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President upbeat on ties across the Taiwan Strait

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday said that if the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can work to accumulate goodwill, it would help improve cross-strait ties and create harmony in the relationship. In response to reporters’ questions on the China Airlines (CAL) charter flightFULL STORY

Chair-wielding lawmakers bicker over labor rules

By Abraham Gerber

A scheduled meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Social Welfare and Environment Hygiene Committee was empty most of yesterday following fierce inter-party bickering over agenda-setting rights, with the committee’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) majority refusing to agree to late night changes by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)FULL STORY

Unions hold protest over workweek

By Abraham Gerber

More than 100 union members yesterday protested outside the Executive Yuan and Legislative Yuan, calling for restrictions on “compensatory holidays,” as a debate over the implementation of a universal 40-hour work week continues. Shouting slogans slamming negotiations with business groups and demanding the preservation of publicFULL STORY

Ministry issues directive over mandatory days off

The Ministry of Labor on Wednesday issued a new directive, saying that from Aug. 1 it will be illegal for employees to work more than six consecutive days without a day off. The new regulation replaces a labor law that allowed private sector employeesFULL STORY

Era of ‘checkbook diplomacy’ is over, Tsai Ing-wen says

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday said that the “checkbook diplomacy” Taiwan was once criticized for has long been a thing of the past. “Checkbook diplomacy, in its conventional definition, ended a long time ago, and no longer exists,” Tsai said when asked by reportersFULL STORY

Maritime talks with Tokyo to start this month

By Stacy Hsu

The Association of East Asian Relations yesterday expressed the hope that its first dialogue with Japan on maritime cooperation later this month could boost relations between Taipei and Tokyo, adding that it does not rule out convening the bilateral dialogue more than once a year. TheFULL STORY

NFTU slams DPP amendment

By Sean Lin

The National Federation of Teachers’ Unions (NFTU) yesterday criticized what it said was the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) “rigged” draft amendment to the Private School Act (私立學校法), with union members saying that the proposal only applies to schools that are granted larger subsidies and doesFULL STORY

Minister pans faculty as directors

By Sean Lin

Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) yesterday said that he is against a proposal to assign faculty members to the board of directors at private schools to safeguard workers’ rights, saying that teachers serving as directors could see them serving for “certain groups,” which couldFULL STORY

Anti-discrimination draft review adjourned again

By Hsiao Ting-fang

The legislature’s Internal Administration Committee on Wednesday reviewed the draft legislation for banning “discrimination based on ethnicity,” but as the lawmakers of the two major parties were at loggerheads over fundamental issues, the review has again been adjourned for another meeting. The committee first reviewed theFULL STORY

Former prosecutor sentenced over compensation fraud

By Jason Pan

The Taichung Branch of the Taiwan High Court yesterday upheld a guilty verdict against a former prosecutor Yang Ming-shan (楊明山), 52, for defrauding 17 farmers out of NT$17 million (US$526,544 at current exchange rates) in government compensation funds, and sentenced him to three years andFULL STORY

Summer vacation sees an increase in microsurgery

By Hsieh Chia-chun and Jonathan Chin

An increasing number of young people are using their summer vacations to undergo cosmetic procedures, such as botox shots, laser treatment or cosmetic surgery on their chin or nose, Taipei-based cosmetic dermatologist Tseng Chung-jen (曾忠仁) said. Tseng, a doctor at Taipei’s Beautyland Clinic, said the averageFULL STORY

Officials detail expansion plans for Taichung Airport

By Ou Su-mei and Jonathan Chin

Taichung Airport is planning major expansions of its facilities next year to facilitate its upgrade into an international airport, government officials and lawmakers said at a conference at the airport on Wednesday. The conference on the future of Taichung Airport was attended by Deputy LegislativeFULL STORY

Taiwan to use Japan’s satellite services until FORMOSAT-5 is launched: official

Taiwan would seek to use Japan’s satellite services until its newest satellite, the FORMOSAT-5, can be launched later this year, Minister of Science and Technology Yang Hung-duen (楊弘敦) said on Wednesday. Yang told a meeting of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee that the launchFULL STORY

Bollywood crew films Taiwan travel program

A group of Bollywood stars was deeply impressed with beauty of Taiwan during a recent 12-day visit at the invitation of the Tourism Bureau. Six movie and television actors arrived on June 12 to film a TV travel program promoting Taiwan as a tourist destinationFULL STORY

Urologist urges kidney checkups

By Lee I-chia

Kidney cancer rarely causes symptoms in its early stages, so getting regular health examinations can help catch the disease early and boost survival rates, a urologist said on Monday. A 63-year-old man surnamed Lo (羅) — who has a health examination every year — was foundFULL STORY

Cicada advocates protest planned Tainan landfill

By Tsai Wen-chu and Jonathan Chin

Tainan conservationists opposed to a planned garbage landfill in Taijiang National Park (台江國家公園) gathered in the park’s windbreak on Saturday last week to observe the nighttime molting of an endangered cicada species, and to raise awareness of the ecological damage that they said would beFULL STORY

Poor weather sees mangoes scarce in supply, prices rise

By Wu Chun-feng and Jonathan Chin

An unprecedented scarcity of Irwin mangoes, caused by unfavorable weather conditions, is expected to drive up prices, farmers’ associations in Nanhua (南化) and Yujing (玉井) districts said. Yujing District Farmers’ Association head of promotions Chu Chuan-che (朱銓哲) said mango yields have dropped by about 80 percent,FULL STORY

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