Shen Lyu-shun dies
Former representative to the US Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡) passed away on Friday morning at Cardinal Tien Hospital in New Taipei City. He was 73. Born in 1949, Shen was a descendant of Shen Pao-chen (沈葆楨), a Qing Dynasty official who made a mark in Taiwan’s history by pushing for the nation’s modernization and exploration of mountainous areas. Shen served as deputy minister of foreign affairs from 2009 to 2011 and assumed several diplomatic posts, including representative to the US (2014-2016), representative to the UK (2011-2014), and representative to the EU and Belgium (2008-2009).
Allowance move approved
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Thursday approved an extension of the monthly per person living allowance of NT$750 (US$24.42) and NT$500 for individuals in income and middle-to-low income households for an additional year until the end of this year. Along with the policy’s extension, which Su had announced a day earlier, people from about 600,000 eligible households are to receive this month’s allowance before the Lunar New Year holiday on Jan. 20, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) told a news conference in Taipei after a weekly Cabinet meeting. Su told the meeting that he had authorized NT$4.5 billion for the program and expected the funds to be disbursed to local governments yesterday, Lo said. Su hoped the living allowance would bring “warmth” to recipients ahead of the new year, Lo said. In a statement later in the day, the Ministry of Health and Welfare confirmed the extension of the program, which was launched in March last year as a part of the government’s COVID-19 relief measures. Local administrations would determine eligibility for the allowances, meaning that no application is necessary, it said.
House fire kills five
Five members of a family, including two boys aged 12 and 5, were killed in a suspected arson attack at a three-story house in Taichung’s Dali District (大里) early yesterday, the city’s Fire Bureau said. A 62-year-old woman, a woman aged 38, a 32-year-old man and the two boys, who were pulled from the home by firefighters, were pronounced dead at a hospital, the bureau said in a news release, adding that they were diagnosed as having had out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. A 66-year-old man, who is also a member of the family, escaped alive, the statement said. The bureau dispatched 17 trucks, eight ambulances and 84 firefighters to the scene when it received a report of the blaze at 3:52am, it said, adding that the flames were extinguished at 5:25am. Authorities said they suspect the fire might have been arson, but did not provide details. The cause of the fire is being investigated.
Air facility fee added
Air passengers who transit in Taiwan would have to pay a NT$500 facility fee per person, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications announced yesterday. Aviation regulations would be revised before the new policy is introduced, which exempts children under the age of two, as well as individuals and their companions who have received special dispensation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the transport ministry said. The fee would be collected by airline companies on the government’s behalf — either as part of airfares or at airports — it said, adding that passengers who pay but do not transit would be able to apply for a full refund.
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
A senior US senator on Monday questioned the willingness of some US allies to help defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. Although Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) expects the US and Japan to respond in a war in the Taiwan Strait, he was “a little less confident what our other allies would do,” US Senator John Cornyn said. Australia and New Zealand have voiced support for Taiwan, but it “is a far cry from committing troops to repel an invasion,” Cornyn said during a discussion on China, Russia and the state of US military readiness at a forum hosted
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