Category Archives: Sports

Christchurch Death Toll Rises to 50

The death toll in a mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques on Friday has risen to 50 after emergency workers found another body at one of the crime scenes.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush announced Sunday (local time in New Zealand) that all the bodies from both mosques had been removed from their locations. “In doing so, we were able to locate a further victim,” he said.

On Saturday, the main suspect in the shootings appeared in court in Christchurch.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, an Australian citizen and self-proclaimed white nationalist, was led by two armed guards into the court where a judge read one charge of murder to him. He wore prison robes and handcuffs and did not speak.

Reporters in the courtroom said the suspect smiled during his appearance. A photo showed him holding his left hand in an upside-down “OK” symbol, a gesture used by white supremacist groups.

After the suspect left the court, the judge said that while “there is one charge of murder brought at the moment, it is reasonable to assume that there will be others.”

Tarrant has not yet entered a plea. His next court appearance is set for April 5.

Two suspected accomplices have also been arrested. Police were trying to determine to what extent, if any, they were involved in the attack. None of the suspects were on a terrorism watch list in New Zealand or Australia.

Meanwhile, medical officials said 39 people wounded in the shootings were in hospitals; 11 of them were in critical condition.

In a news conference Saturday morning, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the attacker’s onslaught was cut short when he was apprehended. “It was his intention to continue his attack,” the prime minister said.

She called the mass shooting “an extraordinary act of violence” and vowed that “our gun laws will change.” She said the shooter had five guns, two of them semiautomatic. All the weapons were legally obtained.

The attack came during Friday prayers when the Al Noor Mosque and the nearby Linwood Mosque were filled with hundreds of worshippers.

The shooter livestreamed the assault on Facebook. He also published a 74-page white nationalist manifesto in which he denounced Muslims and called immigrants “invaders.”

The manifesto also said he chose to make his attack in New Zealand to show that nowhere in the world was safe.

Residents of Christchurch took flowers and other mementos to a makeshift memorial, and an online fund for the victims gathered $684,000 in a single day.

The victims of Friday’s shooting included immigrants from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Mass shootings and violent crime are rare in New Zealand, a country of nearly 5 million people. Until Friday, the country’s worst mass shooting was in 1990, when a lone gunman killed 13 people in the small town of Aramoana.

Source: Voice of America

Taiwan removed from EU noncooperative tax watchlist

Taiwan was removed from the EU’s noncooperative jurisdiction for tax purposes watchlist March 12, reflecting the effectiveness of government measures in bringing local rules and regulations in line with global standards.

According to the Ministry of Finance, Taiwan was among 92 countries and territories included in a review launched two years ago by the EU Code of Conduct Group. This aimed to enhance cooperation on fair taxation, fighting tax avoidance, and improving good governance and transparency.

A total of 17 countries and territories were identified as having taken no meaningful action to address deficiencies in respective tax systems. Although Taiwan was not included in the group, it did make the watchlist.

The EU advised the government to remedy the situation by continuing to work to abolish or amend income tax incentive provisions; exchange relevant information; and implement measures to halt base erosion and profit shifting.

In response, the MOF has been coordinating closely with the Ministries of Economic Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Transportation and Communications, as well as the Cabinet-level Financial Supervisory Commission, to address the concerns raised by the EU.

Adopted measures include fast-tracking regulatory revisions to enhance information sharing with EU member states and ensure equitable taxation for firms operating in Taiwan’s free trade zones, and initiating procedures to smoothly settle cross-border taxation disputes.

The MOF said the government will keep collaborating with the EU and other like-minded partners around the world to promote information transparency and tackle tax avoidance. In addition to bolstering Taiwan’s global business image, these efforts will better ensure the rights and competitiveness of homegrown firms operating abroad.

Source: Taiwan Today

Plane From Taiwan Slides Off Runway In Central Philippines

MANILA, Philippines, A plane from Taiwan slid off the runway of an airport in central Philippine province of Aklan on Wednesday night, prompting airport authorities to temporarily halt the operation for over an hour, as they remove the aircraft from the only runway.

All 122 passengers and crew aboard the Far Eastern Air Transport are safe.

Spokesman of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Eric Apolonio, said, the accident occurred around 6.00 p.m. local time while the plane was making a turn to the terminal, when one of its tires accidentally hit soft spot in the grassy area off the runway.

Apolonio said, the passengers were safely assisted off the plane before emergency airport responders towed the aircraft.

Other flights had been delayed because of the incident, he said, adding that, operations went back to normal at around 7:30 p.m. local time.

The passengers were all holidaymakers bound for the Boracay island resort, the Philippines’ premier island-beach resort in the centre of the country.

Source: NAM NEWS AGENCY

Plane From Taiwan Slides Off Runway In Central Philippines

MANILA, Philippines, A plane from Taiwan slid off the runway of an airport in central Philippine province of Aklan on Wednesday night, prompting airport authorities to temporarily halt the operation for over an hour, as they remove the aircraft from the only runway.

All 122 passengers and crew aboard the Far Eastern Air Transport are safe.

Spokesman of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Eric Apolonio, said, the accident occurred around 6.00 p.m. local time while the plane was making a turn to the terminal, when one of its tires accidentally hit soft spot in the grassy area off the runway.

Apolonio said, the passengers were safely assisted off the plane before emergency airport responders towed the aircraft.

Other flights had been delayed because of the incident, he said, adding that, operations went back to normal at around 7:30 p.m. local time.

The passengers were all holidaymakers bound for the Boracay island resort, the Philippines’ premier island-beach resort in the centre of the country.

Source: NAM NEWS AGENCY

MOFA Minister Wu proud of high regard for Taiwan by US

Taiwan is damn proud of its recognition by the U.S. government as a reliable partner, a democratic success story and a force for good in the world, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu said during an address at the World Affairs Council March 11 in Los Angeles.

I am yet to find another country enjoying such a high regard by the U.S. government, Wu said. As the Trump administration carries out its strategy for Asia, Taiwan marches forward in lockstep and serves as an ideal ally for like-minded countries in the pursuit of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

According to Wu, the 23 million people of Taiwan endured 38 years of martial law but never gave up on freedom and democracy. Through the efforts of many who sacrificed for our civil liberties and freedom, Taiwan has moved out of that dark chapter of history and blossomed into a full-fledged democracy�one of the only democracies among Chinese speaking societies, he said.

But we know that we cannot take these accomplishments for granted, Wu said. Looking around, rising authoritarian regimes and growing illiberal populist movements have cast a shadow over global freedom in recent years.

Taiwan is on the front line in an ideological battle taking place in like-minded societies the world over, Wu said. We have felt the brunt of China’s intensified campaign to subvert Taiwan’s democracy every day, through military intimidation, economic coercion, diplomatic assaults, disinformation and political subversion, seeking to undermine our elected government and interfere with our elections.

According to Wu, as the threat posed by China is becoming graver, Taiwan’s relations with the U.S. are growing stronger. This healthy state of affairs takes on special significance as the two sides celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, he said.

Signed into law in April 1979, the TRA authorizes substantive exchanges between the two sides and contributes to maintaining Indo-Pacific peace, stability and security.

Despite China’s mounting pressure campaign, Wu said, the government is redoubling efforts to make Taiwan indispensable and irreplaceable to the world. A cornerstone of this approach is value-based diplomacy, which involves embracing each and every like-minded partner to build a free, open, peaceful and prosperous future. Our warm power trumps authoritarian sharp power, he added.

Wu said as the government continues strengthening Taiwan’s democracy and safeguarding its freedom of the media and speech, the country will shine even brighter as a beacon of hope for those clamoring to cast off the shackles of oppression.

Democratic Taiwan is the David struggling with the authoritarian Chinese Goliath, Wu said. Democracy will prevail and Taiwan will prevail.

Source: Taiwan Today