Chiang sues Chen over 228
A grandson of the late dictator Chiang Kai-shek (將介石) yesterday sued President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for libel after Chen called Chiang the main culprit in the 1947 massacre of thousands of Taiwanese. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) filed the libel suit with the Taipei District Court. He demanded compensation of US$1 and a newspaper apology from Chen. "President Chen's arbitrary conclusion concerning the 228 Incident can only deepen ethnic division. I ask him to hold a public debate with me," Chiang told reporters. "If the debate shows that Chiang Kai-shek was not the main culprit, Chen must apologize to the whole nation and clear Chiang Kai-shek's name," Chiang said. Chen did not immediately respond to Chiang's libel suit.
Biofuel project expanded
The government has decided to increase the amount of land allocated for biofuel crops -- soybean, rape, sunflower and sweet potato -- from 1,721 hectares last year to 4,550 hectares this year, the Council of Agriculture said yesterday. Council officials said that 3,280 hectares would be used for soybean cultivation, 1,240 hectares for planting sunflowers and 30 hectares for raising sweet potatoes on a trial basis. Soybeans, rape seed and sunflowers can be turned into ethanol used in biodiesel, while sweet potatoes will be used to supply the ethanol to be blended with gasoline during manufacturing trials. The government started its "biofuel development project" two years ago to reduce reliance on imported fuels. A recent report from the Ministry of Economic Affairs said that 98.22 percent of energy supplies used last year was imported. Officials said that as some 220,000 hectares of farmland is left fallow every year, the COA had decided to utilize this land to produce biofuel-related raw materials, for which demand is increasing.
Save tree frog project starts
The Taipei City Government and Hewlett-Packard (HP) Taiwan are inviting the public to donate used ink or printer cartridges to raise funds that will be used in reviving the city's shrinking wetlands and secure the survival rate of the Taipei tree frog. HP will donate NT$10 to NT$50 to the Chi Sing Eco-Conservation Foundation, a civic group dedicated to environmental protection, for every used ink or printer cartridge sent to companies such as Tsann Kuan Group (燦坤), Yungchin Real Estate Agency (永慶房屋) and Arcoa Corp (全虹通信) this and next month. Funds raised will be used to grow plants in mountainous areas around the city to revive the habitat of Taipei tree frogs, said Chou Ching-an (周慶安), a division chief at Taipei City's Department of Economic Development. Chou said that Taipei tree frogs could still be found in Four Beast Mountain (四獸山) and Yangmingshan National Park.
African summit to be held
The summit between the presidents of Taiwan and its African allies will not be held in Africa as originally planned but in Taiwan, Foreign Minister James Huang (黃志芳) said on Monday. The Taiwan-African Allies Summit was meant to take place at the end of last year, but it was postponed. Huang said that the summit could be held in Taiwan in the near future since facilities in Taiwan are more suitable for organizing such an event. The government would make a final decision on the summit after discussing the details of the summit with its African allies, he said.
New rules bring long lines
Long lines were reported at the international airports in Taipei and Kaohsiung yesterday as new security rules for carry-on baggage took effect. The new rules bar passengers from carrying containers holding more than 100ml of liquid, gel or spray in their carry-on bags on international flights, and the containers under that limit must must be placed in a see-through plastic bag and checked by security officials before boarding. Aviation police were providing the regulation 24cm by 17cm plastic bags to passengers yesterday, one per person. At Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the police quickly ran through their supply of 20,000 bags. The situation at the airport was orderly, although some passengers complained about the long wait, saying that extra staff should have been assigned to help implement the new measures. Before entering controlled areas, passengers had to dump any proscribed containers and so many were seen rushing to gulp down the hot or cold beverages they had just purchased.
Taipei HSR station opens
The Taiwan High Speed Rail will finally commence full operation with the opening of the Taipei station today, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) announced yesterday. Operation on the section between Taipei and Banciao had been delayed because of electrical and other problems. The THSRC said it expected tens of thousands of passengers to throng the Taipei station today and tomorrow, and advised passengers to double check the train schedule. While there have been ticketing problems, the THSRC said it would allow passengers to book tickets via telephone.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
HOUNDED ONLINE: Two Chinese firms said they would not extend their contracts with Little S, while another terminated its agreement following an Instagram post A high-profile Taiwanese TV host found herself the latest to draw fire from Chinese Internet users after referring to Taiwan’s Olympians as “national competitors.” Dee Hsu (徐熙娣) — better known as “Little S” — made the comment in an Instagram post on Sunday during the women’s singles badminton final between Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) of Taiwan and Chen Yufei (陳雨菲) of China. The post drew an angry reaction in China, where nationalist Internet users often police the comments of celebrities and companies for views that clash with the Chinese Communist Party’s official narrative that both sides of the Taiwan Strait are part
HASTY REVIEW CLAIMS: Medigen’s vaccine, which is to start phase 3 clinical trials later this year, should not have received emergency use authorization, Hau said Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) is to appeal the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization of Medigen Vaccine Biologics’ COVID-19 vaccine, he said yesterday. The administration on July 19 granted Medigen emergency use authorization, even though the drugmaker had not yet completed phase 3 clinical trials. The government should not authorize the use of a vaccine that has not completed phase 3 trials, Hau said in Taipei on the sidelines of an event to distribute boxed meals with former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Broadcasting Corp of China chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康). Hau said the government had politicized
NEW NUMBERS: No deaths were reported yesterday, but there were 12 local cases and two imported cases — people who had returned from Thailand and the US The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that COVID-19 restrictions are expected to remain in place after Monday next week, as it reported 12 local infections and two imported cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the 12 local cases are 10 men and two women aged 10 to 80 who began experiencing symptoms between Thursday and Saturday. Six tested positive during isolation or upon ending it, he said, adding that the sources of infection have been identified in nine cases, while three remain unclear and would be investigated. Taoyuan reported five cases, all family