Fri, Apr 13, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take



Chen Chu won't go to China

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), who was invited to attend a sports conference in Beijing starting on April 24, decided yesterday to have Deputy Mayor Cheng Wen-lung (鄭文隆) attend on her behalf. Chen, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party, told journalists one day after her aide talked with Mainland Affairs Council officials in Taipei about the invitation that she had decided to skip the conference because it conflicts with a Kaohsiung City Council session which she has to attend to field councilors' questions. Chen had been invited to the conference to present a briefing on Kaohsiung City's preparations for hosting the 2009 World Games.


Hemophilia breakthrough

Local researchers have successfully extracted blood clotting proteins from pig's milk, revealing new possibilities in the development of medicines to treat hemophilia, according to a report released yesterday by the Animal Technology Institute Taiwan (ATIT) in Miaoli. ATIT officials explained that the protein they have extracted is identical to the human clotting factor IX, which is used in treating type B hemophilia. ATIT officials said that medicines for hemophilia are extremely expensive -- the production cost of hemophiliac medication is about US$66,000 per gram, and hundreds of thousands of NT dollars can be spent monthly on the medicine for a single hemophiliac. However, the new method can produce greater amounts in a relatively simple process -- the volume of clotting proteins in pig milk is 100-400 times that in human plasma, they added.


Emergency center proposed

The legislature's Sanitation, Environment and Social Welfare Committee yesterday approved an amendment requiring the Department of Health (DOH) to establish an emergency medical command center to facilitate the delivery of emergency medical services. The center would be responsible for coordinating and communicating with medical authorities around the country to meet major emergency medical needs, the draft amendment said. The DOH would also be required to team up with medical institutions to form regional emergency medical reaction centers that would help the emergency medical command center in its efforts to integrate medical resources and conduct round-the-clock monitoring work in case of a major pandemic. The draft bill stipulates that participating medical institutions must post medical professionals in the regional emergency medical reaction centers year-round. The amendments still have to be reviewed by the whole legislature.


Wang You-theng denied bail

US judges denied fugitive Rebar Group chairman Wang You-theng's (王又曾) request for bail on Wednesday morning, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported. CNA said that Wang then requested that he be transferred to another detention facility with more Chinese-speaking detainees because he was not in good health and could not speak English. It was not clear at press time if the judges had granted the request. Wang fled overseas in late December after allegedly embezzling massive amounts of money from the Rebar Group. Taiwanese prosecutors have sought a 30-year prison sentence and an unprecedented fine of NT$1.71 billion (US$52.13 million) for Wang.

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