Smoking ban announced
Taichung is to ban smoking on covered walkways outside about 1,400 convenience stores and coffee shops beginning next month, after similar measures were implemented in Taipei, New Taipei City and Kaohsiung this year. Stores covered by the ban include 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Hi-Life, OK Mart, Simple Mart, Starbucks, 85°C Bakery Cafe and Louisa Coffee, the city’s Health Bureau said yesterday. Anyone caught smoking in the covered walkways in front of these shops would be fined NT$2,000 to NT$10,000 in accordance with the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act (菸害防治法), the bureau said. The measure aims to limit the exposure of pedestrians and store visitors to secondhand smoke, it said.
Students given permit option
From tomorrow, foreign students in Taiwan are to have the option of using electronic work permits, the Workforce Development Agency said. The agency said that while international students have been able to apply for work permits online since February, the new measure would give them the choice of using either card or electronic permits. Previously, students received only card permits even if they applied for them online. Students who choose the electronic version would be able to access their permits through the agency’s EZ Work Permit Web site by entering their account information and a verification code, the agency said. When selecting a “review on mobile device” tab, the permit holder’s phone would display their personal information when held horizontally, and a QR code that could be used by employers as a means of electronic verification when held vertically, the agency said.
Meteor shower to peak
Astronomy buffs in Taiwan would soon have a chance to spot shooting stars as the annual Quadrantid meteor shower nears its peak, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The best time to observe the Quadrantids would be from 11pm on Saturday into the early hours of Sunday, when an average of 120 meteors per hour could flash through the sky in the north. With no interference from the moon, the view of the Quadrantids could be very promising, the museum said, particularly because the meteor shower is known for producing bolides — extremely bright shooting stars. The fireballs should be easy to spot with the naked eye as long as skywatchers head to mountainous or suburban areas where there is less light and air pollution. The Central Weather Bureau has forecast mainly clear skies across the island during the celestial event, except for areas in eastern parts of the country and outlying islands.
Chou Tzu-yu tops ranking
Chou Tzu-yu (周子瑜), the Taiwanese member of South Korean girl group Twice, was named the “most beautiful face of 2019” in a ranking released on Friday by US film review site TC Candler. The 20-year old Tainan native was the only Taiwanese who made it onto this year’s list, which has been presented annually since 1990. It was her fifth consecutive appearance on the prestigious global list, having placed 13th in 2015, eighth in 2016, third in 2017 and second last year. This year, Israeli model Yael Shelbia was No. 2 on the list, followed by Thai singer and model Lalisa Manoban, French model Thylane Blondeau and English actress Naomi Scott.
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
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,
More than half of Taiwan’s middle-aged population, those aged between 40 and 64, have at least one of the “three highs” — high blood pressure, high blood lipids or high blood sugar — and an unhealthy waist size, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said, adding that more than 30 percent also have metabolic syndrome. The HPA, the Taiwan Millennium Health Foundation and local health departments are cooperating to encourage people to regularly measure their waist circumference and keep it at a healthy size — no more than 90cm for adult men and no more than 80cm for adult women. Taichung Veterans General
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’