that it would not charge a Czech official with sexual assault because he is protected by diplomatic immunity. The office released a statement saying it has verified that the man works for the Czech Economic and Cultural Office Taipei’s foreign affairs corps and is thereby protected from criminal prosecution. A foreign graduate student in Taiwan had filed a complaint alleging that the section head of the Czech Economic and Trade Section had sexually assaulted her on April 21 last year. The woman said the Czech official had invited her to his home and then forced her