KMT names personnel
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) announced its latest local branch personnel list ahead of the city mayor and county commissioner elections next year, Huang Chao-yuan (黃昭元), commissioner of the party’s Organization and Development Commission, said yesterday. While the arrangement was routine, it was also in part made to prepare for local elections next year, he said. Huang said the party could launch the nomination process for local government elections earlier than scheduled. “The party will probably begin the nomination process this December or January and hold primaries for local government head elections next April or May,” he said.
Nangang celebrates flowers
Taipei City’s Nangang District (南港) celebrated the blossoming of sweet olive, or osmanthus, flowers with a carnival-like festival yesterday that featured musical performances and a fun fair. It was the sixth year that the Nangang District Office has held the Guihua Festival, which celebrates the blossoming of the sweet olive — a plant known for the fragrance of its flowers. The carnival began at Jiuzhuang Elementary School with a singing contest and a musical concert. Visitors to the one-day festival also had the opportunity to sample traditional guihua (桂花) cakes and guihua-scented Chinese tea. The Nangang District Office has been encouraging residents to plant more guihua trees as part of tourism promotion efforts. At present, there are 10,000 sweet olive trees in Nangang. District administrator Chiang Ching-hui (江慶輝) said that the trees began blossoming last week and that the fragrance was growing stronger as more flowers bloom.
Kaohsiung earning more
Kaohsiung City’s annual household income averaged NT$1.18 million (US$36,200) last year, with average disposable income reaching NT$980,000, according to statistics released by the city government last week. Average family income was up 1.23 percent compared with the 2006 average of NT$1.17 million, the city government’s Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said. Of the average family income of NT$1.18 million, wages contributed an average NT$698,931, with the remainder coming from asset-related earnings. Last year’s average family discretionary income also saw a rise of 1.06 percent over the previous year’s level of NT$970,062, the tallies indicated. More than 90 percent of the city’s households had cellphones, while more than 70 percent had home computers, with 93 percent of those connected to the Internet, the survey of 1,500 households said.
■ FIRE SAFETY
Incident numbers decline
A total of 1,903 fire incidents were reported nationwide in the first eight months of the year, down 18 percent compared with the same period last year, according to Ministry of the Interior figures released yesterday. Building fires were the most common incidents, accounting for 66 percent of reports, the tally said. Thirty-six percent of the fires were attributed to short-circuiting electrical equipment, while 12 percent resulted from arson and 8 percent were caused by cigarette butts. By region, the highest rate was recorded in outlying Lienchiang County, with 6.1 incidents per 10,000 people. Taitung County had the second-highest rate with 4.7 incidents per 10,000 people, followed by Penghu County, with 3 incidents per 10,000 people.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
MEDICINAL HERB: The FRIL protein extracted from hyacinth beans helped laboratory mice survive H1N1 infection and effectively neutralized the coronavirus A protein isolated from hyacinth beans, a medicinal herb known for centuries, has been found to restrict the activities of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses in laboratory experiments, a team of Academia Sinica researchers said yesterday. The beans’ curative effect is documented in the 16th-century Chinese medicine classic Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目) and they are also a food source in some countries, the Genomics Research Center’s Chemical Biology Division Director Alex Ma (馬徹) told a news conference in Taipei. Center senior research specialist Jan Jia-tsrong (詹家琮) experimented with up to 500 medicinal herbs to see if they could restrict influenza viruses and