Chen Lee Shen passes at 94
Former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) mother, Chen Lee Shen (陳李慎), 94, passed away yesterday of multiple organ failure and sepsis. Chen Shui-bian posted on Facebook that his mother died peacefully in her sleep at Madou Sin-Lau Hospital, saying that he thanked the doctors and nurses for their care of his mother over the past nine months. No public ceremony is to be held out of respect for his mother’s wishes, he added. Chen Lee Shen shared a close relationship with the former president and his incarceration left her distraught, until his medical parole, sources close to the family said. In her final years, Chen Lee Shen was concerned over whether her son would obtain a presidential pardon, the sources added. Chen Shui-bian was sentenced to 20 years in prison for money laundering and bribery, but was released on parole on Jan. 6, 2015, due to deteriorating health.
Film festival announced
The Taipei Film Festival began accepting submissions on Friday for its Taipei Film Awards and International New Talent Competition. The Taipei Culture Foundation said that the talent competition is open to debut feature films or second efforts of filmmakers from around the world, while the film awards are for locally made films directed by Taiwanese or residents of Taiwan. All entrants must comply with the rules set by the Ministry of Culture, the foundation added. The talent competition winner would receive NT$600,000 (US$21,067), while the film award winner would receive NT$1 million. A Special Jury Prize of NT$300,000 would also be awarded in the talent competition. The Taipei Film Festival, now in its 23rd year, would show a series of Taiwanese and foreign films from June 24 to July 10.
Infant dies following blaze
A one-year-old child who was in critical condition after being rescued from a burning building in Kaohsiung early on Friday died yesterday morning, a local hospital said. The child, surnamed Chen (陳), died at the hospital from severe injuries, the Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said, without disclosing further details about the girl’s death out of respect for the family’s privacy. She was the fourth person to die as a result of the blaze, which occurred at a four-story building owned by her family in Fongshan District (鳳山). Firefighters on the scene said that the three other victims were the child’s 33-year-old mother, who was calling for help from a third-floor window as she held her daughter. Still holding the child, the mother attempted to climb down a ladder that firefighters had raised, but she stumbled and fell. She died later that day from a severe head injury sustained in the fall. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Indonesian found drowned
A missing Indonesian man surnamed Lin (林), who reportedly fell off a boat on New Year’s Eve, was yesterday found dead on the banks of Wukugan Creek (五股坑) in New Taipei City, a police spokesperson said. The 19-year-old student allegedly lost his footing and fell into the Tamsui River (淡水河) at about 5am that day from a boat that Lin and 25 friends hired in Taipei’s Dadaocheng (大稻埕) area for a party. Lin was said to be intoxicated, police said. Two crew members called the police after they became aware of the situation and first responders searched the river, but to no avail, they said. Lin’s body was discovered by members of the public yesterday morning and police identified him by his clothes and a ring.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last