Festival to have test run
A trial run at the main venue of the Taiwan Lantern Festival in Yunlin County’s Huwei Township (虎尾) will be held tomorrow ahead of the festival’s official opening on Saturday, the county government said. This year’s festival will be held in two locations: the main venue in Huwei from Saturday to Feb. 19 and in the county’s Beigang Township (北港) from today to Feb. 19, the county government said. During the festival, the county is to display 3,000 lanterns at 21 sites in the two main areas, which together cover more than 50 hectares. One of the sites will showcase the cultures of five Southeast Asian nations, while another will feature traditional Taiwanese glove puppetry, the county government said. The main lantern at the Huwei site, a 23m-high phoenix, will be lit up at 7pm on Saturday. To ensure that people with disabilities as well as babies and toddlers have equal access to the lantern areas, the county government said it has ensured barrier-free access at the sites so that people with disabilities can visit them.
New regulation for butter
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday announced that from July 1, food producers will not be allowed to label butter products that contain less than 80 percent milk fat as “butter.” Margarine products with at least 80 percent edible fat or oil content must be labeled “margarine,” while those that have an edible fat or oil content of between 10 and 80 percent are to be labeled “fat spread,” and not as “vegetable butter.” Companies that mislabel the products may be fined between NT$30,000 and NT$3 million (US$969.52 and US$96,952), while those found guilty of intentionally putting false labels on the products may be fined up to NT$4 million, the agency said.
Former lawmaker indicted
The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday charged former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Chiu Chui-chen (邱垂貞) with insulting public functionaries after he cursed at police officers when he was stopped for a routine traffic check last year. “I am legislator Chiu Chui-chen,” Chiu told officers when he was stopped in his car on April 13 at the Dayuan Interchange of Freeway No. 2. He refused to exit his vehicle and said the police “usually” target him. Chiu’s ensuing verbal outburst prompted the police officers to take legal action. Chiu, 65, later apologized and admitted using swear words, saying that he had been stopped by police three times in a week. Chiu yesterday apologized again for making impertinent remarks.
Minister Lee visits Haiti
Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) on Sunday arrived in Haiti, where he is to stay until Friday, heading a Taiwanese delegation attending the inauguration of Haitian president-elect Jovenel Moise, the ministry said yesterday. Lee is to represent President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at Moise’s inauguration as the 58th president of the Republic of Haiti today, it said. He is to congratulate an important diplomatic ally on behalf of the Taiwanese government and public, the ministry said. During his visit, Lee is to meet with Moise, Haiti’s outgoing provisional President Jocelerme Privert and Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pierrot Delienne, while also visiting the headquarters of Food for the Poor-Haiti and a Taiwanese-invested textile factory, it said.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by