DPP ‘incites tensions’
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said yesterday that the recent assassination threats posted by Web users against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his daughters were the result of “perennial ethnic tensions” incited by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Chang said police must investigate the threats to ensure the president’s safety. KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) urged DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to publicly discourage such behavior. “Taiwanese society should show its maturity and tolerance regardless of whether the person threatened is a politician or not. No one is qualified to call on others to assassinate anyone for any reason,” Wu said.
‘Taiwan Corner’ gets German
Pro-Taiwan Danish online publication Taiwan Corner announced yesterday it would start offering news about Taiwan in German. Michael Danielsen, chairman of Taiwan Corner, said in an e-mail that the front-page of the newsletter would be translated into German. The online publication is in English, Chinese and Dutch. Danielsen said the objective was to reach out to more countries by using the local language. A press release was sent to the German media, Danielsen said. The Web site can be accessed at www.taiwancorner.org/.
City pushes for pet implants
Kaohsiung City’s Bureau of Economic Development yesterday said it would order pet stores to ensure that every dog and cat receive an ID chip implant before being sold. Liu Hsin-cheng (劉馨正), director-general of the bureau, told reporters that pet breeders and pet stores with legal permits that failed to add the implant would be fined between NT$40,000 and NT$200,000 in accordance with the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法). Chu Chia-te (朱家德), director of the Municipal Institute for Animal Health, said, pet owners showed up at the animal shelter everyday looking for their pets and regretted not having their pets receive the implant. Chu called on pet owners to remember to register their pets after the implant is added, saying that people who forget to do so could be fined between NT$3,000 and NT$15,000. Meanwhile, statistics from the institute showed that the city’s quota for the annual stipend for dog and cat neutering was almost full, with 46 spots remaining as of last Wednesday.
Hoklo test launched
National Cheng Kung University will launch the nation’s first general Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) proficiency certification test this summer. Taiffalo Chiung (蔣為文), director of the university’s Center for Taiwanese Languages Testing, said the first test was scheduled for July 24, adding that it would be held annually in January and July. Chiung said the center, which helped the Ministry of Education create a Hoklo proficiency screening test, held a successful proficiency test for Tainan City and County, Chiayi City and County and Pingtung County. A total of 586 teachers from junior high and elementary schools in 11 cities and counties took the test on Nov. 14 , Chiung said. About 26 percent of test-takers were awarded advanced-level certificates, while 30 percent received high-intermediate-level certificates, Chiung said. Eleven percent received basic-level certificates and 29 percent received an intermediate level certificate.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
A DEPRIVATION? The Taiwan Higher Education Union said the program, which drew much student criticism, undermined students' right to an education The Taiwan Higher Education Union on Monday accused Ming Chuan University (MCU) of sacrificing its students’ right to education by altering the English-language instruction for first-year students. The university, which has long emphasized the value that it places on English-language education, in the 2019-2020 academic year changed its English program for first-year students to a combination of self-learning through online videos and weekly lab sessions, during which students would take online tests, the union said. The change has deprived more than 3,000 students of in-person instruction and of interaction with their teachers, the union added. The online program drew much criticism from students