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Six Inmates in Taiwan Hostage Standoff Commit Suicide

Six prisoners at a Taiwan jail committed suicide Thursday, ending an all-night standoff after they took the prison warden and other staff hostage to complain about "unfair trials" and demand their freedom, officials said.

The prisoners shot themselves inside Kaohsiung city prison -- one of the biggest jails on the island -- in the early morning, the justice ministry said, adding that the hostages were released unharmed.

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Six Inmates Take Prison Staff Hostage in Taiwan

Six prison inmates in Taiwan, who are believed to be armed, have taken three staff hostage at a jail in the southern city of Kaohsiung, officials said Wednesday.

The inmates, who broke into a prison weapons room, had obtained four rifles and six handguns and taken the prison chief and two other staff members captive, deputy justice minister Chen Ming-tang said.

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TransAsia Offers $470,000 Compensation to Crash Families

Taiwan's TransAsia Airways announced Wednesday that it would pay nearly half a million dollars in compensation to relatives of each of the victims of a dramatic plane crash earlier this month.

The offer of Tw$14.9 million ($470,000) for each family comes seven months after the airline made a similar payout to the families of 48 passengers killed in another crash last July.

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Taiwan Charges 118 People over 'Sunflower' Protests

Prosecutors in Taiwan on Tuesday charged 118 people over protests last year that saw demonstrators occupy the country's parliament for several weeks. 

Thousands of protesters took part in street demonstrations, dubbed the 'Sunflower Movement,' against a controversial trade pact with China in March, with more than 200 storming parliament.

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Taiwan's China Affairs Minister Quits over Espionage Row

Taiwan's China affairs minister Wang Yu-chi resigned Tuesday after prosecutors decided not to indict a former deputy whom he had accused of spying for Beijing. 

Wang had alleged in August that Chang Hsien-yao, a deputy minister at the Mainland Affairs Council which handles relations between Taipei and Beijing, was leaking national secrets to China.

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Taiwan Pays Homage to TransAsia Plane Crash Victims

Flags across Taiwan flew at half mast Tuesday to pay homage to the 40 people killed in a TransAsia plane crash last week, as divers battled cold weather to find the last three people missing.

"In order to mourn TransAsia Airways GE-235, all government units and schools will fly flags at half mast on Tuesday," the government said.

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Rescuers Scour Taiwan Crash Site as Pilot Hailed a Hero

Taiwan rescuers scoured a river for 12 people still missing from a TransAsia plane crash Thursday, as the pilot, who died in the crash, was hailed a hero for apparently battling to avoid hitting built-up areas.

Hundreds of rescuers in boats, as well as divers and soldiers mounted the search in the chilly waters, as the death toll rose to 31 with more bodies located including those of the pilot and co-pilot, authorities said.

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At Least 25 Dead as Taiwan Plane Plunges into River

At least 25 people were killed Wednesday when a passenger plane operated by TransAsia Airways clipped an overpass soon after take-off and plunged into a river in Taiwan, the airline's second crash in seven months.

As the rescue operation continued into the night, a crane lifted the rear and central sections of the plane from the water, with one body retrieved from inside.

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Chinese Official to Visit Taiwan amid Flight Routes Row

Taiwan will reiterate its opposition to Beijing's decision to open new flight routes near the island when a Chinese delegation visits for talks next month, a Taiwanese official said Thursday.

Chinese authorities reportedly hope to use the routes to ease congestion on existing paths caused by the growing volume of air traffic.

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Six Taiwan Firemen Killed in Bowling Alley Fire

Six young firemen were killed on Tuesday as they battled a blaze engulfing a bowling alley in northern Taiwan, officials said.

The men, all in their 20s, were trapped and killed in a "sudden burst of flames", which caused the partial collapse of the building in Taoyuan county. Fire had broken out in the early hours of the morning, when the venue was shut.

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