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Ma not permitted to visit Hong Kong

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Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang yesterday in Taipei announces the Presidential Office’s decision not to approve former president Ma Ying-jeou’s application to visit Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The Presidential Office yesterday turned down former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) application to travel to Hong Kong on Wednesday, citing national security concerns and the highly-sensitive nature of the planned destination.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday afternoon, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said that the office rejected Ma’s application after factoring in the counsel of an ad hoc group established to review the former president’s travel request.

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Constitutional reform ‘almost impossible,’ TSU says

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While the New Power Party (NPP) caucus had proposed constitutional amendments, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday said that constitutional reform is a “false issue” because amending the Constitution has been made almost impossible, and only establishing a new constitution altogether would help Taiwan.

“Constitutional amendment is a false issue, because amendments passed in 2005 made it almost impossible to amend the Constitution,” TSU spokeswoman Chou Ni-an (周倪安) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

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Prosecutors said to be avoiding Ma Ying-jeou lawsuits

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Various groups yesterday hold a news conference outside the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office criticizing prosecutors for “passing the buck” and failing to bring charges against former president Ma Ying-jeou for his alleged involvement in the controversial Taipei Dome project when he served as Taipei mayor.
Photo: CNA

Pro-localization groups yesterday accused prosecutors of not taking the necessary steps to prosecute former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for his suspected role in the Taipei Dome project and a classified information leak, demanding that they take action immediately.

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Chen did not violate parole conditions by appearing at event

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Former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) attendance on Saturday at a dinner to celebrate the establishment of the Ketagalan Foundation in Taipei did not violate the provisions of his medical parole, a senior prison official said yesterday.

Chen was released from prison on medical parole in January last year.

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Chen Shui-bian to attend Taipei event

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Former president Chen Shui-bian, center, returns to his hometown Tainan on Jan. 20 last year after being granted medical parole.
Photo: Yang Chin-cheng, Taipei Times

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is planning to attend a fundraising dinner for the Ketagalan Foundation in Taipei tonight, despite Taichung Prison advising against his attendance, Chen’s son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), said, adding that his father would comply with all of the preconditions of his medical parole set by the judicial authority.

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KMT disrupts proceedings at legislature

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Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators, with a polystyrene pig, boycott Premier Lin Chuan’s report to the legislature in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday morning disrupted a presentation Premier Lin Chuan (林全) was giving to the legislature, while outside the Legislative Yuan, a rally supposedly led by pig farmers, fishermen and KMT supporters protested against US pork imports containing ractopamine and “the neglect” of fishermen’s rights.

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Taiwanese identity reaches record high

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Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation chairman You Ying-lung, second right, speaks in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

The percentage of people identifying themselves as “Taiwanese” has reached a record high, according to a poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation.

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Newsflash

Following a protest from the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), Apple Inc has stopped referring to Taiwan as a province of China on its Web site.

Instead, Taiwan is now listed as a separate country along with more than 20 others ranging from Australia to the US.