Archive for category Taiwan

corruption news

1. military staff in Malaysia linked info to unnamed foreign embassy

KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA’S defence minister reportedly said on Thursday that military personnel had been paid to leak security information to a foreign embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

The alleged leak was unveiled in a probe conducted by the ministry’s intelligence corps together with police, Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said according to state media and The Star newspaper.

‘I don’t want anyone at any position to sell information to external parties,’ he was quoted as saying by The Star on its website. ‘I will make an announcement after meeting the prime minister (Najib Razak) regarding the information that was leaked to a foreign embassy, which allegedly used internal sources,’ he added.

Mr Ahmad Zahid did not name the embassy involved but urged diplomats to carry out their duties properly and warned that action can be taken against perpetrators under the country’s official secrets laws.

‘I hope no one will take advantage of their positions in this country to carry out unethical activities,’ he reportedly said. ‘I believe they have been paid,’ he added, referring to the military personnel allegedly involved in the act.

An aide to the minister said he could not immediately confirm the minister’s remarks when contacted by AFP. Mr Ahmad Zahid told national news agency Bernama that his ministry has been monitoring its staff over any possible information leakage especially since the theft of two US-made fighter jet engines worth US$29 million (S$41 million). — AFP

source: straits times

2. Lancet slammed: vaccine science poisoned by special interests in pharmamedia — The Lancet threw that MMR guy under the bus by discrediting him (but please don’t notice their conflicts of interest!) they can try to conflate all people who question vaccines. this has been covered widely in corporate media, natch.

The editors of Medical Veritas journal have condemned The Lancet’s retraction of the controversial study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, charging editor Richard Horton with pandering to special interests in a conspiracy to defraud the public about the risks of vaccinations.

In 1998, The Lancet published the contested study linking autism and intestinal problems to the risky MMR triple virus vaccine. Yesterday, following the British General Medical Council’s decision that Dr. Wakefield had been “dishonest,” The Lancet’s editor retracted the article saying the Council’s report made it “utterly clear, without any ambiguity at all, that the statements in the paper were utterly false.”…

The Winter, 2010 issue of Medical Veritas, evidenced gross conflicting interests undermining the The Lancet’s integrity. Following the publication of Dr. Wakefield’s controversial study, Reed-Elsevier-ChoicePoint mergers occurred. The mega-company formed has nearly monopolized the medical scientific publishing industry. Previous to this, The Lancet editors protested the “damaging” of medicine and health science by pharmaceutical companies.

“Now it is obvious Dr. Horton’s company has been grossly contaminated by special interests as biased as Dr. Ross’s ‘PharmaCouncil’,” Dr. Horowitz said.

Reed-Elsevier-ChoicePoint, it turns out, is directed by Chief Executive Officer, Sir Crispin Davis, according to a Reuter’s News Service promotion for GlaxoSmithKline recently published. According to Forbes, Sir Davis was knighted by the Queen of England for his “service to the information industry.” He has served as a Non-Executive Independent Director of GlaxoSmithKline, PLC since 2003. Sir Davis spent his early career with Procter & Gamble.

more @ prevent disease

3. Taiwanese held in smuggling US made military components to Iran –  looks like a little sting to fluff the case against Iran. lots of “could be’s”….

MIAMI - US AUTHORITIES said on Thursday they arrested a Taiwanese man for allegedly smuggling US-made military components to Iran that could help the Islamic republic develop missiles and unmanned drones.

Yi-Lan Chen, 40, who also goes by Kevin Chen, was arrested on Wednesday on the US Pacific territory to Guam and is being sent to Miami, where prosecutors had sought his arrest.

If convicted, Chen faces up to 20 years in prison and up to US$1 million (S$1.4 million) in fines. Prosecutors said that Chen had exported ‘dual-use’ technology - which ostensibly has civilian purposes but can be applied for the military - to Taiwan or Hong Kong where it would be reloaded and shipped to Iran.

‘The dual-use items allegedly exported in this case could easily be used in missile development and other military components,’ US Attorney Jeffrey Sloman said in Miami.

‘Such conduct poses a serious threat to our national security, and will not be tolerated,’ he said. The goods Chen is accused of exporting to Iran include P200 turbine engines and spare parts, which can be used for model airplanes but also for unmanned military drones, prosecutors said.

‘This case will send a message to those individuals who attempt to profit by illegally supplying improper dual-use technology to other countries,’ said Anthony Mangione, an US immigration agent investigating the case. Iran is under a raft of sanctions imposed by the United States, United Nations and European Union over its nuclear program and its support for hardline Islamist movements overseas. — AFP

source: straits times

4. Victor Bout ordered to appear in Thai court

Russian businessman and alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout has been summoned to appear in a Thai court on February 16, one of his lawyers said on Friday. Former Russian army officer Bout, 42, remains in custody in a Thai jail after the Bangkok Criminal Court refused in August to extradite him to the United States, where he is facing four terrorism-related charges and a possible life sentence. “I was informed that my client had been asked to appear in court on February 16. However, I was not told why he had been summoned,” Thai lawyer Chamroen Panompakakom told RIA Novosti. He suggested that Bout could face an additional questioning or the announcement of an appeals court verdict on his extradition case.

more @ ria novosti

5. um, Frank Timis hearts Sierra Leone. you see what admitting to a few little mistakes can do? a little ball-fluffing never hurt anyone.

It is quite easy for anyone to be suspicious of a large investment initiative from an international company in a small African country with huge mineral wealth and potential. A lot has been written about African Minerals and Frank Timis in the past. But most of what has been written focused mainly on the mistakes of the past – which have been fully acknowledged by the company’s management. Surely everyone deserves a second chance. Especially when that chance is given to someone whose determination to prove everyone wrong can only be matched with his vision to end the poverty-stricken environment structure of a country he has come to fall in love with.  Timis has lent his support to Sparks, a UK based children’s medical charity whose remit is to fund research across the whole spectrum of paediatric medicine, and has invested in a company developing a more effective method of treating malaria. And he can even do more for Sierra Leone!

…Frank Timis once said  “the best lie is the truth, because you never get caught.”  Reputable international renowned companies like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan to Macquarie, have backed his business projects for the past 15 years. This goes to show the faith big companies have in Timis. He may be a colorful personality, but he surely has the brains to turn things around.

…The United Nations recently declared the company’s Tonkolili development to be the Most Effective Corporate Social Responsibility Project ever embarked on. But he surely does not get the credit he deserves for such amazing feats of accomplishments. With all this backdrop, Frank Timis says he is not looking for recognition for his philanthropy. He is always looking forward to the next deal.

more @ newstime africa

6. Angola man accused of teen sex plot

An Angola man faces federal charges in New York, accusing him of transporting a 15-year-old girl across state lines for the purposes of having sex with her last fall. In late January, Foster Creager, 40, was arrested in Steuben County. He is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in the southern district of New York on Monday. According to the criminal complaint, a 15-year-old girl went missing from Hyde Park, N.Y., on Sept. 10. FBI agents discovered she had been communicating via e-mail with someone named “Kenneth Bone.”

Telephone records linked the phone number used by “Kenneth Bone” to Creager, of the 4300 block of West U.S. 20 in Angola.

On Sept. 11, Steuben County sheriff’s officers went to a mobile home and recreational vehicle park in Angola and saw Creager standing next to an RV. He told police the teen was inside. During an interview with detectives, Creager said he met the girl two or three months earlier on the Internet. He said he picked up the girl in New York and drove with her and another person to Indiana. In court documents filed in federal court in Fort Wayne, the other person is identified as Judy DeLong. Both DeLong and Creager have been indicted on a single count of transporting a minor across state lines with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Creager told police he and the 15-year-old were “boyfriend and girlfriend” but said he suspected she was not 18 when he brought her to Indiana.

The teen told investigators that Creager told her she would need to be “in hiding” for three years until she turned 18, according to court documents.

DNA collected during a forensic examination of the teen matched Creager’s, according to court documents.

source: journalgazette.net

many people throwing their weight around

1. India, Bangladesh sign 5 pacts

NEW DELHI - LEADERS of India and Bangladesh met in New Delhi on Monday with talks focused on strengthening the previously difficult ties between the two south Asian neighbours, an Indian official said. Cross-border relations have improved in recent years and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s delegation signed five cooperation agreements with India in areas ranging from cultural exchanges, security, preventing crime and power supply.

more @ straits times

2. India confers Indira Ghandi Peace Prize to Bangladeshi PM

NEW DELHI, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — India Tuesday conferred Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the prestigious Indira Gandhi Peace Prize in recognition of her contribution to peace and democracy, reported the Indo-Asian News Service. Indian President Pratibha Patil conferred the award at a function in the Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential palace and praised Hasina for “shaping her country’s onward path of progress and development”, said the report.

more @ chinaview

3. Malaysian PM to visit Saudi Arabia

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will be making an official visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 13-16 to deepen bilateral ties, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry said here on Tuesday. Najib will later attend the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Jan. 18. Malaysia will be working towards enhancing trade and investment relations with the two countries.

source: chinaview

4. Clinton to visit Japan, Pacific region

Since coming to power last year, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has pushed to see negotiations restart on the SOFA agreement, creating tension between the two countries. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has pledged to decide by May how to proceed on the base issue. Apart from talks with Okada, Clinton will deliver a policy speech focused on Asia-Pacific multilateral engagement in Hawaii, and will be consulting with the Pacific Command. She will be traveling to Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia from Jan. 14 to Jan. 19, her first visit to the region since becoming the secretary of state. In Canberra, Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and their Australian counterparts Stephen Smith and John Falkner will participate in the 25th Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations to discuss key global and regional security challenges.

source: chinaview

5. ASEAN prepares own “Marshall Plan’

MANILA, Philippines—Asean is preparing its own Marshall Plan, the United States program in post World War II to rebuild and create an economically stronger Western Europe to repel the threat of internal communism, the Asean Secretariat said Tuesday….In a working lunch in Jakarta Monday, Asean Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan described the plan to Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Masayuki Naoshima. He urged the Japanese official and his delegation to look at the plan and the roles of Asean and Eria as a package….Surin, who coined the “Marshall Plan for Asia” tag for the plan, said his office was collaborating with Eria and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the development of the plan. The plan aims “to contribute to coordinating, expediting, upgrading, and expanding sub-regional initiatives and promoting private sector participation.”

more @ inquirer

6. incoming EU trade chief sees WTO deal by 2011

BRUSSELS—Would-be new European trade chief Karel De Gucht expressed confidence on Tuesday that a deal to free up international commerce is attainable by next year.… The Doha round began in 2001, with a focus on dismantling obstacles to trade for poor nations by striking an accord that will cut agriculture subsidies and tariffs on industrial goods. Deadlines to conclude the talks have been repeatedly missed. Discussions have been dogged by disagreements on issues including how much the US and the EU should reduce aid to their farmers and the extent to which developing countries such as India, China and South Africa should cut tariffs. “We have to do that deal,” De Gucht added, refusing to concede that the terms of the talks had to change to take account of the aftermath of the global economic crisis.

more @ inquirer

7. China views Ethiopia as major economic trading partner

ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — China views Ethiopia as its major economic and trading partner in Africa, says Minister of Commerce Chen Deming on Monday….Chen put forward a four-point proposal on further development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation: First, further expanding its imports from Ethiopia through the use of tariff-free policies; Second, strengthening cooperation in investment and engineering contracts and continuing to encourage strong Chinese firms to invest in Ethiopia; Third, fully implementing the eight new measures to enhance cooperation with Africa; Fourth, further promoting cooperation in official development assistance to support Ethiopia’s infrastructure, and projects aimed to improve people’s well-being.

more @ chinaview

8. China, Morocco hold talks on enhancing bilateral ties

RABAT, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who is on a five-nation African tour, held talks Monday with his Moroccan counterpart Taieb Fassi Fihri on ways to upgrade relations between the two countries….Yang is on his first official foreign visit of the year that includes five African nations, namely Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Algeria and Morocco, as well as Saudi Arabia. It has been China’s tradition for 20 years that its foreign minister visits Africa in the beginning of the year.

more @ chinaview

9. China VP meets Pakistan’s opposition party chief

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met Tuesday in Beijing with Nawaz Sharif, chief of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), saying party exchanges would help facilitate bilateral relations….Highlighting the friendship between China and Pakistan, Xi said China had treated bilateral ties from a long-term and strategic perspective and would make efforts with Pakistan to lift pragmatic cooperation. Sharif expressed his admiration for the achievements China had made, saying the political parties in Pakistan shared the view of improving friendly cooperation with China.

more @ chinaview

10. experts discuss NATO’s future at Prague meeting

An international conference has opened in Prague, aiming to help redefine NATO’s mission for the 21st century. The international panel is led by former U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright. About hundred other experts are also participating. The group is working to update the alliance’s mission statement, which was written in 1999. Albright is present at Tuesday’s gathering. The draft will be submitted for consideration to the leaders of NATO’s member nations at their spring summit in Lisbon, Portugal. NATO started the process to update its outdated mission statement last year to focus on handling new challenges such as piracy, terrorism and cyber attacks as well a resurgent Russia.

source: taiwan news

11. new EU foreign chief criticized for lack of specifics

Under its previous holder Javier Solana, the post of top EU diplomat focused on smoothing relations and boosting Europe’s influence in such places as the Middle East, Iran, and the Balkans. But the job has greater powers under the new Lisbon Treaty of reforms, even though the EU’s 27 nations remain well in charge over foreign and defense policy, with Ashton set to be their mouthpiece. Despite the pressure, Ashton appeared relaxed throughout, confidently responding to questions mainly focused on institutional concerns and how the former EU trade commissioner saw the future of EU foreign policy. She gave answers that demonstrated an understanding of the issues, but would not be drawn into diplomatic minefields like her stance on sanctions against Iran and was cautious on Middle East policy. More broadly she urged Europe to play a greater role on the world stage. “I am convinced there is a clear call, inside the EU and around the world, for greater European engagement—to promote peace, protect the vulnerable, fight poverty ,and address the many problems of our time,” she said. “We have to answer this call.”

more @ inquirer

12. Kazakh minister visits Vienna, Austria

Secretary of State - Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kanat Saudabayev began his official visit to Vienna yesterday… According to the press release, the visit on part of OSCE Chairman Saudabayev, to Austria will take place on January 12 - 15. Saudabayev will meet with President of Austria, Heinz Fischer, and the Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria, Michael Spindelegger, to discuss the further development of Kazakhstan-Austrian cooperation as part of international organizations. … According to the press release, Astana considers Vienna a key political and economic partner in the EU, and is interested in developing bilateral dialogue in all areas and levels. During the visit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will hold meetings with UN structures administration based in Vienna – including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Universal Prohibition of Nuclear Tests to discuss cooperation with these organizations, according to Kazakhstan Today.

source

13. Austrian president to visit China next week

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Austrian President Heinz Fischer will pay a state visit to China from next Tuesday to Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday.  Fischer will make the visit as guest of Chinese President Hu Jintao, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told a regular briefing.   This will be Fischer’s first China trip since he took office in 2004.

source: chinaview

14. China very very very unhappy with US weapons sales to Taiwan — in diplomatic language this is a full-blown fit

BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — The U.S. Defense Department announced on January 6 the approval of a plan of Lockheed Martin Corp. to sell Patriot III missiles to Taiwan. Although it was a step to implement the huge-scale arms sales package announced by the George W. Bush administration in October 2008, such a move only about one month after U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to China tarnished the China-U.S. ties….the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan fully justified any suspicion about the United States’ sincerity to take concrete actions to “respect each other’s core interests.”

Undoubtedly, the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan seriously violated the principles established in the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques and the spirit of the Sino-U.S. Joint Statement, breached the U.S. promise to respect the core interests of China and disobeyed the mainstream wish shared by the people across the Straits.  This move clearly showed the dual character of the United States in dealing with the major issues related to China’s core interests, especially at the moment that the cross-Straits relations have embarked on a path of peaceful development.

Profound lessons should be drawn from history. All previous U.S. arms sales to Taiwan have caused great damage to the Sino-U.S. relations and blocked their stable and smooth development.  This time is no exception, since the arms sales to Taiwan are rootless and absolutely harmful, whether from the perspectives of legal, moral and justice principles, or from the perspectives of joint interests of the two countries and the long-term development of their relations.

more @ chinaview