Mini-cups to have warnings
The government has ordered makers of mini-cup jelly candies to put warning labels on their products after a Taiwanese girl choked to death on the snack in China earlier this year, officials said yesterday. All jelly candies with a diameter of less than 3.1cm, the so-called mini-cup jelly, are required to carry labels warning of a choking hazard from next year, the Department of Health said. Manufacturers should also warn parents not to feed mini-cup jelly to children under five years old, the department said. Violators could faces fines of up to NT$1.5 million (US$47,000) while their products will be recalled or destroyed, it said. The department ordered the recall of all mini-cup jelly candies in March after a Taiwanese businessman living in Shanghai complained to Taipei authorities that his 19-month-old daughter choked after eating the snack. Accidents involving children choking on mini-cup jellies have also been reported in the US and South Korea.
Wang tenders resignation
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday tendered his resignation to KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰). Wang told reporters that a precedent had been set with the resignation of a vice chairman following the election of a new chairman. KMT chairman-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said he hoped to reappoint Wang as a party vice chairman. Wang and his family will leave for the US today on a private visit.
Working-holiday spots open
The Ministry of Education said there are still spaces available for young people who are interested in obtaining a working-holiday visa for either New Zealand or Australia. Taiwanese have been eligible for both countries' working-holiday visas since last year. The visas allow young people to stay in the country for 12 months and work for up to three months to supplement their travel funds. Applicants must be aged between 18 and 30, have a return ticket and a bank statement proving they have at least NT$100,000 in funds, ministry officials said. There are 600 openings for Taiwanese this year under New Zealand's program and there have been more than 300 applications so far. Officials said 230 people have applied for a working-holiday visa for Australia since last November. People interested in the programs can contact the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office at (02) 2757-6411 or the Australian Commerce and Industry Office at (02)8725-4250.
Chinese food fair nears
The 2005 Taipei Chinese Food Festival will open next Thursday at the exhibition hall of the Taipei World Trade Center, offering opportunities for visitors to taste a wide range of gourmet dishes from different countries. The annual festival, one of the most important events for the nation's catering sector since its inception 16 years ago, is expected to draw a crowd of some 160,000 during the four-day exhibition, according to its sponsor, the Taiwan Visitors Association. This year's event will feature demonstrations of culinary skills, lessons by famous cooks and a "street of gourmet food stores." Master chefs and their assistants from the US, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan will compete for the title of "culinary god." The exhibition hall will have 10 theme areas, such as vanilla and health and Taiwan rice. Tickets are NT$250 per person.
BILINGUAL ASSISTANCE: The center launched a chat bot that features Chinese and English interfaces to provide foreigners with instant information about the pandemic The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that it would discuss with other nations the possibility of allowing businesspeople to visit on a case-by-case basis. Asked about loosening border restrictions, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said at the daily CECC news briefing that while the center is cautious about opening the nation’s borders, it would aim to diminish obstacles for important trade interactions without risking transmission of the novel coronavirus. Several foreign representatives in Taiwan have expressed an interest in the matter and the center would conduct related negotiations with the help of the
DELUSIONAL: The male patient said he did not know that the woman had mental problems, but the court said that her being restrained in isolation should have given him pause The Taiwan High Court has ordered the Jhudong branch of the Taiwan National University Hospital and a male patient to jointly pay a former female patient’s family NT$400,000 in compensation after the man had sex with the woman, who has mental problems, while hospitalized. The 26-year-old woman has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, a symptom of which is that she obsessively seeks to have sex, her mother said. The mother filed a formal complaint and sought damages from the hospital and the male patient surnamed Chen (陳) after finding out that her daughter had sex with the man while
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) should not use the government’s disease-prevention policy as an excuse to block people’s access to the Taipei Railway Station’s main hall, the Taiwan International Workers’ Association said yesterday. The association held a protest at the station after what organizers said were about 400 people staged a sit-in on Saturday to demonstrate against the TRA’s proposal to ban sitting on the floor of the main hall. In accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s disease-prevention measures, large gatherings have been banned in the hall since the end of February. After protesters yesterday expressed their grievances at the southern
Nematode-trapping fungi have been found to be natural killers of nematodes and their mechanisms might facilitate the development of new drugs or biological control agents, an Academia Sinica researcher said yesterday. Mostly measuring less than 1mm, nematodes are found in soil worldwide and most are not visible to the naked eye, Academia Sinica Institute of Molecular Biology assistant research fellow Hsueh Yen-ping (薛雁冰) told a news conference in Taipei. Some nematodes can cause infections in humans or damage plants, but existing pesticides, such as ivermectin, aldicarb and levamisole, can only inhibit their activity and the poisons’ efficacy are declining due to