Sun, Sep 07, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Agencies

SOCIETY

Life expectancy increases

Average life expectancy at birth for the nation’s girls from 2009 to 2011 was 82.47 years, while the figure for boys was 75.96 years, marking a rise of more than two years for each sex from a decade ago. Compared with the figures for children born from 1999 to 2001, advances in healthcare and improved living conditions mean that girls born three to five years ago had a life expectancy 2.84 years greater than before, while boys the same age had an increased expectancy of 2.17 years, the Ministry of the Interior said. If the upward trend continues, it could contribute to aging within an already graying society. The nation’s average combined life span of 79.12 years is longer than that of Indonesia, Philippines and China, but shorter than that of Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, the ministry said.

TOURISM

Bureau mulls Chinese fees

Chinese agencies organizing tours to the nation might have to pay a certain percentage of expenses to their Taiwanese counterparts before their Chinese clients are allowed into the nation, according to Tourism Bureau official Chen Chiung-hua (陳瓊華). The bureau is mulling the new regulation amid complaints that Chinese agencies have not been paying local agencies in full within 45 days of their Chinese clients leaving, as stipulated by the bureau, she said. The bureau is considering setting a percentage for Chinese operators to pay in advance of their customers being issued travel permits, she added. Visitors from Hong Kong, Macau and the rest of China have to apply for a permit from the National Immigration Agency before they can enter Taiwan. Meanwhile, to ensure quality service, the bureau has no plans to increase the daily maximum number of Chinese travelers allowed into the nation in tour groups, despite pleas by local operators, Chen said.

CRIME

Murder suspect returns

The main suspect in the ransom and murder of his wealthy boss was repatriated on Friday night after allegedly being on the run in Thailand for 16 days. Hsieh Yuan-hsin (謝源信), a chauffeur, appeared calm upon his arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, but said nothing. Hsieh was later taken to the Taichung City Police Bureau after his identity was confirmed. Police said they want to know whether Hsieh acted alone and how he allegedly managed to kidnap and murder his boss, Taichung tycoon Shih Chia-chin (施家金), and then flee the country all in the same day.

HEALTH

Dioxin test developed

A method for the rapid detection of dioxin compounds has been developed for use primarily in large-scale investigations of dioxin contamination, the Environmental Protection Administration said. The cost of a typical instrument for dioxin analysis is about NT$10 million (US$334,057) and the process usually takes a long time, the agency said. Such instruments are not suitable for the detection of dioxins in investigations, it added. It began in 2004 to use a new method of dioxin detection from abroad. However, while the patented technique was easy to use, it cost NT$750,000 in patent fees per year, the agency said. It said its Environmental Analysis Laboratory, in collaboration with the National Health Research Institutes, began working on a similar technique in 2008 and developed a suitable one after three years of research. The locally developed technique is six times faster than the normal methods and costs about one-tenth the price, the agency said.

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