DPP lawmaker recovering
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩), who is being treated for ovarian cancer, yesterday said she was doing fine and would recover soon. “I am very thankful to those who called me or left messages supporting me,” Chiu, who had a tumor removed while campaigning for re-election in December, said on her Facebook page. “I started the first session of chemotherapy shortly after the elections ended last month, after a checkup showed I was ill,” Chiu said on Facebook on Tuesday after receiving a second round of the therapy. “The treatment has been going well and I will be healthy again soon.” Chiu’s husband, Greater Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Lee Yung-te (李永得), also thanked Chiu’s supporters for their concern, adding that her service office in Meinong District (美濃) would remain open while she is recuperating.
Tainan to hold arts festival
The first Tainan Arts Festival, which opens on Feb. 25, will feature an array of theater, dance and music performances. The festival, which will run until June 17, will see international and domestic groups perform in the city’s cultural center, ancient buildings and cultural and historic sites such as the Eternal Golden Castle and the Wude Temple. Among the featured performers are US vocalist Bobby McFerrin, who will perform on Feb. 25 to warm up the festival, and German violinist David Garrett, who will perform at the opening ceremony at Nanying Green Heart Park on March 3. Other international performers include Japan’s Flying Ship Theater, French pianist Richard Clayderman, British chamber orchestra The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and Latvian cellist Mischa Maisky.
Festivals generate trash
Huge mountains of trash have been created during Lantern Festival celebrations since late last month, as litter, firecracker papers and lanterns pile up on the streets, the New Taipei City Government said. It estimated that 64 tonnes of garbage was generated at Pingsi (平溪), where the annual Sky Lantern Festival attracted 450,000 visitors from Jan. 26 to Monday. A total of 120 cleaning staff a day were needed to clean the streets of trash and used sky lanterns during the festival, with about 15,800 sky lanterns being distributed or purchased by visitors, the city said. Meanwhile, in Greater Tainan, more than 120 tonnes of trash was collected during the Yanshui Fireworks Festival, which ran from Jan. 20 to Monday. Huge piles of roadside litter and burned remains of firecrackers were left behind by more than 100,000 tourists at the festival, the Greater Tainan Government said.
Four more die from flu
Four more people died from flu complications on Tuesday, raising the total number of flu-related deaths in the country since July last year to 54, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said. Of the 54 fatalities, 42 were from complications of the Yamagata influenza B strain, while 12 people died of the Type A flu virus, the CDC said. Seven of the 42 who succumbed had been vaccinated, CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said. The vaccine recommended by the WHO for the 2011-2012 flu season was supposed to protect against the same three viruses that last year’s flu vaccine did, but no recommendations were made against Yamagata influenza B, Chou said. The CDC might alter its next assessment when it places new orders for vaccine for the 2012-2013 flu season, he said.