Legislature to begin session
The legislature yesterday resolved to begin its fall session by listening to Premier Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) administrative report on Friday. Legislators also agreed to hold extra plenary sessions on Oct. 11 and Oct. 13 and invite Wu, Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics Minister Shih Su-mei (石素梅), Minister of Finance Lee Sush-der (李述德), Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) and Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) to brief the legislature and answer questions, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) told reporters. He said the main focus of the session would be the government’s fiscal budget proposal for next year, its special budget for investment in public construction works next year and a special budget request to prevent flooding.
Small quake rattles east
The Central Weather Bureau said a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck off the east coast yesterday. No casualties, damage or a tsunami were immediately reported. The bureau said the quake hit at 11:17am and was centered 35km from Hualien County.
Character site goes online
Taiwan has released its official version of an online learning program for traditional Chinese characters and an English version for people whose mother tongue is not Chinese, the Ministry of Education said on Sunday. The new version features the stroke orders of 4,808 frequently used characters and bopomofo, a Mandarin phonetic system used only in Taiwan. They come with audio files, helping students to learn traditional Chinese more efficiently, it said. The new version updates a trial version that was released two years ago, the ministry said. The new version will allow those who do not know traditional Chinese to use Hanyu Pinyin to search for characters, it said.
Top pianist coming to Taipei
Award-winning Chinese pianist Lang Lang (郎朗) will visit Taiwan to give a piano recital in Taipei next month, playing the same repertoire he performed for an album at the famous Musikverein concert hall in Vienna in February. The live recording was the 28-year-old’s first album since joining Sony Music Entertainment as an exclusive artist this year. The pianist has been described as “the hottest artist on the classical music planet” by the New York Times.
Soy products stored poorly
The Consumer Protection Commission yesterday said inspections of vendors of vacuum-packaged soy products found that 11 percent did not properly store their products. The commission instructed local governments to conduct surprise inspections of 71 supermarkets, retail chains, traditional markets and food stalls that sell vacuum-packaged soy products nationwide. Officials found that eight outlets did not properly store the foodstuffs as instructed by the Department of Health, which requires that all vacuum-packaged, ready-to-eat foodstuffs that are not dried or completely sterilized at approved facilities be refrigerated or frozen during shipping and retail. Only food products that are thoroughly sterilized before being vacuum-packaged can be stored or displayed at room temperature. The commission has issued warnings to the eight outlets that failed to comply and ordered improvements to be made, or they would face fines of between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000.