This week we mourn the death of two men, who most likely didn’t know each other, but both used their passions to fuel the gears of change. The first died at the hands of calculated human atrocity; the second at the random tragedy of life.

We mourn David Haines, a humanitarian activist who was abducted in Syria, and was shown beheaded by the militant group the Islamic State in an online video released on Saturday. He was the third victim of the Islamic State’s campaign of terror and intimidation directed towards the West, after American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Haines was 44 years old.

We also mourn Oliver Chen 陳瑞光, an instrumental volunteer during the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan. He died of a motorcycle accident early Tuesday morning. Chen handled communication from inside the occupied parliament in multiple languages with foreign media, and was a respected and accomplished law student at National Taiwan University. He is remembered warmly by his colleagues and mentors alike, who said Taiwan may have just lost a future president. Chen was 26 years old.

19th century Japanese revolutionary Yoshida Shoin said, “if in death I may accomplish that which is everlasting, may death come any time.”

We also look at:

  • While officials from Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration are still trying to identify food products made with illegal gutter oil, the latest food safety scandal has again raised alarm about Taiwan’s food-related relevant legal and procedural flaws. However, the scandal may teach lessons beyond which products to avoid…(see here)
  • On Sunday, Sweden held its regular general elections of its parliament the Riksdag, and all city councils and municipal assemblies. The incumbent center-right Alliance for Sweden bloc, led by the Moderate Party, sought a third term in office but lost to the center-left Social Democratic Party as the largest party in parliament…
  • A candlelight vigil was held on Saturday outside Liberty Square in Taipei, to pay tribute to the victims in a recent crackdown against a Tibetan community in China’s Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, located within Sichuan Province…
  • On Saturday, September 13, Taiwanese American groups held the Keep Taiwan Free rally in New York’s Times Square. Approximately 200 supporters gathered for the annual rally organized this year by Outreach for Taiwan co-directors Eric Tsai and Jenny Wang…(see here)

(Feature photo of candlelight vigil for Tibet, by Betty Wang)


The Debrief

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