By Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard TAIPEI (Reuters) - Voters in Taiwan have delivered a strong rebuke to the island's pro-independence ruling party in local elections, emboldening the China-friendly opposition, one of whose main figures says he will now reach out to Beijing to forge more friendly ties. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered major elections loss on Saturday, losing two key mayoral races, while the opposition Kuomintang took or retained control of 15 cities and counties, leaving the DPP with only six. With little more than a year before presidential elections, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who has had tense relations with Beijing since her election in 2016, on Saturday took responsibility for her party's losses and resigned as DPP chairwoman. The Kuomintang mayor-elect of the southern port city of Kaohsiung, formerly a DPP stronghold, moved swiftly on Saturday night to reach out to China, telling local media he will set up a working group on China relations and will break down barriers. "We have no walls around our hearts," said Han Kuo-yu, who has previously described Taiwan independence as being "more scary" than syphilis. The Kuomintang has sent delegations to China since Tsai took office, where they have been warmly received. China has refused to have direct contacts with Tsai's administration. China, which claims Taiwan as a wayward province, said the elections showed people wanted peaceful relations with Beijing. "The results reflected the strong will of the Taiwan public in hoping to continue to share the benefits of the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait, and their strong wish in hoping to improve the island's economy and people's wellbeing," said a statement by China's policy-making Taiwan Affairs Office and carried by state media. Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said China should respect Taiwan's internal affairs and democracy and not "interpret the expectations of Taiwan's people toward relations across the Taiwan Strait". In an implicit warning to China not to contact newly-elected Kuomintang officials, the council said deliberately political Chinese approaches to local governments and people would not help "positive interactions" with Taiwan. Voters also rejected a referendum that would have seen the island join the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as Taiwan, rather than "Chinese Taipei", a move which would have angered Beijing. China's Taiwan Affairs Office said it showed voters "putting Taiwanese athletes' interests at stake is against people's will". "The attempts of 'Taiwan independence' are doomed to fail," it added. The WeChat account of the overseas edition of the Communist Party's official People's Daily said Han had realized one important reality: "Taiwan will only be good if relations across the Taiwan Strait are good". China is suspicious that Tsai wants formal independence, a red line for Beijing which regards Taiwan as its own. Tsai says she wants only the status quo with China, but will defend Taiwan's security. Chinese law mandates the use of force to prevent the island from seceding. Tensions across the Taiwan Strait have heightened with China conducting military drills around the island and snatching away Taiwan's dwindling number of diplomatic allies. DPP Secretary General Hung Yao-fu, asked on Saturday about whether the China factor had played a role in influencing the elections, reiterated there had been a problem with "fake news". "I think this time was a deep lesson, in terms of fake news messing up with a lot of people's judgment or not getting clear information," he told reporters. "This is a global problem not just Taiwan's unique problem." SPECIAL MARRIAGE EQUALITY LAW Taiwanese voters on Saturday also rejected a referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage, another blow for Tsai, who in her 2016 campaign promised marriage equality. However, she has made little progress on the issue. In an Asian first, Taiwan's constitutional court declared in May of last year that same-sex couples had the right to legally marry, and set a two-year deadline for legalization. But voters instead backed a referendum that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. "This is a victory for all the people who support family values and education for the next generation," the Coalition for the Happiness of Our Next Generation, a group opposed to same-sex marriage, said in a statement. Taiwan cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka told Reuters a special law will be drafted for marriage equality, and that the government continued to support the issue. Rights activists called a special law for same-sex marriage "discriminatory" and that the referendum was illegal and against the constitution. Dozens of supporters for marriage equality gathered in the capital Taipei early on Sunday, with some weeping as the result became clear. Chi Chia-wei, a veteran gay rights activist, said he remained positive about the fight for equality. "The ones opposing us are getting fewer and fewer," he told Reuters. Taiwan's capital Taipei celebrates an annual gay pride parade that showcases the vibrancy of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The one-week celebration in October, largest in Asia, contributes more than $3.3 million to the economy, according to Taipei Times. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee; Additional reporting by Jess Macy Yu, and David Stanway in Shanghai; Editing by Michael Perry)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
It's "not an agenda," the Watergate journalist told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
- The Daily Beast
YouTubeThe last text Gabby Petito sent before she went missing while road-tripping across the U.S. with her fiancé set off alarm bells for her mother, who became fearful for the 22-year-old’s safety after receiving the “odd” message.That’s according to a newly-unsealed search warrant giving North Port, Florida, police permission to search a hard drive investigators found in Petito’s white van, which she and Brian Laundrie, 23, had been using to tour the country’s national parks.“The text message
- The Daily Beast
LAPDA mom and daughter who allegedly posed as plastic surgery pros have been charged with murder after an aspiring adult film actress’ illegal butt augmentation surgery turned deadly.Libby Adame, 51, and Alicia Galaz, 23, were arrested Aug. 5 in Riverside, California, in connection with the death of 26-year-old Karissa Rajpaul, who died at a local hospital hours after she underwent the botched procedure.The Los Angeles Police Department told local outlets that the two women posed as specialists
Search warrant for Brian Laundrie: Gabby Petito's mom says conversations and texts with her appeared to show 'more and more tension' between couple
The tenor of some messages, followed by a lack of communication from Petito, is what led her mother to contact authorities, according to the warrant.
Brian Laundrie's sister shared texts and postcards she said were from Gabby Petito, not long after a body was found in the search
Brian Laundrie's sister Cassie - the only family member to talk directly to media - shared postcards she said were from Gabby Petito's road trip.
- Women's Health
"Shody still got it… shody never lost it 😂"
- Harper's Bazaar
Issa Rae at the Emmys. Megan Fox at the VMAs. Zoë Kravitz and Kendall Jenner at the Met Gala. Is this what a post-Victoria's Secret world looks like?
- Entertainment Weekly
Dancing With the Stars recap: See who earned the lowest score by doing something completely different
Jojo Siwa danced last with a female partner, a show first.
"I'm Literally Shaking," This Woman Said After Finding An AirTag On Her Car And Realizing Someone Was Tracking Her
"I'm literally shaking — look what I just found on my car."View Entire Post ›
- NBC Sports
Marcos Alonso has explained why he will no longer take the knee before Premier League games.
- Good Housekeeping
We did not expect this! 🙌
- The Daily Beast
via YouTubeAs authorities double down on search efforts Tuesday for the fiancé of 22-year-old YouTuber Gabby Petito, new details have emerged about what led the FBI to the body believed to be hers outside Grand Teton National Park.A graphic designer who was at the Bridger-Teton National Forest in late August may have been the key to authorities finding the body over the weekend. The grim discovery turned a high-profile missing-person’s case into a potential murder mystery, with a nomadic “van-li
'If communities like The Villages represent the future of aging, please count me out' — Why an expert on aging has concerns about this type of 55+ residence.
- WPTZ - Burlington/Plattsburgh
A South Carolina man wanted for allegedly trying to kill someone was arrested in Vermont late Monday night.
An Arches National Park ranger warned Gabby Petito that her relationship with Brian Laundrie seemed 'toxic' after their fight in Utah
"I was imploring with her to reevaluate the relationship," National Park Service ranger Melissa Hulls told Deseret News.
Close-ups of footage said to show Gabby Petito's van near where a body was found appear to show the rear door closing
A YouTubing family said it caught footage of Petito's van unoccupied. Zoomed in, the footage suggests the rear door closed as the family approached.
- The Telegraph
Wuhan scientists were planning to release enhanced airborne coronaviruses into Chinese bat populations to inoculate them against diseases that could jump to humans, leaked grant proposals dating from 2018 show.
The late-night host spots a flaw in the latest right-wing logic.
There's a unique explanation here.
- LA Times
Check out the latest updates on the USC football coaching search. Penn State coach James Franklin is considered a top candidate; Urban Meyer is not.