US official’s trip canceled
A US Department of State official has canceled a visit to Taiwan due to personal reasons, the Presidential Office said yesterday. David Balton, deputy assistant secretary for oceans and fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, was invited to visit by the Council of Agriculture.
Hualien hit by 4.7 quake
A magnitude 4.7 earthquake jolted Hualien County early yesterday, but there were no reports of casualties, according to the Central Weather Bureau. The quake hit at 6:56am, with the epicenter located in Shoufeng Township (壽豐), about 15.2km southwest of the Hualien County Government building at a depth of 22.2km, the bureau said. The strongest tremor was felt in the county’s Tungmen area (銅門), according to the bureau. Seismologists said more time was needed to determine whether the temblor has anything to do with the 6.3 earthquake that rocked the county’s Rueisuei Township (瑞穗) on Thursday last week.
European film fest opens
The ninth annual Taiwan European Film Festival will open on Friday, offering free viewing of 16 European films over a one-month period. The festival will be hosted by the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) from Friday through Dec. 8, with the aim of introducing the EU’s cultures, arts and languages, the EETO said on the Web site for the event. The 16 films were recommended by 16 members of the EU, the organizers said, the highest number of films since the festival was launched in Taiwan in 2005. The films will be shown in 477 sessions at 36 venues in 14 counties and cities around the nation, according to the organizers.
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
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
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