Taiwan News: Police Question Man Over Threat to Kill Kaohsiung Mayoral Candidate

Taiwan News: Police Question Man Over Threat to Kill Kaohsiung Mayoral Candidate
Photo Credit: 中央社
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The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said Thursday that police have questioned a man for alleged online incitement for someone to kill Kuomintang (KMT) Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).

Authorities said the suspect has been identified as a 47-year-old engineer living in Taipei City.

He allegedly posted a statement on the PTT online bulletin board service on Nov. 14 saying that "The people of Kaohsiung have sworn to take revenge and kill Han Kuo-yu."

According to the CIB, police launched an investigation as soon as the comment was reported.

The suspect has reportedly told police that he was expressing his opinion about the election on PTT and did not mean to threaten Han's life.

However, he is now facing possible charges of violating Article 305 of the Criminal Code by threatening to cause injury to others.

The case has been turned over to the Shilin District Prosecutors' Office for further investigation.

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The National Train Drivers' Association has called off plans to take strike action tomorrow after the Ministry of Transport took moves to resume subsidies for some railway employees.

The union had originally planned to strike in protest over a decision by the Taiwan Railways Administration to suspend subsidy payments to some of its train conductors.

The subsidy payment suspensions would have affected staff who have to spend one night away from home and those on standby shifts.

The railway administration had said the subsidies did not meet government requirements.

Transport Minster Wu Hong-mo (吳宏謀) said the strike action would have seriously affected people heading home to vote.

According to Wu, his office requested the rail network resume paying the subsidies for now, adding that the issue of the legality of the payments will be dealt with at a later date.

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柯文哲拚連任 市府前辦造勢晚會
Photo Credit:中央社
Taipei police are closing off parts of the city tonight as part of preparations for the election rallies of the leading candidates for Taipei Mayor.

The Taipei Police Department has said traffic controls will be in affect in the city's Xinyi District this evening as incumbent city Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and the Democratic Progressive Party's mayoral candidate Pasuya Yao (姚文智) will both be holding their election eve rallies in the same area.

Ko's rally will be taking place at the Four Four South Village while Yao is holding his rally at the plaza in front of Taipei City Hall.

Police said lanes on Xinyi Road between Zhuangjing and Songzhi roads will be closed from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning, and vehicles will be banned from entering Songqin Street.

Police will also be banning vehicles from all lanes on Shifu Road between Songgao and Songshou roads and all lanes on Renai Road that lead to City Hall from midnight until 5 a.m. tomorrow morning.

The KMT's Taipei mayoral candidate, Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) is holding his election eve rally on Ketagalan Boulevard opposite the Presidential Office.

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Supporters of the referendum calling for Taiwan to change the name it uses at the Olympic Games are accusing the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) of making "false and misleading" statements to sabotage the vote.

Backers of the proposal for Taiwan to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Games under the name "Taiwan" instead of "Chinese Taipei" say a letter sent to the committee by the International Olympic Committee was instigated by CTOC Chairman Lin Hong-dow (林鴻道).

According to referendum supporter George Chang (張燦鍙), Taiwan has the right to apply for a name change, as does every IOC member, under the Olympic Charter.

While Liu Chin-wen (劉敬文) said he believes a group of Taiwanese Olympians, who spoke out against the referendum earlier this week were pressured by the CTOC to do so.

Those Olympians warned that Taiwan faces being suspended from the IOC and other international sporting events if the name change referendum passes.

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Premier William Lai (賴清德) has said he has instructed relevant ministries to help convey Taiwan's wishes to take part in the second round of negotiations for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The Premier has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the National Development Council, to actively support Taiwan's bid through the APEC platform.

According to Lai, APEC is an important platform for promoting economic cooperation between Taiwan and countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and the government agencies need to take the initiative by engaging with APEC members who are also signatories to the new regional trade bloc.

Taiwan has been trying to join the CPTPP since its formation in March.

The trade bloc currently has 11 signatory economies and a second round of accession talks with potential new members will begin next year, when the free trade pact is scheduled to go into effect.

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Vietnam has lodged a protest against this week's live-fire drills in waters near Taiping Island in the South China Sea.

The drills, which began on Wednesday and wrap-up today, are being carried out by the Coast Guard Administration, which oversees the defense of the island.

Administration Director-General Lee Chung-wei (李仲威) said the three-day live-fire drill is a routine event and is not a full military exercise.

Vietnam's foreign ministry has released a statement saying it opposes the drills and they infringe on Vietnam's sovereignty over the Spratly Island chain.

Hanoi went to say the live-fire drills pose a threat to regional peace and stability and has asked Taiwan to stop carrying them out.

RTSBV5T
Credit: Reuters / TPG
The Taiwanese coast guard bureau on Taiping Island in the South China Sea.

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The Institute of Nuclear Energy Research said Taiwan will sign a NT$300 million (US$9.74 million) contract next week to dispose of the island's uranium reserves.

Institute Director-General Lin Kin-fu (林金福) has not named the company that will obtain the contract, but has referred to it as a "foreign contractor."

The deal will be signed by the Atomic Energy Council and the unnamed company will then dispose of Taiwan's unused uranium hexafluoride.

According to Lin, a "foreign contractor" was awarded the contract as it would be more costly to dispose of the radioactive compound domestically because of disposal techniques and the time that would be required.

Taiwan imported 35-metric tons of UF6 from the United States and France in the 1980s to develop its nuclear energy sector.

However, since then plans for uranium enrichment to build more nuclear reactors has come to a standstill due to changing nuclear policies.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a yellow alert for U.S, romaine lettuce following an outbreak of E. coli contamination.

Food safety officials are warning the public to be aware of the potential risk of consuming the vegetable.

The FDA's alert yellow light system for the imported food products means it is "suspicious but without immediate danger."

No cases of infection caused by the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria have been found in Taiwan in the last three years.

Taiwan imported 4,921 metric tons of U.S, romaine lettuce this year, and the produce is available in supermarket chains including Carrefour and Jasons.

There is currently no ban on importing or selling romaine lettuce, and Taiwan's customs inspections of the vegetable mainly focuses on pesticide residue or heavy metal pollution.

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The first shipment of fruit and vegetables sent by Taiwan to Palau almost completely sold out in just three hours after the produce went on sale at a local supermarket.

According to officials from Taiwan's embassy in Palau, this is the first time in nearly 20 years that Taiwan's fruit and vegetables have been sold in the Pacific island nation.

The shipment consisted of guava, persimmon, bamboo shoots, grapes and dragon fruit.

It arrived in the country on Nov. 20, passed through customs, and was delivered to local supermarket on the same day.

The importer said the rush of customers was totally unprecedented, so much so that the company plans to bring in another shipment from Taiwan soon.

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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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