Hakka video contest held
The Council for Hakka Affairs is inviting people to take part in this year’s creative Hakka music video competition. First held in 2005, the annual contest aims to promote Hakka pop culture and connect the younger generation with Hakka culture, event spokesman and Hakka actor Chang Shan-wei (張善為) said at a press conference in Taipei yesterday. The theme for this year’s contest is Hakka children’s songs. Contestants are to create music videos for songs announced on the event’s Web site. All works will be judged for creativity, elements of Hakka culture and visual effect. The winner will be awarded a NT$300,000 cash prize. For more information, visit www.hakkamv.com.tw.
Pig farmers ‘stealing’ scraps
The price of kitchen leftovers, which hog farms use to feed their stock, has risen to a point where some farmers are “stealing” it, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official said yesterday. As food prices skyrocket in the international market because of poor harvests caused by bad weather, the price of kitchen scraps is now NT$1,000 per tonne compared with NT$300 to NT$600 last year, Lin Mao-yuan (林茂原) of the EPA’s Environmental Police Unit said. In some cities and counties, the price could reach NT$2,000 or more, he said. The EPA collects about 1,900 tonnes of leftovers per day, and last year the total volume collected was some 663,000 tonnes, which was used as hog feed. With the price of leftover food on the rise, thefts have been reported in Taichung and Hsinchu counties, where pig farmers have been observed “cleaning up” slop collected by EPA personnel for shipment to recycling companies, Lin said.
Betel nut addicts kick habit
A campaign in Hualien County to help betel nut addicts kick the habit has succeeded in guiding 145 people out of a total of 276 who took part in the program to quit, the county’s health bureau said yesterday. As of the end of last month, 145 addicts had given up betel nuts entirely since the campaign’s launch in July last year, bureau officials said. The remaining 131 betel nut chewers in the program now consume an average of 4.61 nuts per day, from 41.08 in the past, the officials said. A study conducted by the bureau from 2003 to 2006 showed 35,823 county residents chewed the addictive nuts, with their daily consumption averaging 16.8 nuts. The county’s annual consumption of betel nuts is estimated at 216 million nuts.
Taipei group visits Shanghai
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday led a delegation of Taipei City government officials on a five-day visit to Shanghai. Hau, the nation’s first elected municipal chief to visit China, is visiting Shanghai to witness the signing of an agreement to confirm Taipei’s participation in World Expo Shanghai 2010, scheduled for May 1 to Oct. 31, 2010. He is scheduled to meet Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng (韓正) on Thursday to witness the signing of the agreement. Hau will visit the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, where he hopes to gain a better understanding of how Shanghai zoo authorities take care of pandas. Hau will also visit a project aimed at developing Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport into a multiple transportation hub. He will also meet Taiwanese business leaders to encourage them to repatriate some of their overseas investment and to locate their R&D centers and business headquarters in Taipei.
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’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
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