NT$19 snack wins millions
A NT$19 (US$0.65) receipt for a snack food product is one of the lucky winners of a NT$10 million special prize in the latest uniform invoice lottery, the 7-Eleven convenience store chain said yesterday. The Ministry of Finance on Sunday announced the winning numbers for the January-February uniform invoice lottery. One customer won the special prize after purchasing a NT$19 snack at a 7-Eleven outlet in Banciao District (板橋), New Taipei City, the chain said in a statement. The winning number for the special prize is 21735266. Every uniform invoice with that number receives a special prize of NT$10 million. Supermarket chain Pxmart and convenience store chain Family Mart said they had also each issued an invoice that won a NT$10 million special prize.
Tsai meets foreign official
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs Sandra Jovel and said she hopes that bilateral exchanges could deepen the friendship between the two nations. Tsai commended Jovel, who assumed her post in August last year, for her contributions to enhance relations between the two nations, and said she hopes the minister would continue her support for Taiwan. Tsai said the two nations have been friends for 85 years and cooperate closely on healthcare, agricultural techniques and technology, and infrastructure development. Jovel is leading a five-member delegation to Taiwan until tomorrow. Also yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) conferred a medal on behalf of the government on his Guatemalan counterpart in recognition of her support for Taiwan in the international arena, a statement issued by the ministry said.
Ma gets travel permit
The Presidential Office has approved an application by former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to travel to the US next month, office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) said on Sunday. Ma intends to visit the US from April 9 to 13, during which he is to give a speech at Stanford University, Lin said, adding that Ma’s application was reviewed based on the Classified National Security Information Protection Act (國家機密保護法) and regulations governing restrictions by the Presidential Office on overseas travel by those involved in national secrets. It would be the fourth time Ma is to travel abroad since he stepped down in May 2016 after completing his second term in office. Ma flew to Malaysia in November 2016, and in February last year visited New York, Boston and Washington at the invitation of several US think tanks and academic organizations.
Man arrested for extortion
Police on Sunday arrested a man in Taichung for allegedly attempting to extort money from the Chiayi City police earlier in the day with a bomb threat. The man, identified only by his surname, Wang, telephoned the bureau at about 2pm claiming he had placed a bomb in a women’s bathroom at the Chiayi high-speed railway station. Chiayi police said Wang demanded that the bureau pay him NT$1 million or he would detonate the bomb. After tracing the call to a hotel in Taichung, Chiayi police went to Taichung and contacted the local police. They arrested the 39-year-old at the hotel and took him back to Chiayi. They also checked to see if there was a bomb in one of the railway station’s restrooms, but did not find anything suspicious.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
MEDICINAL HERB: The FRIL protein extracted from hyacinth beans helped laboratory mice survive H1N1 infection and effectively neutralized the coronavirus A protein isolated from hyacinth beans, a medicinal herb known for centuries, has been found to restrict the activities of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses in laboratory experiments, a team of Academia Sinica researchers said yesterday. The beans’ curative effect is documented in the 16th-century Chinese medicine classic Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目) and they are also a food source in some countries, the Genomics Research Center’s Chemical Biology Division Director Alex Ma (馬徹) told a news conference in Taipei. Center senior research specialist Jan Jia-tsrong (詹家琮) experimented with up to 500 medicinal herbs to see if they could restrict influenza viruses and