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MORAKOT: THE AFTERMATH: Officials agree: No state of emergency

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The daughter of a missing Taitung police officer, Chiang Wen-hsiang, stands at the side of a flooded river and cries out for her father in Taitung yesterday.
PHOTO: CNA

The Legislative Yuan and the Executive Yuan yesterday decided against calling on the president to declare a state of emergency.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said after a meeting with Premier Liu Chao-shiuan and the three legislative caucuses that they believed the government could handle disaster and relief procedures based on the provisions listed in the Disaster Prevention and Protection Act.

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Myanmar criticized over sentencing of Suu Kyi

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Criticism poured in for Myanmar yesterday over the sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi as the EU promised more sanctions and one of its key regional partners called for the democracy icon's immediate release.

After the authorities ordered the Nobel laureate to remain under house arrest for a further 18 months following a trial in Yangon, protesters rallied outside Myanmar's diplomatic missions to denounce the outcome.

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Aid workers race against time, 700 found in Xiaolin

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Rescue efforts continued yesterday as search teams raced against time looking for thousands of villagers trapped by mudslides caused by Typhoon Morakot.

As of press time, more than 400 victims had been rescued by the military yesterday, but hundreds of villagers were still waiting for help and at least 400 people were unaccounted for.

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Twenty-three dead in wake of Morakot

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Residents of Xiaolin Village in Kaohsiung County’s Jiaxian Township disembark from a helicopter outside Cishan Junior High School yesterday after they were rescued from the village, which was wiped out by mudslides brought by Typhoon Morakot.
PHOTO: CNA

At least 23 people were confirmed dead, 32 injured and 56 confirmed missing in the wake of Typhoon Morakot, the Central Disaster Emergency Operation Center said yesterday.

Hundreds of others were reportedly missing in mountainous areas of southern Taiwan, while the military was trying to rescue those cut off by fallen bridges and raging rivers.

As of last night, the Presidential Office had not declared a state of emergency.

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Internet community mobilizes to help

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The Internet community in Taiwan rallied yesterday to help people affected by the devastating flooding brought by Typhoon Morakot.

“I can’t do much, but I’ve ordered 10 cases [of bottled water] and sent them to disaster-hit areas in the south,” a Plurker identified as Philip0721 wrote on the Plurk Web platform late on Saturday night. “Each one of us, let’s all order 10 cases of bottled water for the south.”

Last Updated ( Monday, 10 August 2009 07:33 ) Read more...
 

Weapons from US are key to peace, MAC chief says

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US assistance in helping Taiwan acquire defensive weapons is key to the development of stable cross-strait ties, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan said on Thursday.

Lai made the comments at a meeting with visiting US Representative and co-chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus Phil Gingrey, a statement said.

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Senate allies add report

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Supporters of Taiwan in the US Senate Armed Services Committee added a requirement for a presidential report on the status of the Taiwanese Air Force in next year’s National Defense Authorization Act passed on July 23, the latest edition of Defense News reported.

Defense News quoted Andrew Yang, secretary-general of the Taipei-based Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies, as saying that the requirement would likely push for the sale of the 66 F-16C/D fighter aircraft requested by Taiwan in 2006.

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Newsflash

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday confirmed to the Taipei Times that US authorities are assisting Taiwan with an investigation into the activities of General Lo Hsien-che (羅賢哲), who was arrested last month on suspicion of spying for China.

Lo’s espionage activity, described as possibly the worst spy case to hit Taiwan in the past half century, is believed to have begun in 2004 when he was recruited by Chinese intelligence while he was posted in Thailand. News of the arrest sparked fears that Taiwan’s military might have been severely compromised, especially its command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, to which Lo is believed to have had access.