City speaker jumps to death after Taiwan mayor recall vote

Mayor Han Kuo-yu speaks to the media in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on June 6, 2020 as city residents voted to oust him from office. (FTV via AP Video)
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Updated 07 June 2020

City speaker jumps to death after Taiwan mayor recall vote

  • Hsu Kun-yuan jumped to his death from his 17th-floor apartment a few hours after the announcement of Han’s defeat, say police

TAIPEI: The speaker of the city council in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung jumped to his death late on Saturday after the mayor lost a highly-charged recall vote, casting a deep pall over what was an already acrimonious campaign.
Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, from the main opposition party the Kuomintang (KMT) which traditionally favors close ties with China, was soundly beaten in the recall vote, accusing the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of smearing his name to get him out of office.
Han had also been the KMT’s presidential candidate, and lost badly to President Tsai Ing-wen in January’s polls.
Kaohsiung police said city council speaker Hsu Kun-yuan jumped to his death from his 17th-floor apartment a few hours after the announcement of Han’s defeat, though the case is still being investigated.
Hsu, 63, was a strong Han supporter and like him a member of the KMT.
Han wrote on his Facebook page that he was heartbroken.
“I am very, very grieved, and have no words to express what I feel in my heart,” he said.
KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang, who took over after January’s defeat promising a thorough party overhaul including rethinking its unpopular policy of seeking closer ties with China, expressed his sorrow and called for calm to prevail after the recall vote.
“The sudden death of the speaker makes us worry that social antagonism has intensified.”
The DPP said it was shocked by the news, and called for people not to speculate about what had happened before the police had completed their investigations.
The recall vote took place against the backdrop of further tensions with China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory to be taken by force if needed.
It also happened at the same time as renewed anti-government protests in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong against Beijing-backed national security legislation.
The protesters have widespread public sympathy in Taiwan and have won rare cross-party support on the island.


India overtakes Russia to become world’s third highest for virus cases

Updated 06 July 2020

India overtakes Russia to become world’s third highest for virus cases

  • The health ministry said 697,358 cases had now been recorded, a rise of 24,000 in the last 24 hours
  • India has registered 19,963 deaths from the virus

NEW DELHI: India announced Monday that it has nearly 700,000 coronavirus cases, taking it past Russia to become the third-hardest-hit nation in the global pandemic.
The health ministry said 697,358 cases had now been recorded, a rise of 24,000 in 24 hours, while Russia has just over 681,000.
The United States and Brazil have the highest numbers of cases but India’s tally is not expected to peak for several more weeks and experts predict the one million figure will be passed this month.

India has registered 19,963 deaths from the virus, a much lower number than many other badly hit countries.
India’s major cities have been worst hit by the pandemic. New Delhi and Mumbai each have about 100,000 cases, with 3,000 dead in the capital and nearly 5,000 in Mumbai.
New Delhi has opened a new 10,000-bed temporary virus hospital while other cities are tightening restrictions on movement to head off a new surge in cases.
The Kerala state capital, Thiruvananthapuram imposed a new lockdown from Monday with public transport shut and only pharmacies allowed to open. The clampdown came after hundreds of new cases were reported across the state, which had been praised for its action to curtail the pandemic.