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Taipei fed up with pun, chooses new name for Neihu line

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The Taipei City Government will spend about NT$1 million (US$30,000) to change the name of the MRT Muzha-Neihu Line after an insulting twist on its name became popular.

The problem-ridden MRT line is jokingly called by the last two syllables in “Muzha” and “Neihu” because when put together, they sound like zhahu (詐胡), a term in the game of mahjong that describes an act of cheating.

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Control Yuan investigates I Pin case

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The Control Yuan yesterday dismissed media speculation that it planned to censure President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) over the Taipei City Government’s decision to grant Yuanta Group (元大集團) permission to build a 23-story building near the president’s residence during Ma’s term as Taipei mayor.

“It is true that we are ­investigating this case, and we also found some problems as alleged by the print media [Chinese-language Next Magazine],” Control Yuan member Ma Yi-kung (馬以工) told reporters.

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US Supreme Court rejects Taiwan case

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The US Supreme Court has refused to hear a lawsuit brought by Taiwanese activist Roger Lin (林志昇) that argues that the US is the principal occupying power of Taiwan and should still control it.

The terse rejection by the highest US court scuttles Lin’s legal maneuvers in the US and at the same time could end an attempt by former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) — sentenced to life in prison last month — to win his freedom through Washington.

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New Zealand politician invites Kadeer to visit

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Exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer has been invited to speak in New Zealand next week and the government will decide within days whether to issue her a visa, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said yesterday. Taiwanese officials last month banned Kadeer, who Beijing accuses of leading a separatist terrorist movement, from visiting and China objected to her visit to Australia in August.

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Obama postpones meeting the Dalai Lama, report says

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The White House postponed a meeting between the Dalai Lama and US President Barack Obama until after Obama’s meeting with Chinese leader Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) next month, the Washington Post reported yesterday.

The Post said it would be the first time since 1991 that the Tibetan spiritual leader will visit Washington and not meet the US president. He has visited Washington 10 times over that time span.

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Fewer allies voice support at UN

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Only 15 of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies spoke in favor of Taiwan at the General Debate of the 64th UN General Assembly held in New York from Sept. 23 to Wednesday, a record low since Taiwan started its bid to rejoin the UN in 1993.

Taiwan’s allies that showed support were Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Burkina Faso, Sao Tome and Principe, Gambia, Tuvalu, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Swaziland, the Solomon Islands, Belize, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Advisers’ trips to Beijing criticized

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The Presidential Office said yesterday it was inappropriate for presidential advisers to attend Beijing’s celebrations marking 60 years of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rule in China, but stopped short of denouncing or threatening to punish them.

Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said that he had been informed that the three presidential advisers in question were indeed in Beijing, but they “should not be there to attend the celebration events.”

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Newsflash

A US military expert is playing down the threat to Taiwan of China’s new DF-21D ballistic anti-ship missile, which is said to be capable of sinking an aircraft carrier.

Four-star US Admiral Robert Willard, commander of the US Pacific Command, made headlines earlier this week when he revealed for the first time that the missile was now in the early stages of deployment.