TOEFL tests canceled
Hundreds of Taiwanese students were unable to take their TOEFL tests when the US test administering company, Educational Testing Service (ETS), canceled four test sessions in Taipei and Tainan on Saturday with only a few days' notice. Many students were angry and complained that the company's service was not worth the NT$5,000 fee they had to pay to take the test. Some students said the delay would mean that their applications for schools in the US could not be submitted on time. Many US schools require international students to submit TOEFL scores as part of the application process. ETS did not give any reason for the cancelations, saying only that those who had registered for the tests could take tests at a later date or opt for a refund.
Ministry applauds center
The domestic and sexual violence prevention center in Kaohsiung County has been recognized by the Ministry of the Interior for its outstanding service over the past year. Citing statistics compiled by the center, officials at the social affairs bureau said that NT$12.1 million (US$370,000) in aid was distributed in the first 10 months of the year. During the January to October period, 4,580 cases of domestic violence were reported to the center, 216 more than in the same period of last year, the tallies showed. The number of teen abuse cases increased most, by 170, and there were also 31 more cases involving senior citizens. Officials said the public should not hesitate to contact the county's social affairs bureau or police if friends or relatives are assaulted.
Telecom deal signed
Chunghwa Telecom, the nation's largest telecom operator, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Palau National Communications Corp (PNCC) in Taipei to help PNCC enhance its technology and services. Chunghwa Telecom chairman Hochen Tan (賀陳旦) made the announcement after inking the MOU on Friday with PNCC chairwoman Leilani Reklai, who came to Taiwan to take part in an international travel fair in Taipei. Ho said the MOU was the result of a visit he made to Palau's state-run PNCC last month. During the visit, Ho said he discovered that the PNCC had earned significant revenues from its Internet, mobile phone and cable TV services. However, there is still a lot of room for growth in the penetration rates within these services, Ho said.
Gamzou defends Tzu Chi
Israeli Representative to Taiwan Raphael Gamzou has defended the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation's relief work in China, saying that the resources the foundation uses in China go toward humanitarian projects. In an interview with the Central News Agency, Gamzou, who assumed his position in Taipei in September last year, took issue with recent criticism that Tzu Chi should not have used local resources to help people in China -- a hostile neighbor. Gamzou said he became a Tzu Chi volunteer because he was moved by the foundation's humanitarian projects throughout the world. Israel's de facto ambassador in Taipei said the Tzu Chi spirit of helping people all over the world, irrespective of race, religion, culture or geography, was one of Taiwan's greatest achievements.
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
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
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