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Driver killed after car crushed between two trucks on freeway

Taiwan English News
Date: March 21, 2019
By: Phillip Charlier

The driver of a sedan died at the scene of a five-vehicle accident after a semi trailer plowed into stationary vehicles, crushing the car between two container trucks on National Freeway 1 this morning, March 21.

The accident occurred at around 11:30am as a line of vehicles were stopped behind a road maintenance vehicle in the fast lane of the the freeway in the south-bound lanes at the 364.5 kilometer mark in Kaohsiung City.

As the vehicles waited to merge right into the outer lanes, the driver of a semi-trailer plowed into another truck, which then nudged the sedan before being pushed into the center lane of the freeway.

The semi-trailer, then smashed into the sedan, which ‘crumpled like a piece of paper,’ according to one report, as it was sandwiched between the two trucks.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan is ranked East Asia’s happiest country

Radio Taiwan International 
Date: 21 March, 2019
By: Shirley Lin

Taiwan ranked happiest country in East Asia. (Screenshot from World Happiness Report official website)

The World Happiness Report has ranked Taiwan as East Asia’s happiest country and the 25th happiest in the world. The 2019 edition of the report was released Wednesday by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

The report ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels. Factors used to calculate happiness levels include GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, and perceptions of corruption.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan ex-Premier Lai praises late Justice Minister

Lai calls for exemplary DPP presidential primaries

Taiwan News   
Date: 2019/03/21 
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Ex-Premier William Lai (from his Facebook page).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Premier William Lai (賴清德), who registered for the Democratic Progressive Party primaries earlier this week, praised late Justice Minister Chen Ting-nan (陳定南) as a role model.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also registered on Thursday, with the outcome of the selection process for the DPP candidacy in next year’s January 11 election expected to be announced next month.

After visiting the Chen Ting-nan Memorial Park in Yilan County Wednesday, Lai said he had had the pleasure of serving on a support group for Chen’s 1994 campaign for governor of Taiwan.

When many years later, Lai ran for mayor of Tainan, Chen’s widow presented him with her husband’s trademark bag, encouraging him to follow his principles of clean politics when running the southern Taiwanese city.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan aiming to allow foreign nationals to volunteer as firefighters

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/21
By: Wang Cheng-chung and Ko Lin

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, March 21 (CNA) The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) on Thursday approved revised regulations to allow foreign nationals residing in Taiwan to volunteer as firefighters.

The new regulations will be officially promulgated and will become effective after internal procedures are completed, the MOI said.

In a statement, the MOI said the revision makes provisions for foreign nationals, including people from China, Macau and Hong Kong, who are willing to undergo the necessary training at the local fire departments to qualify as volunteer firefighters.

They could make a positive contribution to firefighting and fire prevention efforts as Taiwan currently has limited human resources in that area, the ministry said.

Tsai enters DPP primary race

THREE REQUIREMENTS: The president said a candidate must be able to deal with different groups, withstand criticism and handle even the most ordinary of tasks

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 22, 2019
By: Yang Chun-hui and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday registered as a candidate in the Democratic

President Tsai Ing-wen yesterday in Taipei registers as a candidate for the party’s primary for next year’s presidential election.Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential primary, saying that Taiwan and the party need her.

Tsai said that she is seeking re-election because she believes the DPP and Taiwan need her, not “despite Beijing’s opposition,” as her critics have said.

She made the remarks to reporters at the party’s headquarters in Taipei hours before she departed for an eight-day state visit to Palau, Nauru and the Marshall Islands.

Tsai, who stepped down as DPP chairperson on election night last year after the party’s losses in the Nov. 24 local elections, said she believes a candidate must fulfill three requirements to become president:    [FULL  STORY]

Self-taught master keeps traditional lantern-making alive

Radio Taiwan International 
Date: 20 March, 2019
By: John Van Trieste

Master craftsman Hsiao Tsai-kan at work

Illuminated lanterns are an important part of Taiwan’s culture. They’re displayed at temple events, during the Lunar New Year, and of course, on the day of the Lantern Festival.

These lanterns are dazzling creations, shaped like animals, mythical creatures, and cartoon characters. But these days, it’s hard to find lanterns like these that are completely made by hand. One place you can still find them is in a Hsinchu workshop run by a real living national treasure.

Craftsman Hsiao Tsai-kan remembers a time when elaborate, hand-made lantern displays were a part of ordinary life. Many occasions called for them, and many people knew how to make them.

Those days are now gone. Illuminated lanterns are still popular, but the art of making them by hand is disappearing.    [FULL  STORY]

National DPP figures are rallying around Taiwan’s incumbent president.

William Lai Faces an Uphill Battle in His Primary Run Against President Tsai

The News Lens
Date: 2019/03/20
By: Milo Hsieh

On Monday, former Premier William Lai (賴清德) announced his entry into Taiwan’s

Credit: CNA

presidential race. A report in The News Lens, citing poll data, suggested that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) chances of winning re-election are “as slim as ever.”

However, a wave of support for Tsai among prominent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians is suggesting otherwise.

Lai, who served as premier in the Tsai administration until January 2019, entered the DPP primary on Monday, a surprising move given Tsai’s recent poise in the face of cross-Strait tensions. Despite snickers of Lai running prior to the start of 2019, when Tsai’s popularity was low following her party’s brutal November nine-in-one election losses, Tsai was able to regain support by responding firmly to a coercive speech on Taiwanmade on Jan. 2 by Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Lai’s announcement created a dilemma for the DPP. He challenges Tsai from the left, having pronounced his support for an independent Taiwan. By contrast, Tsai’s careful handling of cross-Strait relations despite early Chinese pressure in her term has earned her the applause of U.S. decision makers and Taiwan experts.    [FULL  STORY]

Man accused of secretly filming staff in underwear at TGI Fridays in Taipei

Man charged with offenses against privacy after filming 10 employees in their underwear at TGI Fridays in Taipei

Taiwan News   
Date: 2019/03/20 
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(Google Maps image of TGI Friday’s restaurant)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A man is facing charges of Offenses Against Privacy for allegedly secretly filming 10 male and female employees changing clothes at a TGI Friday’s in Taipei, reported UDN.

The former employee, surnamed Tung (董), allegedly videotaped employees as they changed clothes in the locker room of TGI Friday’s near Guting MRT Station in Taipei. After a 500-gigabyte hard drive was found containing video of employees undressing, Tung admitted that he captured the videos to “relieve stress,’ several of the victims are pressing charges.

During his confession, Tung said that he inadvertently left a video recording device in the locker room sometime in 2017. When he reviewed the footage, he noticed that it contained video of his colleagues in various stages of undress.

Tung said he knew that his behavior was improper, but his family started to have health problems, and he started to feel a lot of pressure. He said that in September of 2017, he began to conceal his recording device with clothes and started videotaping the changing room, in order to “relieve stress.”    [FULL  STORY]

AIT director: people should `think outside the box’

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/20
By: Tsai Peng-min and Evelyn Kao

Taipei, March 20 (CNA) The de facto U.S. ambassador to Taiwan called on people to

Brent Christensen (right), director of the American Institute in Taiwan’s (AIT’s) Taipei office

“think outside the box” and explore emerging technologies at the opening of the 2019 AIC Innovation Forum Wednesday in Taiwan.

Brent Christensen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan’s (AIT’s) Taipei office, in his opening remarks at the forum, quoted Albert Einstein, who said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

He said that this year’s forum will explore emerging technologies and also how people can learn to “think outside the box” and imagine these technologies.

The American Innovation Center (AIC) in Taiwan was jointly established by the AIT and the Taiwan Design Center (TDC) in 2014 to promote U.S.-Taiwan shared values of innovation, digitalization and culture and design by offering technology, creativity and designed-themed programs.   [FULL  STORY]

Relations with Pacific allies ‘steady’

MISLEADING: Five of Taiwan’s allies signed a communique last month, but not at the summit mentioned by Deutsche Welle’s Chinese Web site, a ministry spokesman said

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 21, 2019
By: Lu Yi-hsuan and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Relations between Taiwan and its Pacific allies are “steady,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs

From right, embassy official Liao Wen-che, Ambassador to the Solomon Islands Roger Luo, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Hsu Szu-chien and US National Security Council Senior Director Matt Pottinger are pictured in the Solomon Islands earlier this month.Photo from the US embassy in Papua New Guinea Facebook

(MOFA) spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said yesterday in response to a Deutsche Welle report suggesting that relations might be faltering.

The Deutsche Welle’s Chinese-language Web site in a report on Tuesday cited Radio New Zealand as saying that at last month’s Pacific Islands Forum, the presidents of five nations — including Palau, the Marshall Islands, Nauru and Kiribati — signed a joint communique to ask the forum to treat Taiwan and China equally, but also agreed to show more goodwill toward China.

The Web site quoted RAND Corp senior defense analyst Derek Grossman as saying that the joint communique was signed by “all six of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in the South Pacific.”

Lee confirmed that the five nations — Palau, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia — signed a joint communique last month.