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Taiwan opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen registered Sunday as a candidate in the party's primary ahead of Taiwan's leadership election next year.
As of press time Ivan Marcano Jersey , Tsai is the only DPP member in the running for the election, as Tainan Mayor William Lai and former DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang, both previously considered to be potential leadership candidates, have decided not to run. Tsai paid NTD$5 million ($161,000) in registration and polling fees.
It will be the second attempt by Tsai, 59, to become Taiwan's leader after she lost to incumbent leader Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT) in the 2012 race. Formerly a university law professor, Tsai joined the DPP in 2004 and was elected as a legislator.
Tsai was first elected DPP chairwoman in 2008, becoming the first female chairperson of one of Taiwan's major political parties. She was re-elected twice as DPP chairperson in 2010 and 2014.
Tsai served as Taiwan's mainland affairs chief from 2000 to 2004 when Chen Shui-bian was the island's leader and held the post of deputy chief administrator in 2006 and 2007.
The DPP began its candidate nomination process for the election on Thursday last week. Those who want to register for the party primary can apply until Monday.
The ruling KMT has not yet started its nomination process.
Tsai said on her Facebook account Saturday that "I am neither Chen Shui-bian nor Ma Ying-jeou. I am Tsai Ing-wen and I have my dreams and determination. I believe that bold implementation of policies should be backed by calm thoughts and breaking through difficulties needs strong will."
She also said that it is a time to build a new age that belongs to the public, adding that she does not mean to bring Taiwan into an age of the DPP or an age of Tsai, but an age of new politics of transparency, honesty and tolerance and the clear division of power and responsibilities.
Tsai wrote that Taiwan needs reform, which will certainly bring pains and therefore, she will "unite all social powers and we together work out various problems in a steady step."
Orlando gunman Omar Mateen apparently made a series of Facebook posts and searches before and during his attack on a gay nightclub, raging against the "filthy ways of the west" and blaming the U.S. for the deaths of "innocent women and children," according to a Senate committee letter released Wednesday.
The killer whose rampage left 49 people dead also searched for "Pulse Orlando" and "Shooting" online on the morning of the carnage Sunday and said on Facebook: "America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic state," according to the letter.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee sent the letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asking the company to produce information on Mateen's online activity and to provide a briefing to the panel.
The letter illuminating Mateen's state of mind in the final hours of his life was released as the long, sad procession of memorials and funerals for the victims began in Orlando and as the FBI appealed for the public's help in reconstructing the killer's movements. The FBI is also trying to establish how much Mateen's wife may have known about the attack at Pulse dance club.
"We need your help in developing the most complete picture of what he did and why he did it," FBI agent Ron Hopper said at a news conference.
Mateen posted on Facebook moments before the attack began, said a source familiar with the situation who is not authorized to speak publicly.
In its letter, the committee said staffers have learned that five Facebook accounts were associated with the 29-year-old American-born Muslim.
"The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west," Mateen wrote, according to the letter from committee chairman Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican. Johnson did not say how he learned of the posts other than to cite "information obtained by my staff."
As he did in his call to a 911 operator during the massacre, Mateen pledged his allegiance on Facebook to the leader of the Islamic State and, in his final post, warned: "in the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic state in the usa."
Despite his professed loyalty to the extremist group, the Obama administration has said it has seen no evidence that the shooting rampage was directed by the Islamic State.
A spokesman for the FBI did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday evening, and Facebook had no immediate comment.
The three-hour rampage began at 2 a.m. Sunday and ended with Mateen being killed by a police SWAT team. The FBI said it is still gathering evidence at the Pulse and analyzing cellphone location data to piece together Mateen's activities leading up to the massacre, while also interviewing people who had any dealings with him.
On Saturday night, hours before the rampage, Mateen visited Disney Springs, an outdoor restaurant, retail and entertainment complex at Walt Disney World, an official who was briefed on the case but insisted on anonymity to discuss the continuing investigation told The Associated Press.
The official said it is not clear what Mateen was up to.
Meanwhile, drag queens and motorcyclists turned out to pay their respects at an evening visitation at a funeral parlor for Javier Jorge-Reyes, a 40-year-old salesman and makeup artist.
Members of the SWAT team underwent a stress-management debriefing Wednesday, as hundreds of others involved in the response to the shooting have done, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said. Further counseling is being made available.
"These are some of the bravest toughest men I know," Mina said. "No one can prepare you for what those officers encountered that night. They stood toe-to-toe and went face-to-face with a mass murderer, and I'm extremely proud of that."
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