Facebook flirt murdered
A jealous husband led an assault on a Facebook user who had flirted with his wife online, killing the man, police said yesterday. A 34-year-old resident of Pingtung County surnamed Chou (周) told police he had requested a meeting with the 40-year-old victim, surnamed Chuang (莊), after he found out about the online relationship. When Chuang turned up at the agreed spot outside a restaurant early on Saturday morning, Chou and two of his friends attacked him with baseball bats, police said. The three men reportedly thought they had not inflicted life-threatening injuries. Chuang was discovered dead shortly afterwards. All three alleged assailants have been arrested.
No damage from 5.4 quake
A moderate tremblor of magnitude of 5.4 struck southeast of Suao (蘇澳), Yilan County, early yesterday, US seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued. The tremor struck at 5:43am 73km southeast of Suao at a depth of 25km, the US Geological Survey said.
Foreign parent rule revised
The government has changed its visa regulations pertaining to parents of foreign spouses, allowing them 90-day stays instead of one month, the National Immigration Agency said on Sunday. The regulation, to take effect immediately, was revised in response to requests by new immigrants, the agency said. Parents of non-pregnant foreign spouses can now apply for visas for up to 90 days, which would be non-extendable, the agency said. In cases of foreign spouses who are pregnant, their parents can apply for extendable 90-day visas, the agency said. The supporting documents for such applications include one that shows when the baby is due, the agency said. Parents of foreign spouses are allowed to stay in Taiwan for up to 180 days a year, the agency said, adding that adjustments can be made in certain cases.
Cruise liner stops in Hualien
Luxury cruise company Holland America Line made its first stop in the country in about 20 years when one of its liners, carrying about 1,400 Japanese, arrived in Hualien yesterday morning, a company spokeswoman said. The Netherlands-registered cruise ship MS Zaandam arrived in the port at about 8am and its passengers were taken to Taroko National Park. The liner, which was chartered by Japanese tour operators rather than on a regularly scheduled itinerary, set off from Kobe on Thursday and stopped in Nagasaki. It was to leave for Greater Kaohsiung later yesterday, before heading back to Kobe, Japan, the spokeswoman said. The cruise line had planned to include Taiwan among its destinations in 2009, but dropped the idea because of restrictions on foreign ships sailing between China and Taiwan. It was unclear if the latest charter would encourage the inclusion of Taiwanese ports in Holland America Line’s itineraries. The stopover was also a milestone of sorts for Hualien and the nation in general as local officials have made efforts to attract international cruise lines, including setting up facilities in several harbor cities to expedite immigration procedures and expand international cruise services. However, there have been complaints in Hualien that while several cruise liners have visited the city over the years, most tourists did not stay overnight, limiting opportunities for local businesses.