KMT restricts legislators
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said it would ban its legislators from campaigning for candidates of other parties, and warned that violators would be punished. KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung’s (金溥聰) announcement came after KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾), a former People First Party (PFP) member, campaigned for a PFP Taipei City councilor candidate last week. King said the new regulation was not aimed at Lo, and would not be applied retroactively. “It is OK to show up at a campaign event, but it would be inappropriate for party legislators to announce their support on the stage or accompany candidates to canvass in the streets. All party members should follow the regulations for party unity,” King said. The KMT have recently kept a distance from their pan-blue allies. PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) said the KMT had not asked him to attend campaigning events for KMT candidates in next month’s special municipality elections.
Baldness linked to disease
A recent study of more than 4,000 people with “spot baldness” has found a correlation between the affliction and autoimmune diseases, the Taipei Veterans General Hospital said yesterday. A study conducted by the hospital suggests people suffering from spot baldness have a higher risk of contracting autoimmune diseases such as atopic dermatitis, lupus, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, said Chen Chih-chiang (陳志強), an attending physician who led the study. With the help of the Bureau of National Health Insurance’s database, researchers analyzed the records of 4,334 spot baldness patients from 1996 to 2008 and cross-checked the incidence of autoimmune diseases with their ages, Chen said. The results showed that children under the age of 10 with spot baldness were 9.7 times more likely to get lupus, while patients aged 11 to 20 were prone to psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis and those older than 60 had a higher risk of thyroid disease, he said. The study, to be published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, could help doctors detect other autoimmune diseases in a timely manner and reduce the waste of medical resources, he said.
Alleged car thieves arrested
Taipei County police yesterday announced the arrests of three alleged car thieves who earned at least NT$15 million (US$476,000) by selling stolen spare parts after Typhoon Fanapi damaged many vehicles last month. The trio reportedly stole one or two cars daily and harvested their parts to keep up with demand from garages after the typhoon caused flood damage to a large number of vehicles, police said. Police said they tracked the gang down via the GPS system in one of the stolen cars.
First lady to join tour
First lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) will join the Ming Hwa Yuan Arts and Cultural Group on its six-country, seven-city European tour later this month as the troupe’s honorary director. Chow will fly to Berlin on Sunday to join the first leg of the tour, the Taiwanese opera group said in a statement and then follow the group to Prague, Vienna, Paris, London, Edinburgh and Amsterdam. The group will perform its most popular production, The Living Buddha. The tour is scheduled to end on Oct. 22. Apart from nine formal performances, the troupe will also give workshops at universities to introduce the traditional Taiwanese art form.
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
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu