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Selection committee head turns on Ko

By Loa Iok-sin

Former Taipei culture department director selection committee member Yen Hung-ya (閻鴻亞) yesterday protested outside independent Taipei mayor-elect Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) office, saying the selection process lacked transparency, even though it appeared to be open. Carrying banners that read “fake election, true unilateral appointment,” Yen, aFULL STORY

Use of term ‘ROC’ holds up cases in China

By Lo Tien-pin, Hsian Cheng-chen and Jake Chung

Judicial documents issued by Taiwanese courts connected to three civil suits involving Chinese nationals were rejected by Chinese courts on grounds that they contain terms that imply the sovereignty of Taiwan, government sources said. The documents were delivered to inform Chinese courts of judicial decisions concerningFULL STORY

Cabinet passes a draft bill on Aboriginal self-rule act

By Alison Hsiao

The Cabinet passed a draft bill of the Aboriginal self-government provisional act (原住民自治暫行條例) and proposed amendments to the Housing Act (住宅法) that would subsidize landlords who rent out properties to disabled or economically vulnerable groups at its weekly meeting yesterday. Reintegrating older workers into the laborFULL STORY

Study urges US-Taiwan intelligence cooperation

By William Lowther

A new study urges the White House to improve US intelligence ties to Taiwan and to support the nation’s indigenous submarine program. Published this week by the Project 2049 Institute, the study calls for a massive intelligence-sharing system that would include the exchange of everything fromFULL STORY

Lee denies reports he is backing Chu and opposing Tsai

By Loa Iok-sin

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday denied media reports that he was throwing his support behind New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) to keep Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in check, saying he only agreed with Chu’s proposal for constitutional reform. WhileFULL STORY

Critics slam ‘shameless’ drug subsidy policy flip

By Stacy Hsu

The National Health Insurance Civic Surveillance Alliance and a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator yesterday accused the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) of aiding pharmaceutical companies in a policy U-turn that allows firms to continue subsidizing medicines thatFULL STORY

Taipei bus maps debut in English

By Abraham Gerber

New maps at bus stops will feature the full English translation of stop names for the first time, the Taipei Department of Transportation said yesterday. The department unveiled a prototype design at the intersection of Renai (仁愛) and Xinsheng (新生) roads. The map is similar toFULL STORY

Councilors pan spending

By Abraham Gerber

The Taipei City Council drew criticism yesterday after local media outlets reported that each councilor received an expensive suitcase as a “souvenir” for their service over the council’s term. Reports said Rimowa suitcases costing about NT$15,000 (US$477) each were given to the councilors. “Apparently every four years,FULL STORY

Ukulele strikes a chord for ex-engineer

By Huang Mei-chu and Jake Chung

Being a street musician might seem a strange choice of activities for a man who has a post-graduate degree in civil engineering and once had ambitions to be a doctor, but 38-year-old Andy Hou (侯志暘) is just that, securing licenses to play in several countiesFULL STORY

Mental illness gets triple-murderer off death row again

By Shelley Shan

The Taiwan High Court yesterday reversed its previous ruling on triple-murderer Chen Kun-ming (陳昆明), 32, who had been sentenced to death for killing a woman four years ago — after receiving an amnesty in the earlier murders of two girls. The High Court yesterday sentenced ChenFULL STORY

Smoking in pregnancy poses risks: study

By Stacy Hsu

Women who smoke during pregnancy are up to 6.3 times more likely to have babies with low birth weights who could be nearly 400g lighter than those delivered by non-smoking mothers, according to research released yesterday by the Taiwan Pediatric Association. The research was jointlyFULL STORY

Park seals tree-hole, angering bird-watchers

By You Tai-lang and Jake Chung

Bird-watchers have criticized the Taroko National Park Administrative Office’s decision to seal up a naturally formed hole in a Formosan Michelia tree in the Bruwan Plateau and said the office’s decision was not only going against nature, but was also targeting bird-watchers. One of the bird-watchers,FULL STORY

Japanese show thanks for relief aid with event

The six prefectures in Japan’s Tohoku region jointly organized a four-day event in Taipei that starts today to thank Taiwan for its relief assistance in the wake of a magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011. The “Tohoku Japan Thank You”FULL STORY

Taipei Zoo’s ‘hero tortoise’ makes TV news in the US

The story of a tortoise at Taipei Zoo that helped another one flip over made headlines on ABC News in the US on Tuesday. A video of the stranded tortoise on its back, being tipped over by another one, attracted 1.51 million hits on YouTubeFULL STORY

Taiwan News Quick Take

TRADE Austria ratifies tax pact Trade and investment between Taiwan and Austria is expected to get a boost when the double taxation avoidance agreement signed earlier this year takes effect next year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The agreement, signed in July, was passed byFULL STORY

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