Mother asks Ma for help
The mother of Fryderyk Frontier, a US citizen who went missing in Taiwan in late May, called on Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday help in the search for her son. Barbara Klita, who sold her house to pay for airplane tickets, has made several trips to Taiwan since June. This time she appealed to the mayor for help. Ma told Klita that his heart goes out to her for her missing son, who arrived in Taiwan in May to take up an English-teaching job in Taipei. Ma promised Klita to do what he could to find Frontier. Ma then picked up the phone and called Hualien government officials. The eastern Taiwan county was where Frontier was reportedly last seen. Deputy Hualien County Chief Chu Ching-peng (朱景鵬) promised Ma that he will see to it that county police step up efforts in the search for Frontier and that Chu himself will meet with Klita shortly to gain a better understanding of the incident. Over the past several months, Klita has walked busy streets and railway and MRT stations in Taipei City, wearing a sandwich-board showing Frontier's name and photograph and asking pedestrians in broken Chinese "Have you seen him?"
■ Legal Battle
Deadline for Iruan's return
The Kaohsiung District Court in southern Taiwan has set a deadline for the return of a Taiwanese-Brazilian boy to his legal guardian in Brazil, judicial sources said yesterday. The court served notice to the Taiwanese family of Iruan Ergui Wu (吳憶樺) on Dec. 25 demanding it hand over the 8-year-old boy to his grandmother's representative in Taiwan within 20 days. Iruan's Brazilian grand-mother, Rosa Leocadia Silva Ergui, has authorized Paulo Pinto, Brazil's de facto ambassador to Taiwan, to take the boy back to Brazil on her behalf. Iruan's Taiwanese family said they will file an application with the court today to secure more time to prepare for Iruan's return to Brazil.
■ Mad Cow Disease
Taiwan bans US meat
The Council of Agriculture said yesterday Taiwan would join other countries in banning the import of US beef and related products. The council said the import of the meat of cattle, sheep and goats, whether fresh, frozen or otherwise, from the US is prohibited. Taiwan temporarily suspended US beef imports last week, hours after US agricultural authorities said a cow had tested positive for the disease in the northwestern state of Washington. The discovery of mad cow disease in the US has prompted some Taiwanese to give up eating beef, and has forced some restaurants and supermarkets to remove US beef from their menu or shelves.
Relief group arrives in Iran
A 19-member group from the Tzu Chi Buddhist Compassionate Relief Foundation (慈濟功德會), Taiwan's largest charity organization, arrived in Tehran at around 2am yesterday to help with relief work for Iranian earthquake victims. The members of the Tzu Chi relief group brought the foundation's first batch of supplies, including 100 medical supply kits, 11,000 blankets, as well as food supplies and bottled water, to those injured or made homeless by the earthquake. Meanwhile, a 60-member Taiwanese rescue team left for Iran Saturday evening to join search and rescue operations in the ancient Iranian city of Bam. A relief group from World Vision Taiwan is scheduled to arrive in Tehran this morning, bringing its first batch of relief supplies. The supplies are worth about US$25,000.
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
CAUTION: The CECC would first observe how the nation fares after easing domestic restrictions and wait for the pandemic to further subside before making its next move The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that relaxing domestic restrictions and border controls simultaneously might complicate efforts to reopen the nation, amid discussions about Taiwan’s exclusion by other countries in their first lists of tourists. The center hopes for there to be a period of observation following the easing of domestic restrictions, before it decides what to do next, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a daily news briefing in Taipei. Chen was responding to a question about the reasoning behind the central government’s decision not to allow foreign students into the
Taiwan respects other countries’ decisions not to include it in their first lists of tourists allowed entry when they reopen their borders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday reported that the Japanese government was considering reopening the country to tourists from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand first. Greece on Friday announced that from June 15, it would allow visitors from 29 countries, including Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and Germany. Japan has not yet finalized its visitor list, but the ministry has conveyed its hope that Tokyo would