International landmarks go dark for global Earth Hour 今天是國際熄燈日，全球所有地標一起響應，減碳從生活中隨手可做，英倫翻譯跟大家一起做環保
- Mar 31 Mon 2014 13:31
International landmarks go dark for global Earth Hour 今天是國際熄燈日，全球所有地標一起響應，減碳從生活中隨手可做，英倫翻譯跟大家一起做環保
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 19:25
Workers affected by the labor loan dispute spent nearly two decades fighting to uphold their rights. At issue was whether money provided to them by the government was a loan or compensation. This is their story.
Today Lin Ting-chuan is 79 years old. He joined Hsing Lee Paper Co. 44 years ago. Within three years of working at the factory, an accident with a roll heat press cost him his fingertips.
Ex-Hsing Lee Paper Co. Employee
The company made industrial paper. The (accident) happened because we were using low-quality equipment.
Lin remained at work in order to support his family. He then became a victim of widespread factory closures that struck Taiwan.
Lin stood in unison with other factory employees who lost their jobs. They began a series of demonstrations.
In 1997, the then-Council of Labor Affairs sought to end this controversy by giving what it called a loan to more than a thousand former workers of the factory. The money represented pension and severance payments owed to the workers. Several years later, the council sought repayment, which led to new protests.
In February of last year, some of the former factory workers laid on the train tracks at Taipei Railways Station. In April, they began a nine-day fast in front of the council.
Ex-Hsing Lee Paper Co. Employee
I think the Ma government has been heartless over the past two years. It is incapable of empathizing with the pain felt by the people. Resistance during these two years has been more difficult than the preceding 17 or 18 years.
The dispute has reached a conclusion for some of the workers. But there is no way to repay them for their struggles.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 19:24
The Ministry of Labor’s decision to respect a ruling that money provided to laborers affected by a plant closure in 1997 does not need to be repaid ends this battle for some. But the ministry has not offered to compensate 480 workers who paid back this money in good faith before the threat of a lawsuit loomed. They now want the same treatment as their former colleagues.
After Taipei High Administrative Court ruled in favor of workers who lost their jobs when their factory closed, the Ministry of Labor withdrew suits against these workers. It will no longer seek repayment of money given to the workers and it promised to refund some workers who already repaid the funds. But problems remain.
The ministry has only said it will repay workers who paid up after lawsuits were launched. Another 480 workers who made earlier repayments are not included.
Lawyer Representing Workers
It’s the same situation. You cannot distinguish cases from before (the lawsuit) and cases from after. If the judge rules that this is compensation and not borrowed money, they should be treated equally.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 19:23
During the Japanese colonial period, restrictions on sugar production led to the creation of an underground industry similar to that seen in tobacco and alcohol. This pushed sugar production to remote areas like Guanshan, Tainan. Today a manufacturer based in Guanshan keeps this tradition alive by using ancient techniques to make brown sugar.
Hot syrup flows like magma, filling the air with a wonderful aroma.
The maker still uses a traditional wood-fired stove to turn this sugar cane juice into syrup. He stirs it by hand to form brown sugar. Eight hours is needed to complete the process from boiling the sugar to end product. The natural, traditional flavor stirs memories in many, making the time spent worthwhile.
The method shown here began during the Japanese colonial period. At that time, sugar-making was a heavily restricted state-run industry. Guanshan, located near the Nanhua Reservoir in Tainan, was known as a secret land for sugar production invisible from the authorities.
In the past you had to walk four or five hours to come here. It was outside the realm of the law. You weren’t likely to be discovered.
Sugar Cane Farmer
Everything back then was done quietly. You often worried if someone would come to make an inspection. You would make some then quickly conceal it.
The method used here has been passed down over two generations. It gives the sugar a wonderful flavor made possible by diligent attention to craft.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 19:20
Many schools distinguish themselves by taking on special characteristics of their neighboring community. Tuku Township, Yunlin County is known for producing Chinese medicine, and now a local elementary school is using part of its campus to grow medicinal herbs.
These young students use their spare time to weed the fields and record the medicinal herbs they see. They are learning about the effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine.
“If you are like me and get pimples, you can use bugleweed to make a water based paste or a facial cream.”
Even mint can be applied as an herbal medicine.
“(Mint) has a cool feeling and can be used to keep bugs away or to relieve headaches caused by a cold.”
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 19:19
Wang Chien-ming was scheduled to pitch in relief of a spring training game today, but was left sitting on the bench.
The Cincinnati Reds instead gave extra innings to star closer Aroldis Chapman. Wang was assigned to throw in an intra-squad game.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 19:17
This morning 18 foreign gastronomy and hotel management schools took part in an exhibition to attract Taiwanese students. School representatives say the potential of the Chinese market makes Taiwanese students sought out for their language skills.
Schools from 10 countries, including Switzerland, Australia and Japan, took part in this exhibition. They were there to sell their programs to local students.
Jaydon Study Abroad Center
A special feature of France’s Le Cordon Bleu is that after you finish your studies, it provides a three-month, unpaid internship. You get the opportunity to work in a Michelin-starred restaurant. This gives you a good-looking resume.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 19:16
Enlisting celebrated chefs to promote everything from cakes to ready-to-eat meals is a popular marketing technique. But some consumers feel they are being cheated because these cooking masters often contribute little to actual production of these rather mundane foods. The Food and Drug Administration plans to change that by requiring full disclosure of the role these spokespeople play.
Chiang Ching-kuo’s former chef is seen here demonstrating how to make this special dish for Lunar New Year and as it turns out, becoming a spokesperson for this brand. Now, a number of convenience stores are enlisting famous chefs to become spokespeople for advance order Mother’s Day cakes.
According to the Food and Drug Administration’s latest proposed draft regulations governing pre-paid food contracts, manufacturers will have to clearly indicate if these chefs have personally produced this food.
Information needs to be disclosed, such as whether this famous chef is only a spokesperson, or actually assisted in the production of the food, or was the sole producer. I believe that this is a correct attitude that reflects responsibility to consumers.
DM materials will no longer be able to say that images are “for reference only” to avoid deceiving consumers with doctored images. The scope of these regulations will extend from pre-ordered Lunar New Year meals to TV, internet and convenience store pre-ordered food products.
The new regulations could take effect by the end of the year, making businesses who run afoul of the law subject to fines ranging upwards of NT$300,000
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 19:15
Former Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan spoke about the merits of Taiwan’s national health insurance system to members of the US Senate. In the process he became the first former Cabinet-level official from Taiwan to testify at a US Senate hearing.
Former Health Minister
Patients can carry their insurance card and can go to any provider if they are not satisfied with their quality of service.
After displaying a Taiwan National Health Insurance card, former Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan discussed Taiwan’s successful experience in implementing universal healthcare. Yeh explained Taiwan’s implementation of a single-payer system, which allows for the efficient and low cost delivery of universal health care coverage.
Former Health Minister
At today’s hearing, our most important point is that a single-payer system can also include freedom of choice and competition, which can create efficiency that can help cut unnecessary costs.
During the hearing, Yeh said Taiwan delivers health care at a cost that is one-quarter of that of the United States on a cost-of-living adjusted basis, while still managing to provide better health care service. And as the US healthcare system is expected to encounter a more acute financial crisis this year, Yeh said he hoped that the United States and others could learn from Taiwan’s 19 years of experience in providing national health insurance.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 18:59
Development Minister Kuan Chung-ming said today that the rise in Taiwan’s consumer price index last year was much lower than increases in neighboring countries. But his comments were seized by critics who argued even small rises in CPI represent a decrease in standard of living due to Taiwan’s stagnant wages.
Kuan Chung-ming appeared at the Legislature today where he made the following comments about Taiwan’s consumer price index.
Our CPI was stable, which is actually quite rare in Asia. Many people pay attention to consumer prices, especially food products such as fruits and meat.
The National Development Council’s most recent report indicates that last year’s CPI rose just 0.79 percent, below rises in the United States, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Former development minister Chen Po-chih mentioned a problem with only looking at CPI.
Salaries have not increased, so a 2 percent rise in the CPI is equal to a 2 percent fall in standard of living. But to many officials, the rise in CPI is just a number.
According to the government’s official statistics bureau, the CPI adjusted average monthly per capita wage was NT$44,739 in 2013. That represents a decrease of NT$59 from 15 years ago.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 18:58
A legislative committee was set to review the trade-in-services pact Taiwan signed last year with China, but it quickly became clear that arguments and mild fighting would be the only matters on the agenda today. The attempt was abandoned, and lawmakers will have another go tomorrow.
Before preliminary review of the trade-in-services pact could begin, pan blue and pan green lawmakers had a spat over a procedural issue.
When I went to register to speak, I discovered that they had registered before today’s meeting even began. This violates the principle of neutrality, which is why we protested.
Pan green lawmaker Chen Chi-mai, of the DPP, is responsible for chairing this week’s meetings of the Internal Administration Committee. Taking his place next week is pan blue lawmaker Chang Ching-chung, of the KMT. Such factors play into both camps’ calculations.
The KMT purposely crafted a conflict. They are tried to stake legitimacy to a future attempt to send this pact directly to its second or third reading. But I believe we will have a response. We will adapt and respond no matter what may occur.
The standstill lasted all day. Officials who had planned to speak were left with only reporters as an audience.
We should review this as quickly as possible so it can be completed. If it’s delayed and fails to advance, we will be sidelined. There’s no doubt of this.
Taiwan signed the trade-in-services pact with China last June. But it cannot be implemented until the Legislature passes it. Tomorrow, ruling and opposition lawmakers will again bring their dispute to the committee.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 18:55
Customers of Vibo Telecom are upset following the company’s largest service interruption in five years. For about four hours on Wednesday, more than half a million of the telecom’s customers in northern Taiwan and Yilan were left without service.
Nearly every minute a new customer appears at this office, and each one has a complaint.
At 11:26 am, Vibo Telecom’s service from Miaoli to northern Taiwan and Yilan saw more than 500,000 cell phone customers lose their service. No calls could be made and internet services could not be accessed. Even worse, customer service staff had little idea what caused the disruption.
Vibo headquarters said a power outage led to the problems.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 18:54
The Milwaukee Brewers are expected to soon make Wang Wei-chung the first player ever to jump directly from rookie ball to the major leagues. Following a series of moves on Tuesday, Milwaukee cut its team to 25 healthy players, and Wang was still in the mix.
Left-handed pitcher Wang Wei-chung is expected to become the 11th Taiwanese baseball player to play in the major leagues.
On Tuesday the Brewers optioned two players to the minor leagues, leaving just enough players to fill the 25-man opening day roster. According to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, before playing the San Francisco Giants, Wang was told that he made the team.
Wang will become the first player ever to play in the major leagues directly from rookie ball. At 21 years old, he will also be Taiwan’s youngest player to play in the major leagues. His annual salary will jump to the league minimum of US$500,000 a year.
After getting the good news, Wang pitched against the Giants in the ninth inning. He struggled, giving up four consecutive hits and three runs, and was charged with his first loss of spring training.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 18:49
Another protest today saw labor leaders countering the student demands. They believe the cross-strait trade-in-services agreement is necessary for Taiwan to compete with other countries on exports and want lawmakers to return to work so they can pass it.
Representatives of 11 labor unions protested outside the Ministry of Economic Affairs today. They want the Ma Ying-jeou administration to restore normal functioning at the Legislature.
Taipei Labor Union Director
If the cross-strait trade-in-services pact isn’t signed, free trade agreements would be impossible to pass. Taiwan’s economy relies on exports. If we don’t hurry, it’s clear to me that Taiwan’s competiveness will become weaker and weaker.
Reports also say that executives at the state-run Taiwan Water Corporation have forbid employees from attending demonstrations against the cross-strait trade-in-services pact.
Taiwan Water Corporation
We want to avoid employees facing problems at the demonstrations that the company would be left having to solve. This is my reasoning.
The water corporation denies the reports. Apparently, it just doesn’t want its employees endangered and creating a situation that could leave customers without water.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 18:32
Among those calling for Premier Jiang Yi-huah to resign is the youngest daughter of former Vice President Lien Chan. Ariel Lien signed a petition circulated among National Taiwan University students calling for Jiang to step down over his orders to forcefully remove students from the Executive Yuan. On Facebook, the younger Lien also posted a quote from Jiang in which he called demonstrations a necessary part of democracy.
As you take on various challenges and gradually realize the potential you have as a political science student, you will prove to society that politics can also be a noble profession.
These words from then-NTU professor Jiang Yi-huah still resonate. But on Sunday it was Jiang serving as premier who ordered riot police to forcibly remove students who were occupying the Executive Yuan.
Students in the political science department at NTU put together a petition calling on Jiang to apologize and resign. Among those who signed is Ariel Lien, daughter of KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 18:28
National police chief Wang Cho-chiun compared his handling of student protesters at the Executive Yuan to a crackdown on pan blue demonstrators protesting against DPP President Chen Shui-bian in 2004. Wang’s comments were refuted by then-Premier Yu Shyi-kun, who said many of the demonstrators in 2004 were wielding weapons but the students at the Executive Yuan were unarmed.
The student siege of the Executive Yuan led to a violent police eviction and many injuries. Many allege an excessive use of force, but not National Police Agency Chief Wang Cho-chiun. He compared it to a 2004 demonstration in which his security forces expelled demonstrators from the KMT and PFP.
National Police Agency Chief
Ten years ago, when I was Taipei Police Department Commissioner, on the evening of April 10 I also carried out an eviction using water cannons. I was commended by (then) Premier Yu Shyi-kun
These comments did not sit well with Yu.
These two actions are unrelated. This was a non-violent student protest. On April 10, it was a mass demonstration with people carrying crossbows and Molotov cocktails.
Images from the 2004 protest show Molotov cocktails thrown, setting fire to parts of Ketagalan Boulevard. Also, stones were thrown in the vicinity of the Jieshou Road police precinct. During this scuffle, stage scaffolding was turned over by protestors and they planned to use it to infiltrate the Presidential Office.
On Sunday, student-led demonstrators who infiltrated the Executive Yuan faced off against police. This time, the students were unarmed and generally peaceful. Still, they faced police who used shields and batons as weapons.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 18:26
The violent expulsion of students who occupied the Executive Yuan on Sunday night raised tension in the standoff over the trade-in-services pact. Today the head of the National Police Agency defended the handling of the bloody crackdown.
This is National Police Agency Chief Wang Cho-chiun reporting to lawmakers on the forceful expulsion of students from the Executive Yuan by his agency’s riot control unit. He denied reports that President Ma Ying-jeou is upset over the handling of the expulsion and wants Wang gone.
National Police Agency Chief
This is what the media reported. Neither the premier nor the president has yet to say that oversight was insufficient. For the moment, I don’t think this is important. What’s important is that our police still have a lot of work ahead. I think that when this situation ends, those who should be held responsible will be held responsible.
Wang went on to say that many of the demonstrators who occupied the Executive Yuan were non-students.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 18:25
Pan green lawmakers have proved willing to sign “promise declarations” distributed by student protesters, but KMT members have yet to oblige. The declarations include a provision that the cross-strait trade-in-services pact will not be reviewed by the Legislature until a legal framework for monitoring all agreements signed with China is in place.
Two hours after receiving the promise declaration, DPP caucus whip Wu Ping-jui gladly signed the document and returned it to student leader Lin Fei-fan.
DPP Caucus Secretary-General
We have 40 legislators. After our caucus meeting, we had the signatures of our three caucus leaders, so there is no need for each member to sign.
KMT caucus members weren’t so obliging.
(There doesn’t seem to be a reply) at the moment, though they should send it soon and not wait or it could be too late.
The promise declaration calls for lawmakers to develop a legal framework for cross-strait agreements and for the cross-strait trade in services pact to be reviewed only after this framework is in place. Students hope these declarations can end the standoff in the Legislature.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 18:23
The glimmer of hope provided by a possible meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou and the students occupying the Legislature has been dashed. The two sides had voiced support for a meeting without any preconditions, but then the students began to put forward preconditions.
The students believe Ma is using his status as KMT chairman to threaten disciplinary measures against lawmakers who don’t support the trade-in-services pact Taiwan signed with China. For this reason, they think Ma is insincere, and won’t meet him until he promises not to coerce KMT lawmakers. The Presidential Office feels that the students are simply finding an excuse to avoid a meeting.
- Mar 27 Thu 2014 03:58
What do you need to map a billion stars? A billion-pixel camera certainly helps.
Scientists hope to glean more clues about the origin and evolution of the universe, and in particular our own galaxy, after a camera of this incredible scale -- fitted to the Gaia space telescope -- was launched.
Gaia, which lifted off from French Guiana, has been tasked with mapping the Milky Way in greater detail than ever before.
Designed and built by Astrium for the European Space Agency （ESA）, the makers say the telescope is so sensitive that it could measure a person’s thumbnail from the Moon, or to put it another way, detect the width of a human hair from 1,000km （620 miles） away.
Gaia will study the position, distance, movement, chemical composition and brightness of a billion stars in the galaxy.