■ LEGAL SYSTEM
Statute change proposed
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yu Jan-daw (余政道) yesterday proposed an amendment to the Medals Statute (勳章條例) in a bid to abolish an honorary medal named after dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石). Among the medals the government usually issues, the Chungcheng Medal (中正勳章) was created in 1979, four years after Chiang's death, Yu said. The medal is awarded to those who "have special achievements in carrying out the Three Principles of the People: making a special contribution to opposing the Chinese Communist Party and making outstanding contributions to reviving Chinese culture or making a praiseworthy achievement in practicing democracy and the constitution." "The medal should be abolished," Yu said, adding that his proposal is part of transitional justice.
NCC okays Sparq request
The regulating body for communications, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday it had approved an application from Sparq (速博) to acquire 60,000 phone numbers for its online phone service. Those who subscribe to the service will receive an 11-digit number that begins with 070. Instead of using a computer, users can dial their 070 number from a cellphone. The approval will allow the company to start negotiations on issues related to cross-network connections with other telecom companies. It also made Sparq the first telecom company to obtain online phone numbers from the commission. The approval did not require the company to set a timeline for launching the service. "It [the timeline] will be solely determined through the company's negotiations with others," NCC spokesperson Howard Shyr (石世豪) said.
Corpse kept at home
Two elementary school students slept with their grandfather's corpse for one week after the man died, a newspaper said yesterday. The two boys lived in Taiping (太平市), Taichung County, with their grandfather and uncle, the Apple Daily reported. On Wednesday last week, their grandfather died of an illness. Their uncle had no money to bury the corpse, the paper said. The uncle warned his two nephews not to tell others. The uncle was then hospitalized, leaving his nephews home alone. On Tuesday, a teacher noticed the boys were acting strangely and visited their home. She found the corpse and called the police. The city government agreed to find foster homes for the boys and the neighborhood committee paid for a funeral.
Students in knife attack
Two unidentified assailants armed with knives attacked two male students on the campus of George Vocational High School of Taipei on Keelung Road late yesterday afternoon, the school's principal said. Firefighters and other emergency response personnel were called to the school after the two students were stabbed; they were rushed to a hospital as the assailants escaped. School principal Yu Li-liang (俞禮亮) said that details were sketchy and there were few witnesses at the scene. The attack happened very quickly after the two assailants entered the campus, he said, adding that authorities had yet to confirm their identities or motive. Yu also said that his school's campus was sprawling and open and therefore hard to defend against such attacks.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by