Man sues runaway bride
A court has ordered a runaway bride to pay NT$250,000 (US$8,620) in emotional damage to her groom-to-have-been for not showing up at their wedding, local media reported on Friday. The woman, who was five months pregnant at the time, failed to show up at the wedding ceremony in November after she and her intended had fought over the number of guests to be invited, media reports said. The deeply embarrassed groom decided on a whim to ask the maid of honor to stand in the bride’s place to fake a wedding, but ended up falling in love with the understudy and later married her for real, the reports said. The groom, who lives in Greater Kaohsiung, was awarded NT$250,000 in a final verdict, although he had sought NT$1 million. The runaway bride is raising her baby alone, the reports said.
Workers protest overwork
More than 200 workers are expected to gather outside the Council of Labor Affairs in Taipei today to protest long working hours and call for the scrapping of a labor law clause they say has given employers cover to overwork their employees. Lin Ming-che (林名哲), secretary-general of the protest’s co-organizer, the Trade Union of Electrical, Electronic and Information Workers in Taiwan, said Article 84-1 of the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) exempts certain types of employees from work-hour limits, and today’s protest will call for it to be abolished. He said the clause has allowed employers in the manufacturing and service sectors to force some of their employees to work long hours without paying them overtime. The article states that workers in certain jobs, such as supervisors, managers, authorized specialists and monitors, may arrange their own working hours, regular days off, national holidays and female workers’ night work through other agreements with their employers. The clause, Lin said, has meant that overtime abuses are widespread, and especially in electronics, where many engineers have fallen ill or even died from working too many hours.
Passports in demand in LA
Applications for passports at Taiwan’s representative office in Los Angeles increased 50 percent year-on-year in both June and last month, possibly because of interest in voting in January’s presidential election, according to a Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) official in Los Angeles. TECO in Los Angeles director--general Kung Chung-chen (龔中誠) attributed the abrupt rise in part to the growing convenience of Taiwanese passports and the desire of citizens to participate in Taiwan’s national health insurance system. However, the increase could also be related to the Jan. 14 presidential election and the potential help a passport could provide, Kung said.
Volunteers map diabetes
Medical volunteers from two Taiwanese hospitals have helped Saint Lucia complete its first diabetes “map” and helped authorities in the Caribbean ally raise public awareness of the disease. Ambassador Tom Chou (周台竹) said Changhua Christian Hospital has sent seven volunteer groups to Saint Lucia since November 2009. During those trips, the volunteers came to realize that diabetes has taken a major toll on the country. In the most recent volunteer mission, medical professionals from National Taiwan University Hospital and Changhua Christian Hospital studied the causes behind patients’ diabetes and where they lived and then compiled the information in a map.