Hsieh leaves for Singapore
Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday embarked on a five-day visit to Singapore and Indonesia. Hsieh told reporters at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport that he expects to meet and exchange ideas on international affairs with Singaporean leaders. He will also visit the National Trades Union Congress Centre during his stay in Singapore and speak at two breakfast and lunch meetings with businesspeople during his visit to Indonesia on Tuesday, based on the itinerary provided by Hsieh's campaign office. Upon his return to the country on Wednesday, Hsieh will proceed directly to the 228 Memorial Park in Taipei and announce his running mate at the rally, his campaign office said.
Brake trouble on bullet train
A northbound train on the high-speed rail was delayed for more than 90 minutes yesterday when an abnormality was discovered in the train's braking system. The No. 502 train, which was departing from Taichung, was supposed to arrive in Taipei at 8am yesterday. The incident yesterday morning postponed the operations of other trains, including northbound trains No. 504, No. 404, No. 104 and No. 106, as well as southbound trains No. 403, No. 105, No. 451, No. 111 and No. 453. Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp issued a statement yesterday that said the 260 passengers on its No. 502 train qualified for a full refund based on the company's policy. The estimated refund was approximately NT$720,000 (US$21,800).
Alzheimer's alert raised
The number of people with Alzheimer's disease reached about 140,000 in the country last year, and the figure could double in the next 20 years, a Taiwan Alzheimer's Disease Association official said yesterday. To cope with the rapid increase in the number of people with Alzheimer's, association secretary-general Tang Li-yu (湯麗玉) yesterday called for efforts to facilitate early detection and treatment of the disease, as well as concerted efforts by the government and private sector to care for Alzheimer's victims. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's, there are steps that the public can take to lower the risks or delay the onset of the disease, she said. People with high blood pressure and diabetes are at a higher risk from Alzheimer's, she said, adding that these groups should take greater efforts to control their diets and do physical and mental exercises. Tang also urged the government to spend more on raising public awareness about Alzheimer's, noting that many people with the disease have yet to be diagnosed.
St. Lucian acting PM to visit
St. Lucian Acting Prime Minister Stephenson King will visit Taiwan next month for the first time at the invitation of the government, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday. King assumed the post of acting prime minister in May after 82-year-old Prime Minister John Compton was hospitalized in April. The Caribbean island nation resumed formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan on May 1. It first established diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1984, before switching diplomatic recognition to China in 1997. The ministry official said St. Lucia's ruling party was likely to hold a vote to choose a new party chairman, with Compton likely to be elected again. The focus of the vote would be on who would be the first vice chairman as he or she would be Compton's successor.