■ Crime \nBaseball star jailed \nFormer baseball star Chen Yi-hsin (陳義信) faces a stretch in prison after being convicted for tax evasion and handed a four-month sentence by the Taipei District Court yesterday. Between 1997 and 1999, Chen was said to have filed misleading donation figures to a Buddhist foundation to receive larger tax deductions. During the investigation into Chen's case, 30 more cases of tax evasion involving the same foundation were discovered. The prominent Aboriginal sporting star had a career in the local Professional Baseball League. He also ran for a seat on the Taipei City Council last year and in the legislature in 2001, but failed to win election both times. \n■ Health \nSARS patient on the mend \nTaiwan's only confirmed SARS patient this winter, Lieutenant Colonel Chan, has been steadily recovering from the killer disease, Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital officials said yesterday. The 44-year-old Chan, who has been receiving treatment at Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital since last Wednesday, has seen a remarkable increase in his blood's oxygen content, and his lung inflammation has stopped increasing, the officials said. Hospital president Chu Ta-cheng (璩大成) said Sunday that Chan was recovering satisfactorily. He has been able to breathe without the use of a respirator since early Sunday morning. The 15 people who had come into close contact with Chan were removed from the watch list on Sunday after not displaying any SARS symptoms over the previous 10 days, Chu said. \n■ Cross-Strait Ties \nKinmen seeks holiday thaw \nKinmen County Government authorities yesterday called for the Mainland Affairs Council to relax regulations on travel via the three links as the New Year holiday season approaches. The Kinmen authorities said they want the regulations relaxed to allow Taiwan businesspeople maintaining business operations beyond Fujian Province to use the route for the holiday period. The Kinmen officials appealed for an increase in the regular ferry service between Kinmen and Xiamen from the existing 12 ferries a week on four weekdays to 21 per week with service every day. Currently, Kinmen's Shuitou Port is allowed to operate three two-way ferries to Xiamen on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. \n■ Defense \nRadar system in spotlight \nTaiwan's defense officials are fiercely debating the selection of an early-warning system to guard against a possible missile attack by China, according to a report to be published this week. US defense suppliers Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are slugging it out for the multi-million dollar contract, the authoritative Jane's Missiles and Rockets weekly will say in its Thursday edition. "Both companies are making claims that are not realistic -- squabbling over which radar could see a butterfly flying along in Fujian Province," a US Pentagon official said. "Both companies are saying things like, `Our radar can do 90 percent of the job for just 10 percent of the costs of the other guy.' It's just ridiculous." Taiwanese officials are pointing out that Taiwan already has a variety of tactical long-range radars and is currently developing a new system which has a range of 1,000km.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan