Officer on wanted list
The government has put a military intelligence officer on the wanted list after she failed to report to work following a holiday in Thailand last month, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. The lieutenant, identified only by her surname Yeh (葉), has been sacked by the military intelligence bureau and will face a court-martial for abandoning her post if she returns home, the ministry said. However, the ministry denied media reports alleging she had acquired important intelligence and defected to China. “We are investigating the case and we will thoroughly review our systems for recruiting, selecting, training and assigning staff,” it said in a statement.
Biopesticide selling well
The Council of Agriculture said yesterday it has developed a biopesticide that has received a favorable response from farmers since its launch late last year. According to an official with the Taiwan Agricultural Chemicals and Toxic Substances Research Institute, this is the first locally developed organic biopesticide to be approved by local authorities. The pesticide is effective against insect larvae that feed on vegetables such as cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and soybeans, the official said, adding that demand has been strong since the technology was transferred to Fwusow Industry Co for commercialization. Although deadly to the insect, the pesticide does not affect humans or other animals, making it a safe choice for farmers, the council said.
Shalun Beach tightens rules
Safety measures at New Taipei City’s (新北市) Shalun Beach, where five students recently drowned, have been tightened and those who ignore warnings against swimming or playing in the water will be fined, New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said on Monday. Swimming is banned at the beach, but since it is difficult to differentiate between swimming and playing around, the government will no longer allow beachgoers to enter the water, he added. Hou said beach guards who patrol the beach will discourage visitors from going into the water, and those who disregard the warnings will be fined up to NT$25,000. Meanwhile, authorities at Zheng De Junior High School, where the five students were enrolled, called for donations to help the bereaved families who are having a hard time paying for funeral arrangements. A total of 22 people have drowned at the beach since it was closed in 1999 because of strong undercurrents and dangerous whirlpools.
Six new enterovirus cases
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported six new cases of severe enterovirus in the nation yesterday, adding that the annual peak period for infection has not ended. Five of the six patients, all children under the age of four, have been treated and discharged from hospital, the centers said, but the sixth, an 11-month-old boy from central Taiwan, is still in hospital. “We discovered that a three-year-old boy and his one-year-old sister might have been infected by other family members,” the CDC said of two of the new cases. As of Monday, the number of serious enterovirus cases this year reached 102, with one death recorded. The fatal case involved a five-month-old boy who died late last month of enterovirus 71, a virulent form of the virus, the CDC said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,