Prodigy wins entry to NTU
A 15-year-old prodigy was admitted into National Taiwan University's (NTU) electrical engineering department yesterday, making her the youngest freshman in the country this year. Tsai Pei-chen (蔡佩真) graduated from the Taipei First Girls' High School but will not turn 16 until next Thursday. She has skipped grades twice since the age of 10, said her father, Tsai Yen-hsin (蔡彥欣), an assistant professor at the Technology and Science Institute of Northern Taiwan. He said Pei-chen has been interested in math, nature and physics since she was very young and that she has a photographic memory. He said his daughter had been excused from math classes because she was so far ahead of her classmates, which gave her additional time to spend in the library or to take online classes provided by the university.
Reservoir project on time
Approximately 25 percent of the Hushan Reservoir in Yunlin County has been completed as of last month, Council for Economic Planning and Development officials said on Tuesday, estimating that the entire project will be finished by 2014. The NT$20.5 billion (US$621 million) project is part of the government's efforts to resolve a land sinkage problem in the county, the officials said. The majority of the county's land is subsiding, a problem resulting from residents pumping too much ground water for use in irrigation and aquaculture, the officials said. More than 100 million tonnes of ground water is pumped out annually, they said, warning that water in some areas of the county has been found to be contaminated with toxic chemicals, including arsenic and nitrate nitrogen. The sinkage needs to be curbed as it poses a safety threat to the Yunlin station of the high speed railway, which is still under construction, the officials said.
Hsieh to visit Singapore
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) will travel to Singapore on Saturday to discuss his "Six Stars Plan," his campaign office said yesterday. The plan includes development of local business, improvement of social welfare and medical systems as well as promoting cultural and educational development. On his way to the DPP's Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday, Hsieh told reporters he believed it was necessary for him to visit Southeast Asian countries after his trip to the US last month. He said he hopes to help these nations understand his ideals, the opinions of Taiwanese and Taiwan's situation in the world. Details of the three-day trip are still being planned, his office said. Meanwhile, DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun is scheduled to leave for the Philippines today.
Accused rapist's bond raised
Bond was raised from US$2 million to US$15 million on Tuesday for a Taiwan-born man in Ohio accused of using chloroform to knock out his friends' teenage daughters and rape them. Prosecutors argued that the bond for Wu Chien-tai (吳建泰), a 50-year-old software designer, should be set higher because he was well-traveled and wealthy. "That is to protect the community and in the interest of justice," Judge William Mallory said of the higher bond. Defense attorney James Kolenich said Wu could not afford the previous bond. Wu has pleaded not guilty to 17 charges including rape, aggravated burglary and felony assault.
Legislative aides cry foul
Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lai Shin-yuan's (賴幸媛) seven aides resigned en masse last Saturday, accusing their employer of mistreatment. They issued a statement saying that one of the aides suffered a pay cut of NT$15,000 because Lai told her that she was in "dire" financial straits. Lai told the aide to keep mum about the cut, with the promise that she would restore the aide's wages at a later date, the statement said. However, Lai did not keep her word, as the aides found that Lai had given the legislative budget earmarked for legislative aides to her friends, the statement alleged. The statement also said that a close friend of Lai allegedly slapped an aide in the face in the legislative office for no apparent reason. Lai is currently abroad.
E71 case was imported
A two-year-old girl developed serious complications triggered by enterovirus type 71 (E71) soon after returning from China late last month, making her the country's first imported case of a severe enterovirus infection, a Center for Disease Control official said on Tuesday. The girl had been traveling in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, with her parents and four-year-old brother and returned to Taiwan on July 26, Deputy Director-General Chou Chih-hao (周志浩) said. On July 27, the boy displayed signs of hand-foot-and-mouth syndrome -- indicative of a mild enterovirus infection. The following day the girl came down with high fever, muscle twitching, a rapid heartbeat and sleepiness. Chou said the children were recovering well and that the girl had been transferred from an intensive care unit to an ordinary ward.
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’
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
The Taipei City Government yesterday said that construction on the long-suspended Taipei Dome can resume immediately, after it approved a request by the project’s main contractor, Farglory Group. In a statement, the Taipei Construction Management Office said that after it on July 16 issued a new building permit, Farglory submitted revised design plans and an application to resume construction, which the office approved on Friday. Construction had been suspended on the dome, near the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Xinyi District (信義), for more than five years due to disagreements between the city and the company over the safety of some of