Taiwan News Morning Briefing – April 9

A high school teacher in Taichung is persisting with his journey of coming to terms with his lifelong dream to become a woman with the support of his ...

A high school teacher in Taichung is persisting with his journey of coming to terms with his lifelong dream to become a woman with the support of his ...

Market & Commodity ■ The Taiwan Stock Exchange’s (TWSE) main index opened 28.63 points higher to 9,600.60 on Thursday, with turnover reaching NT$1.68 billion. (Taiwan News) World News ■ When hundreds of Islamic State militants muscled into the Yarmouk refugee camp last week and planted their black flags amid the charred, blown-out buildings, it was the latest trial for the remaining Palestinians who for two years have endured a suffocating government siege, starvation and disease. (AP) ■ Russia and Venezuela have objected to a draft United Nations resolution that would ban arms shipments to leaders of Yemen's Houthi Shiite rebels and the country's former president and his son to try to halt their military campaign against supporters of the embattled president. (AP) ■ The colony of cats living on the grounds of the Zhdanivka penitentiary disappeared when battles in east Ukraine peaked. Talk in the prison is that inmates ate them when food deliveries stopped. (AP) Local News ■ President Ma Ying-jeou turned down an offer of resignation from Defense Minister Kao Kuang-chi but ordered one demerit for Chief-of-Staff Yen Teh-fa and two for Army Commander Chiu Kuo-cheng over the Apache incident, reports said Wednesday. (Taiwan News) ■ I-Mei Foods Co., Ltd. leaped 30 places up on the list of the most influential brands in Taiwan in 2014, reports said Wednesday, naming food safety scandals as the main reason. (Taiwan News) ■ Taiwan's Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and his delegation met with Japanese Parliamentarian Nobuo Kishi, a younger brother of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, according to the Central News Agency. (Taiwan News) ■ It could be acceptable to have the threshold for a referendum to be passed drop to 40 percent, Central Election Commission Chairman Liu I-chou told lawmakers who cut the minimum age for referendum voters to 18. (Taiwan News) ■ As there was little rainfall over last week and water shortages continue to plague Taiwan, the Central Emergency Operation Center (CEOC) will hold its third meeting on April 10 (Friday) to consider starting the phase-three water rationing in Tainan and Kaohsiung at the end of May. (Taiwan News) ■ Taiwan could become a non-nuclear nation in 2025 after a legislative committee passed a motion Wednesday against prolonging the life of existing nuclear power plants. (Taiwan News) ■ Lieutenant General Chen Chien-tsai, the commander of the Airborne Headquarters at the Army Special Forces Command, was removed from his post Wednesday as the latest casualty of the uproar over civilian visits to an Apache helicopter base. (Taiwan News) ■ Taiwan's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday protested against Japan's territorial claim to the Diaoyutai Islands, saying it is not based on fact. (CNA) ■ Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world's largest semiconductor contract manufacturer, has set a goal of beginning mass production of chips on the 10-nanometer technology by the end of 2016, Mark Liu, its president and chief executive officer, said Wednesday in California. (CNA) ■ President Ma Ying-jeou said Wednesday that "Chinese Taipei" is a good precedent used by Taiwan to participate in international organizations and that Taiwan could use the name to join the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). (CNA) ■ The consumer price index (CPI) for March fell 0.61 percent from a year earlier due to a fall in fuel costs resulting from declining international crude oil prices, government statistics showed Wednesday. (CNA)