DPP supports HK reform
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the result of an ongoing “illegal” referendum on democratic reform, that has drawn nearly 650,000 votes since it opened online, as it voiced support for Hong Kongers’ aspiration for democracy and reform. “As the referendum is ongoing, we think that more people will cast their votes. This has been a victory for all Hong Kongers. We call for Beijing to respect the result and Hong Kongers’ expression of their ideals in a peaceful and rational manner,” Department of China Affairs director Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said. The DPP has been watching the situation in Hong Kong closely, not only because Taiwan paid a dear price en route to attaining democracy but also because democracy, human rights and liberty are universal values, Chao said.
Man held for intimidation
A man in Greater Kaohsiung was charged yesterday with public intimidation for an online post threatening a mass killing on public transportation reminiscent of the May 21 stabbing rampage on the Taipei MRT. The 24-year-old, identified only by his surname, Chiu (邱), is believed to have been planning to imitate the attack on a moving subway train that left four dead and 24 injured. In a Facebook post on May 25, Chiu said: “I actually thought of killing people on the metro a long time ago” and “I’ll kill even more people [than the Taipei attack]; even if we’re related by blood, I’ll kill them anyway.” Prosecutors said Chiu made the threat out of anger after someone criticized his upbringing.
Acute hepatitis A cases rise
The number of imported cases of acute hepatitis A infection has increased to 29 so far this year, the highest level since 2009, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The imported cases include three clusters of infections, mostly among people who had traveled to Southeast Asia, the CDC said, adding that the imported Hepatitis A cases over the past five years numbered 19 last year, seven in 2012, 11 in 2011, nine in 2010 and 11 in 2009. CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that the disease is prevalent in areas with bad hygiene, such as some places in China, some Southeast Asian countries and various African nations. Symptoms of acute hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, vomiting and jaundice — a yellowish pigmentation of the skin — CDC quarantine physician Lo I-chun (羅一鈞) said.
Tanya Chua album awarded
Singaporean singer-songwriter Tanya Chua (蔡健雅) was among the winners of a music award announced yesterday that recognizes the top 10 albums and songs of last year in Taiwan. Chua’s album, Angel vs. Devil, cracked the list of 10 best albums released by the Taipei-based Chinese Music Man Association. A Hundred Thousand Teardrops, a song she composed and sang, and Bian Ai Bian Xue, a song she composed for Chinese singer Jin Chi (金池), were both among the top 10 songs. Chua said in a statement that she was very glad her album and songs received recognition. She said Angel vs. Devil was by far the most “honest” album she has ever made, explaining that she was a little afraid to bare her soul in the beginning, but felt the world gradually “opened up” as she did so. Chua will be vying for her fourth Best Mandarin Female Singer prize at the Golden Melody Awards on Saturday.