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May, 2, 2016

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Editorial > Taiwan Issues
Our readers may not know who Jessie Chen (陳育賢) is. She is a photographer for TWIMI (獨立媒體), one of Taiwan's social media outlets. She has developed a large following of fans by taking thousands of pictures of Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party who will be sworn in as president on May 20.
 
There is no question that Japan, as a world power, has pushed its small neighbor Taiwan into a corner, as we have seen in the days following Japanese authorities' seizure of a Taiwanese fishing boat and the detainment of its captain.
 
Our special investigation team of 10 senior judicial officials charged with bringing 45 Taiwanese cyber fraud suspects back from Beijing returned to Taipei crestfallen last Thursday.
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The Taiwanese media's penchant for salacious gossip is not old news. It has been criticized for its excessive reporting and a certain type of coverage, more often than not at the expense of more important news.
 
The Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty for Cheng Chieh, the notorious murderer who went on a stabbing spree on a Taipei MRT train, killing four passengers and injuring 24 others in 2014. It remains uncertain when he will be executed, but it certainly will fuel the perennial debate on whether the death penalty should be abolished.
 
The ongoing season of the local Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) is heating up after it officially kicked off in late March, when a record high number of baseball fans rushed into ballparks around the island to support the 27-year-old pro league.
 
One oft-quoted quip of American political pundits is: Elections are free, but the voters pay later. Their warning has been borne out in Taipei.
 
The ongoing row over the deportation of 45 Taiwanese suspects by Kenya to China has underscored the need for more cross-strait cooperation in cracking down on phone fraud.
 
"Mr. Player," (綜藝玩很大) a game variety show, has been one of the recent success stories in Taiwan entertainment. The main attraction of the show, in line with the current success formula of popular game shows elsewhere in Asia, is its difficult knowledge-testing games and big rewards for its contestants. Unlike older shows, hosts and guests are no longer just playing for laughs but are completing in games that can truly be demanding in terms of strength, skills and stamina.
 
There was a certain aura or charisma surrounding Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je when he took office in late 2014 as a self-styled "ordinary person outside of politics." His off-the-cuff remarks and way with words not only generated media talking points, but he was also bolstered by high approval ratings and quickly shot up as a rising star in Taiwanese politics.
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