Taipei mayor on ‘Time’
Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) has been named on Time magazine’s 2023 TIME100 Next list, among the “emerging leaders from around the world who are shaping the future and defining the next generation of leadership.” “Elected in 2022 as Taipei’s youngest-ever mayor, Chiang has pledged to bring new blood to Taiwan’s Kuomintang [Chinese Nationalist Party, KMT]” the Time write-up says. “Reputedly Asia’s oldest and richest political party, it’s recently struggled to attract youth support because of its Beijing-friendly reputation.” The magazine said Chiang has taken a moderate view while emphasizing his commitment to Taiwan’s democracy. “Although Chiang maintains he’s focused on ambitious urban-development plans, he’s increasingly tipped as a future presidential candidate,” Time said.
Minimum wage increased
The Cabinet yesterday approved a proposal put forward by the Ministry of Labor to raise the monthly minimum salary by 4.05 percent to NT$27,470, and the minimum hourly wage by NT$7 to NT$183. The revisions to the current NT$26,400 monthly and NT$176 hourly minimum wage are to take effect on Jan. 1, the Cabinet said. The increases, which ministry statistics show would affect about 1.79 million employees and 600,000 hourly workers, would not apply to live-in migrant caregivers and domestic helpers, who are not covered by the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法).
Former teacher convicted
A former elementary-school teacher has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for sexually assaulting two female students, the Tainan District Court said on Wednesday. The court in a statement said that the former teacher, a man in his 70s surnamed Shang (尚), committed the offenses from 2002 to 2004 while working at two elementary schools in Tainan. An investigation was only launched into Shang, who retired in 2004, in 2020, after a former student reported being sexually assaulted by Shang to the Humanistic Education Foundation, the court said. A subsequent probe by the Tainan City Government determined that Shang had sexually abused two other students when they were in the fifth and sixth grade at the time, the court said. The ruling can be appealed.
Sperm whales seen
More than 20 sperm whales were seen off the coast of Hualien County at 11am on Wednesday, the biggest pod of the whale species spotted this year, experts said. Liao Hung-chi (廖鴻基), head of a Hualien-based marine conservation organization, said there have been sightings of sperm whales off the Hualien coast since May, but the pod on Wednesday was the largest seen in the area this year. Liao said his organization is investigating why so many whales have recently been seen off the Hualien coast after a rare run of sightings for five months. Meanwhile, Lu Shih-ming (呂世明), manager of whale watching company Turumoan, said that a whale watching boat set sail at 10:30am on Wednesday and discovered a pod of sperm whales 6 to 8 nautical miles (11.1km to 14.8km) from the Port of Hualien. In the past, the most sperm whales offshore tour groups from Hualien had seen was five, therefore seeing 20 was a huge surprise for everyone, Lu said. The sperm whales could have gathered off the coast of Hualien due to the current after the recent typhoon, Lu said.
AGGRESSION: China’s latest intrusions set a new benchmark for its ‘gray zone’ tactics and possibly a new pattern that it would attempt to normalize, a researcher said China’s latest military exercises represent a new challenge to Taiwan’s legal authority to demarcate its borders in the Taiwan Strait, a defense expert said, adding that the fleets in the latest exercises were likely the most powerful the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ever assembled. The PLA conducted military exercises from Sunday last week to 6am on Friday, which encompassed large swathes of the western Pacific, including the Taiwan Strait and waters off the Philippines and Guam, National Policy Foundation associate research fellow Chieh Chung (揭仲) said on Friday. The Ministry of National Defense said that it detected 70 warship and 162 aircraft
DOMESTIC MARKET: To protect the livelihoods of local egg farmers, the government adopted a new method for releasing imported eggs, the agriculture minister said More than 54 million imported eggs will be disposed, as their expiration date has passed, Minister of Agriculture Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said yesterday. Chen made the remarks at a news conference in Taipei, explaining the flow of imported eggs following recent controversies regarding the products. The ministry introduced a special egg import program to address a nationwide egg shortage earlier this year. However, controversies have risen in recent weeks. These included an accusation that the government helped some egg importing companies over others, eggs imported from Brazil that had an incorrect expiration date, and egg shipments from Brazil that were found
PACIFIC OCEAN: Defense experts have warned that the ‘Shandong,’ China’s second largest aircraft carrier, poses a serious threat to eastern Taiwan’s defenses The drills conducted by the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong in the Western Pacific last week were more aimed at showcasing China’s military capabilities to the US rather than toward Taiwan, a Taiwanese defense expert said yesterday. Lin Yin-yu (林穎佑), an assistant professor at Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, said the drills which involved dozens of warplanes sought to test China’s anti-access and area denial capabilities should the US and its allies attempt to interfere in a cross-strait conflict. Lin said that the latest Chinese drills coincided with a joint maritime exercise conducted by the US, South Korea
Thousands of bottles of Sriracha have been returned or destroyed after the discovery of excessive sulfur dioxide, a bleaching agent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday. About 12,600 bottles totaling 9,991.8kg of the hot sauce imported from the US by Emporium Corp (河洛企業) were flagged at the border for containing illegal levels of sulfur dioxide, the FDA said in its regular border inspection announcement. Inspectors discovered 0.5g per kilogram of the common bleaching agent and preservative, higher than the 0.03g permitted, it said. As it is the first time within six months the product has been flagged, Sriracha products from