Taiwan train derailment in Yilan County kills at least 18

Railway authorities say they are investigating the accident, which happened in Yilan County at about 16:50 local time (08:50 GMT) on Sunday.

A total of 366 people were on the train travelling between Taipei and the eastern county of Taitung when all eight of its carriages derailed.

The authorities now say they have freed everyone from the wreckage.

The Puyuma Express 6432 service reportedly came off the tracks close to Xinma station, near the town of Su'ao about 70km (43 miles) from Taipei.

Kiribati and Nauru urge UN to recognise Taiwan

Kiribati President, Taneti Maamau, made the call while addressing the Assembly in New York.

He said the meeting's theme implied that the UN is one family, so Taiwan should be included in international processes and discussions.

"This theme will be irrelevant if the UN continues to ignore the 20 million people who live and contribute to our shared home and continue to exclude them from the process."

Nauru President, Baron Waqa, backed up sentiments and said making the United Nations relevant to all people, must include the people of Taiwan.

Nauru and Taiwan sign law enforcement agreement

The agreement was signed this week in Taipei by Nauru's Police Commissioner Corey Caleb and the Director General for the Taiwan National Police Agency Ja-Chin Chen.

The agreement sets out the framework for developing police cooperation and combating transnational crime.

Commissioner Caleb said the partnership was a significant milestone between the two countries

The scope of cooperation includes the exchange of personnel, study and training programmes, technical assistance and information sharing.


Taiwan grants visa-free entry to Nauru nationals

Starting June 1, Nauru nationals will enjoy reciprocal visa-free entry for visits of up to 30 days, while Tuvalu citizens will get reciprocal visa-free stays of up to 90 days, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) statement.

The decision was made based on the principle of reciprocity as the two countries have already granted Taiwan passport holders visa-waiver entry, according to MOFA.

Nauru promises to speak for Taiwan on international stage

Visiting Nauru President Baron Divavesi Waqa made the promise at a meeting with Tsai Monday. He also expressed thanks for various assistance Nauru has been offered by the Taiwan government.

Describing relations between Nauru and Taiwan as stable, Waqa said his country will continue its support for Taiwan and do its utmost to speak for the country on the international stage.

Nauru to receive assistance from Taiwan funding to PIF

On Wednesday in Suva, Taiwan's representative of the Trade Mission to Fiji, Herman Chiu, presented the forum with a cheque as part of his government's annual regional assistance.

The forum's deputy secretary general, Cristelle Pratt, said the assistance would support an initiative to build the capacity of the forum's smaller island states.

The small island states to receive this assistance are the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Marshall Islands, and Tuvalu.

Taiwan is closer to being 1st Asian country to allow same-sex marriage

The country's Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that current laws, which say that marriage is between a man and a woman, violate the Constitution.

The panel of judges has given the island's parliament, known as the Legislative Yuan, two years to amend or enact new laws, which could potentially make Taiwan the first place in Asia to allow same-sex marriage.

Taiwan bans slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption

The bill also prohibits those using a car or motorbike from pulling their pets alongside them on a lead as they travel.

Anyone caught breaching the order faces a large fine or up to two years in prison - and having their names and photographs made public.

The measures were introduced to improve the country's animal protection laws.

The move on Tuesday is a landmark amendment to Taiwan's Animal Protection Act, and is the first of its kind in Asia.

Taiwan hands over dengue kits to Nauru to combat outbreak

Taiwan Ambassador Joseph Chow presented the 200 kits to President Baron Waqa at the Office of the President earlier this month.

The kits are in use at the Nauru hospital.

The Nauru Health Department declared a dengue outbreak about two weeks and moved quickly to manage its spread with a week-long national cleaning drive and other activities like island-wide spraying.

Eight wellness centres have been set up around the island and with extended operating hours.

Taiwan to aid Nauru in egg production

Nauruans mainly rely on fish and canned foods for protein and lack meat and vegetable proteins, Ministry of Foreign Affairs-affiliated International Cooperation and Development Fund deputy secretary-general Chen Ai-chen said.

Citing WHO data, Chen said that one of the reasons people in South Pacific nations are prone to obesity and diabetes is their diet.

The Taipei Times reports Taiwan hopes to help boost egg production in Nauru to 1.2 million by 2019, Chen said, adding that it also hopes to hold a medical tour of 480 chicken coops and pigsties around the Pacific nation.