The dying words of a Washington postal worker are prompting inspectors to probe whether a central post office handled a letter containing anthrax that -- so far -- investigators had not known existed. \nThomas Morris Jr. told 911 emergency telephone operators hours before he died last month of inhaled anthrax that he thought he had the disease -- despite a doctor's dismissal. He said he recalled a co-worker having handled a powder-containing letter a week earlier. \n"My breathing is very, very labored," Morris said on the 911 tape. "I don't know if I have been, but I suspect that I might have been exposed to anthrax." \nMorris was one of two Washington postal workers who died of inhalation anthrax last month, setting off a massive investigation that has closed contaminated post offices and put thousands of workers on protective antibiotics. \nBoth men worked at the Brentwood mail processing facility, which handled the anthrax-tainted letter Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle had received a week before Morris' 911 call. \nDaschle's letter was sealed with tape. Until the Washington postal deaths, medical authorities hadn't thought that enough anthrax could escape a sealed letter to harm -- but nor did they have, until now, real reason to suspect another letter had triggered the Brentwood illnesses. \nDuring his 911 call, Morris was calm, but breathing laboriously as he described a coworker's finding an envelope containing powder. He said he hadn't handled the envelope, but had been nearby. \n"I couldn't even find out if the stuff was or it wasn't" anthrax, he said. "I was told that it wasn't, but I have a tendency not to believe these people." \n"We don't know for certain what he [was] talking about," Deborah Willhite, a Postal Service senior vice president, said on Wednesday. \nInspectors began interviewing Morris' co-workers Wednesday to try to reconstruct the event. That is difficult because they don't have access to work records inside Brentwood, which is sealed awaiting decontamination. \n"I'm not downplaying what Morris experienced because we don't know for sure, but it could or could not be a significant lead," Willhite said, noting that post offices routinely handled damaged mail containing sugar or other such substances. "We just simply won't know until we can reconstruct what went on at that point in time." \nThree days before his death, Morris had gone to a doctor who dismissed the anthrax worry.
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
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The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South