‘No crisis’ with Paraguay
There is “no crisis” regarding diplomatic ties with Paraguay, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday. Wu made the remarks in response to media queries on an April 17 vote by the Paraguayan Senate in a virtual session on whether to urge the country’s president to switch diplomatic recognition to China. The 45-seat Senate voted against the proposal 25-16, with four abstentions, the ministry said in a statement, adding that it is watching developments closely. It said the vote was held after seven Paraguayan senators associated with the left-wing party caucus Frente Guazu on March 30 petitioned to establish formal ties with Beijing in exchange for direct access to the Chinese market. Wu said the Paraguayan opposition has always been “unfriendly” toward Taiwan, but the government maintains cordial ties with the Paraguayan administration and has confidence in bilateral ties. Taiwan and Paraguay established diplomatic ties in 1957.
Air Canada extends freeze
Air Canada has extended the suspension of its flights between Taipei and Vancouver until March 27 next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a local travel agency said yesterday. The Canadian flag carrier had on April 16 extended the suspension from the originally scheduled end date of June 2 to Oct. 24 as the pandemic continued to expand internationally. Separately on Thursday, Air France said it would cancel all direct flights between Taipei and Paris from June 1, citing financial distress caused by the pandemic. The carrier said it would terminate the three round-trip services it offers weekly between the cities, after temporarily suspending them on March 8.
Man accused of murder
A 70-year-old Taipei man is facing domestic violence and murder charges after he allegedly smothered his daughter — who had cerebral palsy — to death before attempting suicide in March. The man, surnamed Chen (陳), was quoted by police as saying that he could not bear to see his 50-year-old daughter suffer any longer, as she had a severe toothache and cried all night. Chen allegedly smothered his daughter with her blanket and then swallowed a large number of painkillers, police said. Chen’s wife found her husband and daughter unconscious the following morning and called emergency personnel, who revived Chen, but could not help their daughter, police said. Police forwarded the case to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, which on Friday charged Chen with murder and domestic abuse. Police said that Chen’s wife had cared for their daughter and they shared a room. However, his wife was hospitalized and Chen was left in charge of their daughter, police said.
Village awaits cell coverage
Residents of an Aboriginal community in Pingtung County are looking forward to the completion of base stations in October, Checheng Township (車埕) mayor Chang Chun-kuei (張春桂) said yesterday. Chang said the project was one of her campaign promises when she first ran for office five years ago, and the three major telecoms — Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile and Far EasTone — last month began building the facilities at a cost of more than NT$8 million (US$267,908). Residents of the village, the only one in the township without mobile phone coverage, hope the new facilities can improve communications during the upcoming typhoon season and help the development of local tourism, she said.
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) should not use the government’s disease-prevention policy as an excuse to block people’s access to the Taipei Railway Station’s main hall, the Taiwan International Workers’ Association said yesterday. The association held a protest at the station after what organizers said were about 400 people staged a sit-in on Saturday to demonstrate against the TRA’s proposal to ban sitting on the floor of the main hall. In accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s disease-prevention measures, large gatherings have been banned in the hall since the end of February. After protesters yesterday expressed their grievances at the southern
SEEKING OPTIONS: A Sinyi Realty corporate realty official attributed the spike to proposed legal changes in the territory and the ongoing pro-democracy protests More Hong Kongers purchased real estate in Taiwan last year than other foreigners, Ministry of the Interior statistics showed. The ministry attributed the spike to a proposed extradition law that the Hong Kong government submitted last year, which would have allowed suspects to be sent to China and other nations, which sparked mass protests that are continuing. The rate of purchases last year by Hong Kong natural and juridical persons stood at 40 and 60 percent respectively, with building area purchased by both standing at 47.41 percent and 52.59 percent respectively, ministry data showed. Department of Land Administration statistics showed that Hong Kongers
ZERO TOLERANCE: National Police Agency Director-General Chen Ja-chin said that he ordered Kaohsiung police to investigate reports of planned voter intimidation Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) yesterday denounced the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for asking people not to vote in a recall poll against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), while National Police Agency Director-General Chen Ja-chin (陳家欽) called on police to follow up on reports that gangsters are planning to intimidate voters. Yen said that in an effort to save Han, the KMT has mobilized all of its members, who have increasingly tried to prevent Kaohsiung residents from exercising their right to vote in the poll on Saturday next week. She called on Kaohsiung residents to have the courage
Taipei is to reopen public facilities starting on Monday next week under three conditions, and allow indoor and outdoor events with fewer than 250 and 1,000 people respectively, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) yesterday. The three conditions are practicing social distancing measures or wearing a mask if the proper distance cannot be kept, enforcing a real-name registration system for indoor activities and prohibiting meal sharing, Huang said. All municipal facilities would resume operations under those principles, with the exception of school campuses, she said. School campuses at high-school level and below would remain closed to the public to protect student health, but