■ Crime Cambodia jails Taiwanese \n \nA Cambodian court has sentenced a sobbing Taiwanese man to 11 years in prison after he was nabbed at Phnom Penh International Airport on July 26 last year with 1.4kg of heroin strapped to his body. Pan Chin-hsiung, 45, had pleaded guilty to the charge, but denied knowing that the material he was carrying was heroin, saying a man known only as "Lim" had asked him to carry it to Taiwan when they met at a guesthouse in Phnom Penh last year. "I thought it was Chinese medicine," Pan told the court. "If I had known it was heroin I would not have done it, because if you are caught with heroin in Taiwan it is death by firing squad." The judge said Pan must serve time to set an example for others thinking of trafficking drugs through Cambodia. \n \n■ Cross-strait ties \nMa pushes Sungshan as hub \n \nTaipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was keenly touting Sungshan Airport as a hub for direct transport links with China, saying that the opening will reduce travel time for Taiwanese businesspeople traveling between the two sides by more than 25 percent. Ma made the remarks at a seminar yesterday with local business leaders and representatives. Claiming that direct air links between Taipei, Shanghai and Dongguan will save passengers a great deal of time, Ma contended that Sungshan should be made into an exclusive gateway for cross-strait travel, while CKS International Airport should continue to handle international passenger and cargo travel. Ma said that Taiwan should make the move to sharpen its competitive edge and create business opportunities in view of the grouping of economies in Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia by 2010. \n \n■ Diplomacy \nDOH head visits Austria \n \nDepartment of Health Director-General Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) headed for Vienna on Tuesday to attend the 2004 European Health Forum after ending a three-day visit in Rome. The three-day annual forum opened yesterday in Bad Hofgastein, Austria. Chen will preside over a session on issues related to health insurance. He said that in addition to giving the participants a better understanding of the National Health Insurance system, he will also lobby for the support of European countries for Taiwan's bid to join the World Health Organization (WHO). Chen visited Italy's Chamber of Deputies and Senate, accompanied by Repre-sentative to Italy Lin Ki-tseng (林基正), on Tuesday morning. \n \n■ Medicine \nFirst son-in-law sued \n \nPresident Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) son-in-law Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘) was yesterday sued for negligence following the death of one of his patients. The patient, 84-year-old Ko Hsia (柯霞), passed away on Sept. 6. Ko's son, Chao Tieh-hsiung (趙鐵雄), called for Chao Chien-ming to take responsibility for his mother's death and filed the suit yesterday. Ko was admitted to hospital on July 2 after a fall that left her complaining of back and leg pain. The hospital diagnosed her with a lumbar fracture and lumbar spinal canal stenosis. Chao operated on her on July 7, and again on July 15, to clean up the wound. On Aug. 26, Ko felt unwell and was sent to the hospital again. After a detailed exam, her heart suddenly began to fail. Hospital superintendent Huang Kun-chang (黃焜璋) said the cause of death was ventricular fibrillation, which was unrelated to the surgery performed by Chao.
FAMILY FEUD: Weng Jen-hsien, who was convicted of killing six people in 2016, was the second prisoner to be executed since President Tsai Ing-wen took office A death row inmate was executed on Wednesday, less than a year after he was convicted of killing six people by setting fire to his home. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he signed the order and the death sentence was carried out on Wednesday afternoon in New Taipei City. The Supreme Court on July 10 last year sentenced 53-year-old Weng Jen-hsien (翁仁賢) to death after he was convicted of killing his parents, niece, nephew and nephew’s wife and his parents’ caregivers. Weng set fire to his home in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) on Feb. 7, 2016, after a family feud
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
IN PRINCIPLE: The Central Epidemic Command Center began yesterday to ban visits to hospitalized patients, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 10 new COVID-19 cases — eight imported and two locally transmitted — bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 339. The imported cases involved six men and two women, all Taiwanese, who had traveled to Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, countries in Latin America, the UK or the US before arriving back in Taiwan between March 6 and Tuesday, center data showed. Among them, patient No. 338 was part of a tour group that traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic, and has resulted in an infection cluster of five cases,