Taiwan News: Athletes Settle for Silver, United's Crafty 'One China' Solution

Taiwan News: Athletes Settle for Silver, United's Crafty 'One China' Solution
Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
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Taiwan's Asian Games team remains in sixth place in the overall medals table in Jakarta with 13 gold, 17 silver, and 21 bronze medals.

Yang Chun-han (楊俊瀚) won silver in the men's 200-meter dash Wednesday after placing second to Japan's Yuki Koike, who crossed the line one thousandth of a second ahead of Yang.

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Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
Gold medalist Yuki Koike of Japan and silver medalist Yang Chun-han of Taiwan pose after the race.

Cyclist Huang Ting-ying (黃亭茵) won silver after placing second in the women's omnium in track cycling. Zheng Zhu-ling took silver in the women's singles soft tennis competition, while Yang Yong-wei won the day's only bronze medal in the men's under-60 kilogram judo.

Taiwan's men's baseball team plays China later today in the Super Round.

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Thailand's representative office said it will reverse a decision to outsource all visa application services following widespread criticism of the move within the local tourism sector, a day after Thailand's top envoy to Taiwan announced his office was outsourcing visa applications to a private company and that prices will also rise.

According to the Thailand Trade and Economic Office, it will now continue to issue visas for individual and group travel to Thailand and the cost will remain unchanged, but the services will be supplemented by two new private centers from October.

Taiwan's tourism industry had been critical of the decision to outsource visa applications, arguing the Thai government was raising visa fees for Republic of China (ROC) passport holders as the Taiwan government is implementing a two-year visa-free program for Thai nationals. Several local tourism operators had also threatened to boycott travel to Thailand.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it has thanked United Airlines for using currencies rather than country names to handle references for Taiwan and China on its website.

According to spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章), United Airlines has shown flexibility in handling the issue and the government welcomes any measures that can honor Taiwan's sovereignty and highlight Taiwanese identity.

The statement comes after the carrier's website drop-down menu for selection of location for currency/payment purposes was found to have identified Taiwan, China and Hong Kong as "New Taiwan dollar," "Chinese yuan" and "Hong Kong dollar," respectively. Other countries on the list are referred to by their country names.

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Photo Credit: United.com
Taiwan, China and Hong Kong are listed by currency rather than country.

United Airlines uses only "Taipei" and "TPE" in airport destinations, after Beijing forced 44 foreign carriers to designate Taiwan as part of China on their websites.

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Deputy Labor Minister Su Li-chiung (蘇麗瓊) has stepped down.

Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka says Premier William Lai (賴清德) has accepted her resignation, which will take effect tomorrow.

According to the spokeswoman, Su submitted her resignation several months ago but the Premier and Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) had been trying to convince her to stay on. Yotaka says Su decided to resign in order to take care of mother who is in her 90s and it it's unrelated to the upcoming local elections.

Su has served as deputy labor minister since November 27 of last year.

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Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), speaking ahead of the 73rd session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, said the main goal in the government's bid for greater UN participation this year is to ensure the island's voice is heard internationally.

Speaking to reporters, Wu didn't say whether the government has requested the U.S. and other world powers speak up for Taiwan at the September meeting in New York, saying only that his ministry is seeking all the international support it can get.

Deputy foreign minister Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵) said that, as in previous years, the government will ask its diplomatic allies to speak on behalf of Taiwan during the general debate and will also request the UN not deny Taiwanese nationals access to its meetings and activities.

Taiwan civic groups and overseas communities are once again scheduled to hold events in New York during the UN session.

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Agricultural losses caused by flooding since last week now stand at NT$737 million (US$24 million).

Chiayi County has been hardest hit by the rain, reporting NT$451 million (US$14.7 million) in losses. Tainan has suffered the second highest losses of NT$183 million (US$6 million) so far, and agricultural losses are also still rising in Yunlin, Kaohsiung and Pingtung.

Agriculture officials say the fisheries sector has suffered the heaviest damages, reporting losses of NT$370 million (US$12.1 million). Livestock losses are estimated at NT$198.37 million (US$6.5 million), and 5,259 hectares of farmland is reported to have been flooded affecting peanut, pumpkin, tomato and watermelons crops.

Local and national politicians have been heavily criticized for their response to the flooding. Yesterday, the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) demanded the resignation of Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) after it was discovered he took a family vacation to Kinmen during the floods.

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Read More: Taiwan's Great Deluge of 2018: Anger, Finger-Pointing and Helplessness

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The Taiwan Taxi Industry Development Alliance says 80,000 of its members are planning to hold a nationwide protest over Uber's continued presence in Taiwan.

According to the alliance, Uber's market strategy has led to unfair competition and the company should take responsibility for suicides of four taxi drivers earlier this month allegedly due to financial difficulties.

Uber is now partnering with car rental companies with hired drivers to provide taxi services and is no longer working directly with car owners.

However, the taxi driver's union says Uber is still operating a taxi service and while the government caps the number of registered cab drivers at 100,000, there are no such limits in place on Uber drivers.

The Ministry of Transport says Uber has been operating according to the law and that the term "rental" applies to both the rental of a car and driver.

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Pilots from China Airlines and EVA Airways say they are prepared to suspend next month's planned strike and enter long-term negotiations with their respective companies.

According to the Taoyuan Pilots Union, the decision comes as both sides have now begun substantive talks under government mediation.

Union executive director Chen Hsiang-lin (陳祥麟) said it hopes the pilot's demands can be adequately addressed within one year and the union will not take strike action unless negotiations are suspended. Chen says the more moderate approach to the problems was due the intervention of the Taoyuan City Labor Department, which the union considers to be a credible mediator.

The fourth round of meetings will he held today and further negotiations are then expected to take place about every 20 days.

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Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Pasuya Yao (姚文智) has become the first of the 'big three' Taipei mayoral hopefuls to submitted his registration for the November election.

Speaking to reporters, Yao touted what he is referring to as his "Taipei vision" - saying if elected he will "reform Taipei through urban movements."

According to Yao, his campaign team is now reviewing the promises made by incumbent mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) following his election to see which ones he has failed to hold up on.

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Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG

Read More: OPINION: DPP Spin Master Aims to Control Pasuya Yao's Mayoral Mayhem

Yao also dismissed reports of disagreements between his campaign team and the DPP's New Taipei City mayoral candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), telling reporters there will be close cooperation between the two candidates.

Ko and the KMT's Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) have until tomorrow to submitted their registrations.

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LGBT rights groups are getting support from DPP and New Power Party lawmakers to call for voters to reject three referendums proposed by an anti-same sex marriage group.

According to Marriage Equality Platform head Jennifer Lu (呂欣潔), they hope that at least 7 million people will vote against the Next Generation Alliance's proposals in November's election. Lu says the alliance's referendums seek to undo the "constitutionally protected right to marriage equality."

The Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance has submitted three referendum proposals to the Central Election Commission, and they are looking to remove same-sex education from school curriculums and to redefine the civil code's definition of marriage as solely being between a man and a woman.

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Five new cases of indigenous dengue fever infection have been reported in Taichung, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the city to 25 over the past 10 days.

The five patients are aged between 20 and 80 years old and the Taichung health department has confirmed they are part of a cluster infection related to a recreational farm in the Dali District.

Two more dengue fever cases have been confirmed in Kaohsiung's Sanmin District, but health officials there have yet to say whether the source of those infections was imported or indigenous. One new dengue fever case has also been reported in New Taipei, where health officials say that case is part of an indigenous dengue fever cluster infection in the city's Xinzhuang District.

A total of 55 indigenous cases of dengue fever have been reported in Taiwan this year, including 25 in Taichung, 22 in New Taipei's Xinzhuang District, three in Kaohsiung, two each in Taipei and Chiayi and one in Taoyuan.

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A 56-year old woman has been detained for threatening passengers with a knife on the Taipei MRT.

The woman was overpowered after someone set off a fire extinguisher in her face at the Longshan Station.

The woman allegedly took out a knife before threatening and being verbally abusive to a couple sitting next to her on the train. The couple alerted other passengers to the incident, many of whom ran out of the carriage when the train arrived the station.

Several passengers managed to disarm the woman before police arrived at the scene. One police officer was slightly injured in the incident.

Reports say the woman suffers from mental health issues.

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The Taipei Zoo will be releasing a special video tomorrow in celebration of the 14th birthday of its resident pandas, Yuan Yuan and Tuan Tuan.

The zoo says it is also be preparing one of its now trademark colorful panda birthday cakes to celebrate the occasion.

The cake traditionally includes a bevy of Yuan Yuan and Tuan Tuan's favorite foods such a carrots, grapes, sugar cane and of course, plenty of bamboo shoots.

Yuan Yuan turns 14 tomorrow while Tuan Tuan turns 14 on Saturday.

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Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
Pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, whose names together mean "reunion" in Chinese, pictured in 2009.

The pandas were given to the Taipei Zoo by China in 2008. They have one cub, Yuan Zai, who was born on July 6, 2013.

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Two documentaries about Jade Mountain have won the top Platinum Remi award at the 2018 WorldFest-Houston International Film & Video Festival in the United States.

The Yushan National Park Headquarters says "Mountaineering to Yushan" and "Postcards from Nanan," beat out more than 1,000 other entries from around the world to win the the documentary shorts competition category.

"Mountaineering to Yushan" is about learning mountain activities from an indigenous mountain guide's perspective, while "Postcards from Nanan" is a story about accidentally mailed postcards that linked a city dweller and the town of Nanan.

The public can see the films at the Checheng Visitor Center in Shuili, Nantou County.

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Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) has advanced to women's doubles second round at the U-S Open.

Hsieh and her partner, Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus, beat Croatia's Darija Jurak Croatia and Switzerland's Xenia Knoll in two straight sets in a games that lasted less than an hour at Flushing Meadows.

Hsieh also advanced to second round of the women's singles in New York on Tuesday.

She is currently 17th in the WTA women's doubles rankings and 42nd in the women's singles world rankings.

Taiwan's Chan Hao-ching (詹皓晴) and her women's doubles partner, China's Yang Zhao-xuan, have also advanced to the second round after beating the all-U.S. pairing of Alison Riske and Taylor Townsend.

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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 (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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