■ FIRST FAMILY
Ma daughters not PRC-bound
Despite their employment by a Chinese fireworks specialist, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) two daughters will not visit China to handle their company’s firework project for the People’s Republic of China’s 60th anniversary celebrations, the Presidential Office said yesterday. Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said the projects the president’s two daughters — Lesley Ma (馬唯中) and Kelly Ma (馬元中) — are responsible for at the moment had nothing to do with the fireworks display today. “I don’t think they will go to China to participate in the work,” he said. Lesley Ma returned from the US in April amid speculation that she was in Taiwan to arrange her wedding. It turned out that she came back to prepare a show for her boss, Cai Guoqiang (蔡國強), at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum at the end of this year.
Liu to attend conference
President Ma has asked former premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) to attend the upcoming Forum 2000 conference scheduled for Oct. 11 through Oct. 13 in Prague, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Sources close to Liu said the former premier will focus his discussion on the global financial crisis and will share Taiwan’s experience in dealing with the challenge. Forum 2000 was established in 1996 as a joint initiative of former Czech president Vaclav Havel, Japanese philanthropist Yohei Sasakawa and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. It aims to identify the key issues facing civilization and to explore ways in which to prevent the escalation of conflict. The theme of this year’s conference is Democracy and Freedom in a Multipolar World. Some of the topics scheduled to be addressed will include the metamorphosis of democracy after the Cold War and the consequences of the current economic crisis.
Taipei hotline now free
The Taipei City Government announced yesterday that the 1999 Citizen Hotline would be free starting from today. Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said providing the service free-of-charge would cost the city government NT$10 million (US$310,000) annually. The 24-hour hotline, launched by the city government in July last year, receives about 150,000 calls a month on average, Taipei City’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission said. Hau said the city government decided to make the service free in order to better serve residents. The mayor made the announcement after the Kaohsiung City Government announced it would provide its citizen hotline for free earlier yesterday. The hotline offers services in Japanese and English and the city said the commission would step up training to provide better services in these languages.
Chen Chu protects old trees
The Kaohsiung City Government said yesterday it would establish regulations to protect the city’s old trees. Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) told reporters this had become necessary following the Taiwan Railway Administration’s (TRA) move to fell four 40-year-old mango trees early last Friday at an old TRA dormitory. “Every old tree is an asset and treasure for Kaohsiung residents,” Chen said, calling on state-run enterprises and residents to pay more atttention to tree protection.
Flora Expo tickets on sale
Tickets for the Taipei International Flora Expo will go on sale today, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. The expo is set to open in Taipei on Nov. 6 next year and run through April 25, 2011. One-day passes, which normally cost NT$300, will be sold for NT$200 until March 31 next year. A 12-ticket souvenir set will cost NT$3,300, down from the normal price of NT$3,600. The expo will cover 91.8 hectares and feature 14 exhibition pavilions divided among four major parks. The pavilions will showcase horticultural themes, biotechnology and environmental protection technology. The advance tickets are for sale at ticket.2010taipeiexpo.tw and www.ticket.com.tw, as well as Hi-Life and OK-Mart convenience stores.
Bees sting teacher, students
A teacher and three students were hospitalized after being attacked by bees during a field trip to the Air Force Cemetery in Bitan (碧潭), Taipei County, yesterday. The four, from Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei County, were recovering after being rushed to hospital. Hsi Hsien-te (習賢德), a professor at the university’s Department of Journalism and Communication Studies, said a swarm of bees attacked a group of 25 students as they were on their way to the cemetery. Hsi said he and three students were stung on their arms and heads. They at first thought the insects were hornets, but it was later confirmed that the insects were ordinary bees.
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
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,
‘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’
More than half of Taiwan’s middle-aged population, those aged between 40 and 64, have at least one of the “three highs” — high blood pressure, high blood lipids or high blood sugar — and an unhealthy waist size, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said, adding that more than 30 percent also have metabolic syndrome. The HPA, the Taiwan Millennium Health Foundation and local health departments are cooperating to encourage people to regularly measure their waist circumference and keep it at a healthy size — no more than 90cm for adult men and no more than 80cm for adult women. Taichung Veterans General