Falling rocks kill tourist
A tourist died after being hit by falling rocks while traveling on the Central Cross-Island Highway, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday. The bureau said the accident occurred at 1:40pm, when the rocks fell from a slope along the highway and hit a tour bus carrying 35 people. A 47-year-old woman surnamed Wang (王) died on the spot, the bureau said, adding that two men and one woman were also injured. All the passengers on board were Taiwanese, it said. The bureau said the one-day tour between Taipei and Hualien was arranged by Taipei-based Iris Travel Service Co (蝶戀花旅行社) and included 34 tourists and one tour guide. The travel agency informed the bureau that each tourist in the group was insured — NT$2 million (US$63,211) in the case of a death and NT$200,000 for injuries. The driver was not under the influence of alcohol, police said.
Forest pet ban extended
A ban against pets in forest recreation areas is to be extended for another year until July 31 next year, due to continued detections of the rabies virus in wild ferret-badgers, the Council of Agriculture said. The ban applies to all forest recreation areas, forest parks and nature reserves managed by the Forestry Bureau. It was first imposed in August 2013 to prevent the spread of rabies, after rabies infections among ferret-badgers were reported. The bureau said there have been seven cases in which people have been bitten by rabid ferret-badgers this year, compared with four last year. The Transmissible Animal Disease Prevention and Control Act (動物傳染病防治條例) states that people who take their pets to the forbidden areas can be fined between NT$50,000 and NT$1 million, it said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu