CDC gives Australia warning
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that people wishing to visit the Australian state of New South Wales, and the Sydney area in particular, should get a three-in-one vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) in light of one of the largest measles outbreaks in eastern Australia in more than a decade. Anyone wishing to visit New South Wales should visit a clinic two to four weeks prior to departure to consult with a doctor on whether to be immunized with the MMR vaccine, the CDC said in a statement. The outbreak began in April, when an infected young adult returning to Australia from overseas transmitted the virus to others, the CDC said. Since then, there have been cluster infections in a pediatrics ward in Sydney, several high schools and within the community, it said.
Taiwan wins science prize
Taiwan has won first place in terms of group ranking at the 6th International Earth Science Olympiad being held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event started on Monday last week and ended on Thursday, with the participation of contenders from 17 countries. Four Taiwanese competitors bagged three gold medals and one silver during the natural science contest for high-school students, a Ministry of Education official said on Saturday. With higher individual rankings than South Korea, which also grabbed three gold medals and one silver, the Taiwanese team succeeded in defending the championship for the sixth year in a row, the official said.
AIT sponsors ‘Pearl Day’
The annual event to pay tribute to the respected Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and executed by Islamic extremists in Pakistan in 2002, will take place at the Taipei Hakka Cultural Park in Taipei on Saturday. The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), a co-sponsor of this year’s Daniel Pearl Day of Music, said it and other US embassies around the world co-sponsored the music event “with the goal of promoting racial tolerance and ‘Harmony for Humanity.’” Pearl’s family and friends established the Daniel Pearl Foundation to carry on his legacy. The foundation conducts global Daniel Pearl World Music Days to use the power of music to promote tolerance and inspire respect for differences.
People protest poverty
Several hundred people joined a rally against poverty yesterday to call on the public to spend less on clothes and donate the money saved to help the needy. “Oct. 17 is UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Last year, we called for less waste of food. This year, we hope to call for thrifty clothes spending to help the poor,” said Betty Ho (何素秋), deputy director of the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families. The average spending on apparel by the richest 20 percent of families last year was 6.2 times higher than that by families in the bottom 20 percent bracket, said Ho, citing a government report on family incomes and expenditure. If the top 80 percent of families can donate NT$199 they would have otherwise spent on clothes every month, it could make up for the NT$46.6 billion annual income shortage for disadvantaged families, she said. The Stand Up and Take Action campaign is in its fourth year in Taiwan and the seventh year around the world.