Media watches air drill
Journalists were invited for the first time to a drill at an air base near Hualien that simulated a massive Chinese air attack on major air bases and tested the military’s ability to recover quickly from such a shock. The scenario involved the bombing of runways by waves of bombers or missiles from China. “The drill is aimed to test our ability to repair runways as soon as possible so that fighter jets can take off should the air base be attacked,” Air Force spokesman Lieutenant General Pan Kung-hsiao (潘恭孝) said. The exercise involved hundreds of troops, some operating heavy engineering equipment such as bulldozers, hydraulic shovels and bomb disposal engines.
PHOTO: PATRICK LIN, AFP
US pork shipment destroyed
A shipment of frozen pork ribs imported from the US was destroyed after it was found to contain the banned substance ractopamine, a drug fed to pigs to make their meat leaner. The Keelung Customs Office said the 1,360kg shipment was brokered through customs on March 29. The importer decided not to return the shipment because it would have cost more to return the pork than it was worth. Democratic Progressive Party legislators and officials from the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection and customs, watched as the pork ribs were destroyed in an incinerator. Chen said the frozen pork ribs were found to contain 1.18 parts per billion of ractopamine.
Dengue cluster reported
Two more cases of indigenous dengue fever have been reported in Kaohsiung City, bringing to five the number of cases since the start of the dengue season last month, the Centers for Disease Control said on Monday. The latest cases were classified as a cluster infection involving two people who live 15m away from each other in Lingya District (苓雅), Centers for Disease Control Director-General Lin Ting (林頂) said. This year’s dengue epidemic pattern is similar to that of 2002 in that it started early, which raises concerns that the outbreak could be as bad as 2002’s, when 5,336 indigenous cases were recorded and 21 people died, Lin said.
MOEA backs offshore power
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday it would promote offshore wind power plants and propose incentives in July to encourage local firms to invest in offshore wind power generation. Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Hwang Jung-chiou (黃重球) said it was not too late for Taiwan to develop offshore wind generation. The Taiwan Strait has very good locations for wind generation, Hwang said. The capacity of a wind power generation station located within 20m of the coast could reach 1,200 megawatts (MW), larger than the capacity of a similar wind plant on land, Hwang said. If the plant is set up around 20m to 50m off the coast, its capacity could increase to 5,000 MW — almost equal to two nuclear power plants, Hwang said. Bureau of Energy Director-General Yeh Hui-chin (葉惠青) said offshore areas near Changhua and Yunlin counties are suitable sites for wind-power generation, and the ministry would propose a plan in July to specify wind farm areas and the capacity needed.
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
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung