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Soong mulls presidential run

By Alison Hsiao

People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) yesterday said he would consider running for president if he thinks the two major parties’ policies have been “hijacked by fundamentalists.” The PFP held a press conference in Taipei to announce its five legislative candidates for theFULL STORY

Royce pushes for frigates’ transfer

By William Lowther

US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce is urging the White House to immediately issue a final authorization for two Perry-class guided missile frigates to be transferred to Taiwan. After visiting one of the frigates — the USS Gary — in SanFULL STORY

DPP denies ties to park manager, calls for probe

By Loa Iok-sin

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday asked police to investigate an online rumor alleging that the general manager of the Formosa Fun Coast (八仙海岸) water park in New Taipei City is a financial supporter of the party. The water park is the site of an explosionFULL STORY

Hundreds protest science park expansion plan

By Sean Lin

Hundreds of residents of Changhua County’s Jhutang Township (竹塘) yesterday rallied in front of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) office in Taipei to protest against the Central Taiwan Science Park’s fourth-phase expansion plan, which they said could contaminate thousands of hectares of farmland. About 600 demonstratorsFULL STORY

Food safety rules remain stalled in Taipei City Council

By Abraham Gerber

Food safety regulations and other major city legislation remained stalled yesterday as a special session of the Taipei City Council drew to a close. The session was called earlier this month after the council failed to pass any of the proposed autonomous regulations during the regularFULL STORY

Air Rescue Group, CWB host birthdays

The air force’s Air Rescue Group and the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) are holding joint birthday celebrations in Taipei this week, symbolizing their close relationship. A series of activities and events began yesterday at the bureau’s Taipei headquarters to mark the Air Rescue Group’s 61st birthdayFULL STORY

Water Park Inferno: KMT asks China to provide aid

By Shih Hsiu-chuan

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has sent requests to China for provisions of medical supplies — especially human skin equivalents and cadaveric skin — for hundreds of burns patients after an explosion involving cornstarch on Saturday, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said yesterday. The party headquartersFULL STORY

Water Park Inferno: New footage helping with probe into cause of blaze

Video that surfaced on Tuesday shows the moments before a fireball engulfed partygoers at Formosa Fun Coast (八仙海岸) in New Taipei City’s Bali District (八里) on Saturday last week, killing one person and injuring nearly 500. The footage from an onstage camera is expected to assistFULL STORY

Water Park Inferno: Disaster fund use defended

By Alison Hsiao

The Executive Yuan yesterday denied that its decision to use a disaster reserve fund in response to the blaze at the Formosa Fun Coast (八仙海岸) water park in New Taipei City’s Bali District (八里) on Saturday last week showed favoritism over Kaohsiung, which did notFULL STORY

Water Park Inferno: Japanese firm donates gauze, citing quake aid

A Japanese company donated non-adhesive gauze to treat people affected by a fiery blast at a New Taipei City water park on Saturday last week, saying it was moved by Taiwan’s support for Japan following the Tohuku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Fuji SystemsFULL STORY

Water Park Inferno: Progress of severe burns patient hailed by health workers

In what physicians are describing as a “miracle,” a 20-year-old college student with burns to 90 percent of his body has regained consciousness and was breathing unassisted after being injured in the explosion and fire at the Formosa Fun Coast (八仙海岸) water park in NewFULL STORY

Carrier fined NT$300,000

By Shelley Shan

Asia-Pacific Telecom (亞太電信) was fined NT$300,000 for failing to fulfill the commitments stated in its fourth-generation (4G) telecom service business plan, the National Communications Commission said yesterday. Commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said that Asia-Pacific Telecom failed to fulfill its commitments after acquiring the permitFULL STORY

Penalties follow violent broadcasts

By Shelley Shan

The Videoland cable television network was fined NT$600,000 yesterday after violating the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法) by showing images of “brutal killings” on its movie channel. In a Taipei news conference, National Communications Commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said that the channel aired a Hong KongFULL STORY

High Court acquits foreigner in sex assault cases

By Jason Pan

The Taiwan High Court branch in Taipei acquitted Turkish man Yamur Ersagun, 29, of sexual assault charges yesterday, overturning a lower court ruling of last year that found him guilty and sentenced him to 22 months in prison. Ersagun, using Wang Kai-chieh (王凱傑) as a Chinese-languageFULL STORY

Taipei watches roads, pipes with center

By Abraham Gerber

The Taipei City Government’s new Road Pipeline Information Center to manage infrastructure under city streets officially opened yesterday. “The constant digging up of roads has always ranked high on lists of government action resented by city residents,” Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said. The center would reduce unnecessaryFULL STORY

Blind runners impress veteran

By Chen Wei-han

Running might not seem an ideal sport for people with visual impairments, but Republic of China Association for Visually Impaired Runners director Lin Yao-yi (林瑤義) said that is a misconception, as blind or partially blind people can enjoy running paired with a guide. Visually impaired peopleFULL STORY

Teacher donates mobile clinic to hospital

By Chu Tse-wei and Jake Chung

Hoping both to repay the Saint Mary’s Hospital in Yilan County’s Luodong Township (羅東) for its dedicated services to the poor and disadvantaged in the region and to strengthen the hospital’s resolve to help, a local elementary-school teacher, Chen Su-ling (陳素玲), has dedicated one ofFULL STORY

Taiwan News Quick Take

WEATHER No threat of storm: CWB A tropical storm that formed over the Pacific late on Tuesday will not immediately threaten Taiwan, but it could turn into a typhoon as it moves closer to the nation, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. As of 8am yesterday,FULL STORY

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