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Taiwan to name new cabinet after resignations over poll setbacks | Taiwan News

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Taiwan will appoint the ruling pro-independence party’s former chairman as premier, according to official media, after incumbent William Lai said he would resign along with the entire cabinet in the wake of a setback in local polls.

The election losses in November presented a major challenge to President Tsai Ing-wen, who came under criticism at home over her reform agenda while facing renewed threats from China, which considers self-ruled Taiwan a breakaway province.

Tsai will appoint Su Tseng-chang, the former chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for two terms, the official Central News Agency reported early on Friday, citing unidentified sources.

It said Su’s appointment would follow the widely expected resignation of Lai, the second premier to quit since Tsai took office in 2016. It is standard practice in Taiwan for leaders to quit when their party loses a major election.

Two months ago, Tsai immediately resigned as chair of the DPP after it won just six out of 22 local authorities while the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party, seen as being close to Chinatook 15 cities and counties.






INSIDE STORY: Will Taiwan vote’s outcome bring China friendly party? (24:50)

‘I must resign’

Taiwan’s premier forms the cabinet and runs the government on a day-to-day basis.

Lai took office on September 8, 2017, unveiling a reshuffled cabinet designed to boost Tsai’s declining popularity.

Tsai was expected to announce the new premier in a media briefing later on Friday, which would be followed by new ministerial appointments.

With just about a year until the next presidential election, analysts say Tsai and the new premier need to shore up public support for the government’s policy on relations with Beijing and further boost the island’s export-reliant economy in a challenging year amid a China-US trade war.

Su was appointed premier in 2006 by former president Chen Shui-bian, who infuriated Beijing and strained Taiwan’s relationship with the United States during his tenure from 2000 to 2008.

Su, who is popular among the DPP’s core supporters, has led Taiwan’s most populous New Taipei City for years. He was defeated by a candidate from the KMT in November.

Tsai has said her administration would reflect upon the election defeats but would stand firm to defend Taiwan’s democracy in the face of renewed Chinese threats.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has stepped up pressure on Taiwan since Tsai became president, threatened earlier this month to use force to bring the island under Beijing’s rule and urged “reunification”.

“The new premier not only has to focus on domestic matters but must also pay much more attention to cross-strait and national security issues,” Yao Chia-wen, a senior adviser to the president, told Reuters news agency.

He said the new premier must deal with issues including the prevention of swine fever from China, as well as possible election interference.

Some from within the embattled leader’s party have urged Tsai not to seek re-election. She has not explicitly said whether she would run for president in 2020 but has warned against Chinese efforts to interfere with elections. 


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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25 Best Senators’ Memories From 25 Years at Canadian Tire Centre

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There is a special birthday in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata this weekend.

Canadian Tire Centre turns 25. Its doors first opened on Jan. 15, 1996, for a Bryan Adams concert. The Senators played their first game in their new arena on Jan. 17, 1996, when they lost to the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

I’ve spent a great deal of my life has at that arena. I don’t know how many Sens games I have been to there — I would ballpark it somewhere between 600 and 700. But I thought it would be fun to look back and share my 25 most memorable moments at the arena. I am not counting numerous concerts as great moments in the building — I often joke that the four best concerts I have ever seen there are Garth Brooks, Garth Brooks, Garth Brooks and Garth Brooks. I am not counting the 2009 World Juniors either. I am sticking entirely to the Sens.

25. Paul MacClone

Mike Watson was just sitting in his company seats, minding his own business, watching the Ottawa Senators take on the Florida Panthers on a January night during the 2012-13 season. The casual discussion among reporters after the game was how he broke Twitter.

Watson’s friends had told him that he looked like then-Senators’ head coach Paul MacLean. When he got face time on the new high-definition scoreboard, in the front row and directly behind the coach, the crowd buzzed and cheered.

Senators coach Paul MacLean had a doppelganger behind the bench.

The shot of Watson behind the bench spread quickly on social media. Surely, everyone thought, he must have been planted in that seat. He wasn’t. The last time he had sat in those seats, Cory Clouston was the coach, and no one noticed him.

As the season went on, the MacLean doppelganger became a local celebrity and was somewhat of a mascot during Ottawa’s playoff run.

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With spare parts and derring-do, Ottawa’s own Rocketman reinvents skating

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An Ottawa man is turning heads on frozen stretches of the Ottawa River with a homemade device he jokingly refers to as his “jetpack.”

In reality, Brydon Gibson’s gas-powered, propeller-driven invention is more Rona than NASA.

“I got my hands on some weed whacker motors and I figured strapping one on my back and making skating a little bit lazier would [be] a good idea,” said Gibson, 24.

He bolted a 38-centimetre propeller to a wooden frame, fashioned a throttle out of a brake handle and cable salvaged from a 10-speed bike, then added padded straps cut from a dollar store backpack. He laced up his skates, and suddenly Gibson was zipping along at speeds reaching 40 km/h. 

“I was actually getting a little scared at one point because I was going a little too fast,” the inventor admitted.

There are no brakes, but there is kill switch to cut the power “when something goes wrong,” said Gibson. “It’s actually a little finicky.”

This is not the first iteration of Gibson’s invention. As a teen, he built an electric propulsion device in his parents’ basement, though it never got to the testing phase.

“Ever since I was a kid … I’ve been taking apart things I found on the side of the road, making a mess of my parents basement, spreading electronics everywhere,” he said.

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‘It is frustrating’: U.S-educated nurse from Ottawa hits barriers to getting licensed in Ontario

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Before she accepted a swimming scholarship to attend Boston’s Northeastern University, Ottawa’s Rachael Geiger made sure it had the kind of nursing program she wanted. The school’s baccalaureate nursing program offered a fifth year of co-operative placement after four years of study — something Geiger thought would leave her well prepared for a career as a nurse when she returned home after university.

But it hasn’t worked out that way.

Two and a half years after graduating summa cum laude from Northeastern, the 25-year-old is unable to work as a registered nurse in Ontario.

Geiger said she was initially surprised, especially since she wrote the same licensing exam in Massachusetts as is written in Ontario, the NCLEX-RN exam. She is licensed to practise in Massachusetts and Illinois.

“I never thought it would be such a challenge.”

She and her family are frustrated at how difficult it has been for her to get registered to be able to practise in Ontario. That frustration is heightened by the fact that nurses have seldom been in such high demand in Canada and around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic strains health systems and shortages loom. Local hospitals are among those trying to recruit nurses. The Canadian Nurses Association has been warning that Canada will experience extreme shortages in coming years.

“It is frustrating to sit and see all the news about nursing shortages and not be able to help,” said Geiger.

Doris Grinspun, chief executive officer of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, the professional association that represents registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in the province, said she was “more than surprised” to hear of the difficulty Geiger has had.

But Grinspun, who initially studied nursing in Israel and then the U.S. before becoming one of the country’s nursing leaders, said the system of allowing foreign trained nurses to work in Ontario is unnecessarily slow and complicated and leads many valuable nurses to simply give up or find another career. Grinspun herself challenged the system when she first came to work in Ontario.

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