Third brucellosis case found
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Tuesday confirmed a new case of highly contagious zoonosis brucellosis — the third this year — and warned the public not to consume raw milk or meat when traveling in high-risk countries. A 60-year-old woman who visited Malaysia in April began complaining of light muscle pain, a typical symptom of the disease, said Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), head of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Center. The incubation period for the disease can be several months, and anyone returning from brucellosis-prone areas such as the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East and Central and South America who experience fatigue, stomach ache and profuse sweating should advise their doctors about their travel history, Chuang said. Two cases were reported earlier this year — a 54-year-old woman and a 72-year-old woman, who consumed raw meat and dairy products during their trip in May to North Africa and Southeast Asia respectively.
Flora pavilions reopening
The Taipei City Government said yesterday that three of the pavilions at the Taipei International Flora Expo’s Xinsheng Park would reopen next month. The two most popular pavilions — the Pavilion of Dreams and the Pavilion of Future — as well as the Pavilion of Angel Life will open to the public on Aug. 1, with tickets priced at NT$100, NT$50 and NT$100 respectively. To avoid huge crowds and long lines at the pavilions, people can buy tickets in advance at 7-Eleven, FamilyMart and Hi-Life convenience stores. Sales of tickets for visits next month will start on Wednesday, while those for September will be available next month, the Department of Economic Development Commissioner Cheng Hsiung-wen (陳雄文) said.
Retirement assets low: poll
Taiwan has the second-lowest individual retirement assets in Asia, according to a survey released on Tuesday by a global investment services firm. Each adult has only about NT$900,000 (US$31,000) in assets when he or she retires, HSBC Direct in Taiwan said. The figure is much lower than the regional average of more than NT$1.05 million and is only ahead of India. However, the survey also found that 60 percent of Taiwanese polled said they had financial plans for their retirement, which is behind only China and India in the region.
DPP might sue for Tsai story
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday that it has not ruled out filing a lawsuit against a publication questioning DPP Chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) sexual orientation. Taiwan People Power News (TPPN, 台灣公論報) on Monday questioned Tsai’s relationship with an aide in a story titled “Unveiling the secret of Tsai Ing-wen’s sexual orientation.” “We will definitely file a lawsuit against the groundless and false content in the report,” said DPP spokesman Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁). TPPN publisher Wu Hsiao-tien (巫曉天) is married to Hou Hui-hsien (侯惠仙), a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Committee. TPPN was founded in 1947 and re-launched in 2006, according to its Web site. Given the relationship of Wu and Hou and their close connection with the KMT, it raises suspicions that the story could be “part of a series of dirty election tricks against Tsai,” Chen said.
Hualien pork prices soaring
Officials of the Hualien County Meat Market Corp said the county is experiencing soaring pork prices because of a supply shortage of local meat. The pork shortage has led to wholesale pork prices reaching NT$75 per kilogram, up NT$10 from the same period last year, according to Hualien County Councilor Kung Wen-chun (龔文俊), who runs a pig farm. Kung said pigs usually have low appetites in the summer because of the hot weather, which means they put on weight more slowly. Meanwhile, the prices of imported feed, such as soybeans and corn, have doubled, forcing farmers to raise fewer animals, he added. Teng Kuo-hsiang (鄧國祥), the company’s marketing manager, said he will invite local farmers’ associations and pig farmers to discuss the issue of how to balance the pork market.
Kinmen seeks China pupils
Four schools on the outlying island of Kinmen have invited children of Taiwanese businesspeople in China to study there, offering free tuition as an incentive. The children would have to pay as little as NT$2,000 for their dormitory accommodations and would enjoy the same resources as other students, according to the officials. The four schools signed sister-school agreements with three private schools founded by Taiwanese businesspeople in China on Tuesday at the Ministry of Education. The three schools in China now have about 3,500 students and the ministry subsidizes each student with NT$30,000 each year. However, education officials are encouraging students to enroll in the Kinmen schools, which use the same curricula as the rest of Taiwan. They said this would help the students get used to the education system in their home country.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each