HK visas offered online
The Hong Kong government announced yesterday that it would launch free online visa services for Taiwanese intending to travel to the special administrative region. Details of the reciprocal measure will be published by the Immigration Department, Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary John Tsang (曾俊華) said during the second annual Taiwan-Hong Kong conference on economic and cultural cooperation. In addition, starting on Sept. 1, Taiwanese who hold Taiwanese compatriot travel documents (台胞證) will be allowed to stay for up to 30 days in Hong Kong without having to apply for a visa, a significant extension compared with the current seven days, Tsang said. He expressed confidence that the more convenient arrangements would help enhance ties between Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Tap dancers to go to LA
Tap dancers from the local troupe Dance Workers will be performing at this year’s Los Angeles Tap Fest, becoming the first Asian group ever to perform at the festival. Troupe leader Rice Hao (郝嘉隆) said the group has prepared two dances for the festival, which they will perform on Saturday, the last night of the event. One dance, which involves the use of a red laser, will show a sense of modernity, while the other dance will combine kung fu and traditional Asian music to present an Asian interpretation of Western tap dance, Hao said. In addition to its performances at the Los Angeles festival, the troupe will also head to Nanjing, China, next month and Germany in November. Dance Workers were also invited to give performances in Washington in April this year.
Ma touts female job creation
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday highlighted his achievements in improving the socioeconomic situation of women during the past three years, which includes an increase of 179,000 jobs for women. Addressing the issue during a meeting with leaders of the National Council of Women of Taiwan, Ma said the number of women in the country’s workforce reached 4.688 million in June, up from 4.509 million in May 2008 when he assumed office. That fulfilled his campaign promise of creating 100,000 jobs for women, Ma said. An important milestone was reached in July last year when, for the first time, women’s labor force participation topped 50 percent, he said. Regarding a subsidy for workers on unpaid parental leave, Ma said more than 78,000 workers have benefited from the program since it was launched in 2009.
Urethra infections rise
Urethra infections are more likely to occur during the summer than in other seasons, as people often drink less water and they perspire more, decreasing the production of urine, which sterilizes the urethra, doctors said yesterday. Lin Ju-tin (林儒廷), director of the Shutien Clinic’s Department of Urology, said there had been a recent increase in patients with urethra infections, with the number of women seeking treatment five to six times higher than that of men. Women have shorter urethras than men and therefore are more susceptible to infections. On average, a female should pass between 1.5 to 2 liters of urine a day to efficiently wash away bacteria, Lin said. Not drinking enough water may also lead to urethral calculus, a concretion of mineral salts that could block urine excretion.