Police in Taipei say they are still seeking the whereabouts of a man who attacked the head of the city's Department of Labor on Wednesday.

Lai Hsiang-lin (賴香伶) was attacked with a steel bar while she was sitting at her desk.

According to Lai's secretary, the suspect hit the labor official in the head several times before running out of the building.

Lai was hospitalized for treatment after suffering several facial injuries.

The suspect was caught on closed circuit television leaving city hall following the attack and has been named as Lee Ming-yen (李明彥).

He posted a photograph of the steel bar used to attack Lai on his Facebook page.

Authorities said Lee has verbally assaulted labor department officials in the past and posted a death threat against Lai on social media.

Lee has also staged numerous protests outside Taipei City Hall, in support of the rights and interests of temporary workers employed by the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation, which operates the Taipei MRT.


The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office is appealing against a decision by the Kaohsiung District Court to reduce Ching Fu Shipbuilding chairman Chen Ching-nan (陳慶男)'s bail and allow him to be released.

The court says it ruled to reduce Chen's bail from NT$100 million (US$3.24 million) to NT$32 million due to his his deteriorating health.

Chen will have to remain at his Kaohsiung residence and report to a neighborhood police station twice a day.

The 78-year old had been in detention since June and is charged with fraud related to his company's winning of a NT$35-billion contract with the Navy to build six minesweepers.


The driver of the Puyuma Express train that derailed on Oct. 21 killing 18 people has apologized to victims' families at a memorial service in Taitung.

Yu Chen-chung (尤振中) wept uncontrollably as he knelt and apologized at the ceremony – saying he was sorry for the accident and the incident will live with him forever.

It is the first time Yu has made any public comment about the accident.

Fifteen of the victims were from Taitung.

Flags at all government buildings in the county flew at half-mast in respect for the dead on Wednesday.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) also attended the memorial service to pay his respects.


The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee says the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is seeking information about a referendum on whether Taiwan should apply to attend the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under the name "Taiwan" instead of "Chinese Taipei."

According to committee secretary-general Shen Yi-ting (沈依婷), the IOC is only requesting information about voting procedures and has not said whether the ballot could affect Taiwan's right to participate in the 2020 Games.

The IOC sent a letter to the local Olympic committee in May, in which it stated that the name "Chinese Taipei" cannot be changed.

That title was determined in an agreement between the IOC and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1981.

And the Lausanne Agreement states that Taiwan must use the name "Chinese Taipei" and fly the island's Olympic flag at all international sports events.


Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is continuing to deny any wrongdoing in the sale of three Kuomintang (KMT) properties during his tenure as party chairman.

Speaking at a hearing at the Taipei District Court, Ma said he had handled the sale of Central Motion Picture Corporation, the Broadcasting Corporation of China, and the China Television Corporation "strictly in line with law."

Ma also told that court that didn't commit any crime and cannot accept what he described as the prosecutors' "twisted interpretation his words."

The court hearing comes after prosecutors filed charges of breach of trust or money laundering against Ma and five others.

The indictment said Ma and three of the other defendants "sold party assets as a ruse to create a positive image of Ma and the KMT at a time when political parties were required to divest themselves of media outlets under the Radio and Television Act."


Photo Credit: 中央社

Former President Ma Ying-jeou is vigorously protesting his innocence over the sale of KMT assets.


A top U.S. official has said Taiwan should change its military thinking and figure out how to ensure it has the ability to safeguard continued peace and stability both across the Taiwan Strait and within the Indo-Pacific.

Speaking at the U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference in Maryland, David Helvey said in strengthening its armed forces, Taiwan is developing sufficient conventional capabilities to meet the peacetime needs of a military in a rough neighborhood.

However, he warned that Taiwan could not "afford to overlook preparing for the one fight it cannot afford to lose" and said the country needs to respond to China's growing military threat, by improving its national strength.

Helvey is the principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.


The Aviation Safety Council's investigation report into the June 2017 helicopter crash that killed documentary director Chi Po-lin (齊柏林) and two others, said Wednesday that pilot fatigue could have played an role in the accident.

According to the council, the pilot, Chang Chi-kuang (張志光), was found to have a high residual concentration of a common prescription drug taken for allergies or colds in his blood, and the levels were high enough to cause fatigue.

Council Chief Kuan Wen-lin (官文霖) said the pilot had flown for seven hours and 35 minutes within 24 hours of the accident and it is possible Chang was not in peak condition at that time.

Kuan says the report also found Chang's performance could have been affected by the nature of the flight, which was at low altitude in a mountainous area, during which the pilot was subjected to the vibrations of the helicopter for long periods of time.

The Aviation Safety Council will now issue recommendations to the Civil Aviation Administration to enhance flight safety based on its investigation.


The government plans to increase fines for Chinese individuals or institutions that invest illegally or conduct illegal activity in Taiwan to up to NT$25 million.

The move comes on the back of news that Chinese nationals have made large-scale investments in wholesale and retail properties near two science parks in Hsinchu County, sparking concern the areas could become a base for Chinese businesses.

Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said Wednesday that while Chinese individuals or institutions are allowed to enter Taiwan's wholesale and retail sectors, his office closely monitors their activity.

The Investment Commission said it carries out regular and random inspections of all Chinese-invested companies in Taiwan, including the 149 registered and many unregistered ones at the Tai Yuen Hi-Tech Industrial Park near Hsinchu.

According to the economics minister, an amendment to the Trade Secrets Act has been put on the legislative agenda and there are plans to increase fines for Chinese investors if they are found to have engaged in illegal activity.


The Ministry of Foreign affairs has said Uruguay has added Taiwan to its visa-free privilege program, allowing ROC passport holders visa-free entry for stays of up to 90 days.

Uruguay is the 169th country or territory to offer visa-free status to Taiwanese nationals.

The foreign ministry said the Uruguayan government agreed on Oct. 19 to include Taiwan in its visa-waiver program but did not make an official announcement until this week, after it had completed all the necessary procedures.

Ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said Taiwan welcomes the preferential treatment and believes it will help boost trade and tourism between the two countries.


The Council of Agriculture says it has found traces of the African Swine Fever virus in a Chinese meat product illegally brought into Taiwan.

According to council Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城), a Chinese crispy sausage was sent for examination after it was collected from a garbage container at Shuitou Port in Kinmen.

The package is believed to have been discarded by a passenger coming from Fujian Province via the ferry services that connects the outlying island with China.

According to Huang, the sausage was made by the largest processed food maker in China, and that company's meat products have been repeatedly found to contain the African Swine Fever virus since the outbreak of the disease in China was first detected in August.

Currently, passengers caught smuggling meat products from China face a maximum fine of NT$15,000, but the fine will soon be raised to NT$300,000.


The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is expected to officially move into its new Neihu compound in the coming couple of months.

According to AIT director Brent Christensen, his office is still waiting for final certification, but he expects to begin the move by the end of this year.

A dedication ceremony was held June 12 to unveil the nearly completed complex.

AIT is continuing to operating out of its office on Xinyi Road, where it has been located for nearly 40 years.

Former AIT director Kin Moy had said he expected the move to take place in September.


Credit: Reuters / TPG

The new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is not quite ready to throw open its doors.


The BBC has ranked Hou Hsiao-hisen's (侯孝賢)'s 1989 film "A City of Sadness" 18th in its list of the 100 greatest foreign-language films of all time.

Hou is not the only Taiwanese director whose works are on the honor roll compiled by BBC Culture, which is based on scores on film choices made by 209 movie critics from 43 countries.

Edward Yang's film "Yi Yi" is in 25th spot and his "A Brighter Summer Day" ranks 38th in the list, while Ang Lee (李安)'s "Eat Drink Man Woman" placed 54th and his "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is 78th.

The results comprised 100 films from 67 directors, from 24 countries and in 19 languages.

Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" topped the list.

Read More: ILLUSTRATION: Ten Taiwanese Directors You Should Know

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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