Clean election force formed
A joint law-enforcement task force was created yesterday aimed at preventing vote-buying and other illegal activities in Taipei during the campaigns for the Jan. 16 presidential and legislative elections. The “Task Force to Investigate Election Bribery and Violence” was organized by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, the Taipei office of the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau and the Taipei City Police Department. The task force is to be deployed to investigate alleged vote-buying activities, and protect voters and candidates from threats of violence, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said in a statement. The initiative is aimed at cracking down on vote-buying in the most efficient way to ensure a clean general election next year, the statement said.
Violinist Tseng to perform
Taiwanese violinist Tseng Yu-chien (曾宇謙) has agreed to perform alongside the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra when it gives two concerts in Taipei in November, Management of New Arts (MNA) said yesterday. Led by Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, the orchestra is to perform at the National Concert Hall on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20, MNA said. The 20-year-old Tseng won the silver medal in the violin category of the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition last month; a gold medal was not awarded this year in the category. Ticketing information for the two concerts is to be announced on Thursday, MNA said.
Wi-Fi access more available
International visitors can now enjoy wireless Internet access by applying for an account through the iTaiwan online registration system, the National Development Council said. The council said it has worked with the Tourism Bureau and the Ministry of the Interior to streamline the registration process for foreign visitors. It said the number of iTaiwan hotspots is continuing to expand and is expected to reach 23,000 when the New Taipei City Government joins the service next month.
Disaster drills scheduled
The government plans to hold disaster prevention exercises from Sept. 21 to Sept. 23 to improve public readiness to respond to natural disasters, the Cabinet’s Disaster Prevention Planning Office said yesterday. The exercises are to include a series of disaster prevention events, including an online earthquake evacuation drill, earthquake evacuation drills on campuses nationwide, a tsunami warning drill and the distribution of post-disaster rescue and relief materials in cooperation with convenience stores. The online earthquake evacuation drill was recently developed by the Ministry of the Interior and made available through a Web site launched on Aug. 1 (www.comedrill.com.tw/).
Pingtung seeks record
Pingtung County Government said it is planning to make a bid for a Guinness World Record in Hengchun Township (恆春) in October. The Pingtung Cultural Affairs Department said it hopes to have 1,000 people play the yueqin (月琴), a two-string Taiwanese musical instrument, and sing ballads at the event, which is part of this year’s Hengchun Folk Music Festival. About 400 people have confirmed their participation in the record-setting bid so far, it said. Pingtung County Commissioner Pan Meng-an (潘孟安) said the festival, which opens on Oct. 9, is aimed at promoting Hengchun folk music.
Talks to start on pay hikes
After an 18-year wage freeze, the government is to hold discussions on pay increases for domestic helpers with its main supplier countries later this month, the Ministry of Labor Affairs said on Sunday. Talks are slated to begin with Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam through bilateral channels established with each country, the ministry said. The monthly wage of foreign domestic workers could be raised to between NT$16,840 and NT$17,500 from NT$15,840, the ministry said. If a wage increase is introduced, the new monthly wage will apply to newly arriving workers this year, while wages for those already working in the country will be coordinated with employers, the ministry said. As of the end of January, there were 556,412 migrant workers in the nation, with 208,486 employed as caregivers or home help, ministry data showed.
CDC warns on diarrhea
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urged the public to pay attention to personal hygiene, as more diarrhea cases could be reported this summer. During the past one month, the number of people seeking treatment for gastrointestinal disorders was 590,986, compared with 563,574 cases reported during the same period last year, the CDC said in a statement. It warned especially against infectious diarrhea, most likely caused by noroviruses, salmonella and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The best way to prevent diarrhea is to wash hands with soap frequently and avoid raw food, the CDC said. According to its most recent survey of 1,100 people aged 18 or older in the nation, 50 percent of them do not wash their hands with soap before dining, while nearly 40 percent do not do so after using the toilet.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of