DPP unveils nominations
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday recommended five delegates to the National Assembly as candidates for the body's executive committee: Senior Presidential Adviser Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭), Presidential Adviser Lee Yuan-chen (李元貞), former legislator Chou Ching-yu (周清玉), attorney Wellington Koo (顧立雄) and Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission Chairman Hsu Chih-hsiung (許志雄). The 11-member executive committee handles meeting procedures. Each political party can nominate a number of members based on the percentage of assembly seats won in the election. The DPP also announced that it would recommend Yeh Chun-jung (葉俊榮), the chairman of the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission, for the post of assembly secretary-general, DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said.
Taichung fire kills nine
A pre-dawn fire engulfed a plastics factory in Taichung and killed at least nine people, police said yesterday. The victims included two families -- a mother and her 11-year-old daughter and a father and his 10-year-old son. They were sleeping on the second floor of the sheet-metal building when the fire broke out at around 4am. The cause of the fire is not known. "Most people died of suffocation as they tried to escape," a prosecutor at the scene told reporters. The factory owner said he did not know how many people stayed in the building on Monday night as it was open to employees, as well as their relatives and friends.
Former WTO envoy honored
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) conferred the Order of the Brilliant Star on Yen Ching-chang (顏慶章), the former representative to the WTO, yesterday at the Presidential Office for his outstanding performance in the post. Chen hailed Yen's efforts in helping to explore foreign trade and international relations during his term of three years and three months as representative to the WTO. Yen said he was proud of his achievements and that Taiwan's delegation had received high praise from other countries as well.
Democracy is a draw
Taiwan's vibrant democracy is one of its major attractions to prospective Chinese tourists, a Hong Kong newspaper reported yesterday. The Wen Hui Po said Chinese on the Internet have shown keen interest in things Taiwan since China announced last week that it will allow its citizens to make sightseeing trips here. According to the paper, 25 percent of the thousands of Internet surfers responding to a recent online poll said the most important reason for a visit to Taiwan is to get a taste of its political atmosphere. Meanwhile, 39 percent said they wanted to visit sightseeing spots such as Alishan and Sun Moon Lake, and 28 percent said they wanted to look into folk culture and customs.
COA repeats warning
Council of Agriculture Chairman Lee Chin-lung (李金龍) yesterday warned against building up an over-reliance on the Chinese market. Lee told a meeting of the Democratic Progressive Party's Central Standing Committee that opening Taiwan's exports to the China market will do little to relieve the imbalance of supply and demand. He said the government should ask for formal negotiations with China on the issue.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung