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Obama staff changes may affect policies on Taiwan

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As US President Barack Obama reshuffles his top staff in preparation for next year’s presidential election, there could be substantial change in the administration’s Asia team with implications for US policy on Taiwan.

The White House doors are spinning with a series of major developments in the past week and more are expected in the weeks and months to come.

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PLA drive targets Taiwan: US study

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A major new analysis concludes that China’s military modernization program has focused on building capabilities to coerce Taiwan into unification.

The analysis also says the program is aimed at establishing air supremacy over Taiwan and interdicting and destroying US surface ships entering the region.

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Activists urge ban on buying, selling of animal traps

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Animal rights activists yesterday urged the government to ban the purchase and sale of animal traps, as many pets as well as children have fallen victim to them.

Showing a picture of a black dog surrounded by seven newborn puppies, Juan Mei-ling (阮美玲), executive director of Life Caring and Animal Rescue Organization, said the dog lost part of its front paw after being caught in a trap in Sindian District (新店), New Taipei City (新北市), last month.

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DPP criticizes civil servant perk law

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Retired junior public servants will soon see a nice boost in their savings, as a law increasing the amount of money they can deposit into an 18 percent preferential interest rate account comes into effect this year.

The move, passed by the legislature last year, was criticized by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday as unfair and unnecessary as interest rates in public banks continue to hover below 2 percent, despite a 0.125 interest rate hike announced last week by the central bank.

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Referendum proposal likely to be rejected: TSU head

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Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) yesterday said the chances that a review committee that has already rejected proposals for a referendum on a controversial trade pact with China would treat a fourth and final bid on the matter any differently were very slim.

Speaking outside a hearing held to determine the legality of his latest proposal to turn the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) over to a public vote, Huang said the committee would likely turn it down when it reviews it tomorrow, despite the fact that referendums are a “basic right.”

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Prison head says Chen can receive treatment in jail

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The head of the Taipei Prison yesterday said there was no need for former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to receive medical treatment outside the prison, even though he has recently complained about feeling unwell.

Fang Tze-chieh (方子傑) was responding to a call by Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), the son of the former president, for authorities to allow his father to leave jail to receive check-ups or treatment.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 January 2011 09:05 ) Read more...
 

Aborigines protest ROC repression

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While the government was staging a series of events to celebrate the Republic of China’s (ROC) centennial, dozens of Aborigines staged a demonstration in front of the Presidential Office early yesterday morning in which they accused the ROC government of repression and exploitation of the nation’s Aborigines.

Early in the morning yesterday, dozens of Aborigines — mostly Atayals from New Taipei City (新北市), Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli and Yilan Counties as well as from Greater Taichung — gathered at Liberty Square in Taipei not long after a New Year’s flag-raising ceremony in front of the Presidential Office ended and the crowd was walking away from Ketagalan Boulevard.

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Newsflash


A passenger stands after arriving at the nearly deserted train station in Wuhan, China, yesterday.
Photo: AFP

China yesterday locked down two major cities in a province at the center of a deadly coronavirus outbreak, banning airplanes and trains from leaving in an unprecedented move aimed at containing the disease, which has already spread to other countries.