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Week in Review

  • 04 May, 2014
  • Editor

1)   

The top story from this past week involved former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin Yi-hsiung, who ended a hunger strike that lasted for a week.

Lin made the announcement on Wednesday. He also pledged to devote the rest of his life to defend Taiwan’s democracy and sovereignty.

Lin started his hunger strike the previous Tuesday to push for a halt to the construction of the controversial fourth nuclear power plant. His move triggered widespread anti-nuclear protests across Taiwan. President Ma Ying-jeou bowed to public pressure on Sunday when he decided to stop work on the plant and have its fate determined by a referendum.

Construction on the fourth nuclear power plant began in 1999 but remains incomplete. Opponents of the plant say it is located in an earthquake-prone area. A series of accidents during construction has also raised safety concerns. However, supporters say without the plant, Taiwan will face an energy shortage.

2)   

Also this past week, Premier Jiang Yi-huah said that the government will do all it can to meet the demands of Taiwanese working people. He was speaking at the Cabinet on Labor Day. He thanked the people for their hard work and paid them his highest respects.

Trade unions and labor rights groups held a march in Taipei on Labor Day to protest low wages and temporary employment. The premier said the government will continue to listen to the people.

3)   

And finally this past week, Taiwan has been ranked 48th in the world for media freedom and labeled "free" by the US-based NGO Freedom House.

The Freedom House report said only 5% of people in the Asia-Pacific region had access to free media in 2013. Taiwan enjoyed the second highest level of freedom in the region, following Japan.

The report awarded Taiwan a score of nine in the legal, political and economic subsections. Taiwan's overall score was the same as last year.

In Asia, South Korea was ranked 68th and Hong Kong 74th, each gaining "partly free" status. Singapore came in 152nd and China 183rd. Both are considered "not free."

Globally, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden tied for first place, while North Korea came in last at 197th.

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