Taiwan News Morning Briefing – August 12

Obit Robin Williams

FILE - This Nov. 8, 2012 file photo shows Robin Williams performing at the 6th Annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert for injured service members

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said Monday that domestic flights will face tighter safety standards during inclement weather after a Trans

Market & Commodity ■ Taiwan stock market (TWSE) opened 15.94 points, or 0.17 percent, higher to 9,188.85 on Tuesday, with turnover reaching NT$2.57 billion. (Taiwan News) ■ U.S. stock market closed slightly higher Monday as investors turned their focus to corporate news and as tensions eased in Ukraine. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 16.05 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,569.98. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5.33 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,936.92. The Nasdaq composite rose 30.43 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,401.33. (AP) World News ■ CNN reported that Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams apparently took his own life at his Northern California home Monday, law enforcement officials said. Williams was 63. ■ Rockets slammed into a high-security prison Monday in the rebel-held city of Donetsk, igniting a riot that allowed more than 100 prisoners to flee, authorities in eastern Ukraine said. In the chaos, he said 106 prisoners escaped, included some jailed for murder, robbery and rape. (AP) ■ Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was convening his ruling party leadership Monday to find a new premier for Turkey following his victory in the country's historic first direct vote for president. Unofficial vote tallies by the Turkish media showed Erdogan won about 51.9 percent in Sunday's election, with his main challenger Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu following with 38.3 percent. (AP) ■ British Prime Minister David Cameron is under pressure to do more on Iraq, with some members of his own party urging him to recall Parliament from its summer break to take up the matter. Lawmaker Conor Burns is leading the charge, insisting that airdropping supplies to groups besieged by Islamic militants in the north of the country is not enough to prevent the slaughter of minorities. (AP) ■ Despite U.S. and Asian calls for self-restraint and new impetus for the resolution of territorial disputes involving China, a high-profile Asian security summit ended over the weekend where it began, with no solution of the rifts in sight. China dismissed a new U.S. proposal for a freeze on hostile actions that could heighten tensions in the disputed South China Sea. (AP) Local News ■ Heavy rainfall Monday forced Kaohsiung to shut down schools and offices as flooding overwhelmed its sewage system severely damaged by gas explosions that killed 30 people and injured 300. The July 31 explosions of underground industrial pipelines crisscrossing the city sparked massive fires, excavated trenches running down streets, and tossed vehicles onto the roofs of buildings. (Taiwan News) ■ Sean Lien’s campaign manager Alex Tsai has been contradicted by the National Police Administration (NPA) for his statement that former vice-president Lien Chan is not protected by bodyguards furnished at government expense. Tsai had made the claim in response to complaints from several TSU legislators that the elder Lien had detailed police bodyguards to protect his son Sean Lien last year. Tsai refuted the claims of the TSU legislators Monday morning, saying that it has been 14 years since Lien Chan left office as the vice-president of the ROC and he is no longer entitled to such a service. (Taiwan News) ■ Newly-installed Minister of Economic Affairs Woody Duh notes that as head of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) he will be tasked with the job of implementing changes that will enable Taiwan to compete fairly in the international industrial structure adjustment. This will include developing new added-value products while boosting support for the island’s already-existing products, plus negotiating bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) while gaining entry to regional trade groups in the Asia-Pacific area. (Taiwan News) ■ The ROC Air Force, which for years has been urging the government to purchase F-16C/D fighter aircraft from the US, now says the window for such a deal has passed. With the US having dithered for years over the sale of aircraft promised as long ago as the George W Bush administration, Taiwan now says the combat value of the C/D version of the aircraft has waned and it no longer fits the needs of the ROC Air Force. (Taiwan News) ■ Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu is getting tough with companies which have pipelines running through drainage culverts in the city. She has ordered petrochemical companies and other services which utilize underground lines to transport materials across the city to present full information on lines which intersect with the city’s system of storm drains. (Taiwan News) ■ Tigerair Taiwan is scheduled to launch its maiden flight to Singapore in late September at the earliest, and is expected to be the first local budget carrier starting operation, according to the United Daily News. (Taiwan News) ■ Beijing Xiaomi Technology Company has admitted that its handsets have transmitted user account information to Beijing without first obtaining the consent of the user. Xiaomi has said that this problem, which included information on Xiaomi cellphone users in Taiwan, has been solved through system upgrades, but some Xiaomi users are complaining that they have had problems with service following the upgrade. (Taiwan News) ■ Kaohsiung residents and visitors to the port city will likely be able to see the streets destroyed by a series of propylene explosions rebuilt before Christmas after the city government pledged Monday to finish the work by Dec. 20. (CNA) ■ The Tourism Bureau said Monday that Taiwan has been a tourism surplus country since 2011, with revenues from inbound tourists higher than the amount spent by Taiwanese tourists overseas. The bureau noted that tourism revenues amounted to NT$366.8 billion (US$12.3 billion) last year, while Taiwanese traveling overseas spent NT$366.3 billion. (CNA) ■ Morgan Stanley has downgraded its rating on FIH Mobile Ltd., a contract handset maker and a unit of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., due to the shrinking sales of two major clients and China's slowing smartphone momentum. (CNA) ■ The Ministry of Economic Affairs said Monday that it will spend the coming three months checking all the underground gas pipelines in the southern city of Kaohsiung in the wake of the deadly explosions that took 30 lives and injured over 300 late last month. (CAN)