Koala found dead at zoo
Ligi (麗琪), an 11-year-old koala bear at Taipei Zoo, died yesterday afternoon. Taipei Zoo director Jason Yeh (葉傑生) said tumors were found in her liver and spleen during a regular checkup in April. Yeh said Ligi was found dead at 4pm yesterday. The zoo will organize an online memorial ceremony for the koala on the zoo’s Web site soon. The female koala bear was sent to Taipei by an Australian sanctuary in 2001 and gave birth in 2003 and 2005. There are six koala bears at the zoo now, Yeh said. The zoo had to euthanize another koala, named Harley, in 2004 after a tumor was found in his nose.
Fake yuan men arrested
Investigators arrested two men in Kaohsiung City for possessing counterfeit Chinese currency which they used while posing as Chinese tourists, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said yesterday. The investigators said the two con artists, surnamed Chen and Yang, made small purchases with the counterfeit bills at tourist attractions around Taiwan — including Kaohsiung’s Love River, Kenting National Park, Sun Moon Lake and Alishan. Chen and Yang admitted to posing as Chinese tourists by faking Chinese accents. Acting on a tip-off, investigators raided an apartment building in the city’s Zuoying District on Thursday afternoon, arresting the two men. Kaohsiung police joined the raid. According to the CIB, the investigators found 6,500 yuan (US$950) of fake Chinese money at the apartment, small bags of amphetamines and some electronic scales. Investigators handed over the suspects to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning. The CIB is now tracing the source of the bogus Chinese currency.
Students get free rides
Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp offered free rides yesterday to a team from a National Taiwan University (NTU) social service club dedicated to autistic children. The sponsorship is part of the company’s efforts to encourage local university students and private groups to travel to remote areas of the country to provide charity services or to help disadvantaged children, said a company public affairs officer. Under the program, the company offered club members 86 free round-trip train tickets worth in excess of NT$60,000. The NTU club’s 40-plus-member team, including 15 autistic children, left Taipei City for Taichung City for a three-day visit, said Yang Chao-chun (楊朝鈞), head of the university group. The club holds outdoor activities every year to help autistic children explore the world and meet people, Yang said.
Puppies arrive from Japan
A first batch of puppies from Japan arrived in Taiwan on Thursday to be trained as guide dogs, a domestic guide dog association said. The four puppies, which were originally owned by a guide dog school in Hokkaido were brought to Taiwan by the Taiwan Guide Dog Association. As part of the group’s activities, local families are encouraged to take part in a puppy walker program to provide loving homes for the puppies until they are between 10 months old and 12 months old and eligible to enter the association’s training program, the association said. Taiwan has welcomed guide dogs and puppies to be trained as guide dogs from Japan and the US, which have signed cooperative agreements in canine disease prevention and control with Taiwan, according to the association. At present, Taiwan has only 24 qualified guide dogs for some 60,000 visually impaired individuals.
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