Fri, Oct 03, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

SOCIETY

Aquarium whale dies

A beluga whale at the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium in Pingtung County died on Wednesday of sepsis, museum authorities said yesterday. The whale, named Blue, had refused to eat and had shown symptoms of fever and a high white blood cell count for five days before its death, the officials said. An autopsy determined the cause of death as sub-acute sepsis due to a bacterial infection of unknown origin, the museum said. Blue was one of a second group of four belugas that the museum acquired from Russia eight years ago. The other three have already died. The last three surviving belugas at the museum are from an earlier group of six that arrived at the museum more than 10 years ago.

DIPLOMACY

Salvadorean minister visits

Taiwan and El Salvador are soon to sign a letter of intent on bilateral cooperation, solidifying the friendship between the two diplomatic allies, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said yesterday. While welcoming Salvadorean Foreign Minister Hugo Roger Martinez Bonilla at the Executive Yuan, Jiang said Taiwan is working to raise its international profile and hopes El Salvador will continue to support that effort. The premier expressed appreciation for the Central American country’s support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and other international bodies. He also extended an invitation for Salvadorean President Salvador Sanchez Ceren to visit Taiwan. Martinez said he is in Taiwan to celebrate the country’s National Day on Oct. 10 and to invite more businesspeople to invest in his country.

CULTURE

Precious stone heads abroad

The Meat-shaped Stone, one of the two most popular pieces in the National Palace Museum’s collection, is soon to be exhibited overseas for the first time. The 5.73cm-tall Qing Dynasty piece of banded jasper, carved to resemble a piece of braised pork belly, is to go on display for two weeks from Tuesday at the Kyushu National Museum in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. The stone is likely to be shipped to Japan in the next day or two, but the exact date has not been divulged for security reasons. The piece is to be part of the “Treasured Masterpieces from the National Palace Museum, Taipei” exhibition of 110 items that is to run until Nov. 30 at the Kyushu museum. Among the artworks in the exhibition are paintings, embroideries, calligraphy, ceramics, bronze and jade objects.

HEALTH

Ebola response teams set up

Hospitals at the regional level and higher are to form specialized teams within two weeks to respond to any possible cases of Ebola, Centers for Disease Control deputy head Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said yesterday in the wake of a confirmed Ebola case in the US. The case — the first to be diagnosed outside Africa — flashed a “big warning signal” in the efforts to fight the Ebola epidemic. Chou said the Ministry of Health and Welfare has set aside funds to establish the response teams and has “prepared itself well to fight the battle.” Besides imposing the strictest level of quarantine measures on travelers from Africa, particularly west Africa, the ministry has also sent doctors to the region to obtain hands-on experience in fighting the disease, he said. As of last Friday, the total number of reported Ebola cases across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal had reached 6,574, with 3,091 fatalities, according to the WHO.

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