Cruise coming to Taiwan
US actor Tom Cruise is scheduled to make a two-day visit to Taipei beginning on April 5 to promote his latest movie, a local film distributor said yesterday. Cruise will only attend the local premiere of the sci-fi action movie Oblivion during his third visit to Taiwan and is not scheduled to give any press conferences or interviews, the company said. Oblivion, directed by Joseph Kosinski, was shot in digital 4K resolution in the US and Iceland. It tells the story of a drone repairman stationed on Earth who rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft, an event that prompts him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands. Cruise, 50, has been nominated for three best actor Academy Awards and has won three Golden Globes.
Pair held in Sydney
Two Taiwanese men were recently arrested in Australia for alleged drug smuggling upon their arrival at Sydney Airport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed yesterday. The men, who arrived from Thailand, are still being detained, Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs deputy director-general James Chou (周穎華) said. An official from Taiwan’s representative office in Sydney has met with the men and has offered to help them hire lawyers, Chou said. A joint press statement released on March 14 by the Australian Federal Police and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service announced the arrests and said the men had appeared in Sydney Central Local Court that day, charged with smuggling approximately 4kg of methamphetamine into the country concealed in shipments of handbags.
Donation made to refugees
The government on Tuesday donated US$100,000 in humanitarian aid to Saharan refugees in North Africa. The campaign was co-initiated by European Parliament members Ivo Vajgl and Pino Arlacchi, who are working with the Spanish non-governmental organization Mundubat to reduce malnutrition among the refugees. Catherine Libert, humanitarian aid desk officer for Libya, Algeria and Iraq for the European Commission, described Taiwan’s action as encouraging, especially at a time when some European nations are reducing their donations to African refugees because of the European financial crisis. Mohamed Sidati, the European representative of the Sahrawi national liberation movement, the Polisario Front, expressed his appreciation to the people of Taiwan for their assistance. Representative to the EU Tung Kuo-yu (董國猷) said Taiwan is always ready to reach out to those in need.
Termites cause blackout
A March 13 power outage on Kinmen was caused by termites, according to Taiwan Power Co (Tai-power). Lee Hsi-chung (李錫忠), the head of Taipower’s Kinmen Branch, said during a briefing on Tuesday that the insects had damaged underground cables in the area. The damage caused a widespread three-hour power outage. Because of Kinmen’s humid climate, termites are rampant in old, rotten trees all over the island and they have caused power outages there several times. The most recent one was the largest to date, affecting residents of the entire island, Lee said. Taipower will strengthen inspections of underground cables by increasing checks from once to twice per year in an effort to minimize the effects of termite damage, he said.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37