TIME Mobile

How Apple’s New Emoji Could Anger China

A simple flag can be a big political statement

Apple is adding a new emoji to its iPhone operating system that could anger leaders in one of its most important markets.

The Taiwanese flag will be available on Apple keyboards for the first time when iOS 9 launches in the fall, according to Emojipedia, a website that tracks emoji updates. The sovereign status of Taiwan is a hotly contested issue in Asia, as China has identified the independently run state as a “renegade province” that needs to be reunified with the mainland. China openly opposes any references to Taiwanese independence.

The new flag could strain relations between Apple and China, which has in the past used its state broadcaster to call the iPhone a security threat. China is also well-known for its strict censorship policies on digital communications.

Apple generated nearly $17 billion in sales in Greater China (which includes Taiwan) in the first three months of 2015, making it the company’s second most important region by revenue generation after the Americas.

TIME Taiwan

‘Nervous’ Pilot in Transasia Crash Turned Off Wrong Engine

TVBS Taiwan—AFP/Getty Images This screen grab taken from a video shows a TransAsia ATR 72-600 turboprop plane clipping an elevated motorway and hitting a taxi (C) before crashing into the Keelung river outside Taiwan's capital Taipei in New Taipei City on Feb. 4, 2015.

"Wow, pulled back on the wrong side throttle"

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A pilot described by colleagues as nervous and hasty mistakenly throttled down a still-running engine following a glitch with the other engine in an airline crash that killed 43 people in Taiwan in February, flight safety officials said Thursday.

A preliminary investigation after the Feb. 4 crash of TransAsia flight GE235 already had indicated that the pilot shut off the remaining engine after one of them went idle. But the account Thursday by Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council — while not assigning blame — added additional details about the crash and the background of the pilot, including that he had failed a flight simulator test as recently as May 2014.

Both the pilot and co-pilot died.

Minutes after takeoff in Taipei, a ribbon-like sensor connector in the automated flight system failed and put one engine into a mode that effectively cut its power to the aircraft, Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council Executive Director Thomas Wang told a news conference.

The engine’s condition, useful in other cases to reduce torque, generated a flame-out warning in the cockpit 37 seconds after takeoff, according to a report by the council. However, it says the engine itself was technically still capable of providing power to the ATR-72 aircraft. The aircraft was also designed to fly on one engine.

“The sensor connector, in layman’s terms, you would say was in a situation where it didn’t connect normally,” Wang said.

Seconds later, the pilot said he would pull back on the throttle to the plane’s other engine, which showed no mechanical trouble, the council’s report indicates. Normally, a pilot would throttle back to cut the flamed-out engine to avoid further problems and rely on the still-running engine for power.

“If engine two has flamed out, you would shut off engine two, that’s normal logic,” Wang said.

Eight seconds before the crash, the council’s report states, the pilot said in Chinese: “Wow, pulled back on the wrong side throttle.”

The pilot in command had failed a flight simulator test in May 2014 and passed it the following month with further training, the council’s report says.

He had been described in post-crash interviews with colleagues as “a little nervous during line operations,” and a person who “had a tendency of rushing to perform the procedures without coordination with the (co-pilot),” according to the report.

An automatic system to control power upon takeoff had not been armed while the plane was on the ground in Taipei but kicked in seconds later, the agency’s report said. The pilot knew about this outage but authorized takeoff, the report shows. It was not clear if that glitch had any connection with the engine going idle.

The automatic takeoff power control system maker in the United States has joined Taiwan’s investigation, Wang said.

The flight had left Taipei’s Songshan airport for the outlying Taiwan-controlled islands of Kinmen. Video captured on dashboard cameras showed the plane flying on its side over an elevated road, clipping a fence, light pole and passing taxi shortly before plunging into the Keelung River in a heavily populated part of Taipei.

The flight was carrying 53 passengers, three crew members and two flight attendants. Fifteen people escaped the aircraft alive.

The 64-year-old airline had no immediate comment on the Aviation Safety Council’s findings, but a company publicist said officials may make a statement later Thursday. Another domestic TransAsia flight crashed on July 23 last year, killing 48 people aboard.

The Aviation Safety Council anticipates finishing a full investigation on the February crash by April 2016.

TIME Taiwan

Hundreds Injured in Taiwan Water Park Fire

Taiwan park fire
EPA Taiwanese push a young man suffering from burns on his legs to an ambulance at the Formosa Fun Coast park in the Bali District of New Taipei City, northern Taiwan, June 27, 2015.

The fire's cause is under investigation

More than 200 people were injured in a fire that broke out at a water park in Taipei, Taiwan on Saturday.

The fire ignited in the midst of “colour play” party at the Formosa Water Park, which featured music and dancing. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but BBC reports it may have sparked when a colored powder being thrown on the audience burst into flame.

There were at least 215 people injured, with 83 of them suffering severe burns, BBC reports. There were about 1,000 people near a stage where the fire started.

The fire was brought under control.


TIME Behind the Photos

Behind TIME’s Cover With Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen

Photograph by Adam Ferguson for TIME

Photographer Adam Ferguson explains his approach

Tsai Ing-wen, who is running for president in Taiwan, is on the cover of this week’s edition of TIME Asia. Freelance photographer Adam Ferguson, who authored the cover portrait, takes us behind the scenes:

“The shoot followed a morning interview by TIME’s Emily Rauhala and Zoher Abdoolcarim in Taipei,” Ferguson tells TIME. “I was setting up a studio on location and I was nervous I wouldn’t get [a lot of] time, but Tsai was very relaxed and happy to work with me.”

Ferguson was allocated 20 minutes with Tsai, which he felt would be enough.

“It was my initial idea to light Tsai with a traditional butterfly beauty lighting set up,” he says, referring to the lighting style that creates a butterfly-shaped shadow under the subject’s nose.I thought [this style] was simple enough to allow her personality to speak rather than the lighting being too dominant.” But, as the shoot started, Ferguson thought it wasn’t working. “I really wasn’t happy with the results I was getting,” he says. “The portraits I made were two-dimensional and didn’t capture the political aspirations inherent to Tsai and her party, so after about 15 minutes I asked Tsai [for] a break.”

Ferguson had followed Tsai the previous day. “She had seen me dripping with sweat jostling with Taiwanese photographers trying to make a candid image of her traveling, so I think she recognized that I was serious about making an image that I was happy with and agreed to the extra time,” he says.

Ferguson chose a lighting technique that was more dramatic with harsher shadows. “It gave her face more shape, accentuated her features and in my opinion promoted a more complex reading of her,” he says. “I enjoy political portraiture because there is space to capture personalities in a way that is rawer than the visual tools used in the fashion or commercial world of imagery. I have deliberately not pandered to a visual language that accentuates youth. Our daily lives are already saturated with imagery like this, through advertising, and my intent was for this to be a strong character-driven portrait that speaks about aspiration more than beauty.”

The resulting portrait, which appeared on the cover of TIME’s Asia edition, has been the subject of intense debate in Taiwan, with some accusing the photographer of making Tsai look older than she is.

Ferguson is unfazed by the controversy. “With Tsai I was hoping to capture an expression that was serious, contemplative and strong—all emotions that I believed epitomized her current political aspirations,” he says. “I suspect people are surprised by a lighting style with high contrast because it is not the way subjects are lit in more conventional context.”

And, he adds, giving her face extra depth gives viewers more to look at — and, in this case, more to talk about.

Read TIME’s interview with Tsai Ing-wen.

Adam Ferguson is a freelance photographer based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

TIME France

Thieves Stole More Than $5 Million Worth of Chanel Jewels in a Paris Smash-and-Grab

French police are hunting three perpetrators

A Taiwanese art collector was robbed Thursday of nearly $5.4 million worth of Chanel jewels near Paris, France when her taxi was traveling through a long tunnel between the city and Charles De Gaulle Airport that has become infamous for theft.

French police are hunting three perpetrators who smashed the car window and snatched the woman’s handbag before escaping.

It has not been confirmed if the thieves were aware of the jewelry in the woman’s handbag or if they targeted the taxi at random, but police did point out that the uniqueness of the jewels would make them difficult to sell without a developed network.

According to Agence France-Presse, the woman said the jewels were meant to be displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. The museum has denied the claim.

Almost 1 mile (0.8 km) long, Landy Tunnel is the most common transit route taken to Paris from Charles De Gaulle Airport. Notable robberies include a 2010 smash-and-grab committed upon the daughter of the mayor of Kiev and a spectacular armed assault on a Saudi prince last August.

TIME Food & Drink

You Won’t Believe Where the World’s Best Whiskey Comes From

Taiwan Whisky Winner
Wally Santana—AP A visitor walks past casks at the Kavalan whiskey distillery in Yilan County, Taiwan

Sorry, Scotland. Nice try, Japan

Taiwan’s Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique is now officially the best single malt whiskey on earth, according to the World Whiskies Awards.

The contest’s judges described the malt as “surprisingly smooth on the palate” and added: “it’s like Bourbon infused milk chocolate.”

The spirit is produced at the King Car distillery in northeastern Taiwan’s Yilan County, where the whiskey is aged in American oak barrels that once stored white and red wines.

The distillery, which went operational just a decade ago, has been racking up a plethora of awards in recent years and getting nods from some of the world’s top single-malt connoisseurs. In 2012, the acclaimed guide Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible named Kavalan’s Solist Fino Sherry Cask malt the “new whisky of the year.”

Read next: Calorie Count Coming Soon to a Can of Guinness Near You

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Internet

New Google Doodle Honors Instant-Noodle Inventor Momofuku Ando


Peel off lid. Pour boiling water. Steep for three minutes. Stir well and serve.

Thursday marks the 105th birthday of Taiwanese-Japanese inventor Momofuku Ando, whose instant noodles revolutionized the food world, and Google is honoring this king of quick cuisine with a new Google Doodle.

As TIME wrote back in 2006, “In 1958, Momofuku Ando, an unassuming entrepreneur living in Osaka, created the instant noodle — and a continent has been feasting on his invention ever since.”

However, the road was not easy for the founder of Nissin Food Products. Ando struggled to find the right balance and create noodles that were tasty but did not become mush when boiled. The secret, learned from his wife, was to spray the noodles with chicken soup and then fry them in tempura oil.

The instant noodle, a dietary staple for every college student from Asia to America, had come to fruition.

Ando was born during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan in 1910, moved to Japan at the age of 23 became a Japanese citizen following World War II. He died in Osaka on Jan. 5, 2007, at the age of 96.

Read next: New Google Doodle Honors Inventor of Flat Map Gerardus Mercator

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME portfolio

The Best Pictures of the Week: Jan. 30 – Feb. 6

From New York’s deadly train crash and night surfing in the Mediterranean sea to China’s traditional eagle hunters and a Fifty Shades of Grey inspired “Fifty Shades of Cake” exhibition in England, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

TIME Taiwan

TransAsia Death Toll Hits 35 as Officials Point to Engine Failure

At least one of the engines failed just seconds into the flight

TransAsia Airways Flight 235 experienced engine failure shortly before it crashed in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, on Wednesday, says Thomas Wang, executive director of Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council.

According to the Associated Press, Wang said that one of the engines failed 37 seconds after the flight became airborne. The other engine, based on a preliminary review of the flight-data recorder, may have been shut down by the pilots in a bid to restart them both. But it is still too early to draw firm conclusions.

In a distress call made by the pilot before the plane went down, he can be heard saying, “Mayday mayday, engine flameout.”

The news comes as TransAsia announced that the death toll had risen to 35, after search teams recovered more bodies from Taipei’s Keelung River.

Officials said 15 people were injured and eight, all Chinese nationals, were still missing, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Flight 235 clipped a bridge and crashed into the river shortly after takeoff from Songshan Airport on Wednesday. The plane lost communication with air-traffic control four minutes after takeoff. It was heading to the Kinmen islands and most of those on board were Chinese tourists.


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