Tour bus crash kills one
A tour bus carrying tourists from Singapore rammed into a car on a highway in Wanli (萬里), Taipei County, yesterday morning, killing one and injuring seven others, the Taipei County fire department said. The Taiwanese bus driver was killed instantly, while seven passengers were slightly injured in the accident. The injured were sent to a hospital in Kinshan (金山), Taipei County, said firefighters who rushed to the scene in response to emergency calls. The bus was on its way from Keelung City to the scenic coastal village of Yeliou (野柳) when it slammed into the side of the car.
Endangered ferns bred
The Taiwan Forestry Research Institute has successfully bred two endemic endangered fern species, earning worldwide acclaim. The institute made the announcement on Tuesday after six years of research on the reproduction of the two species, Archangiopteris somai Hayata and Archangiopteris itoi Shieh. The two species can be dated back 180 million years and are endemic to Taiwan, the institute said. There are fewer than 1,000 Archangiopteris somai Hayata remaining, while Archangiopteris itoi Shieh numbers less than 100 specimens, it said.
Skin infections strike
Members of the public who observe Tomb Sweeping Day, on which it is customary to pay homage to one's ancestors, should take precautions to guard against skin infections, a dermatologist in Taichung cautioned. Chen Chun-yi (陳駿逸), who runs a skin clinic, told reporters that the number of patients he and his colleagues had treated in the past few days had increased 30 percent, with most suffering from infections resulting from getting sunburns or being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects while visiting tombs. Failing to protect themselves against insects and the sun, many people contracted acute skin infections, developed rashes all over their bodies and suffered from headaches, had difficulty breathing, and experienced excessive perspiration and localized lymphadenitis. Chen said this month was a period when mosquitoes and other insects thrived.
Officer demoted for prank
A naval officer has been demoted for pulling an April Fool's Day joke on three soldiers by summoning them back to camp during their holidays for an "emergency," a newspaper said yesterday. The incident occurred on Sunday, April Fools' Day, at a fishing port sentry in Tamsui, the Apple Daily said. The sentry is manned by solders from the navy's Coast Guard Administration (CGA). On Sunday, three solders manning the sentry had just returned to their Taipei homes for a four-day Tomb Sweeping Day vacation when Lieutenant Chan Wei-sung (詹偉松) summoned them back to the camp citing an "emergency." In the telephone call, Chan said a soldier's cellphone had been stolen and the CGA had sent a probe team to the sentry to investigate the theft. But when the three solders rushed back to the sentry, a smiling Chan had lined up the other soldiers to welcome the trio with "Happy April Fool's Day!" "It was such a stupid joke and we felt cheated. There is nothing funny about it," the Apple Daily quoted one soldier as saying. Chan has removed from his command at the fishing port sentry.
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed
DIALOGUE SOUGHT: Washington said it was concerned about the pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate Taiwan after the 10th day of PLA activity in the region The US on Monday urged Beijing to stop its multifaceted pressure campaign against Taiwan after China sent 25 military jets into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. “The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempts to intimidate the region, including Taiwan,” a US Department of State spokesperson said in an e-mail response to questions. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan.” The Ministry of National Defense said that 25 Chinese military aircraft entered the zone on Monday. It was the 10th straight
‘NOT ENTHUSIASTIC’: People who have been approved by the CECC as special cases who need to travel, such as foreign diplomats, would be able to receive a vaccine The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to the fourth priority group — people who need to travel abroad for special reasons — adding that out-of-pocket vaccines would be available from Wednesday next week. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said although Taiwan’s COVID-19 vaccination program was on Monday expanded to include the top three groups in the priority list, people are still “not enthusiastic” about getting vaccinated. “Only 1,220 people received a vaccine shot on Tuesday, and a total of 27,113 people have received COVID-19 vaccination” so far, he
INTERNATIONAL WEED DAY: Advocates are to hold a demonstration to push for the decriminalization of marijuana and allowing its use for treatment of certain conditions It is time for Taiwanese society to examine the medical benefits of cannabis, in line with the international trend to lift restrictions on and decriminalize the use of marijuana, two legislators said yesterday, ahead of tomorrow’s “Rally for Equal Rights for Cannabis” in Taipei. Taiwan is one of a few countries holding a “420 International Weed Day” event — which usually takes place around the April 20 weekend — as most nations have canceled it this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said organizer Green Sensation, which is composed of doctors, lawyers and entertainers, among others. The group released a