Work holiday quota raised
Taiwan and Germany have increased the annual quota for their reciprocal working holiday program to 300 people from each nation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The new quota was made retroactive to Oct. 11, based on an agreement reached by the two sides on Nov. 13, the ministry said. Germany is the first European country to enter into a working holiday agreement with Taiwan, German Institute Taipei Director-General Martin Eberts said in a statement. A joint statement signed by the two countries on Oct. 11, 2010, tentatively allowed an annual quota of 200 citizens aged 18 to 30 to travel and work in each other’s country for up to 12 months. The two sides decided to increase the number because of the growing popularity of the program, the ministry said.
O-Kai Singers to go on tour
The a capella group O-Kai Singers is to tour four Southeast Asian countries from Thursday to Dec. 4 to showcase the nation’s music and culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The group is to visit Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, giving performances at events organized by the ministry’s representative offices in those countries, it said. The group would show the vitality of young Taiwanese and help to promote Taiwanese culture and music, the ministry added. Founded in 2004, the ensemble, made up of five Aboriginal singers, won three Golden Melody awards last year: The Jury Award, the award for Best Group and their first album, O-Kai A Capella, was honored as the Best Indigenous Album. The album also won the category for best jazz album in last year’s Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards in the US.
BILINGUAL ASSISTANCE: The center launched a chat bot that features Chinese and English interfaces to provide foreigners with instant information about the pandemic The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that it would discuss with other nations the possibility of allowing businesspeople to visit on a case-by-case basis. Asked about loosening border restrictions, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said at the daily CECC news briefing that while the center is cautious about opening the nation’s borders, it would aim to diminish obstacles for important trade interactions without risking transmission of the novel coronavirus. Several foreign representatives in Taiwan have expressed an interest in the matter and the center would conduct related negotiations with the help of the
DELUSIONAL: The male patient said he did not know that the woman had mental problems, but the court said that her being restrained in isolation should have given him pause The Taiwan High Court has ordered the Jhudong branch of the Taiwan National University Hospital and a male patient to jointly pay a former female patient’s family NT$400,000 in compensation after the man had sex with the woman, who has mental problems, while hospitalized. The 26-year-old woman has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, a symptom of which is that she obsessively seeks to have sex, her mother said. The mother filed a formal complaint and sought damages from the hospital and the male patient surnamed Chen (陳) after finding out that her daughter had sex with the man while
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) should not use the government’s disease-prevention policy as an excuse to block people’s access to the Taipei Railway Station’s main hall, the Taiwan International Workers’ Association said yesterday. The association held a protest at the station after what organizers said were about 400 people staged a sit-in on Saturday to demonstrate against the TRA’s proposal to ban sitting on the floor of the main hall. In accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s disease-prevention measures, large gatherings have been banned in the hall since the end of February. After protesters yesterday expressed their grievances at the southern
Nematode-trapping fungi have been found to be natural killers of nematodes and their mechanisms might facilitate the development of new drugs or biological control agents, an Academia Sinica researcher said yesterday. Mostly measuring less than 1mm, nematodes are found in soil worldwide and most are not visible to the naked eye, Academia Sinica Institute of Molecular Biology assistant research fellow Hsueh Yen-ping (薛雁冰) told a news conference in Taipei. Some nematodes can cause infections in humans or damage plants, but existing pesticides, such as ivermectin, aldicarb and levamisole, can only inhibit their activity and the poisons’ efficacy are declining due to