Bacteria hampers chestnuts
Malabar chestnut plants, one of the major exports of Changhua County, are being affected by unknown bacteria that has hurt yields and sales, Hsichou Township (溪州) chief Huang Sheng-lu (黃盛祿) said earlier this month. Since July last year, the popular pot plants grown in Hsichou have often been returned by foreign buyers because of complaints about root and bark quality, Huang said. The town has 650 hectares of the trees under cultivation, accounting for about 80 percent of the nation’s overall production. The infected chestnuts usually do not appear sick until shipped to distribution centers or abroad, resulting in costly losses for farmers, Huang said. Farmers said fusarium, a fungus often found in soil, could be behind the outbreak, although Chen Bao-liang (陳保良), an official with the Council of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, said the actual cause of the disease was still being investigated.
Aboriginal numbers rise
The nation’s Aboriginal population reached 512,701 at the end of last year, up 1.6 percent from the year before, statistics by the Ministry of the Interior showed over the weekend. The average age of Aboriginal people stood at 32.5 years, 5.6 years younger than that of the country’s overall population, which numbered 23,162,123 at the end of last year. Hualien County boasted the largest number of Aboriginal residents, with 90,929 or 17.7 percent of the total Aboriginal population, followed by Taitung County with 80,152 or 15.6 percent and Taoyuan County with 59,321 or 11.6 percent. Among the 14 officially recognized Aboriginal tribes, Amis is the largest, with 187,763 people or 36.6 percent of the overall Aboriginal population. Paiwan came in second, with 81,552 (15.9 percent), followed by Atayal, with 81,552 people (15.9 percent.)
Elderly volunteer honored
An 83-year-old woman, who yesterday was given an award for her years of volunteer work at a cultural center in Greater Taichung, said helping others had boosted her energy. Cheng Wu Chiao-niang(鄭巫嬌娘), the oldest volunteer at the Dadun Culture Center, received an award from Greater -Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強), who praised her spirit at such a venerable age. The spirit of volunteer service is hard enough to come by, but the commitment of senior volunteers was even more praiseworthy and sets a good example, Hu said. Cheng Wu takes a bus every Thursday to get to downtown Taichung, which is about a three-hour journey from her home. “I view the volunteer work as a break, so I do not feel it is a waste of time,” Cheng Wu said.
Village to hold festival: Chen
Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) yesterday vowed to help the remaining residents of Siaolin Village (小林) continue to hold the Siraya Night Festival (小林夜祭). Chen said after the permanent housing for residents of Wulipu Village (五里埔) was completed, the city government would launch a campaign to help promote the festival because the celebration was an important asset of the Aboriginal community. The new housing, which is 3km away from the village, is part of the government’s reconstruction work in the areas hit by mudslides induced by rain brought by Typhoon Morakot in August 2009. The village was almost completely wiped out by landslides.
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of