Taiwan News: Tsai Surveys Costly Flood Damage amid Asian Games Success

Taiwan News: Tsai Surveys Costly Flood Damage amid Asian Games Success
Credit: Reuters / TPG
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Taiwan is sitting in eighth place in the overall medals table at the Asian Games following this weekend's round of events having secured eight gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals.

Wen Tzu-yun (文姿云) clinched gold Sunday in the final of the women's karate under 55-kilogram division in Jakarta, overcoming Iran’s Taravat Khaksar to become the first athlete to be bantamweight champion in consecutive games after winning the same title in South Korea in 2014.

Taiwan won gold in the men's 500 meter dragon boat final with a time of 2 minutes, 11.691 seconds, beating out silver medalists China to mark the second time they have won the event at the Asian Games The 16-man team also won silver in the men's 200 meters final on Saturday.

Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) advanced to the women's badminton singles semi-finals, while Chou Tien-chen (周天成) did the same in the men's event.

Taiwanese pairing Lee Yang and Lee Jhe-huei also made it to the men's doubles badminton semi-finals.

Taiwan's men's baseball team beat South Korea 2-1 in preliminary Group B match Sunday evening, and will play Hong Kong later today

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President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has visited the rain-hit Budai Township in Chiayi County for the second time in as many days.

The second visit comes after video footage of her traveling around the township Saturday in a military armored vehicle was released.

That sparked a public backlash with many criticizing Tsai for failing to meet with local people on the ground whose homes had been flooded due to the heavy rains.

Chiayi County Magistrate Chang Hwa-kuan (張花冠), who is a member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said the president walked through water when inspecting the flood-affected township Saturday and also directed the Ministry of National Defense to send pumps to help reduce flooding.

Chang also said Tsai's second visit to the county was not in response to the video, but in order to examine the results after additional pumps were brought in to help reduce flooding.

The president promised to instruct water resource departments to address the flooding and said the military will help disinfect the area so life can return to normal as quickly as possible.

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The Council of Agriculture (CoA) has said agricultural losses caused by flooding in central and southern Taiwan over the past few days are estimated to have reached NT$563 million (US$18.3 million).

A tropical depression that has triggered heavy rain since last Thursday caused severe losses to crops, fisheries and livestock.

Chiayi County was hardest hit, with about NT$401 million in agricultural losses.

Tainan was the second worst hit, with NT$111 million in damage.

Kaohsiung has suffered NT$23 million in losses, Yunlin County has seen NT$17 million in agricultural losses while Pingtung County is reporting NT$7 million worth of related costs.

According to the CoA, 2,799 hectares of farmland was flooded, with pumpkins, gourds, tomatoes, peanuts, watermelons and corn the worst hit crops.

Losses to livestock totaled NT$178 million and the fishing industry suffered loses of NT$314 million.

However, those numbers are expected to rise, in line with food prices in country, in the coming days as rain continues across much of the island.

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The New Taipei District Prosecutors' Office has extended the detention of an American national and a Taiwanese man in connection with the murder and dismemberment of a Canadian national.

The two suspects were questioned on involvement in the murder, which was the latest in a string of grisly dismemberment killings to occur in Taiwan.

Prosecutors said they ordered their detention be extended due to concerns they could collude with others to falsify evidence or attempt to leave Taiwan.

Police have traced the sale of two machetes used in the murder to a hardware store in Taipei's Wanhua District to 21-year-old Canadian-Taiwanese national Wu Hsuan (吳宣), a prompter at a Taipei nightclub, which led to his detention.

Police have also detained 30-year old American national Ewart Odane Bent with evidence from eyewitnesses, CCTV footage, communication records and satellite positioning data, which confirmed he was in the vicinity of the murder.

New Taipei police said a special task force has been collecting evidence and relevant CCTV footage since the discovery last Wednesday of the dismembered body of the 43-year-old Canadian national on a riverbank under Zhongzheng Bridge.

A third suspect remains at large.
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is slamming Beijing for pressuring a university in Spain in October of last year to cancel events aimed at promoting Taiwan culture.

The statement comes after Shiany Perez-Cheng (鄭夏霓), a Spanish PhD candidate who is a visiting scholar at National Taiwan University on the government's Taiwan Fellowship, published a letter from China's embassy in Spain to the University of Salamanca.

According to Perez-Cheng, the university's president and dean of its School of Social Science both received emails from the Chinese Embassy when a series of crowdfunded events and activities of "Taiwan Cultural Days" were being held in October of 2017.

The embassy said it did not object to academic exchanges, but was dissatisfied and concerned about the "incorrect expressions" in related materials that "do not fall in line with the Spanish government who has long followed the 'one China' principle."

According to the ministry, the "irrational" protest staged by China seriously disrupted the scheduled activities of "Taiwan Cultural Days" and related programs.

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Credit: Reuters / TPG
Flags fly at half staff in honor of Senator John McCain (R-AZ) at the Washington Monument, Aug. 26, 2018.

President Tsai has expressed her deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of United States Senator John McCain who died of brain cancer on Saturday at the age of 81.

Tsai posted a tweet which said she will "remember John McCain as a friend and a fighter. He never backed down from his beliefs and forever strived for a more peaceful and prosperous world. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, thank you."

The Presidential Office has also released a statement saying that McCain was highly regarded and admired by many people in U.S. politics and he shared a deep bond with Taiwan, endorsing many bills in Congress as concrete actions to support Taiwan.

That statement went on to say that "on behalf of the people of Taiwan," Tsai paid the highest tribute to McCain, saying his death was "a great loss of an important friend of Taiwan" in the U.S.

Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) visited McCain in hospital in Phoenix, Arizona earlier this month where she delivered the president's regards.

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Candidates seeking to run in any of the nine local elections being held simultaneously on Nov. 24, can register their candidacy from today - the first day of a five-day registration period.

According to the Central Election Commission, registration will take place from today through Friday.

A draw will then be held on Oct. 19 to determine the number of each candidate running in the "nine-in-one" elections.

The elections are for mayors, county magistrates, city and county council members, township mayors and council members, as well as local officials down to the neighborhood level.

The election commission said a total of 11,047 public officials will be elected on Nov. 24.

They include 22 mayors, 912 councilors, 204 township chiefs, 2,149 township council members, and 7,760 heads of villages and boroughs.

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Computerized war games will be held this week to test Taiwan's readiness to handle a major crisis, such as an attack on its critical infrastructure, involving simulated possible reactions to a range of scenarios by the country's allies.

Sources said the exercises are intended to rehearse the vertical and horizontal coordination of government agencies in a scenario where China attacks critical infrastructure, triggers another form of military conflict or precipitates diplomatic problems for Taiwan.

The war games will be staged by the National Security Council.

This week's exercises are a departure from previous drills, as the war games will for the first time include the participation of lawmakers and academic specialists in strategic planning.

The Ministry of National Defense is declining to comment on details of the war games.

Presidential Office spokesperson Sidney Lin (林鶴明) said the government will not make information about the exercises public because of their sensitive nature.

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Temple City in California and Hualien County have established city-to-city ties, agreeing to boost cooperation and exchanges in the areas of economics, culture and tourism.

Temple City Mayor William Man and Hualien County Deputy Secretary-General Hsieh Kung-ping (謝公秉) signed a memorandum of understanding cementing ties in Los Angeles.

Hsieh, who signed the pact on behalf of county chief Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁), said he is delighted with the agreement and also welcomed people from Temple to visit Hualien and see the beautiful scenery of eastern Taiwan.

Temple City in Los Angeles County has a population of nearly 40,000, with 58 percent of Asian heritage.

And according to a statement by Hualien County government, Temple has attracted Chinese migrants over the past few years, as well as many from Taiwan.

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

Editor David Green (@DavidPeterGreen)

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