Quake jolts east coast
A moderate earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale struck off the east coast early yesterday morning, with no initial reports of any damage or injuries. According to the Seismology Center of the Central Weather Bureau (CWB), the earthquake occurred 8.7km underground at 1:28am, with the epicenter located 41.1km northeast of the Suao earthquake station in Ilan County. The tremor could be felt across northern and central Taiwan, registering an intensity of 3 in Ilan, 2 in central cities and 1 in Taipei, CWB seismologists said. The Suao earthquake station recorded a magnitude 4.9 tremor on Wednesday at the same location at a depth of 8.3km. Another quake of magnitude 5 was recorded on Dec. 14 at a depth of 28.8km underground at almost the same location.
Ma issues campaign support
Days after a group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative aides launched a signature drive to recall Keelung Mayor Hsu Tsai-li (許財利), KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) finally offered his support to the campaign. The aides' initiative to recall Hsu, who has been convicted on corruption charges, met opposition from local branch members of the KMT on Saturday when they conducted a signature drive at Keelung Railway Station. In response to concerns about the party's passiveness on the issue, Ma yesterday said the KMT supported the aides and will help to push for the campaign. "The party's stance is firm and clear. We support the aides' campaign for a recall motion, and our position will not change," Ma said yesterday after attending a municipal event in Taipei. KMT Spokesman Huang Yu-cheng (黃玉振) later told a press conference that the party had ordered the KMT's Keelung branch to fully cooperate with the aides' signature campaign, including providing locations for signature collection.
Foreign workers lose out
Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) Chairman Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said on Saturday that contracts for foreign laborers working on Kaohsiung's mass rapid transit (MRT) system would not be extended. Lee said that the foreign laborers would be asked to leave after their contracts expire at the end of the year. The nation's top labor official made the remarks while he was inspecting a construction site for the MRT system, to examine whether it was being run according to safety regulations. The Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) filed an application with the CLA late last month to prolong the contracts of more than 700 foreign laborers still working on the system until late next year. A KRTC spokesman said the number of migrant workers on the project had decreased from 1,717 to 774, mainly as a result of a Kaohsiung City Council demand that the KRTC give priority to local laborers.
Tour routes unveiled
The National Youth Commission yesterday unveiled 20 travel routes designed to help young people further their understanding of the nation. The "Learning Taiwan Through Travel" program will offer students the opportunity to observe the nation and its people, officials said. The routes will be offered during the winter vacation next year and are divided into four categories: Exploring Taiwan's Art and History, Observing Local People's Livelihood, Discovering Taiwan's Ecosystem and Learning About Taiwan's Indigenous People.
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
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan