Cup reduction required: EPA
Retail beverage chains will be required to offer discounts to clients who bring reusable containers from Jan. 1 next year, or to offer refunds of NT$1 to consumers who return two used disposable cups, an official said yesterday. “The new regulation is part of our efforts to reduce the consumption of single-use beverage cups over environmental concerns,” said Wang Chun-yuan (王俊淵), director-general of the Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) Solid Waste Management Bureau. “Coffee, beverages, convenience and fast food chain stores must submit disposable drinking cup reduction plans to the EPA before the end of this year detailing their discount or incentive programs for consumers who bring reusable containers,” Wang said. “The new requirement has become necessary because huge consumption of disposable cups has not only squeezed our natural resources but also polluted our rivers and living environment,” Wang said. EPA estimates show chain stores in Taiwan consume about 1.5 billion single-use cups a year.
NTUH marks anniversary
National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) yeserday marked the 15th anniversary of its first lung transplant operation. Over the past 15 years, the hospital has performed lung transplants for 66 patients. The success rate for the last four years stands at 93 percent, with the two-year survival rate reaching 80 percent, NTUH said. Some of the survivors were invited by the hospital to share their stories at a news conference held to mark the anniversary. Among them was 48-year-old Chen Fou-yang (陳浮陽), whose lungs were severely damaged 14 years ago as a result of poisoning from sweet leaf, a tropical plant believed to be helpful for losing weight. Chen said she was later diagnosed with bronchial obstruction and had to receive a lung transplant. She is the longest-surviving lung transplant patient in the country. Hsu Shao-hsun, a surgeon at the hospital, said that lungs suitable for transplants were not easy to find. Of all organ donors, only 10 to 12 percent provide viable lungs, he said.
THSRC reaches milestone
Three-and-a-half years after commencing services, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) announced yesterday morning that it had transported its 100 millionth passenger. The passenger will receive a free ticket for use over a one-year period. THSRC is still trying to contact the 100,000,001st passenger, who purchased a ticket nine seconds after the first-prize winner. He or she will receive a free one-month ticket, THSRC said.
Man gets 1,139 years
A man was sentenced yesterday to a total of 1,139 years in prison by Taoyuan District Court for sexually assaulting his teenage daughters. The man, surnamed Liao (廖), was arrested after his wife found out in September last year that he had been raping their two daughters for more than two years. The district court ruling said Liao committed over 200 sex crimes against his daughters, which accumulated into the long prison term. In practice, he will only be jailed for 30 years — the maximum prison term stipulated by the law with the exception of a life sentence. The ruling said Liao committed the crimes when his wife worked late at night by pulling the girls into his room and sexually assaulting them. Liao beat the girls if they resisted, the ruling said. Liao’s wife found out after she saw him and their older daughter walk out of the bathroom together one day, the ruling 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
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’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan