Lockheed to build `Orion'
NASA picked Lockheed Martin Corp on Thursday as the prime contractor to build the Orion spaceship, which will replace the aging shuttle fleet and take astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972. The contract's initial phase, valued at US$3.9 billion, would get the US space agency one ship made to carry crew and another for cargo; people are expected to fly on the new vessel by 2014. The first lunar voyage should happen by 2020. The Orion space vessel is a departure from the shuttle's winged design, and looks more like the capsules that carried Apollo astronauts to lunar orbit in the 1960s and 1970s.
Strike at Kia ends
South Korea's Kia Motors Corp said it resumed normal operations yesterday after reaching a tentative agreement with its labor union over a wage increase. The management and the union agreed yesterday on a 5.7 percent increase in basic salary and various incentives. The tentative agreement will be put to vote on Tuesday. The union had been on partial strike since July, demanding a 7.1 percent wage increase and better working conditions. Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co, said its production losses amounted to nearly 48,000 vehicles during the strike.
Asahi Tec eyes Metaldyne
Japanese auto parts maker Asahi Tec's shares surged 20 percent yesterday on news that it plans to buy US rival Metaldyne Corp. Asahi Tec plans to purchase Michigan-based Metaldyne Corp, said Mari Mori, but she could not immediately comment on how much the firm plans to spend for the purchase. Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported the company plans to acquire Metaldyne for an estimated ¥100 billion (US$850 million) to ¥150 billion. Metaldyne officials were not immediately available for comment.
Nokia buying gate5
Nokia Ojy said on Thursday it will buy gate5, a German designer of navigation software, allowing the world's largest cellphone maker to offer maps on its mobile devices. "Maps and navigation are natural elements to be offered in mobile devices, but this area hasn't developed as fast as expected by the market," said Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's general manager for multimedia. "Acquiring gate5 enables Nokia to offer consumers the world-leading mobile location applications, such as maps, routing and navigation at an accelerated speed." Nokia said the deal should be completed by the end of the year but did not disclose financial details. Founded in 1999, gate5 is headquartered in Berlin and has about 70 employees.
Official tackles growth risks
High oil prices, a slowing US economy and financial market volatility are the key risks to Asia's robust economic growth, IMF managing director Rodrigo Rato said. Oil prices are unlikely to fall back dramatically, he said, urging countries to learn to cope with soaring fuel costs. Asia faces similar risks as the rest of the world but the region is "particularly sensitive" to growth in the US and oil prices, which are currently above US$70 a barrel, Rato said. "In addition, while the region has shown resilience to the financial market volatility in May and June, further volatility in global financial markets could affect capital flows, growth and inflation," he said.
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
‘INCREASINGLY FAVORED’: Taiwan’s ‘transparent laws and efficient courts’ as well as its financial institutions give it a major advantage to become a financial hub, Tsai said Taiwan would liberalize banking and investment rules to establish itself as a regional financial hub, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told the Taiwan Capital Market Forum in Taipei yesterday. Recent world events could be an opening for Taiwan to become an international center for business investments and financial management, Tsai said at the forum, which was organized by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister publication of the Taipei Times). “We’re facing unknowns in the world right now, including the continuing impact of US-China trade tensions and the reorganization of the global supply chain after COVID-19,” Tsai said. “These bring new challenges and opportunities.” Tsai
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would