El Salvador visa ties cut
Visa-free treatment for El Salvador passport holders has ended after the former ally last month announced it would no longer allow Taiwanese visa exemptions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The government had on July 2017 announced a reciprocal visa-free entry program with El Salvador for a stay of up to 90 days as part of efforts to build closer ties with its diplomatic allies. The two countries on Aug. 21 last year cut ties after the Central American nation switched recognition to Beijing. “We learned of the decision on El Salvador’s part to cancel the visa-free treatment to Taiwanese passport holders early last month. Based on the principle of reciprocity, we therefore decided to cancel the visa-free treatment to El Salvador’s passport holders as well, starting on Dec. 12,” Ministry deputy spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said.
Five more travelers found
Another five of the 148 Vietnamese nationals who disappeared shortly after arriving last month were found on Monday, the National Immigration Agency said. As of 3:40pm, 52 of the 148 tourists had been located, the agency said. Of those found so far, 24 have been arrested and 28 surrendered to police. The agency said that 152 of the 153 people who entered Taiwan as part of four tour groups that arrived on Dec. 21 and Dec. 23 were reported “missing” after entering the country. Some of the travelers said they spent between NT$20,000 and NT$70,000 to be part of the tour groups before “disappearing” with the help of friends, Vietnamese media outlet VnExpress reported on Dec. 29. The government is offering a reward of up to NT$4,000 for information leading to the arrest of the travelers who have yet to be found.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung