Number of dengue cases rise
A total of 78 new cases of local dengue fever — including four hemorrhagic cases — were reported last week, showing that the disease has continued unabated despite the onset of cooler weather, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said yesterday. Chou said most of the new cases were in Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung in the south. One fatality was reported from among the four hemorrhagic cases, the CDC said, adding the death was that of a 66-year-old woman in Kaohsiung. The woman developed a fever, headache and loss of appetite late last month and died shortly after seeking treatment. The CDC urged the public to remove any standing water as this is principal breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry the disease.
Fake ‘kaoliang’ seized
Investigators have arrested 10 people for allegedly producing fake Kinmen kaoliang liquor and confiscated more than 70 cases of the counterfeit spirit estimated to be worth more than NT$20 million (US$684,000), officials said yesterday. After an initial examination, state-owned Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor general manager Wu Chiou-mu (吳秋穆) said the fakes were easy to spot, although this was disputed by the investigators, who said the counterfeit liquor was convincing. The bottles, estimated to be worth between NT$16,000 and NT$20,000 each, were seized in New Taipei City (新北市), Hsinchu and Kinmen, the investigators said. The investigators said samples of the fake “Black King Kong” kaoliang bottles have been sent for testing to see if they contain hazardous substances. The last time the Kinmen distillery manufactured the rare “Black King Kong” kaoliang, a blend of 15-year-old and new liquor, was in 2009, Wu said.
Women heel up in bad times
Female office workers are more likely to opt for higher heels when the economy is slumping, hoping to project greater confidence and elegance, a survey of female office workers released yesterday found. The survey, conducted jointly by online human resources company 360d and a shoe company, first asked respondents what kind of shoes they owned most of. Forty-nine percent of those polled said they own mostly flats, while 26 percent have mostly low-heeled shoes, 21 percent wear mostly mid-heeled shoes and 4 percent generally wear high heels. When asked what they would buy now given the sluggish economy, 10 percent of respondents said they would opt for high heels to make themselves appear more confident. Only 33 percent, compared with 49 percent under normal economic circumstances, said they would prefer flat shoes because then they could move more easily and efficiently. Another 12 percent said they did not care about the height of their heels.
Ministry plans centers
The Ministry of Culture will open cultural centers in Latin America and central Europe, Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) said yesterday, urging overseas officials to join in efforts to promote Taiwanese culture abroad. The importance of promoting Taiwanese culture and increasing its global presence “is 10 or a 100 times greater than that of other countries,” she said. Taiwan currently has overseas cultural offices in Paris, New York and Tokyo, and it will establish one in Moscow and another in London next year. The nation is looking to expand the total to 12.