Storm losses hit NT$1.52bn
Agricultural losses resulting from the recent string of storms, and Typhoon Sepat in particular, have risen to NT$1.52 billion, according to tallies released by the Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday. The amount includes more than NT$1.24 billion in damage to crops on 23,811 hectares, or 27 percent of the country's farmland, and the complete loss of crops on 6,377 hectares. The hardest hit crops include pomelos, bananas, watermelons, musk melons, pineapples, guavas, pears, papayas, custard apples and leafy vegetables. Livestock and poultry damage comes to NT$92.99 million, due in part to the deaths of 3,537 pigs, 743,000 chickens, 269,000 ducks and 58,000 geese. Fishery damage amounts to NT$71.76 million, with 142.65 hectares of fish ponds flooded.
Diplomats promote cakes
Several foreign diplomats stationed in the country as well as a number of foreign baseball players helped promote Taiwanese pineapple cakes at a festival in Taipei yesterday. Diplomats from the Mexican Trade Services, Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei and the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office, as well as foreign baseball players from the Taipei-based China Trust Whales, attended the ceremony at Taipei Vocational Training Center. The activity formed part of the Taipei Pineapple Cake Festival, now in its second year. Boosted by a warm response from the public last year, the Taipei City Government has decided to hold a pineapple cake competition next Monday and Tuesday to encourage entrepreneurs to present the most creative pineapple cakes. City government officials said sales of pineapple cakes rose significantly after last year's festival, and they will further encourage local bakers to present flavors that also cater to overseas consumers.
Hornet ruins silicon implant
Women with breast implants beware: A single hornet sting might ruin your figure, a plastic surgeon in Miaoli City warned yesterday. Tseng Ting-chang (曾鼎昌) said a 31-year-old woman who received breast implants three years ago visited his clinic earlier this week complaining that one of her breasts had deflated after a hornet sting a couple of days before. The woman said the incident took place while she was riding a scooter in the countryside while wearing a low-cut dress. A couple of days later she found that one of her breasts had shrunk. Tseng said he found the saline from the woman's breast implant had leaked, apparently as a result of the hornet sting. He said the woman had to undergo surgery to reconstruct her breast.
Paper embraces `Taiwan'
The Military-owned Youth Daily News yesterday adopted a new slogan, replacing a message that read, "Fight for the Republic of China's existence and development; fight for Republic of China citizens' security and liberty," to "Fight for Taiwan's existence and development; fight for Taiwanese citizens' security and liberty." The paper aims to encourage military personnel through slogans printed on the folding areas of its pages. Asked if the change was to follow President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) lead after he replaced the name "Republic of China" with "Taiwan" when calling out slogans at the National Defense University's commencement ceremony on July 6, the newspaper declined to comment.