Taiwan News Morning Headlines - February 26
Taiwan News
2014-02-26 09:12 AM
Market & Commodity

Taiwan stock market (TAIEX) opened 6.58 points, or 0.08 percent, lower on Wednesday at 8,569.04 on turnover of NT$2.08 billion.

■ The U.S. stock market ended slightly lower Tuesday. Traders were discouraged by a surprisingly large drop in consumer confidence in February. The worst drops were in areas affected by the extreme cold weather and storms of the past few weeks. The Standard & Poor's 500 index declined two points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 1,845. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 27 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,179. The Nasdaq composite fell five points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,287. (AP)

■ Oil and natural gas fell Tuesday as weather forecasts backed off previous predictions of unusually cold temperatures in March and April. Benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery dropped 99 cents to close at $101.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (AP)

World News

■ An accident at a hospital construction site near Thailand's capital on Tuesday killed at least 11 people and injured 18 others, police said.Police Lieutenant Aphiwat Gaysorn said the accident in Samut Prakarn province's Bang Phli district occurred when a beam supporting an elevator shaft collapsed and fell on workers who were constructing an annex at the hospital.He said another worker was trapped under rubble and was believed dead. (AP)

■ Gunmen from Islamist group Boko Haram shot or burned to death 59 pupils in a boarding school in northeast Nigeria overnight, a hospital official and security forces said on Tuesday, according to Reuters report.

■ General Motors is adding more than 588,000 vehicles to a recall to fix ignition switches that can shut off engines and cause crashes. The company says it's adding Saturn Ion compacts from 2003 through 2007, and Chevrolet HHR SUVs and Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars from 2006 and 2007. (AP)

■ The website of major Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox is offline amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft of the virtual currency.The URL of the Tokyo-based outfit returns a blank page Tuesday.Separately, several Bitcoin exchanges released a joint statement saying they are working to reassure customers that funds under their control are held securely.The statement says Mt. Gox should not be considered a reflection of the value of Bitcoin or the digital currency industry. (AP)

Local News

■ Police said Tuesday they would mobilize 500 to 700 officers during the visit of China’s top envoy Chen Deming over the next few days. Chen, the chairman of the semi-official Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, is scheduled to arrive in Taipei Wednesday for the twice-a-year round of negotiations with Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation. At the 10th round Thursday, the two sides are expected to sign agreements on meteorological and seismic monitoring cooperation. (Taiwan News)

■ The government has introduced a new fiscal plan Monday designed to create more revenues by raising the tax on the richest and on banking/ insurance sectors as well as to cut or adjust public expenditure. Premier Jiang Yi-huah said on Tuesday that more details will be left for discussions and stressed that the move has nothing to do with the seven-in-one elections to be held in late 2014. (Taiwan News)

■ The HTC showcased the Desire 816 at the MWC tech fair in Barcelona this week. HTC also announced the "HTC Power To Give" initiative, a mobile-based volunteer computing project that aims to create a supercomputer by gathering the collective processing power of Android smartphones, which will serve purposes to solve big issues such as fighting cancer, AIDS, and Alzheimer’s disease ultimately through massive data sharing and analysis. (Taiwan News)

■ Three managers at Wellcare Pharmaceutical Co., a company involved in the unauthorized drugs case surrounding Lien Hui-hsin, were released on bail, reports said Tuesday. Lien is the daughter of former Vice President Lien Chan and the sister of Sean Lien, who announced Monday he wanted to become the ruling Kuomintang’s candidate for mayor of Taipei City in the November 29 election. Lien Hui-hsin’s legal problems could cast a shadow over her brother Sean’s bid for the Taipei City mayoralty. (Taiwan News)

KMT Legislator Wu Yu-Sheng demanded in a session at the Legislative Yuan Tuesday that the government implement a "Spring Resolution" and execute all 45 of the inmates now on death row in Taiwan. Wu said the Ma administration should ignore the pleas of international human rights organizations and organizations opposed to the death penalty and carry out the order. (Taiwan News)

■ Opposition Taipei City mayoral contenders Wellington Koo and Neil Peng announced Tuesday they were recruiting attorneys to take eventual action against Kuomintang hopeful Sean Lien. Both men emphasized that the setting up of the legal team was a joint effort designed to protect the freedom of speech, a “human rights alliance” as it were. (Taiwan News)

■ According to a poll published by the Chinese-language Apple Daily, if an election were held now with Lien and Ko as the only candidates, the KMT contender would receive 41.41 percent while the independent could count on 41.17 percent. The Want Want China Times Poll Center also showed the two men deadlocked, with 29 percent for both of them if Ko joined the DPP. If the doctor remained an independent, he would lead Lien by 32 percent to 29 percent, the survey showed. (Taiwan News)

■ The Eco-Products International Fair 2014 will be held in Taipei March 13-16 with 438 booths, the highest number since the annual exhibition was first held in 2004, the organizer said Tuesday. This year, a total of 207 foreign and domestic businesses will attend the fair at the Taipei World Trade Center. (CNA)

Taiwan has reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) information on a redclaw crayfish plague after massive die-offs of the crustaceans in several counties. (CNA)

■ Cabinet-backed draft bill could allow foreign workers with HIV to remain in Taiwan, signaling a possible end to the government's long-standing policy of deporting HIV-positive foreigners. The proposed amendment to the HIV Infection Control and Patient Rights Protection Act has been sent to the Executive Yuan for review, CDC deputy director Chou Jih-haw said Tuesday. (CNA)

■ Far EasTone Telecommunications Co., Taiwan's third-largest mobile operator, unveiled on Tuesday four own-branded smartphones priced as low as NT$2,990 (US$99) in its latest attempt to shift 2G customers to its 3G network. (CNA)

■ Interior Minister Lee Hong-huan will resign after he turned down an offer by President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Jiang Yi-huah to be appointed as a minister without portfolio, Cabinet Spokesman Sun Lih-chyun said late Monday. (CNA)

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