Wed, Oct 27, 2021
The US government next month is to require all non-US nationals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the nation, but the Taiwanese vaccine manufactured by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗) is not on Washington’s list of acceptable vaccines. The new international air travel policy, which is to take effect on Nov. 8, requires all non-citizen, non-immigrant air travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before flying to the US. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, the White House said. Vaccines accepted under the travel policy are those approved or authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the WHO. They include the vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, which have been rolled out in Taiwan, as well as those produced by Johnson and Johnson, and China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm. People who received two doses of different vaccine brands would also be approved for entry, as long as the two doses were administered at least 17 days apart and the two brands are both included on the FDA or WHO lists. The vaccine developed by Taiwan’s Medigen is not on either list. As of Monday, 614,535 people in Taiwan, or about 2.6 percent of the population, had received two doses of the Medigen vaccine, while another 138,119 people had received one dose, government data showed. The vaccine was approved for emergency use by Taiwan’s FDA in mid-July without having conducted phase 3 clinical trials to determine its efficacy. Instead, it was approved based on immunobridging, which uses the level of neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine in smaller numbers of trial participants to infer its efficacy in combating a virus. That process has not yet
Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) yesterday denied a report published by the Wall Street Journal on Monday that suggested that Taiwan’s military would be no match for China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). “I don’t understand what foreign media is basing its evaluation on, but I’m very confident in our military. There is no need to feel dispirited,” Chiu told reporters. In its report, the Journal said that US military and government officials were concerned about China’s ambitions toward Taiwan and that very few among them believed that Taiwan could resist an attack by the PLA. The report cited the officials as saying they believed morale was low in Taiwan’s military and that its preparations for a Chinese attack were inadequate. The report blamed Taiwan’s shift from a mandatory two-year conscription for all young men to a four-month term that mostly had conscripts “sweeping leaves and pulling weeds.” The report said practice at a firing range was the only beneficial part of the training. Chiu said that he had previously heard criticism that the military was worsening with each generation, but he had also denied that assertion. Separately, Ministry of National Defense spokesman Major General Shih Shun-wen (史順文) at a routine news conference yesterday called for public support in efforts to strengthen national defenses in the face of Chinese threats to regional security. The military would continuously aim to strengthen its combat abilities, he said, adding that military preparedness was an ongoing task. The specifics of training would always keep pace with the times and the military is always working hard to make improvements, Shih said. Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) yesterday said that Taiwan had already transitioned to a professional military and that the four months of general training was not the same as that for professional military personnel. “It’s true there is room for improvement
MISLEADING: Beijing’s attempts to impose its ‘one China’ principle have denied the world the full benefit of Taiwan’s knowledge and resources, lawmakers said China has misrepresented a UN resolution to undermine Taiwan’s standing and participation in the international community, US lawmakers said in a statement issued on Monday, which marked the 50th anniversary of the passage of the resolution. “The People’s Republic of China [PRC] has sought to intentionally misuse, misinterpret and mislead others on the underlying purpose of UN Resolution 2758,” Bob Menendez, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and James Inhofe, a ranking member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a joint statement. The anniversary should “serve as a turning point to correct the continued injustice of Taiwan’s marginalization on the world stage,” the statement said, adding that “Beijing should not be allowed to continue twisting history and isolating Taipei.” The resolution, adopted in 1971, was “to restore all its rights to the People’s Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations and to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it.” The Republic of China, as Taiwan is officially known, has not been a member of the UN since the resolution was approved in 1971. Chinese officials maintain the issue of Taiwan’s participation in the UN and its affiliates should be handled in accordance with its “one China” principle, which it claims is a guiding principle established by UN Resolution 2758. US Representative Michael McCaul, a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, rejected Beijing’s rhetoric, describing it as “false claims” that should be rooted out from the UN. “Resolution 2758 does not say Taiwan is a part of China. It does not say China may represent Taiwan before the UN. It does not address Taiwan’s sovereignty —
A Taiwanese delegation visiting Europe has signed five memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Czech officials to boost information sharing and technology cooperation, the National Development Council said on Monday. Under the five agreements inked at an investment forum in Prague, the two sides agreed to bolster ties in cybersecurity, space, catalyst technology, green energy and smart machinery, the council said in a statement. For instance, the Taiwan Space Industry Development Association is to partner with its Czech counterparts to boost information exchanges and technology development collaboration in the space sector, the statement said. More than 170 meetings between Taiwanese and Czech companies were also arranged, it said. The agreements marked a step forward in bilateral trade ties, the council said, after a delegation led by Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil visited Taiwan last year and signed three MOUs to enhance exchanges in the 5G, semiconductor, health and information sectors. National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), who is leading the 66-member Taiwanese delegation, said at the forum that he hopes the two nations, which share the values of freedom and democracy, can work more closely together as global supply chains undergo restructuring. The delegation also visited Slovakia last week and yesterday flew to Lithuania. Separately, Vystrcil pledged his support for Taiwan’s democracy before a meeting yesterday with Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), who was to deliver a speech at a forum in Slovakia before meeting Vystrcil in the Czech Republic, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported on Monday. In an interview, Vystrcil spoke of his experience living under a communist regime, where people’s freedom was restricted in what was then Czechoslovakia. He said that it is his nation’s duty to support Taiwan and its democracy.
A sharp increase in the number of people in China infected with avian influenza, or bird flu, this year is raising concern among experts, who say a previously circulating strain appears to have changed and might be more infectious to people. China has reported 21 human infections with the H5N6 subtype of avian influenza this year to the WHO, compared with only five last year, it said. Although the numbers are much lower than the hundreds infected with H7N9 in 2017, the infections are serious, leaving many critically ill and at least six dead. “The increase in human cases in China this year is of concern. It’s a virus that causes high mortality,” said Thijs Kuiken, professor of comparative pathology at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Most of the cases had come into contact with poultry and there are no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission, said the WHO, which highlighted the rise in cases in a statement on Oct. 4. It said further investigation was “urgently” required to understand the risks and the increase in infections in people. Since then, a 60-year-old woman in Hunan Province was admitted to hospital in a critical condition with H5N6 influenza on Oct. 13, a Hong Kong government statement said. While human H5N6 cases have been reported, no outbreaks of H5N6 have been reported in poultry in China since February last year. China is the world’s biggest poultry producer and the top producer of ducks, which act as a reservoir for flu viruses. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could not be reached for comment on the rise in H5N6 cases in humans. However, a study published on its Web site last month said that the “increasing genetic diversity and geographical distribution of H5N6 pose a serious threat to the poultry industry and human health.” Avian influenza viruses constantly
BILATERAL CERTIFICATION: The government would need to ensure that other nations could identify an authentic Taiwanese certificate, Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan is to introduce a digital COVID-19 immunization certificate that would be similar to the EU’s immunization passport, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) told a meeting of the legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lai Hui-yuan (賴惠員) asked Chen about a COVID-19 immunization certificate as 70 percent of the population is expected to receive at least the first dose of a vaccine by the end of this month. “We have completed the planning for a digital immunization certificate, which is modeled on that created by the European Union. We will ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist in matters related to bilateral certification of immunization documents between Taiwan and other nations,” Chen said. Several issues need to be addressed before the government launches the immunization certificate, he said. “We have to ensure that other nations can identify an authentic and valid Taiwanese immunization certificate and vice versa. We must also ascertain which vaccine brands are accepted by other nations,” he added. Vaccines that have secured emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration or emergency use listing at the WHO would be taken into consideration, unless there is substantial evidence showing that a vaccine cannot adequately protect people from contracting the disease, Chen said. The health ministry would also scrutinize if any vaccines have a high breakthrough infection rate, he said. The WHO has listed emergency use vaccines manufactured by Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech, as well as those produced by Chinese firms Sinopharm and Sinovac. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yeh Yu-lan (葉毓蘭) asked Chen for a time line for the government to gradually reopen the nation’s borders, given that many other nations have adopted policies to coexist with COVID-19. The government would only consider reopening borders when at least 70 percent of the population has received
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday took a veiled swipe at US leadership in a speech marking Beijing’s 50th anniversary as a member of the UN, comments that come as Washington moves toward helping Taiwan play a bigger role in international forums. “China has always pursued an independent foreign policy of peace, upheld justice, and resolutely opposed hegemonism and power politics,” Xi said, in comments that stopped short of naming the US. The Chinese leader vowed that his nation would “stick to the road of peaceful development,” adding that nations should work together to address issues such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity. “Only by forming more inclusive global governance, more effective multilateral mechanisms and more active regional cooperation can we effectively deal with them,” Xi said. The Chinese president also spoke with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres via videoconference, the Global Times reported. Guterres offered his congratulations on the anniversary and the two discussed expanding cooperation on issues such as dealing with climate change, the newspaper reported. Beijing has stepped up military pressure on Taiwan this year and US President Joe Biden last week said that the US was committed to defending Taiwan from a Chinese attack, comments Beijing denounced. Xi next month is expected to use a major meeting of the Chinese Communist Party to bolster his case for a third term in office. A key selling point for Xi is that he is standing up to the US on issues from efforts to determine the origins of COVID-19 to Taiwan. That friction is likely to escalate after high-level diplomats from the US Department of State and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs met on Friday last week via videoconference to discuss Taipei’s participation at the UN and other international forums. “The discussion focused on supporting Taiwan’s ability to participate meaningfully at the UN and contribute its valuable
RAISING AWARENESS: NPP legislative caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih said that in addition to traffic volume, the deadly sections of roadways are poorly designed The government should conduct a comprehensive inspection of roadways where accidents frequently occur and increase the budget for safety enhancements to address the systemic issues in Taiwan’s road transportation system, the New Power Party (NPP) said yesterday. The party hosted a news conference in Taipei to raise awareness of the issue after Taiwanese political commentator Chen Ro-jinn (陳柔縉) died last week from a head injury sustained in a biking accident on Oct. 15 in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水). She was hit from behind by a scooter courier. In addition to traffic volume, most sections of roadway where accidents frequently occur are poorly designed, NPP legislative caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said, adding that the government needs to identify the design issues that contribute to frequent accidents so that deaths and injuries can be reduced. The government also needs to raise the amount budgeted to make roads safe, Chiu said. Although former minister of transportation and communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) had promised that funding for road safety would be increased “many fold,” the ministry’s budget plan for the next fiscal year only allocates NT$328 million (US$11.78 million) to road safety enhancements, Chiu said. While this is about NT$30 million more than last year, it only accounts for 1.19 percent of the ministry’s budget, Chiu added. “While the Executive Yuan has allocated a special budget of NT$840 billion to contain the spread of COVID-19 and give relief funds to affected businesses, the government must take more aggressive action against ‘traffic violence,’ which takes 3,000 lives per year,” he said. The money should be used to design better roads, rather than to subsidize the purchase of electronic equipment by law enforcement authorities to catch motorists breaking traffic laws, Chiu said. The public should be informed of fatal traffic accidents on a weekly basis, he said. Chen
INCENTIVES: The revised law shortens the time that foreign professionals must work in Taiwan before applying for permanent residency from five years to three Revised regulations on work, residency and tax concessions designed to attract foreign professionals to live and work in Taiwan took effect on Monday, the National Development Council (NDC) has said. The amendments to the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals (外國專業人才延攬及僱用法), which the Legislative Yuan passed in June, expand the professions eligible for the incentives. Beyond the eight professional fields covered in the original act, the amendment includes national defense and other fields identified by the authorities, with added occupations including teachers of foreign professionals’ children and teachers of experimental education. In terms of benefits for foreign nationals, the revised act still requires professionals seeking employment in Taiwan to have a master’s degree or above in a specialized or technical field, or to have graduated from a top university, but no longer requires two years of work experience prior to entering Taiwan, except where restricted by law. Under the revised law, the time that foreign professionals must work in Taiwan before being eligible to apply for permanent residency is shortened from five years to three. The period can be further reduced if a person spends one to two years in Taiwan studying for a master’s or a doctoral degree. In terms of optimizing social protections and tax concessions, the revised law extends the tax deduction period for foreign specialists from three years to five. The amendment also allows professionals who are employers or business owners, as well as their dependents, to be immediately covered by the National Health Insurance system, waiving the typical six-month waiting period. Information related to the act, its sublaws and complementary measures are available at foreigntalentact.ndc.gov.tw and goldcard.nat.gov.tw.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced the latest round of vaccinations, which expands the eligibility for those registered to get a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and for those registered to get a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The new eligibility allows people aged 30 or older — who registered their willingness to get the vaccine on the national online COVID-19 vaccination booking system by noon yesterday — to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as their first dose. Those registered could sign up for a vaccination appointment from 4pm yesterday to noon today, the center said, adding that the appointments would be part of the latest round of vaccinations, which are to take place from tomorrow to Wednesday next week. The new eligibility also allows people aged 41 to 44 who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on or before Aug. 6 to get their second dose, it said, adding that the period for making appointments would close at noon today. Initially, eligibility for a second dose of AstraZeneca was limited to people who got their first dose of AstraZeneca on or before July 30, and to people aged 45 or older who got their first dose on or before Aug. 6. This round would also allow people who got their first dose of the Moderna vaccine on or before July 16 to get a second dose of Moderna, the center said, adding that the period for making appointments would close at noon today. People interested in receiving the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca vaccines can register for them on the online platform, while people interested in getting the locally developed Medigen vaccine can make an appointment directly with a hospital or clinic that administers it. After this round, the platform must be updated to accommodate the mix-and-match approach, which is to be
Airlines should give pilots at least a three-day break to be with their families between time spent in quarantine facilities and long-haul flights, the Pilots Union Taoyuan said yesterday. The union issued the statement twice — on Monday night and yesterday — to highlight the plight of pilots after a 61-year-old China Airlines pilot from Venezuela was found dead in his Taoyuan residence on Saturday last week. An autopsy is to take place tomorrow to determine whether the pilot died of COVID-19. The airline said that the pilot had completed a five-day quarantine and tested negative on the fifth, ninth and 14th days after his return to Taiwan. Asked about the pilot’s death, Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), who is deputy head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, told a news briefing in Taipei that union representatives had said that the quarantine requirements for aircrew were “acceptable.” However, the union said that the requirements have caused tremendous stress for crew members, pushing them to the limit mentally and physically. “Pilots returning from long-haul flights must take polymerase chain reaction tests after having a mandatory seven-day quarantine in a hotel. They can be dispatched for another long-haul flight if they test negative,” union chairwoman Annie Lee (李信燕) said. “Given this, crew members are in a continual cycle of flight assignments, quarantine and observing self-health management guidelines,” she added. “This has prevented some pilots who don’t feel well from seeking medical attention,” Lee said. The union showed reporters one pilot’s schedule for Oct. 1 to Dec. 1, on which there was not a single day when the pilot was not on duty, in quarantine or practicing self-health management. The union also showed a screenshot of the Venezuelan pilot’s conversation with colleagues online, in which he told them that his daughter felt abandoned because she could not see him very
A Taiwanese ultramarathoner turned heads on Saturday when he decided in the middle of a 4,989km road race in New York City to exchange his running shoes for a pair of sandals, bringing unexpected attention to the Taiwanese manufacturers of the unassuming flip-flops. Out of a field of seven ultramarathoners, Lo Wei-ming (羅維銘) crossed the finish line of the 25th Annual Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race in second place — wearing sandals. Lo, the first Asian to complete the grueling challenge, finished with a time of 48 days, 11 hours, 52 minutes and 1 second, but it was his footwear that might have left the most lasting impression on other distance runners. The sandals were made by B&M Caiman with materials sourced from Formosa Plastics Corp. B&M Caiman’s line of Oyster-Tech Antimicrobial Y Sandals are made of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), a Formosa Plastics executive, who asked not to be named, said on Monday. EVA tends to be softer than rubber, has good elasticity, absorbs shocks well and forms a lighter, more comfortable shoe that hugs the foot better than footwear with rubber soles, the executive said. Those qualities led Lo to make the switch mid-race. The long-distance runner said that running shoes provide good protection, but using them for long periods can lead to swollen or blistered feet. However, the sandals gave him the comfort and support he needed, Lo added. An antibacterial powder made from recycled oyster shells is added during the manufacturing process and gives the sandals an antibacterial property. However, the executive said the process is “tricky.” If the amount added is not exactly right, the powder, which primarily consists of calcium carbonate, can render the EVA material too hard, neutralizing its strengths.
MISSED OPPORTUNITY: The government has squandered its chance to change the public’s mind when the referendum was delayed by the pandemic, the pollster said Polling shows overwhelming support for referendums challenging government policy, suggesting a calamitous result for the administration if it does not take decisive action, the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation said yesterday. The foundation was referencing the results of its latest public opinion survey on the four referendum questions, which are to be decided on Dec. 18 after a delay from Aug. 28 due to a local COVID-19 outbreak. The four questions call for a ban on the importation of pork containing the leanness-enhancing additive ractopamine, relocating a natural gas terminal to protect algal reefs off Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音), holding referendums alongside national elections and activating the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮). Of the 1,075 people polled, the vast majority supported the first three questions. Only the last question on nuclear power was more closely contested, although the respondents still leaned toward “yes,” foundation chairman Michael You (游盈隆) said. If the government does not take decisive action to change people’s minds and stop the referendums from passing, it would have a “disastrous political impact, like a comet hitting the Earth,” You said. As the questions all involve major policy positions held by President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration, the results could deal a major blow to its credibility, in addition to policy direction, he said. The latest findings also indicate little change from surveys held before the vote was postponed, indicating a looming defeat for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, he added. In the survey of Taiwanese aged 20 or over, respondents were asked how they would vote on each of the referendum proposals if the poll were held tomorrow. On the ractopamine question, 68.1 percent said they would vote “yes” to only 25.7 percent who would oppose it, with 1.5 percent undecided, 1.1 percent saying they would not vote and 3.7 percent saying
Support for the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) has for the first time overtaken the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), making it the nation’s second-largest political force, the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation said yesterday, as it released the results of its latest public opinion survey. The foundation’s survey on political support and the referendums in December found that 17.6 percent support the TPP, compared with 16.2 percent for the KMT, a lead of 1.4 percentage points and the highest ever recorded for the party. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) held firm at the top at 27.1 percent, although a close 26.6 percent of respondents declined to choose any party. Meanwhile, 4.8 percent chose the New Power Party (NPP), 4.3 percent supported the Taiwan Statebuilding Party and 2 percent chose other parties, while the remaining 1.4 percent either did not know or declined to answer. The most striking result is the TPP “overtaking the KMT at the bend” to become the country’s second-largest party for the first time, foundation chairman Michael You (游盈隆) said. Also worth noting is the record support for the Taiwan Statebuilding Party on the eve of the recall vote of its sole legislator, Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟), You said. The results also mark a “dramatic shift” from last month’s poll, with the DPP and KMT recording sharp declines and minor parties seeing boosts, he said. More specifically, the DPP and the KMT lost 3 and 3.1 percentage points respectively, while the TPP gained 4.3 percentage points, the NPP added 1.8 percentage points and support for the Taiwan Statebuilding Party increased by 1.9 percentage points. The number of moderates also dropped by 3.1 percentage points, although whether the results are indicative of a changing political landscape has yet to be seen, You said. When the TPP was founded, it only enjoyed 8.1 percent support, but it has more than doubled
ROUGH SAILING: The KMT boycotted the vote, while the two smaller parties voted against the confirmation of the election commission head for another term The Legislative Yuan yesterday confirmed the Executive Yuan’s nominations of Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) and Chen Chao-chien (陳朝建) for another four-year term as chairman and vice chairman respectively of the Central Election Commission (CEC). The four-year terms of six incumbent commission members are set to expire on Wednesday next week, and the Cabinet submitted a list of six nominees to fill those positions. Of the nominees, who were initially approved by legislative committees on Sept. 29, four are incumbents — including the CEC chairman and vice chairman — and two are new members. In the vote conducted by secret ballot on Tuesday, 71 of the 113 legislators cast votes for the nominees, while 42 abstained. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said that its 38 lawmakers would not participate in the vote. The Taiwan People’s Party, with five lawmakers, and the New Power Party, with three legislators, said their members would vote, but would oppose the confirmation of Lee. Lee is a veteran politician who gave up his membership in the Democratic Progressive Party to ensure neutrality after he was nominated in early 2019 to head the commission He received 62 of the 71 votes that were cast, while Chen was confirmed by a 66-5 margin. The two other incumbents — Chinese Culture University Department of Law director Hsu Hui-feng (許惠峰) and lawyer Chen En-min (陳恩民) — were confirmed by unanimous 71-0 votes. The new nominees — Wang Yun-ju (王韻茹), a professor at National Chung Cheng University’s Department of Law, and lawyer Hsu Ya-fen (許雅芬) — were also confirmed by unanimous consent. The six confirmed members are to serve from Thursday next week to Nov. 3, 2025.
The military yesterday unveiled a locally made powered exoskeleton suit, a mechanized wearable system designed to be used in wartime or during post-disaster rescue and relief missions. The 10kg lower-body exoskeleton, which is designed to boost the strength and endurance of its users, can move at 6kph, said Jen Kuo-kuang (任國光), the project manager and a member of the military’s top research body, the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology. The exoskeleton delivers the right torque at the right time to assist knee flexion and extension to reduce the energy needed to cross terrain, squat, or kneel for its wearers, and to increase mobility and reduce fatigue, Jen said. The exoskeleton’s lithium battery can run for six hours on a single charge, he added. The institute has run tests on 105 soldiers to make sure the suit fits the average height and weight of Taiwanese, with minor adjustments being made based on the wearer’s body size, Jen said. He did not provide an estimate on when the suit can be put into use by field units. According to a budget proposal issued by the Ministry of National Defense, the military-use powered exoskeleton suit is part of a four-year NT$158 million (US$5.67 million) project running from last year to 2023. The institute has completed the first phase of the project in designing the suit. It will continue to modify the suit so that ultimately it can enable a user to carry a maximum load of 100kg when the four-year-project is completed, he added. A source said the military is hoping the high-tech suits can be used during wartime and in post-disaster rescue and relief missions. So far, only a handful of world powers, including the US, Japan, and Canada, are working on similar technology for military use, and their technology is not available at present for confidentiality reasons, which
‘MORE IN 2022’: Chief executive Rick Tsai said the firm believes the same strengths of the past few years would bring solid revenue growth and profitability next year MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday raised its revenue growth forecast for this year for the second time, buoyed by higher average selling prices and market share gains amid increasing 5G penetration worldwide. The chip designer now expects revenue to grow 52 percent from last year, up from the 45 percent growth it estimated three months ago. As a result, revenue this year would surpass NT$480 billion (US$17.24 billion), a new record and up from NT$322.15 billion last year. “The strong performance in both revenue growth and gross margin” improvement will not be limited to next year only, MediaTek chief executive officer Rick Tsai (蔡力行) told a teleconference yesterday. “We also believe the same strengths during the past few years will carry us through 2022. We expect 2022 will be another year of solid revenue growth with healthy profitability.” MediaTek has secured “good enough [chip] supply” to meet business targets next year, although chip supply constraints are expected to last for another year, Tsai said. Gross margin is expected to climb to 46.2 percent this year, compared with 43.9 percent last year, the company said. The launch of higher-margin flagship 5G chips would help lift gross margin, it said. MediaTek expects strong growth in its 5G chip shipments and increases in blended average selling price next year, Tsai said. The company also sees a broader uptake of its 5G chips in the US, Europe, India and other regions by global brands, following adoption of its chips by all major mobile phone vendors in China, he said. MediaTek said it expects further market share expansion in the North American market to 35 percent of Android-powered smartphones this year, nibbling at the turf of San Diego, California-based Qualcomm Inc. Asked about the impact from a growing trend of mobile phone and computer makers designing their own chips — for example Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp
SUPPLY ISSUES: The firm said that the models affected are Camry, Sienna, Prados, Yaris and Supra as it assesses prices for the imported vehicles amid a supply shortage Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), which distributes Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Taiwan, yesterday announced that it has stopped accepting new orders for several Toyota models until early next month. The affected models are the Camry — including hybrid Camrys — Sienna, Prado, GR Yaris and Supra, Hotai said, adding that the measure was taken to give it time to adjust the prices of the imported vehicles amid a supply shortage. People should be able to order the affected models by early next month, when the new prices have been finalized, the company said. The suspension of new orders does not affect existing contracts with customers and dealers, it said. A global shortage of chips continues to affect automakers worldwide, and the impact has been particularly evident for imported vehicles, Hotai said. Lead times for delivery of the five imported Toyota models is now six months or longer, the company said. PG Union Corp (寶嘉聯合), which distributes Peugeot and Citroen vehicles in Taiwan, on Monday last week raised prices by 3 to 5 percent for all of its models, as restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a surge in manufacturing costs and a severe shortage of components. PG Union might consider further price hikes if the shortages of auto chips and other key components continue to disrupt production, the company said at the time. Additional reporting by Lisa Wang
The outlook for chip prices next year is good, as a global shortage is expected to persist into next year, Macronix International Co (旺宏), the world’s biggest supplier of NOR flash memory chips, said yesterday. “We are positive about the first quarter of next year,” Macronix chairman Miin Wu (吳敏求) told an investors’ conference, denying that chip prices would dip amid easing supply constraints as some analysts have said. “The supply crunch is to last through the whole of next year,” Wu said. “We are running our factories at full capacity.” The growth is mainly underpinned by 5G-related applications, automotive, industrial devices, servers and data centers, entirely absorbing weakness in PC demand, he said. Tesla Inc’s electric vehicles are equipped with Macronix’s NOR flash memory chips, he said. Revenue from chips used in automotive, industrial and medical devices soared 161 percent year-on-year last quarter, making up 16 percent of Macronix’s NOR flash memory chip revenue, up from 15 percent a year earlier, he said. Next year, NOR chips are to grow faster, while the outlook for NAND flash memory chips would be relatively conservative, Wu said. However, prices for both would trend upward next year, he said. Macronix has begun shipments of its first batch of 3D memory chips to one customer, Wu said, adding that shipments would expand next year. The Hsinchu-based company yesterday reported record net profit of NT$5.43 billion (US$195.03 million) for last quarter, up 236 percent year-on-year and 182 percent quarter-on-quarter. Earnings per share jumped to NT$2.94, compared with NT$0.88 a year earlier and NT$1.92 the prior quarter. The strong growth was fueled by a disposal gain of NT$2.5 billion from selling a 6-inch factory to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), which is to convert it into a manufacturing site for chips used in electric vehicles. Gross margin improved to 42.9 percent last quarter, up from 35.9
Learning to share playground equipment is something children all over the world go through while growing up. Things do not always end up being fair, but the Taipei City Government installing swing timers that set off an alarm after three minutes just seems excessive, and is a missed opportunity for children to learn about sharing and negotiating, while reducing playground bullying in a constructive way. What is absurd is that these devices were quickly found to be defective — a Taipei Times report on Saturday said that half of them were broken just 10 days after being installed, and people have already found ways to manipulate them to extend the time limit. In a city that sees its fair share of rain, it is incredulous that the device cases were not water resistant. What an utter waste of taxpayer money. It would be more beneficial to increase the number of swings and other equipment at the parks, as they get increasingly crowded with families during the weekends as parents are encouraged to spend time with their children outdoors. If a child is really determined to hog the swings, an alarm is not going to stop them. And if they do get off, they are just doing it because they have to, which is a missed opportunity to promote autonomous thinking and compassionate behavior. Instead, children should be encouraged to read the situation and stay aware of how many kids are waiting for the swings, and react appropriately. Of course there should be suggested time limits, and parents or teachers should teach children why it is important to be cognizant of the length of their use. If there are enough swings for everyone, then they can enjoy themselves for longer and not have to worry about an alarm going off. What is
New Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Oct. 14 dissolved the lower house of parliament and announced that a general election is to be held on Sunday. The early dissolution of the House of Representatives set a new record as the shortest since World War II — it took place only 10 days after Kishida took office, and a mere 10 days after a new Cabinet was formed. Unless something unexpected happens, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Japan’s largest political party, is expected to win the election and remain in power. Japan is a multiparty democracy. It is ruled by the center-right LDP, and the biggest opposition party is the center-left Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP). Despite sitting on opposite ends of the political spectrum, the two major parties hold the same views and strongly agree on national security issues, such as supporting Taiwan’s security and opposing the Chinese threat. On Oct. 11, Kishida told parliament that Taiwan is an important partner, and that Japan would seek to deepen bilateral relations and continue to pay close attention to the situation around Taiwan. He added that Japan and Taiwan share the same basic values, and that they maintain close economic relations and personnel exchanges. That same day, CDP leader Yukio Edano told parliament that Taiwan is close to Japan not only geographically, but also in terms of economics, and that it is strategically important for Japan to secure maritime routes. Edano made it clear that he attaches great importance to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and that he opposes Chinese use of force to change the “status quo.” These comments make it clear that Japan’s opposition parties are rational, and would support important government policies for the sake of national security and interests. The rapid expansion of Chinese military power in the
On Oct. 14, the Supreme Court rejected a final appeal by former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) son-in-law, Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘), and Chao’s father after 16 years of litigation over an insider trading case involving real-estate developer Taiwan Land Development Corp (TLDC) in 2005. The long-lasting trial has exposed a major flaw in the criminal justice system. According to Article 171 of the Securities and Exchange Act (證券交易法), a person found guilty of insider trading “shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than three years and not more than 10 years, and in addition thereto, a fine of not less than NT$10 million [NT$359,170] and not more than NT$200 million.” “Where the value of property or property interests gained by the commission of an offense under the preceding paragraph is NT$100 million or more, a sentence of imprisonment for not less than seven years shall be imposed, and in addition thereto a fine of not less than NT$25 million and not more than NT$500 million may be imposed,” the article further states. The penalty is based on the reasoning that this kind of financial crime could hurt not just personal property, but the economy, and only the imposition of heavy penalties and depriving the offender of the illegal gains would be a deterrent. However, the components of the offense have always been obscure. To avoid punishing innocent investors, the Legislative Yuan amended the act twice to restrict the elements of the offense during the 16-year trial of the TLDC case. Article 2, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code states: “When the law is amended after the commission of an offense, the law in force of its commission shall apply; provided that when the amended law is favorable to the offender, the most favorable law shall apply.” The new law, which is favorable to the defendants
UNCERTAINTY: Players are still awaiting clarification on whether they need to be fully vaccinated to participate at the Australian Open and other events in the country A major warm-up tournament for the Australian Open was on Tuesday canceled, with organizers blaming uncertainty over COVID-19 rules that players would face in Melbourne. It is the second year that the Kooyong Classic, normally played in the weeks leading up to the season-opening Grand Slam, has been scrapped because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kooyong president Adam Cossar said he was disappointed that the event could not take place in January next year, but hoped it would return the following year. Players are still awaiting clarification on whether they need to be fully vaccinated to participate at the Australian Open, also in Melbourne, and other tennis tournaments in the country. Such a requirement would cast doubt on nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic’s ability to defend his title — he is one of many players who have refused to share their vaccination status. A leaked WTA e-mail this week recommended that unvaccinated players could take part provided that they completed 14 days in hotel quarantine. However, players with two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine would enjoy “complete freedom of movement.” However, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews — the state where the Grand Slam is held — said that he wanted all players to be fully vaccinated. EMMA RADUCANU Emma Raducanu has said that people need to be patient as the 18-year-old looks to establish herself on the WTA Tour after her fairytale US Open triumph last month. While Raducanu stunned the sporting world when she won the Flushing Meadows title as a qualifier, she was knocked out in the second round at Indian Wells and is still without a coach. Yesterday, Raducanu was to face Slovenia’s Polona Hercog in her opening match of the Transylvania Open in Romania and said it was important to temper expectations. “I feel like everyone should just be a little patient with me,” Raducanu told reporters on Monday. “I
Taliban officials on Monday took to social media to congratulate the Afghanistan men’s national cricket team for winning a match in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, but there was a muted response on the streets of Kabul, although such wins were celebrated enthusiastically in the past. Afghanistan beat Scotland in a match played in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates — the first major victory for the team since the Taliban takeover of the country. While the Taliban frown on many forms of public entertainment, cricket has been an exception, a game fighters followed closely even during the war whenever the national team was playing. “Congratulations to the team and wish them more success in the future,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter. A spokesman for the Taliban’s Qatari office also joined in the praise, writing: “We hope for similar and even higher achievements in other fields, especially in the political, economic and scientific fields.” The highest-profile message came from Anas Haqqani, the younger brother of Acting Afghan Minister of the Interior Sirajuddin Haqqani. “Afghanistan won,” Anas Haqqani added. The Taliban’s representative-designate to the UN Suhail Shaheen said on Twitter: “Well done boys.” However, there was relative silence across Kabul, where such victories were previously met with jubilation in the streets, fireworks and celebratory gunfire. The streets were mostly empty and silent. Only a few, small fireworks were seen in the Kabul sky. The Taliban’s foes also saw the victory as significant for the country. Amrullah Saleh, a former Afghan vice president who became one of the leaders of the anti-Taliban forces after the fall of Kabul, wrote on Twitter that the cricket team had sung a national anthem and raised a flag that the Taliban do not recognize. Ashraf Ghani, the president who fled the country in August, said that the victory “installed new hopes in the hearts of all that
The men’s and women’s skeleton test events for the Winter Olympics next year were held on Monday at the National Sliding Center in Beijing, making it the first international competition to take place at the newly constructed venue. The races, sanctioned by the International Skeleton and Bobsleigh Federation, served as a qualifying event for the Olympics, with 240 athletes from 23 countries competing in the two-day test event. Competitors at the autumn and winter test events are to be subject to daily tests for COVID-19 and required to remain in a “competition bubble,” in addition to being fully vaccinated before their arrival in China. “We were very lucky in that we got to do a full season last year, so a lot of it was very similar to that in terms of getting tested before you kind of flew anywhere,” Britain’s Marcus Wyatt said. “We had lots of COVID-19 tests throughout the week,” Wyatt said. “I think a lot of athletes have just gotten used to that in the past ... so I think we’re all mainly just happy that we can compete, that we can be here.”
BUILDING MOMENTUM: Forward Lai Li-chin, who is a veteran of the national team that qualified in 2008, scored her third goal of the week against Bahrain in the second half Taiwan on Sunday punched their ticket for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup with a 2-0 victory over Bahrain in the final match of the qualifiers at Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Manama, making a return to the continental showpiece for the first time in 14 years. The triumph in the curtain-raiser booked Taiwan’s slot in the tournament for the first time since 2008, as they prepare to join 10 other nations, as well as hosts India, in matches in Navi Mumbai and Pune from Jan. 20 to Feb. 6 next year. Sunday’s match started with Taiwan working hard to wear down Bahrain’s defense, with waves of attacks in the first half. Bahrain managed to halt the offensive, making several crucial saves. After the break, Taiwan turned up the heat, recording the first goal of the match, when in the 61st minute a free-kick by forward Lai Li-chin flew over the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Huda Ali Salman and into the back of the net. A veteran of Taiwan’s 2008 qualifying campaign, it was Lai’s third international goal in the past week, after she on Monday last week scored back-to-back goals against Laos. Taiwan further increased their lead to 2-0 in the 77th minute, after forward Chen Yen-ping nodded in a loose ball that deflected off the crossbar after Salman blocked an initial penalty area shot by defender Pan Yen-shin. It was Chen’s second international goal over the past week after opening the scoring in the match against Laos. After the match, Taiwan head coach Kazuo Echigo thanked the players for their hard work in qualifying for the tournament. The opponents in the finals would be stronger teams than those they downed in the qualifiers, he said, adding that strengthening and correcting weaknesses remain priorities. The draw for the tournament’s group stage would be held in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday,
BURMESE IRE: Myanmar said Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s exclusion from the summit in favor of a diplomat is an ‘assault to the sovereignty of our nation’ Myanmar did not show up at an annual summit of Southeast Asian nations after rejecting an invitation to send a non-political representative instead of its junta leader, a move that isolates its government internationally as it grapples with civil strife back home. ASEAN earlier this month took a rare step in excluding Burmese Army Senior General Min Aung Hlaing from the summit in Brunei on the grounds that the regime has not done enough to end violence after seizing control of the nation in a coup in February. Instead, the bloc extended an invitation to a diplomat from the Burmese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to attend the summit, an offer the regime flatly rejected. On the first day of the summit yesterday, Myanmar’s video panel was left empty while leaders from the rest of ASEAN made their appearance. The “Myanmar representative is denied to equal rights enjoyed by other ASEAN member states,” the Burmese foreign ministry said in a statement that accused Brunei, as the current chair of ASEAN, of breaching the bloc’s charter. The nation would pursue “due processes” under the charter to resolve the issue, it said. At the three-day summit, some nations addressed the Myanmar situation directly. Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri wrote on Twitter that his nation fully supported the decision made by the ASEAN chair on Myanmar’s representation at the summit. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told the meeting that he hoped Myanmar would trust ASEAN to help the nation “achieve peace and harmony, as well as return to the democratic process,” Thai government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said. ASEAN has struggled to get concessions met by Min Aung Hlaing, who declared himself prime minister in August and extended emergency rule for another two years before elections can be held. They come under a five-point consensus agreed with Myanmar at a special summit in April that
Australia, long under fire as one of world’s top producers of coal and gas, said it is to target net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but added that it would not legislate the goal, and instead rely on consumers and companies to drive emission reductions. The adoption of the target will ease international criticism after Australia earlier refused to join other nations in pledging to meet the target ahead of the UN COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, from Sunday to Nov. 12. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the nation, one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases per capita, would achieve the target largely through technology development, with the government investing A$20 billion (US$15 billion). The investment would reduce the costs of technologies such as clean hydrogen and increase their use, he said. Morrison has been in a political bind over climate change. He needs the support of rural voters, who oppose reducing emissions, as he heads into an election that must take place by May next year, but much of the wider Australian population wants to see more action. Morrison yesterday sought to downplay any threat to domestic industries and jobs as a result of reducing emissions. “Australians want action on climate change. They’re taking action on climate change, but they also want to protect their jobs and their livelihoods. They also want to keep the costs of living down,” he told reporters in Canberra. “I also want to protect the Australian way of life, especially in rural and regional areas. The Australian way of life is unique.” Morrison also said Australia would not strengthen its 2030 target of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels, but added that the nation looks like it would reduce emissions by 30 to 35 percent.
A rise in extreme weather events in India — from droughts and floods to heat waves and hailstorms — is fueling climate migration as the nation’s poorest people are forced to abandon their homes, land and livelihoods, researchers said yesterday. In a survey of more than 1,000 households across three Indian states, nearly 70 percent of respondents said they migrated immediately after such weather disasters occurred, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) said. Seasonal migration was high among people affected by droughts and floods that damaged crops, or by cyclones that hampered fishing, according to the study, one of the first to quantify the impacts of climate change on migration in India. Many of India’s poorest people — such as small farmers — are finding it harder to cope with the damage caused by severe weather as the nation braces for rising sea levels, more heat waves and fiercer cyclones, researchers said. “The scale of climate migration is startling,” said Ritu Bharadwaj, a senior researcher at IIED and coauthor of the report. “We cannot afford to pretend this isn’t happening. Droughts, rising sea levels and flooding are heaping extra pressure onto people who are already struggling to get by, forcing them from their homes in order to survive.” This year’s Global Climate Risk Index puts India in the top 10 nations most affected by climate change. Last year alone, India suffered its worst locust attack in decades, three cyclones, a nationwide heat wave, and flooding that killed hundreds of people and forced thousands more to migrate. “The limits to people’s resilience have been breached by more frequent and intense weather,” Bharadwaj said. “Communities are not able to cope and recover easily. The loss and damage they suffer is very high, and they migrate because they have reached the stage of hopelessness.” India’s first climate change assessment
In almost every part of the world, the mean sea level (MSL) is rising for three reasons, all of which are linked to the planet getting hotter. Firstly, water expands as it heats up. Secondly, glaciers around the world are in retreat. Thirdly, the ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica are shrinking, and scientists fear they could collapse with catastrophic consequences for oceanfront cities throughout the world. In August last year, the Taiwan branch of Greenpeace, the global non-governmental environmental organization, warned that, by 2050, close to 4 percent of the country’s land could be inundated due to rising sea levels. Greenpeace’s statements were widely reported in local media, including the Taipei Times. The NGO’s claim that Tainan is likely to be the first of several cities and counties to suffer serious losses is backed by online sea-level simulators like: flood.firetree.net. Not only are the seas rising, but the speed with which they’re rising is increasing. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site, the annual average increase in global MSL between 1880 and 2013 was 1.5mm. Since 1993, however, the average rise per year has been 3 to 3.6mm. Moreover, the rate varies from one region to another. The reasons for this include subsidence (a serious problem in parts of southwestern Taiwan), ocean currents and what’s called “Ice Age Rebound” — the speed at which land lifts or sinks as it recovers from compression due to the immense weight of glaciation. SEA LEVEL RISE: A COMPLICATED PICTURE Last year, Greenpeace asserted that the MSL around Taiwan is rising at double the global average. This claim has been repeated by several media outlets, but the scientific picture is more complicated. According to the summary of Taiwan Climate Change Science Report 2017: Physical Phenomena and Mechanisms (authored by experts from Academia Sinica, National Taiwan University
Beijing marks 100 days until the Winter Olympics tomorrow but preparations for the Games have been overshadowed by boycott calls and a fresh coronavirus outbreak in China. The Chinese capital in February will become the first host of a Summer and Winter Games and last week welcomed the Olympic flame with a low-key ceremony as the main event swings into view. There was no sign of dissent in strictly controlled China, but the flame-lighting ceremony in Greece was disrupted by a small number of activists who brandished a Tibetan flag and a banner saying “no genocide.” Organizers have given no details about how they plan to mark the 100 days and any festivities look set to be small, with Chinese authorities rushing to stamp out a virus outbreak in their pursuit of a zero-cases policy. This weekend’s Beijing Marathon has been postponed and China yesterday reported 39 new domestic infections, while urging people to avoid unnecessary travel outside the capital. China, where the coronavirus emerged towards the end of 2019, has wrestled infections down with mass testing, aggressive lockdowns and by largely sealing its borders. The 2022 Games, which take place just six months after the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Summer Olympics, will be held in a strict “closed loop” bubble to thwart infections. The estimated 2,900 athletes must be fully vaccinated or face 21 days’ quarantine upon arrival in the Chinese capital. Unlike the Tokyo Games, there will be spectators, but ticket sales are limited to people living in China. ‘WRONG CHOICE’ Days after activists targeted the flame-lighting ceremony in Greece, NBA player Enes Kanter branded President Xi Jinping (習近平) a “brutal dictator” and condemned China’s policies in Tibet, underlining how sports stars increasingly use their clout to speak out on sensitive issues. China’s communist rulers have consistently railed against what they call the “politicization” of sport, and the International Olympic
COP26 climate talks in Glasgow starting on Sunday may be the world’s best last chance to cap global warming at the 1.5-2 degrees Celsius upper limit set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The stakes for the planet are huge — among them the impact on economic livelihoods the world over and the future stability of the global financial system. Here are 10 climate change-related questions that economic policy-makers are trying to answer: HOW MUCH DOES CLIMATE CHANGE COST? From floods and fires to conflict and migration: economic models struggle with the many possible knock-on effects from global warming. The ballpark IMF estimate is that unchecked warming would shave 7 percent off world output by 2100. The Network for Greening the Financial System (NFGS) group of world central banks puts it even higher — 13 percent. In a Reuters poll of economists, the median figure for the output loss in that scenario was 18 percent. WHERE IS THE IMPACT GOING TO BE FELT HARDEST? Clearly, the developing world. Much of the world’s poor live in the tropical or low-lying regions already suffering climate change fall-out like droughts or rising sea levels. Moreover their countries rarely have the resources to mitigate such damage. The NFGS report projects overall output losses of above 15 percent for much of Asia and Africa, rising to 20 percent in the Sahel countries. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR INDIVIDUAL LIVELIHOODS? Climate change will drive up to 132 million more people into extreme poverty by 2030, a World Bank paper last year concluded. Factors included lost farming income; lower outdoor labour productivity; rising food prices; increased disease; and economic losses from extreme weather. HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO FIX IT? Advocates of early action say the sooner you start the better. The widely used NiGEM macroeconomic forecast model even suggests an early start
Well, I’m not going out in this (3/5) 嗯，這種天氣我才不出去（三） A: Where are you going? B: I’m off for a run. It’s a beautiful day out there, and I want to take advantage of the sunshine. A: It’s midday: don’t you think you should wait a while? The sun out there is brutal; you’ll overheat in 20 minutes. B: Don’t worry, I have put on plenty of sunscreen and I’ve got a hydration backpack, so I won’t get dehydrated. A: 你要去哪裡？ B: 我要去跑步，戶外天氣真好，我想要趁機享受陽光。 A: 現在日正當中，你不覺得該等一下嗎？外面艷陽高照，你二十分鐘就會熱昏。 B: 別擔心，我擦了一大堆防曬乳，還帶了一個水袋背包，所以不會脫水。 （By Paul Cooper, Taipei Times ／台北時報張聖恩譯） Audio recordings for Speak Up! dialogues will be suspended until further notice due to the pandemic.
Viva Las Vegas! Nine years after her tragic death, Whitney Houston is following the footsteps of other pop divas such as Celine Dion, Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey by launching a hologram concert residency in the “Sin City.” The new show, “An Evening with Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Concert,” opened at Harrah’s Las Vegas on Tuesday US time. Houston, who was inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year, has been lauded as one of the greatest female singers of all time. With the latest 3D projection technology, the late singer’s hologram will perform her megahits, joined by her original band and backup singers. The concert residency featuring 156 shows will run until May 1 next year. An authorized Houston biopic is also coming next year. British actress Naomi Ackie will play the legendary superstar in the musical biopic, I Wanna Dance with Somebody, named after her 1987 hit. The film is set for a Christmas 2022 release. (Eddy Chang, Taipei Times) 拉斯維加斯萬歲！流行天后惠妮休斯頓在九年前驟逝，她於近日跟隨其他天后的腳步，繼席琳狄翁、女神卡卡、瑪麗亞凱利之後，在這座「罪惡之城」展開全息投影的駐城演唱會。她的「惠妮之夜：惠妮休斯頓全息投影演唱會」，已於美國時間本週二在哈利士賭場飯店開唱。 休斯頓常被人譽為史上最偉大的女歌手之一，並於去年獲選進入「搖滾名人堂」。藉由最新的3D立體投影技術，這位已故天后將透過全息投影演唱她的金曲，並加入原來的樂隊及合音演出。這次的駐城演唱會將一連熱唱一百五十六場，直到明年的五月一日。 此外，一部獲得正式授權的休斯頓傳記電影明年也將上映，由英國女星娜歐蜜艾基飾演這位傳奇巨星。傳記片名取自她一九八七年冠軍單曲的歌名︰《想與某人共舞》，該片預計明年耶誕節檔期上映。 (台北時報張聖恩)
A: Can you hear that wind howl? It sounds like a typhoon out there. B: It is a typhoon! It hasn’t actually landed, it’s only passing at the moment, but we’re still getting strong gusts of wind. C: I just came from outside. The whole street by the entrance to the building is like a wind tunnel. I was almost blown off my feet. And the driving rain had me soaked in seconds. A: Well, I’m not going out in this. I’m staying in the office, where it’s warm and dry. A: 你有聽到狂風怒吼嗎？外面聽起來像刮颱風一樣。 B: 是有颱風啊！雖然沒真正登陸，目前只是經過，還是帶來陣陣強風。 C: 我剛從外面回來，靠近大樓入口的街道根本是個風洞，被風吹到腳都站不穩，大風雨才幾秒鐘就把我淋濕了。 A: 嗯，這種天氣我才不出去，還是待在辦公室裡溫暖又乾爽。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times ／台北時報張聖恩譯） Audio recordings for Speak Up! dialogues will be suspended until further notice due to the pandemic.
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