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January, 7, 2017

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100,000 teachers threaten to take to streets over pensions
The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's teachers have threatened to go on a de facto strike next week to protest the government's pension reform plan that promises to delay their retirement.

Leaders of the National Federation of Teachers Unions on Friday called on its members to "collectively" take a leave of absence on Monday. Taiwan's teachers are forbidden by law to go on a strike.

The NFTU leaders said they expected 100,000 teachers nationwide to respond to their call to action, which will also include flooding President Tsai Ing-wen's Facebook page with messages and organizing demonstrations at local government offices.

The pension reform is seeking to delay teachers' retirement age to 60. The current system allows most of them to retire in their early 50s.

"We are taking 'actions of contention,' not protesting," said union chairman Chang Hsu-cheng, adding, "This is because the union has always been in support of reasonable reform, unlike other groups who reject reform."

Chang said the pension reform package allowed the government to avoid its responsibilities as the teachers' employer and the fact of its failure to ensure a sustainable pension fund. The late retirement would block the recruitment of young teachers, Chang added.

The NFTU had challenged the Presidential Office to an open debate on the reform but was ignored, Chang said, adding that the response from the government to their demands had been empty.

The pension fund for civil servants and teachers faced bankruptcy mainly because contributions to the fund had been insufficient, Chang said.

Chang said the teachers would be willing to make more contributions to the fund from their monthly salaries, but that the government must promise their contributions would go to the pension fund to help stabilize its finances.

The government must also make up the balance resulting from its insufficient contributions over the years, Chang said.

The National Pension Reform Committee dismissed the claims that the government was trying to dodge its responsibilities.

Vice President Chen Chien-jen, who heads the committee, called for rational discussion on pension reform. In a message posted on his Facebook page, Chen likened the pension fund to a reservoir, saying that when the water outflow was faster than the inflow, the reservoir would dry up eventually.

To be continued with www.chinapost.com.tw


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Opinions
Cash-starved India feels the pain
Ravindra Kumar

Two months after India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the controversial decision to withdraw 500 rupee (US$7.4) and 1,000 rupee notes from circulation, his country is still reeling from the effects.

On Nov. 8, Mr. Modi had sought 50 days — until Dec. 31 — for things to become normal after an estimated 86 percent of currency notes were abruptly withdrawn from circulation.

On Jan. 1, Indians were exactly where they had been for days after the November announcement — in queues outside banks and at automated teller machines to withdraw their own money for use in an economy that is still largely cash-driven in terms of the everyday transactions. There are limits to the cash they can withdraw — 4,500 rupees (US$66) a day from ATMs or 24,000 rupees (US$354) weekly from their accounts — and there seems little hope of respite in the foreseeable future.

The distress is so acute in India's villages — where some two-thirds of people live — that India's Central Bank was forced to issue instructions that 40 per cent of cash supplies be sent to rural areas.

Characterized by policy flip-flops and shoddy implementation, the decision to withdraw old notes and to replace them initially with new 2,000-rupee notes — for which no one seemed to have change — and later with 500-rupee notes in a new series was said to have several objectives.

To be continued with www.chinapost.com.tw


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Entertainment
Stars pay tribute to Reynolds, Fisher
AP

AP -- A parade of somber stars visited the next-door homes of Debbie Reynolds and daughter Carrie Fisher on a gloomy Thursday afternoon amid reports that a private memorial was scheduled at the compound to mourn the late actresses. Meryl Streep, Meg Ryan, Ellen Barkin and Ed Begley Jr. were among those entering the property in the Coldwater Canyon area of Los Angeles

Press, private security and police assembled on the street outside of the homes, which are tucked away at the end of a long driveway and hidden by trees and shrubs in the tony neighborhood just north of Beverly Hills.

Streep, who starred in the adaptation of Fisher's semi-autobiographical novel "Postcards from the Edge," was carrying white flowers as she walked up the driveway, choosing to ignore questions from the media gathered on the street. Streep knew both mother and daughter — she had presented Reynolds with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the film academy's Governors Awards in 2015.

Also visiting the compound Thursday were Jamie Lee Curtis, who stars with Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd, on TV's "Scream Queens," and Eric Idle, a friend of Fisher's who rented her his home during the filming of "The Empire Strikes Back."

Fisher and Reynolds died last week, one day apart, casting a pall over Hollywood's annual holiday break.

To be continued with www.chinapost.com.tw


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Bilingual News
希華合作新夥伴Rakon將登門 股價今爆量走揚逾5%
記者張欽發/鉅亨網, The China Post news staff

希華?(2484-TW) 將以 1000 萬美元 (約新台幣 3.2 億元) 投資紐西蘭上市頻率元件廠 Rakon ,希華並藉此取得在航太、衛星、軍工等產業應用領域的開拓,Rakon 高層主管並將於本月 20 日來台敲定進一步合作細節。

 希華與 Rakon 的策略聯盟案合作,最主要鎖定應用於其高精密度衛星定位產品應用端市場,預計每年將轉 1000 萬美元的高階石英元件訂單給希華生產。

 希華董事長曾穎堂表示,Rakon 高層主管將於本月 20 日來台敲定進一步合作細節。

 希華投資 Rakon 案,已走完相關對外投資審查程序,此一計畫的進行將取得「雙贏」發展,不僅希華將取得 Rakon 技術移轉及授權,同時,成立已長達 50 年之久的 Rakon 公司也將移轉部分訂單交由希華晶體生產,預計 2017 年營收可見到明顯挹注的效果,對於未來雙方發展都有利益。

 希華與 Rakon 的合作除代工生產之外,也將包括代理銷售,Rakon 產品預計將在重新取得成本、技術競爭力之後,透過希華的銷售體系開展到高階的 物聯網應用市場。

To be continued with www.chinapost.com.tw


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