KMT nominates candidate
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday nominated Chang Geng-hui (張艮輝) to run in the Yunlin County legislative by-election. The nomination must be approved by the party’s Central Nomination Review Committee and Central Standing Committee. Chang, 48, is an associate professor at National Yunlin University of Science and Technology. Yunlin Irrigation Association director Chang Hui-yuan (張輝元) has announced he will run in the by-election as an independent. Chang’s son, former KMT legislator Chang Sho-wen (張碩文), won a legislative election in Yunlin County in January last year but lost his seat last month after the High Court found him guilty of participating in a vote-buying scheme organized by his father. Chang Hui-yuan, who was found guilty of vote buying in the first trial, had registered with the KMT to run in the by-election on behalf of his son. The KMT later rejected his registration based on the revised version of its “black-gold exclusion clause,” which states that members who are found guilty of corruption at a first trial may not to be nominated for any election. The by-election will be held on Sept. 26.
Drivers study sign language
More than 800 bus drivers employed by the Capital Bus Company are studying sign language to offer better service to athletes competing in the 21st Summer Deaflympics to be held from Sept. 5 to Sept. 15, a spokesman for the private company said yesterday. General Manager Lee Chien-wen (李建文) said the company broadcasts a film at every bus depot on the hour every day to give drivers a chance to learn some of the language. The company has also hired several dactylology teachers from the city’s Department of Labor to give drivers training in the use of simple hand signals.
Foreign visitors surge
The number of foreign visitors rose 10.4 percent to 2.1 million in the first half of the year, spurred by an influx of Chinese tourists, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday. About half of the total were tourists, up 28.1 percent, while 381,000 were business visitors, down 18.6 percent. The rest were foreigners in other categories, such as foreign workers, the Tourism Bureau said in its monthly bulletin. Although the number of tourists from most countries fell, including a 53 percent drop in South Korean tourists, the number of Chinese tourists grew. In the period from January to June, Taiwan received 251,273 Chinese tourists, up 711 percent from the same period last year.
Delegation readies for Israel
A youth delegation will leave for Israel soon to attend an international ecology and summer leadership program, the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei (ISECO) said yesterday. At the invitation of the Taipei-based Israeli office, five young people with volunteering background in animal or environmental protection will participate in the program, which is being organized by Israel’s National Council for Youth Exchange. The ISECO said the program would focus on themes of ecology and youth leadership, and would feature workshops, ecological and cultural activities and trips to Israel’s museums and popular tourist attractions. The program is scheduled to be held between Sunday and Aug. 16 in Hakefar-Hayarok and will serve as a platform for cultural exchanges among the participants. All accommodation costs will be covered by the Israeli Youth Council, the ISECO said.
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
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu