■ Protests Sex workers march on TSU \n \nActivist group the Collective of Sex Workers and Supporters yesterday morning stormed the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) national congress with chants of "Don't fine Taiwanese prostitutes" and burlesque dancing. At the demonstration, collective workers asked the TSU to ensure that its candidates in the year-end legislative elections are supportive of an amendment to Article 80 of the Social Order Law (社會秩序法). The collective said that it is unfair that only sex workers and not patrons are punished for having sexual activities. The collective's secretary-general Wang Fang-ping (王芳萍) urged voters to ask their candidates to remedy the problem with promises to revise the article so that neither party in a sexual exchange is punished. \n \n■ Politics \nAnti-nuke group travels \n \nA nationwide walk to solicit support for lowering the threshold for holding a referendum on the fate of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant came to Kaohsiung yesterday. More than 30 participants wearing bamboo hats took part in the Kaohsiung leg of the walk sponsored by the Nuke-4 Referendum Initiative Association. Wu Chien-kuo (吳建國), director of the association, said the Referendum Law passed by the Legislative Yuan last November was flawed, which he said has hindered the people in exercising their democratic rights. That law has set an "unreasonably high threshold" for the public, Wu said. People must collect 800,000 signatures from eligible voters to propose a referendum. Moreover, under the law a high number of "yes" votes will decide if the referendum is effective, which he said runs counter to democratic norms. The group has staged several nationwide walks to oppose the nuclear plant in Kungliao. \n \n■ Education \nChen visits young scholars \n \nPresident Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday visited two Aboriginal students in Hsinchu who have won presidential education prizes. Chen first visited Yu Han (余涵), a junior high graduate who lives in the remote mountainous area of Chienshih village. Chen said Yu, living in an area lacking educational resources, still managed to pass the entrance examination to be a student at National Hsinchu Girls' Senior High School. "She is the pride of all her tribal neighbors," Chen said, encouraging her to study hard. Later Chen visited a tribe in the mountains where Chen Shih-wei (陳世偉) lives. Chen Shih-wei is an elementary school graduate. In addition to obtaining good marks in school, Chen Shih-wei also has to take care of his younger brothers and sisters. \n \n■ Singapore \nDrug suspects charged \n \nThree men were charged yesterday with importing controlled drugs after they were allegedly caught with 20,000 tranquilizer tablets in Singapore, authorities said. The men -- two Taiwanese and one Singaporean -- face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and 15 strokes of the cane if convicted on the charge. The bureau declined to release their names. Officers detained the trio at a hotel on Thursday night after finding Erimin 5 tablets in the possession of one of the Taiwanese men, the bureau said in a statement. The tablets were worth about S$200,000 (US$116,500), it said. Police also confiscated more than S$1,500 (US$875) of suspected drug proceeds from the Singaporean man, the bureau said.
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by