■ Health \nDOH opens new mailbox \nThe Department of Health opened a new online letterbox yesterday and encouraged the public to \nfile complaints against poor hospital care. The "Director-General's mailbox" can be accessed on the agency's Web site (www.doh.gov.tw) and the e-mails will be sent to Director-General Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁). Officials say the move is in response to complaints about the limited hospital budget plan that took effect in July. People have complained about being turned away \nby hospitals, receiving reduced prescriptions or being overcharged. "This new channel of communi-cation is not just for patients," Deputy Director-General Chen Tzay-jinn's (陳再晉) said. "Doctors pressured to limit their \nnumber of patients or prescriptions can also use it." \n■ Media \nHK journalist missing \nA Hong Kong journalist \nwho arrived in Taipei last month on a sightseeing \ntrip has gone missing, \npolice said yesterday. Wong Yuk-tung (黃旭東), 41, a reporter for Hong Kong's Oriental Daily News, arrived in Taipei on Sept. 9 and checked in Holiday Inn Asiaworld, the police said. Wong checked out on \nSept. 11 but failed to return home as scheduled, a police officer said. His family and friends have lost contact with him and are worried, the officer said. "We are searching for clues of his whereabouts as immigration data shows he is still on the island," the officer said. \n■ Diplomacy \nSwaziland PM arrives \nSwaziland Prime Minister Absalom Dlamini arrived in Taipei yesterday for a five-day visit, leading an eight-member delegation. During his stay, Dlamini will meet President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who will confer upon him the Order of Brilliant Star with Special Grand Cordon in recognition of his contributions to the promotion of bilateral ties. Dlamini will also meet Premier Yu Shyi-kun and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山). The delegation will attend tomorrow's Double Ten National Day celebrations. \n■ Politics \nTV host hits campaign trail \nVariety show host Wu \nTsung-hsien (吳宗憲) will \nrun in December's legislative elections under the banner of the Non-Partisan Soli-darity Union (NPSU, 無黨團結聯盟), media reports said yesterday. It \nhas not been decided yet whether the newly-formed party will arrange for Wu to run for a local constituency or for a legislator-at-large seat, NPSU Secretary-General Chen Jung-chieh (陳傑儒) said. NPSU Legis-lator Tsai Hao (蔡豪) said \nthat Wu would formally announce his election bid \nat a press conference on Monday. Wu, who has been \na prime targets for paparazzi because of his colorful private life, has reportedly amassed a fortune over the years in his career as an entertainer and a business-man. Wu has said that if \nhe were a lawmaker, one \nof the areas he would like \nto straighten up is the local media. \n■ Society \nChen visits Faina Chiang \nPresident Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) paid a short visit yesterday to former first lady Faina Chiang (蔣方良) at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. The 88-year-old Chiang, a native of Russia, \nis the widow of former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國). She was hospital-ized on Wednesday due to inflammation of the wind-pipe and acute asthma.
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