Oil trader jailed
The Kaohsiung branch of the Taiwan High Court yesterday sentenced a businessman who sold oil to North Korea to one year in prison for contravening the Counter-Terrorism Financing Act (資恐防制法). Huang Wang-ken (黃旺根) sold 2,829 tonnes of oil to North Korea by arranging illicit ship-to-ship fuel transfers in international waters, prosecutors said. A tanker owned by Huang — the Panamanian-flagged Shang Yuan Bao — was sanctioned by the UN Security Council in October 2018 over the transfers, with the US Department of the Treasury imposing secondary sanctions on three of Huang’s shipping companies in August 2019. The court said that Huang had “seriously tarnished Taiwan’s image, and put it at risk of being sanctioned or reproached by the UN and the international community.” The court said it reduced a 14-month sentence Huang received in April in a trial at a lower court as the businessman confessed to wrongdoing in his most recent trial. The verdict can be appealed.
Kinmen Bridge to open
Kinmen Bridge, which connects the county’s main island and Little Kinmen, or Lieyu (烈嶼), would open to traffic on Sunday, the Freeway Bureau said. The final preopening inspection of the bridge was carried out on Monday and suggested improvements — which covered areas such as drainage, traffic engineering, traffic control systems and lighting — would be completed today, the bureau said. The 4.8km bridge stretches east-west connecting Jinning Township’s (金寧) Cihhu (慈湖) on the larger island to Houtou (后頭) in Lieyu Township. The project, which was approved by the Executive Yuan in 2010 and launched in 2012, had been plagued by problems such as inexperienced contractors and construction crews, which resulted in contracts being terminated twice, the bureau said. In 2016, a new contract was awarded, and construction resumed in December that year, it said. Meanwhile, the Kinmen County Government on Wednesday said that next year’s Kinmen Marathon would be revised to include the new bridge. Registration is to open on Nov. 11 for the marathon, which is scheduled for Feb. 11 and 12. The organizers have not released updated details of the race routes.
Poster painter dies
Chen Tzu-fu (陳子福), a prolific painter of movie posters before printed posters became the norm, has passed away, the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute said on Tuesday. He was 96. Chen was hailed as a national treasure for painting nearly 5,000 movie posters. Before mass printing of commercial movie posters became the norm, Chen would paint posters of domestic and international films freehand, often based on only a cursory understanding of the plot. Chen captured the essence of a film through his vibrant use of colors and dramatic use of framing, the institute said. At the peak of his career, he made about 40 posters a month to be hung at movie theaters, it said. Chen retired in 1994 after painting his final movie poster for the Meryl Streep and Glenn Close film The House of the Spirits. Following his retirement, he received a Special Award at the 43rd Golden Horse Awards in 2006. In 2018 and 2019, Chen donated 1,172 of his works to the institute, which are archived as important artifacts that document the history of Taiwanese cinema.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
LUCKY DATE: The man picked the 10th ‘Super Red Envelope’ in a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10 A man who recently broke up with his girlfriend won a NT$1 million (US$32,929) prize in the “NT$20 million Super Red Envelope” lottery after picking a card based on the date of their breakup, Taiwan Lottery Co said yesterday. The man, in his 20s, bought the 10th ticket at a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli District (中壢), because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10, the store owner told the lottery company. The “Super Red Envelope” lottery was a limited offering by the company during the Lunar New Year holiday, which ended yesterday. The cards, which cost NT$2,000 each, came with
TOURISM BOOST: The transportation system could help attract more visitors to the area, as the line is to connect multiple cultural sites, a city councilor said Residents in New Taipei City’s Ankeng District (安坑) said the local light rail system might have a positive influence, but raised questions about its practicality. The Ankeng light rail system, which is to commence operations after the Lunar New Year holiday, would cut travel time for commuters from Ankeng to downtown Taipei or New Taipei City by 15 to 20 minutes, the city government said. According to the initial plan, there would be one train every 15 minutes during peak time and additional interval trains would run between the densely populated Ankang Station (安康) and Shisizhang Station (十 四張). To encourage people to
CHAMPION TREES: The team used light detection and ranging imaging to locate the tree, and found that it measured a height of 84.1m and had a girth of 8.5m A team committed to finding the tallest trees in the nation yesterday said that an 84.1m tall Taiwania cryptomerioides tree had been named the tallest tree in Taiwan and East Asia. The Taiwan Champion Trees, a team consisting of researchers from the Council of Agriculture’s Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), in June last year used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) imaging to find the giant tree, numbered 55214, upstream of the Daan River (大安溪). A 20-member expedition team led by Rebecca Hsu (徐嘉君), an assistant researcher at the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, set out to find the