Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said yesterday that an ongoing plan to reshuffle the Cabinet would be settled by the end of this month.
“I had a plan in mind to complete a necessary reshuffle by Jan. 31, together with the consideration [of a possible candidate to replace] Department of Health Minister [Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良)],” Wu said.
Yaung offered to resign on Jan. 4 after the legislature passed a bill to reform the National Health Insurance System. He later agreed to stay on until the end of this month.
Cabinet members in economic-related departments are likely to retain their positions because replacing economic officials just as the economic recovery gains ground seems “illogical,” Wu said.
It is not easy to recruit talent in the private sector to work for the government because they would rather not be questioned by lawmakers in the legislature, disclose their assets to the Control Yuan or be subject to a number of restrictions imposed on Cabinet members, Wu said.
Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱), who has been diagnosed with lung adenocarcinoma and recently underwent surgery, might also continue in his position, Wu said, adding that he had talked to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) about the matter and found that Kao should be able to stay in the position because he is recovering well.
At a separate setting yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) urged the premier to replace Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), saying that Chiang was the least well-known GIO minister under the KMT administration.
“Back in the old KMT administration era, [the position of] the GIO minister was extremely important and almost the most high-profile [among government officials]. However, who knows Johnny Chiang now?” asked Lo, alleging that Chiang had failed to defend government policy on a number of occasions.
Lo also singled out the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, saying Wu should consider replacing government chiefs at the ministries, or the party’s performance in the next legislative and presidential elections would suffer.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
MEDICINAL HERB: The FRIL protein extracted from hyacinth beans helped laboratory mice survive H1N1 infection and effectively neutralized the coronavirus A protein isolated from hyacinth beans, a medicinal herb known for centuries, has been found to restrict the activities of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses in laboratory experiments, a team of Academia Sinica researchers said yesterday. The beans’ curative effect is documented in the 16th-century Chinese medicine classic Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目) and they are also a food source in some countries, the Genomics Research Center’s Chemical Biology Division Director Alex Ma (馬徹) told a news conference in Taipei. Center senior research specialist Jan Jia-tsrong (詹家琮) experimented with up to 500 medicinal herbs to see if they could restrict influenza viruses and