Yu to visit Washington today
Presidential Office Secretary-General Yu Shyi-kun is scheduled to arrive in Washington today for a three-day visit. During his stay in the US capital, Yu will visit the Taiwanese mission and meet US officials and think tank members. Yu will have dinner with Taiwanese expatriates on Friday night before going back to New York on Saturday. He is set to depart for Taipei on Sunday. Yu is currently in New York. He will travel to Washington by train after attending his son's commencement at Columbia University today.
Chen, DPP elite to hold talks
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is slated to meet senior legislators from various factions in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) today to discuss major policy issues in the wake of the National Assembly elections, a DPP lawmaker said yesterday. According to Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅), Chen has invited 20 senior DPP lawmakers, some of whom are leading figures of major DPP factions, to a tea party at the Taipei Guest House near the Presidential Office this afternoon. To the best of his understanding, Lee said, Chen will brief lawmakers from various DPP factions, including the New Tide faction and the Justice Alliance, on domestic political development and the government's major policy goals following Saturday's National Assembly elections. Before the election, some senior DPP lawmakers criticized Chen's allegedly wavering attitude toward the controversial visits to rival China by two opposition leaders -- Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜).
EPA still fighting fire ants
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) is keeping up its pest control and prevention efforts to eradicate red fire ants, nearly two years after the pest was first detected in Taiwan. A series of seminars are scheduled to be held at environmental protection departments around the nation this month, an EPA official said on yesterday. The official said that the public should be reminded of the dangers of the imported pest. The fire ants, native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, were first spotted in increasing numbers in the Taoyuan and Chiayi areas in September 2003. Farmers consider the ants a nuisance because of their painful sting. The fire ants become aggressive when their hills are disturbed. Although they do not endanger crops, their bite is extremely painful and can even be fatal for the small number of people who are allergic to it. The official reminded people that they should never try to touch or disturb anthills if they discover the invader species in or around their home, and that they should immediately call 0800-095-590 for assistance.
Mortuaries go online
The Taipei Mortuary Services Office will from June accept applications from bereaved families to broadcast memorial services for their loved ones online, officials said yesterday. The office has installed cameras at the Chingyang Hall of its Second Funeral Parlor to facilitate the broadcasts, according to the officials. Simultaneous viewing by 30 to 50 Internet users will be allowed and the viewers will also be able to leave messages on-line to mourn the dead, they said. As an alternative, the bereaved families can hire professional cameramen and apply for temporary Internet hosting for the broadcast, they said.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,