Officer’s family donates his organsBy Lai Hsiao-tung and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe family of rookie police officer Yang Ting-hao (楊庭豪), who died after being severely injured in a traffic accident on Sunday, has donated his organs and corneas, family members told a news conference yesterday at Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋). His family said that they believe Yang would have wanted his organs to benefit others. Such an amendment would provide justice for Yang and provide legal protection for parents of accident victims, she said. Last year there were 62 traffic accidents in which children or adolescents aged 13 to 17 were killed, the lawmaker said. A “certain group” of juvenile delinquents should be targeted in the move to strengthen the law, she said, without elaborating.
TRA workers have yet to receive overtime pay they are due for May and June, due to a budget shortfall, the union said. Members of the Taiwan Railway Union protest outside the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taipei yesterday, demanding that the Taiwan Railways Administration pay them nearly NT$30 million owed for overtime pay for May and June. The agency organized the new schedule without adequate communication with its employees, and it plans to suspend overtime pay and force workers to accept its new schedule, the union said. At the beginning of this year, we secured the legal right to distribute employees’ benefits, which include overtime pay,” Lin said. However, the TRA said that it has submitted an analysis of the additional funding needed for overtime pay to the ministry.
Virus Outbreak: Infection of Belgian likely happened in Taipei: expertBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterA Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Wu Po-hsuan, Taipei TimesAlthough the center has not listed the case as imported or locally acquired, health experts have said that the man might have contracted the disease in Taiwan. Among the four scenarios, contracting the disease in Belgium or being infected twice are the least likely, he said. Risk stratification and precise testing should be conducted, especially among six groups at higher risk of infection from an asymptomatic cases, he said.
Somaliland office to open soon: MOFADIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soonBy Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporterA representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou speaks at a news briefing at the ministry in Taipei on July 7. The office is scheduled to be opened at the end of this month or early next month, Ou said at the briefing. Office of Parliamentarian Affairs Deputy Executive Director Paul Chen (陳盈連) is to become the office’s director, she said.
Court orders three legislators detained‘CORRUPTION’: One DPP lawmaker and two KMT legislators were held incommunicado, while former NPP chairman Hsu Yung-ming was released on bail in the Pacific Sogo caseBy Wen Yu-te, Chen Wei-tsu and Chang Wen-chuan / Staff reportersThe Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that three lawmakers be held incommunicado amid a probe into allegedly bribery relating to an ownership dispute over Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). Former New Power Party chairman Hsu Yung-ming, center, leaves the Taipei District Court yesterday after he was released on bail of NT$800,000 in connection with a bribery case involving the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store. The case involves the largest number of lawmakers simultaneously detained since the nation was democratized in 1992. Chao was released on NT$1 million bail on Sunday, while his former aide Lin Chia-chi (林家騏) was detained incommunicado. The prosecutors’ office on Monday said that Chao should be detained, and has appealed the court’s decision.
B&Bs in Penghu warned against inflating ratesBy Shelley Shan / Staff reporterBed and breakfast (B&B) operators in Penghu County are to be disqualified from receiving government subsidies if they deliberately inflate room prices for the second phase of “disease prevention tours,” Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday. Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung talks to the media after a news conference held by Taiwan High Speed Rail in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Cheng Wei-chi, Taipei Times“The Tourism Bureau told Penghu County Government officials that operators found to engage in this kind of behavior a second time should be disqualified from applying for tourism subsidies,” Lin said. To ease traffic congestion in the Hsuehshan Tunnel during the Mid-Autumn Festival in October, the National Freeway Bureau would implement measures to redirect the traffic, Lin said. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications would reinforce public transport connecting the east and west coasts, Lin said.
Hagupit spares nation, but CWB warns of damageBy Shelley Shan / Staff reporterPeople in the nation’s south and southeast should be alert to possible damage caused by heavy precipitation as Typhoon Hagupit moves away from the nation and heads toward China, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. As of 6pm yesterday, 30 domestic flights were canceled and 45 were delayed, Civil Aeronautics Administration data showed. People walk through a rainstorm in Taipei yesterday as Typhoon Hagupit moves away from the northwest coast of Taiwan. Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei TimesInternational flight services were not affected by the typhoon, the data showed. Although the typhoon is moving away, Hsieh said that a south wind would bring rain to the nation’s south and southeast this morning.
Lee replaces Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), who resigned on Sunday, after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case. President Tsai Ing-wen, left, announces the appointment of Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman David Lee as Presidential Office secretary-general at a news conference yesterday at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei TimesSu Chen-ching is accused of taking bribes from businessman Lee Heng-lung (李恆隆) to lobby for a legal amendment. David Lee, who was the National Security Council secretary-general until he was appointed to head the SEF in May, is an “important partner” in the nation’s politics, Tsai said. David Lee’s first task in his new post at the Presidential Office would be to organize a state funeral for former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), Tsai said.
Three insurers cut declared interest rates this monthBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterCathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽), Taiwan Life Insurance Co (台灣人壽) and China Life Insurance Co (中國人壽) this month cut their declared interest rates for interest-sensitive products due to lower bond yields. The declared rates are used by insurers to calculate policyholders’ distributions, based primarily on their investment returns. However, three other major insurers — Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽), Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) and Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽) — kept their declared rates unchanged for this month. But we would review routinely if their changes are reasonable,” Tsai said, referring to a new rule that took effect last month requiring insurers to set up a mechanism to smoothen their declared rates. Insurers cannot intentionally raise their declared rates just to poach clients, he added.
NCC’s acting chair becomes chairman, outlines his goalsBy Shelley Shan / Staff reporterThe National Communications Commission plans to amend three key media laws to address a series of challenges facing the cable television industry, newly installed Chairman Chen Yaw-shyang (陳耀祥) said yesterday. We would also stipulate supporting measures to be implemented when the nation enforces a tiered-pricing policy for cable services,” Chen said in a speech at the inauguration of the new commission members. National Communications Commission Chairman Chen Yaw-shyang speaks at the inauguration of new commission members at the Ministry of Transportion and Communications’ Convention Center in Taipei yesterday. “We would gather opinions and revise the draft act if necessary before submitting it to the Executive Yuan,” he said. The commission is also drafting a digital communications act (數位通訊傳播法) to promote the development of innovative applications under the principle of Internet governance, Chen said.
KMT institute’s students call for minimum wage hikeBy Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporterStudents of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Institute of Revolutionary Practice yesterday presented proposals for labor policy, including raising the monthly minimum wage to NT$32,000 (US$1,084). They suggested a “three two plan” — raising the minimum monthly wage to NT$32,000 and the minimum hourly wage to NT$200 in two stages over three years. Technological advancements should make it possible to reduce employees’ working hours, the students said. Their plan proposes that weekly working hours be lowered to 32 hours by 2032. The students said they believe that commuting times should be included in working hours, with an upper limit to be set.
The index rose 6.9 points from one month earlier, driven by a hefty increase in new orders across industries, the Taipei-based think tank said. The sub-index on new business orders rose 14.1 points to 56.7, while the reading on industrial production added 13 points to 58.3, the monthly survey found. All sectors reported an increase in new business orders and almost all ramped up production, except companies that supply electrical and machinery equipment, it said. IHS Markit yesterday announced similar findings, with its Taiwan manufacturing PMI survey coming in at 50.6. The six-month business outlook index by CIER rose 5.2 to 49.3, but electronics suppliers logged an under-par showing of 45.7.
DPP drafts anti-corruption rules after bribery caseBy Hsieh Chun-lin, Yang Chun-hui and Dennis Xie / Staff reporters, with staff writerThe Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is drafting anti-corruption rules in the wake of DPP Legislator Su Chen-ching’s (蘇震清) alleged involvement in a bribery case. The Democratic Progressive Party logo is displayed at the entrance to its headquarters in Taipei in an undated photograph. Photo: Su Fun-her, Taipei TimesThe DPP’s anti-corruption rules are to be divided into two parts. Su and his wife had NT$75.28 million in savings, as well as five entries of debt that totaled more than NT$200 million, it showed. The report showed that Chen had 44 plots of land in Miaoli County and NT$1.3 million in savings, NT$100,000 in securities and NT$16.37 million in debt.
Focus on zero cases ‘not useful’NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen saidBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterPeople should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. That included amending regulations to set up a more efficient and centralized disease control command system, enhancing infection controls at healthcare facilities and setting up a mask rationing policy, he said. “However, the global COVID-19 situation is still severe, so the CECC is being very careful in easing border controls,” Chou said. They were prepared for possible local outbreaks, but the nation kept the disease situation under control much better than they had expected, he said. “If people always want to see zero new cases, then the government will not dare to ease [disease prevention] policies, but this might have a negative effect on the economy,” he said.
Last poll results released before Kaohsiung electionBy Tu Chu-min / Staff reporterKaohsiung City Councilor Wu Yi-jheng (吳益政) of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) is closing in on Kaohsiung City Councilor Jane Lee (李眉蓁) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), although they both trail far behind former vice premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), the Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate for the Kaohsiung mayoral by-election, an opinion poll found. Wu’s campaign office yesterday held a news conference to announce the survey results, as polls cannot be released 10 days before an election, which means as of 12am tomorrow for the Kaohsiung vote on Saturday next week. Former vice premier Chen Chi-mai, in white in the back of the truck, the Democratic Progressive Party Kaohsiung mayoral by-election candidate, waves to supporters yesterday while stumping in the city. Meanwhile, Lee said the final poll of the city’s residents would be on the results of the Aug. 15 vote. Kaohsiung City Councilor Wu Yi-jheng, back row, center, the Taiwan People’s Party Kaohsiung mayoral by-election candidate, joins supporters outside the Control Yuan in Taipei yesterday to urge Control Yuan President Chen Chu to push the central government to return tax revenues for the years 2010 to 2015 to the Kaohsiung City Government.