States allow ROC licenses
Some states in Australia have allowed Taiwanese to drive in the country after using their licenses to apply for a local license, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday. Republic of China (ROC) citizens aged 25 and above with a valid driver’s license, can drive in South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria states without having to take local driving tests, the ministry said in a statement. Starting later this year, the program will also be applied to the states of New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland, the ministry said. From March next year, ROC citizens with a driver’s license will be able to use their license to obtain a local license to drive throughout Australia, the ministry said. Taiwanese under 25 will still have to take local driving tests to obtain an Australian driver’s license. Taiwan’s driver’s license is also recognized by countries such as Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Ireland.
Alleged bird-smuggler caught
A Taiwanese man allegedly caught with 43 smuggled birds in his carry-on luggage was arrested late on Monday at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport upon his arrival from Macau. The suspect told police he bought the birds in China and had planned to sell them to stores, police said. The police said they received a tip-off that the man was attempting to smuggle the birds. He has a record of live animal smuggling and had been caught in 2009 while attempting to bring more than 100 birds and turtles into Taiwan. The authorities said the 43 birds were killed and were being tested for infectious diseases. Earlier this month, a batch of 38 smuggled birds was seized at the airport. They were found to be carrying the H5N1 avian flu virus and were destroyed, the Centers for Disease Control said.
New material developed
National Cheng Kung University has made a breakthrough in semiconductor packaging by developing a new material that is believed to be more stable and cost-effective than existing materials, the Greater Tainan-based school said on Monday. The research team, headed by professor Lin Kwang-lung (林光隆), used a mix of tin, zinc, silver, aluminum and gallium to make the new material. Currently available materials are generally composed of silver, tin and copper. Lin, a professor in the school’s department of materials science and engineering, said the cost of the material commonly used in the industry at present has risen dramatically because of soaring copper prices. The newly developed material, which is weighted toward metals that are relatively cheaper, is about 15 percent less expensive than what is available on the market, Lin said. He added that the new material has obtained patents in Taiwan, Japan and the US, and is ready for mass production. The school said it hoped to work with manufacturers to develop commercial applications for the new product.
Man wins NT$1.56 billion
A lone buyer of a Taiwan Lottery ticket in Greater Kaohsiung won a record prize of NT$1.56 billion (US$52.07 million) on Monday. The ticket with the winning numbers — 03, 10, 18, 24, 29, 37 and 7 — was sold by a betting shop in Hsinhsing District (新興). The top prize reached the billion-plus amount after the lottery failed to produce a winner for 32 consecutive issues. A winner usually has to pay 20 percent of the total amount in tax.