More donations for Thailand
The government has donated US$1 million to Thailand to help with the country’s flood relief efforts, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said on Tuesday, adding that the government made the decision after hearing a report by Chung Chien (鍾堅), a National Security Council councilor who had visited Taiwanese businesspeople in the kingdom. The donation will be on top of a US$100,000 contribution made last month in the wake of the country’s worst flooding in 50 years. The Thai-Taiwan Business Association and other expatriate groups in Thailand have raised NT$11.2 million that will be donated to help with its relief and rescue efforts. Thailand has also received more than NT$1.62 million from Taiwanese and Thai nationals living in Taiwan, the Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taipei said on Monday.
Final push for Yushan vote
Yushan National Park Headquarters urged the public to step up voting for Yushan as one of the world’s “New 7 Wonders of Nature” before the contest ends tomorrow. Yushan needs a massive number of votes to avoid elimination, park headquarters officials said. Yushan is among the 28 finalists in the four-stage contest that began three years ago. The mountain — the highest peak in the nation and in East Asia — has been gaining votes slowly, according to the competition Web site. The current top 10 finalists in alphabetical order are the Dead Sea in Israel, the Grand Canyon in the US, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Halong Bay in Vietnam, Jeita Grotto in Lebanon, Jeju Island in South Korea, Indonesia’s Komodo island, the PP Underground River in the Philippines, the Sundarbans in India and Bangladesh and Vesuvius in Italy. Votes for Yushan can be cast at http://n7w.ysnp.gov.tw or www.new7wonders.com. Cellphone users can send a text message to 55123, saying “yushan.”
Free hepatitis checks offered
A hepatitis-screening program will be provided to the public free of charge on Saturday at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the Liver Disease Prevention and Treatment Research Foundation announced yesterday. The program will be held on the anniversary of Republic of China founding father Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) birth in 1866. Sun died of liver disease on March 12, 1925. Sheu Jin-chuan (許金川), a doctor specializing in hepatitis, said public awareness about liver disease needed to be enhanced. “Only one-third of the 3 million hepatitis B carriers in Taiwan, for example, know about their health condition, leaving 2 million at risk of developing more serious complications,” he said, adding that regular screening was necessary to prevent late-stage diagnosis and promote early-stage detection. The program is free for all Taiwanese above the age of 26.
Luggage hurts CAL plane
The passengers on a China Airlines (CAL) flight, including two Cabinet ministers, were evacuated yesterday after the plane was rammed by a luggage van on the tarmac at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Passengers were boarding the aircraft when the truck ran into it. The pilot ordered passengers to evacuate and the airline deployed another aircraft for the flight to Hawaii. Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and Minister of Finance Lee Sush-der (李述德), who were heading for APEC meetings in Hawaii, were among the 275 passengers. The flight eventually departed at 4pm, 90 minutes behind schedule.