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June 27, 2017

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Protests may be losing stamina, but message to Ma rings clear

While Taiwan has mostly been fixated on the student protest at the Legislature over the past two weeks or so, the world around us has not ceased running.

Let us remind our readers that during this period a lot of very important and not-so-important things have happened around the world.

Crimea has voted to join Russia, while CNN made a mistake in reporting the death of Brazilian soccer legend Pele.

The White House has expressed anger over a Samsung marketing stunt using a selfie taken by Boston Red Sox baseball player David Ortiz with U.S. President Barack Obama, whose wife Michelle has visited China.

While the Obama selfie was tweeted on Twitter, a government ban on the popular social media in Turkey has sparked a controversy.

While the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH307 — with more than 160 Chinese nationals among its passengers — remains a mystery, Beijing-Kuala Lumpur relations have been further muddied by the kidnapping of a Chinese tourist from the eastern Malaysian island of Sabah.

Japan has bowed to pressure to cancel its whaling hunt in the Antarctica, while North Korea has fired several missiles, heightening tensions with the South.

The Taiwanese government has moved to remove some restrictions on foreign visitors who are HIV carriers, while Mozilla has removed its chief executive over his support for an anti-gay marriage bill after a boycott of its Web browser by a dating website, OkCupid.

We've listed these latest developments inside and outside Taiwan to highlight the fact that sooner or later media attention will shift away from the Sunflower Movement and toward other domestic and foreign developments.

The students have vowed to keep fighting and continue to occupy the Legislature, but sooner or later their stories may be put in insignificant corners of the newspapers alongside funnies such as the CNN blunder over Pele.

In fact, there has been a clear shift from overwhelming attention on the student protesters and toward more growing coverage of counter voices. Neighbors of the Legislature have complained about being bombarded by the students' endless loud-speaker-amplified speeches.

There has also been growing support for the exhausted police deployed to protect the Legislature, its neighborhood and, ironically, the protesters as well.

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