Learners’ license digitized
A digital version of the learners’ driver’s license was launched yesterday, the Directorate-General of Highways said. Applicants can choose to receive a digital, rather than a printed license, which can be downloaded via an app released by the directorate for a fee of NT$50, half the price of a printed one. The learners’ license is a limited-period license that allows aspiring drivers to practice on designated streets before taking their driving test and obtaining a full license.
MOFA rebuts passport rumor
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday rebutted an Internet rumor that Republic of China (ROC) passports are no longer recognized by international airlines due to Chinese pressure. According to the rumor, an ROC passport holder was “almost” denied entry to the UK after the traveler’s airline said that it was no longer valid from Wednesday last week on Beijing’s insistence. MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) yesterday said the story was false and called on Taiwanese not to fall for “fake news.” Both the UK and the EU grant ROC passport holders visa-exempt entry and the rules have not changed, Lee said, adding that Taiwanese should have confidence in the nation’s passport, which grants visa-free access to 167 countries and territories. However, he added that some airline ground personnel might not be well-informed. Should that happen, passport holders should contact local overseas representative offices for assistance, Lee said.
Ma Ju-feng confirmed dead
A prosecutor and a coroner in Nantou County yesterday issued a death certificate to the family of actor Ma Ju-feng (馬如風), who was on Sunday found dead in the bathroom of a bed-and-breakfast where he was staying. After examining Ma’s body, the two determined that the 63-year-old renowned actor had died of natural causes possibly related to heart failure. Prosecutor Shih Kuang-che (石光哲) and the Nantou District Prosecutors’ Office’s coroner were accompanied by Ma’s wife, who said that he was visiting his younger brother on a vacation and on Saturday told her over the telephone that he was enjoying the fresh country air. “I still cannot accept the fact that he has gone so suddenly,” she said. Born in 1955, Ma first appeared on TV in 1980 and won the Golden Bell Most Promising Newcomer Award in 1981. Ma started acting at the age of 25 and starred in more than 40 TV series over a career that spanned 38 years.
Vietnam gets Taiwan clinic
Taichung Veterans General Hospital, in collaboration with a Vietnamese medical center, yesterday launched a special treatment facility for Taiwanese expatriates in Vietnam. Housed at Ho Chi Minh City’s University Medical Center (UMC), the facility is to serve an estimated 60,000 Taiwanese who live in Vietnam, the hospital said. Most Taiwanese in Vietnam are employees of companies based in central Taiwan, Taichung Veterans superintendent Hsu Hui-heng (許惠恒) said. Taichung Deputy Mayor Lin Yi-ying (林依瑩), who took part in the opening ceremony through a video connection, said that the medical center would guarantee a good quality of treatment for Taiwanese living and working in Vietnam. In May last year, Taichung Veterans and the center signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct medical exchanges, including the training of UMC nephrologists in Taiwan, the Taichung Health Bureau 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 CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,