Phillips memorial to be held
The Taipei American School (TAS) has organized a celebration on Sunday to commemorate Hope Phillips, a long-time staff member who died on Jan. 22 in Washington. Phillips, who arrived in Taiwan in 1955 with her family, served as an English teacher, college counselor and middle-school principal at TAS. After retiring from the school, she worked as executive director of American Bureau for Medical Advancement in China. She coordinated TAS’ 50th anniversary celebrations over the 1999-to-2000 school year before moving to the US in 2001. Sunday’s celebration is scheduled to begin at 3pm at the Upper School Joanna Nichols Information Commons on the fourth floor. TAS is at No. 800, Sec 6, Zhongshan N Road, Tianmu (天母). People interested in attending the event are asked to RSVP by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, by telephone at (02) 2873-9900 ext 368 or online at www.tas.edu.tw/page.cfm?p=1452&LockSSL=true.
Consumers group to sue
The Consumers’ Foundation yesterday said that it is to file a class-action suit next month against four producers of allegedly tainted edible oils seeking compensation of more than NT$30 million (US$947,500). The four — Chang Guann Co (強冠企業), Ting Hsin Oil and Fat Industrial Co (頂新製油實業), Cheng I Food Co (正義股份) and Beei Hae Oil and Fats Co (北海油脂) — have been accused of using ingredients not fit for human consumption, such as oils used in animal feed and those extracted from restaurant waste. The tainted oil scandal first surfaced in September last year, and the foundation was later authorized by the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee to file suits against the four suppliers on behalf of consumers. As of Thursday last week, 2, 761 consumers had agreed to allow the foundation to claim damages from the four companies on their behalf.
Online bookstore expands
Books.com.tw, Taiwan’s largest online bookstore, added Macau to its fast-delivery overseas distribution network yesterday. The addition of Macau came nearly a year after the bookseller set up its first overseas operation in Hong Kong in April last year offering 20 to 30 percent cheaper books than domestic vendors and fast delivery through the 7-Eleven convenience store chain. The online bookseller said its Hong Kong sales revenue has increased four times over the past year since it launched delivery services through the chain. Given the similar reader preferences in the two regions, Books.com.tw has decided to expand into Macau to meet consumers’ expectations there.
Attendant warms hearts
A Taiwanese flight attendant has attracted media attention after a photograph of him helping a disabled passenger was posted on Facebook on Saturday. China Airlines cabin manager Chiang Chia-yang (姜嘉揚) was photographed feeding a disabled passenger in a photo posted by passenger Wu Yi-cheng’s (吳翊丞) on Facebook. In the post, Wu said after noticing that the disabled man needed help to take his meal, Chiang patiently spoon-fed him and even cut fruit into pieces to make it easier for the man to chew. He said Chiang spent 25 minutes feeding the man, before cleaning the table and leaving. “I am very much moved and I really hope I can take his plane again in the future,” Wu said. Declining to be interviewed, the flight attendant said yesterday that “it is nothing but my duty.”
FOSSIL CLUES: The bushfires resulted from a positive Indian Ocean dipole event, when the region east of the ocean becomes drier, professor Shen Chuan-chou said The bushfires that swept through Australia last year were connected to a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), which is expected to become more frequent due to climate change, a geologist studying coral fossils said yesterday. National Taiwan University Department of Geosciences professor Shen Chuan-chou (沈川洲) since 2001 has been working with Australian and US researchers to study climate systems in the Indian Ocean. Led by Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences professor Nerilie Abram, the team published a paper on IOD in the journal Nature on March 9. The bushfires resulted from a positive IOD event, when the
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
A survey has found that 37.3 percent of transgender people in the nation have experienced gender-related discrimination or bullying in the workplace, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights said yesterday. The alliance’s survey showed that 55.41 percent of transgender people said that they had been afraid to use a public restroom, 18.53 percent had been harassed or attacked in public, while 15.83 percent had been afraid to ask a police officer or other professional for help. The survey, conducted from March 14 to Wednesday last week, was based on 518 valid responses from transgender people aged 14 to 78, the