■ Military Affairs \nAir force jet explodes \nAn air force fighter jet skidded off the runway and exploded in Taitung County yesterday, according to officials at the Taitung air force base. The jet's two pilots survived the accident by ejecting before the explosion. The two-seat F5F fighter jet was preparing for takeoff on a routine training mission when engine failure occurred at 7:30am, the officials said. This caused the aircraft to skid off the runway, triggering an explosion in the fuel tank, they said. The fire was extinguished within 10 minutes. The officials said all training programs have been suspended pending a comprehensive investigation into the incident. \n■ Health \nNew rules announced \nThe Department of Health yesterday announced that clinical studies will now be compulsory for students and practitioners of Chinese medicine. "Although Chinese medicine is an integral part of our healthcare system, we need a rigorous clinical-training program for students and doctors to enhance their diagnostic and treatment skills," said Lin I-hsin (林宜信), chairperson of the department's Committee on Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy. There are 36 hospitals and 2,729 private clinics offering Chinese-medicine services staffed by a total of 4,266 licensed doctors. The department said all students must spend their last year training in hospitals. It will also be mandatory for practitioners to spend at least 30 hours every year on clinical studies. Practitioners who \ndo not comply will be disqualified from treating patients. "We now have 22 regional hospitals involved in the education program. The Chinese-medicine system is becoming increasingly systematic. We believe that by 2008 Taiwan will be a world model for incorporating alternative medicine into health infrastructure," Lin said. \n■ Diplomacy \nPanamanian people on side \nMore than six out of 10 Panamanians hope that their country maintains diplomatic ties with Taiwan, according to the results of a poll published on Wednesday by a newspaper in that country. The poll results posted on La Prensa under the title "Taiwan is better than the People's Republic of China" showed that 61 percent of respondents were in favor of maintaining diplomatic ties, while 14.1 percent preferred to switch to Beijing. Another 24.9 percent had no opinion on the matter. The survey, which was commissioned by the paper, was conducted between Jan. 14 and Jan. 16. \n■ Diplomacy \nLu sells `Taiwan experience' \nVice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday said she would help Paraguay learn from the "Taiwan experience" in promoting economic development in the South American nation. Lu made the comments during a meeting with visiting Paraguayan Senate Speaker Miguel Carrizosa Galiano. Lu said she was actively promoting town-building projects in Central American countries to facilitate bilateral cooperation in agriculture, aquaculture and energy infrastructure development. Lu said she would encourage Taiwanese businesses to invest in the food and textile industries in Paraguay -- where agricultural products include soybeans, corn and cotton -- to boost employment and the economic output of Taiwan's diplomatic ally. Lu said that the friendship between Taiwan and Paraguay has remained firm over the years and that she hoped both sides would strengthen bilateral cultural and economic exchanges in the future.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
MEDICINAL HERB: The FRIL protein extracted from hyacinth beans helped laboratory mice survive H1N1 infection and effectively neutralized the coronavirus A protein isolated from hyacinth beans, a medicinal herb known for centuries, has been found to restrict the activities of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses in laboratory experiments, a team of Academia Sinica researchers said yesterday. The beans’ curative effect is documented in the 16th-century Chinese medicine classic Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目) and they are also a food source in some countries, the Genomics Research Center’s Chemical Biology Division Director Alex Ma (馬徹) told a news conference in Taipei. Center senior research specialist Jan Jia-tsrong (詹家琮) experimented with up to 500 medicinal herbs to see if they could restrict influenza viruses and