MOFA mulling new UN bid
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday it was studying how to approach Taiwan’s bid for representation in the UN and will make a decision on how best to proceed this year. Department of International Organizations Director-General Paul Chang (章文樑) told a press briefing that the ministry was leaning toward making another UN bid this year, but is currently engaged in a multi-faceted evaluation of the issue. “We will make a decision by August and will proceed step-by-step in a pragmatic manner,” he said. The decision will be made on the basis of three key factors — Taiwan’s needs, the atmosphere in the international community and cross-strait relations, he said.
Travelers warned on dengue
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday advised travelers to Southeast Asia to take proper precautions against dengue fever, as a high number of imported cases has been confirmed in Taiwan so far this year. “The 90 imported cases of dengue fever reported in Taiwan indicate a dramatic escalation of the mosquito-borne disease in recent years,” spokesman Lin Ting (林頂) said. The number of imported dengue fever cases would likely reach a peak next month, the centers said. Citing the WHO’s June 15 statistics on dengue fever, the CDC said Malaysia had reported 21,707 cases, including 54 deaths. In Vietnam, the number had reached 16,555 cases, 14 of which were fatal, while in the Philippines, 6,537 cases, including 62 fatalities, had been reported. CDC statistics showed that the 90 imported cases of dengue fever this year represents a steep rise compared with the same period last year, when 64 cases were confirmed.
Andy Lau loses court fight
Hong Kong film star and singer Andy Lau (劉德華) lost an appeal against Daily Air and was ordered to pay NT$6.69 million (US$201,000) for damaging its helicopter during a film stunt, the Taiwan High Court said yesterday. The court upheld an earlier ruling against Lau and increased the amount of compensation from NT$5.1 million because it used a different method to calculate the helicopter’s value, a court spokesman said. Lau was found liable for brushing against the copter’s pitch stick before jumping out during the shooting of action flick The Island of Greed in Taiwan in 1997, the court said. The move caused the chopper’s rotor blade to hit lighting equipment. Daily Air filed the suit in 1998 but a Taipei district court only handed down the verdict last year. The court said the case had dragged on because the defendants were in Hong Kong.
First organic eggs certified
Putting chickens out to forage on vegetable plots for pests has earned an organic farm an unexpected product — organic eggs. The eggs from the privately owned Tenha Organic Farm in Rende Township (仁德), Tainan County, were officially certified as organic on Wednesday, making them the nation’s first certified organic livestock product, the Council of Agriculture said in a statement. The farm had not planned to produce organic eggs, but they were a byproduct of the farm’s decision to grow organic fruit and vegetables and use chickens to keep down insects, an official said. Since the fowl are raised in the open and feed on farm-grown corn, leftover vegetables and small invertebrates, their eggs qualify as an organic livestock product, the official said. The farm produces 30 eggs a day, but plans to expand production.