Chen congratulates artists
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) sent his congratulations yesterday to Yang En-dian (楊恩典), a physically challenged artist who paints with her mouth and feet, over the recent birth of her baby girl. Chen was represented by Cho Chun-ying (卓春英), a deputy director-general of the Presidential Office's Department of Public Affairs, who visited Yang at Mingsheng General Hospital in the southern port city of Kaohsiung. Cho presented Yang with a specially designed baby carrier and a "red envelope" containing money as a gift from the president. The baby carrier is designed so that Yang can bottle-feed her baby with her feet. Yang, 31, who was born without arms and was abandoned by her parents, gave birth to a healthy baby girl Monday. Yang and her husband, who is not physically challenged, named the infant "Chenteh" (貞德, St. Joan of Arc), hoping that the child will grow up to become a brave woman like the French heroine.
Farmers say groupers `safe'
Fish farmers who raise groupers in Yungan Township (永安) in Kaohsiung County said yesterday that health officials regularly monitor their fish and claimed that their groupers are safe, despite Hong Kong officials saying they had found a carcinogen in a sample exported from Taiwan. The farmers, who raise 8,000 tonnes of the fish each year in 350 hectares of ponds, made the claim after hearing that Hong Kong had found malachite green, a carcinogen, in a sample from a spotted black grouper imported from Taiwan. Hong Kong's fishery businesses have suspended the sale of this kind of fish. However, a Taiwanese official based in Hong Kong has questioned the method used by Hong Kong authorities making such a "serious accusation." The official asked that Hong Kong's health authorities offer more details about the report, which was widely carried by the media and could cause a lot of damage not only to fish farmers but also to Taiwan's image.
■ Typhoon relief
Vegetable tariffs cut
Ten kinds of imported vegetables were given a 50 percent tariff cut yesterday in an effort to restrain skyrocketing vegetable prices after Typhoon Talim rampaged through Taiwan on Thursday. The imports include scallions, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflowers, lettuce, other leafy green vegetables, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet peppers and sweetcorn, officials of the Council of Agriculture said, adding that the tariff cut will remain until Sept. 22. The vegetable shipment to the Taipei wholesale market dropped to 503 tonnes yesterday, a new post-typhoon low. Consequently, the wholesale prices of vegetables surged to a historic high of NT$43.2 (US$1.3) per kilogram, according to statistics from the Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co. By cutting the tariff from 20 to 10 percent, the council hopes there will be enough imports to allow reasonable prices to be maintained, officials said.
Next typhoon under scrutiny
The Central Weather Bureau is monitoring a new storm system in the Pacific Ocean that has gained strength to become a super typhoon in the last 24 hours. Typhoon Nabi is the 14th typhoon reported in the Pacific Ocean this year. It was located more than 1,000km from Taiwan's southernmost tip of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻) at 10am yesterday, meteorologists said, adding that tomorrow would be the time to say whether the typhoon will affect Taiwan.
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
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions