President Tsai touts Taitung tourism, indigenous culture

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) says she will work to improve support for Taitung.

The president visited the eastern city yesterday, saying she wanted to help promote the eastern county's tourism and get a firsthand look at whether the needs of its sizeable indigenous population were being met.

Tsai says she plans to not only promote the county's tourist attractions, but also to meet with farmers to talk about the marketing of their agricultural produce.

She says she plans to visit indigenous communities in an effort to see what progress had been made in the efforts to preserve their culture and tradition, to improve education and industrial development, and to provide long-term care services to their residents.

Meanwhile, incumbent Taitung Magistrate Justin Huang (黃健庭) of the KMT says one of the longstanding issues affecting local tourism is the shortage of train seats during the peak travel period in summer.

Huang says he plans to bring the issue to Tsai's attention in the hope that the central government would address the problem.

Recently banned drug found in Taoyuan airport's speedy delivery zone

The drug known as "bath salts" has been found at the Taoyuan airport.

Aviation police last week found the substance hidden in a batch of imported cargo labelled as vests at the Farglory speedy delivery zone just 10 days after the drug was added to the list of prohibited narcotics in Taiwan.

The head of an inspection brigade with the Aviation Police Bureau says over 9 kilograms of synthetic cathinone were discovered. When a man surnamed Hsiao showed up Saturday to collect the cargo, he was arrested by a special team.

The official says during the arrest, police also found another 10 parcels of synthetic cathinone, as well as cigarettes and tobacco mixed with the drug.

The case has been handed over to the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office for a further investigation.

The police official says synthetic cathinone is an addictive recreational drug that stimulates the central nerve system, causing excitement, and may distort the sense of time and space.

It is often added to cigarettes that are sold at nightclubs in Taiwan and are dubbed "rainbow cigarettes."

LCY Chemical bought out in NT$47.8 billion deal

International buyout firm KKR & Co. has bought out Taiwan’s LCY Chemical Corp. (李長榮化工) in a NT$47.8 billion (US$1.56 billion) deal.

According to Bloomberg, KKR agreed to buy out LCY’s shares at NT$56 per share. LCY will be delisted when the deal closes, which is expected to happen in the fourth quarter.

KKR’s Greater China chief executive, Paul Yang, told Bloomberg he saw opportunities to expand the firm’s regional portfolio in Taiwan by investing in mid-cap companies with market capitalizations between US$2 billion and US$5 billion.

“China accounts for a significant portion of our Asian portfolio, but there’s greater scope to focus on Taiwanese opportunities,” Yang told Bloomberg. “This transaction adds a different dimension to our Greater China portfolio.”

The KKR-led consortium plans to help LCY expand into international markets. LCY has production plants in the U.S. and China, as well as Taiwan.

In May, ex-LCY chairman Bowie Lee (李謀偉) was sentenced to four years in prison by the Kaohsiung District Court for negligent homicide after underground explosions in Kaohsiung killed 32 and injured 321.

Man drowns in Sun Moon Lake

The body of a man was recovered from Sun Moon Lake yesterday.

The discovery was made one day after a 37-year-old visitor to the scenic area was reported missing.


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan's Nantou County.

A local fire official says the search was launched by emergency crews on Saturday morning after friends of the man, surnamed Chen, reported that he had jumped into the water and had not resurfaced.

The body was found on the bed of the lake at depth of 4 meters, not far from the spot where the missing man was last seen.

Nantou police said the man obviously had ignored the signs that prohibit swimming in Sun Moon Lake and warn that there are no lifeguards on duty in the area.

The Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration bans swimming and other water activities such as fishing and jet skiing on the lake. The fines for violating the rules range from NT$10,000 to NT$50,000.

Domestic fuel prices to drop this week

Domestic fuel prices are cheaper this week.

CPC Taiwan (台灣中油) and Formosa Petrochemical (台塑石化) have lowered gasoline and diesel prices by NT$0.4 and NT$0.5 per liter, respectively.

State-owned oil refiner CPC says prices at their gas stations nationwide will be NT$28.5 per liter for 92 unleaded, NT$30 per liter for 95 unleaded, NT$32 for 98, and NT$26.5 for super diesel.

It is the second consecutive week of price cuts. It follows the reopening of four major export terminals in Libya and signs that the United States may be softening in its sanctions against Iran.

Formosa Petrochemical gas stations have similar prices, although super diesel is cheaper at NT$26.2 per liter, and so is 95 unleaded at NT$29.9 per liter.

Taiwan finishes in top spot at International Biology Olympiad

Taiwan has taken four golds at the 2018 International Biology Olympiad.

The Ministry of Education says all four Taiwanese students taking part in the event in Iran won their championships, putting their team in first place alongside China.

In the individual category, Chen Yun-chen (陳允禎) of National Tainan First Senior High School finished in third place globally, which was the best performance by a Taiwanese student.

Tied with China, Taiwan finished at the top of the rankings for the first time since it began participating in the IBO in 1999.

The Taiwan team will bring home four gold medals, which will earn each winner in the four categories NT$200,000 in prize money from the Ministry of Education.

Taiwan javelin thrower comes up deuces

A Taiwanese javelin thrower is second best in Asia.

24-year-old Taiwanese javelin thrower Cheng Chao-tsun (鄭兆村) on Saturday beat his own record this year with a throw of 84.60 meters at the Youth Games in Sweden, scoring the second-best performance in Asia this year.


Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG

Taiwanese javelin thrower Cheng Chao-tsun competes in the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London, England.

Cheng is gearing up for the Asian Games, which will begin August 18 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.

Last year, Chen set a new Asian record with a throw of 91.36 meters on his way to winning a gold medal at the Universiade in Taipei.

His performance in Sweden will qualify him for the IAAF Continental Cup if he can remain in the Asian top two until July 31st.

The IAAF Continental Cup invites the top two athletes in each sport from around the world for a quadrennial track and field competition that will be held in September in the Czech Republic.

Taiwan loses to Philippines in Jones Cup

Taiwan’s men’s basketball team lost to the Philippines in the final moments of the game on Saturday night.

The Philippines point guard Joseph Matthew Nieto stunned the national team and a full crowd of 7,000-plus fans with a go-ahead three-pointer to steal the win 77-76 at the 40th William Jones Cup in New Taipei City.

It was Taiwan's third loss in the week-long tourney and the host team slipped to 5th place at 4-3.

Meanwhile, the Philippines remained in 4th place with a 5-2 record, behind Canada, Iran and South Korea, which are locked in a 3-way tie at 6-1.

On the Sunday, the Philippines will face Iran, while Taiwan will come up against South Korea on the final day of the 9-team basketball tournament that also includes Lithuania, Japan Indonesia and a Taiwan B team.

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This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.

Editor: Nick Aspinwall