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New Year begins with pollution alert

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New Taipei City is shrouded in smog in a picture taken from Taipei across the Zhongxiao Bridge yesterday.
Photo: CNA

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday initiated a second-level emergency command center as air pollution from Shanghai is expected to affect the nation’s air quality until tomorrow.

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Students at experimental schools gain recognition

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The Legislative Yuan on Friday passed amendments to three laws on experimental education, expanding the scope of experimental curricula to cover universities and allow experimental-school students to receive official student status.

The three acts refer to the Enforcement Act for Non-school-based Experimental Education across Levels below Senior High School (高級中等以下教育階段非學校型態實驗教育實施條例), the Enforcement Act for School-based Experimental Education (學校型態實驗教育實施條例) and the Act Governing the Commissioning of the Operation of Public Elementary and Junior Secondary Schools to the Private Sector (公立國民小學及國民中學委託私人辦理條例).

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Armed forces must remain vigilant, Tsai says

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President Tsai Ing-wen shakes hands with Commander of Penghu Defense Command Huang Ching-tsai, who is to be promoted to lieutenant general on Monday, at a military promotion ceremony in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that the nation’s armed forces must keep a close watch on China’s military movements and take necessary measures to safeguard national security and ensure regional peace and stability.

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Get used to air force drills: China

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A Taiwanese F-16, bottom, follows a Chinese H-6 bomber in an undated photograph.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense

Taiwanese will gradually get used to Chinese air force drills that encircle the nation, China said yesterday, while Premier William Lai (賴清德) reiterated the nation’s desire for peaceful relations with Beijing.

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Sports associations face membership fraud accusations

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New Power Party Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang, left, and Fair Game! Taiwan! cofounder Lu Chi-hung press the doorbell of the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday to file a formal complaint against several sports associations.
Photo: Hsieh Chun-lin, Taipei Times

Sports advocates and athletes yesterday joined New Power Party Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) in filing a formal complaint against various sports associations for allegedly engaging in fraud in their membership drive.

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Support Lee Ming-che with cards: group

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From left, former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Wang Li-ping, DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu, Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Chiu Ee-ling, Lee Ching-yu, wife of jailed human rights advocate Lee Ming-che, and Covenants Watch chief executive officer Huang Yi-bee in Taipei yesterday hold greetings cards that are to be sent to Lee Ming-che in prison in China.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

A group of human rights campaigners yesterday urged the public to show their support for Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) by writing him a New Year or birthday card, adding that they would present another report on Lee’s case at a UN meeting in February.

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Thousands protest labor amendments

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Protesters marching against the government’s draft amendments to the Labor Standards Act face the Executive Yuan at the direction of march organizers, along Zhongxiao West Road in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Thousands of people yesterday marched from the headquarters of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to the Executive Yuan in Taipei, urging the Cabinet to withdraw its draft amendment to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法).

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Newsflash

US President Barack Obama left on his debut presidential tour of Asia yesterday, seeking to revive the US' prestige as a regional power, on a trip much heavier on symbolism than diplomatic substance.

Obama will take a precious week out of his bid to enact an ambitious domestic agenda to show the region and a rising China that Washington is no longer distracted by crises elsewhere.