Mandarin contest held
About 100 contestants from 30 countries participated yesterday in a Mandarin speech contest in Taipei. Now in its ninth year, the contest required participants to share a short story from Chinese history to help them discover local culture in a more interesting way, the organizers said. Mark Blohm, a 30-year-old from Boston, Massachusetts, demonstrated martial arts during his speech about Yue Fei (岳飛) from the Southern Song Dynasty, who is known for his martial arts skills. Cleisha-Bernise Una Springer from Saint Lucia sang during her fluent presentation of a story about Li Bai (李白), one of the most famous poets in Chinese history. A total of 20 contestants were selected to vie for a top prize of NT$60,000 (US$2,000) in a contest scheduled for May 19.
Illegal pig feed found
Prosecutors in Pingtung County on Saturday found that eight feed dealers and pig farmers in the county and in Greater Kaohsiung have been selling and using pig feed containing illegal additives. The investigators seized 23kg of antipyretic and analgesic active pharmaceutical ingredients, along with more than 800kg of unlabeled additives, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said. Since an amendment to the Veterinary Drugs Control Act (動物用藥品管理辦法) was promulgated on Jan. 23, the penalties for the production, import or use of illegal animal drugs have been increased. Under the amendment, livestock farmers who use illicit drugs can be fined between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000, while repeat offenders can be fined between NT$500,000 and NT$2.5 million. Under the amendment, those guilty of manufacturing or importing and selling forbidden veterinary drugs can be sentenced to up to seven years in prison, or life in prison if the offense results in the death of a person.
Films firms going to Cannes
Twenty-four Taiwanese film companies will attend this year’s Cannes Film Festival to promote Taiwanese films, the Taipei Film Commission said. A film guide that includes information about the companies, film projects and 95 feature films, short films, documentaries and animations will be available at the festival, which is to run from May 15 until May 26. One of the highlights at the festival this year will be the premiere of films under the Taipei Factory project, jointly launched by the commission and the festival’s Directors’ Fortnight, the commission said. Under the project, four directors from Iran, Chile, South Korea and France each collaborated with a Taiwanese director to write, shoot and edit a 15-minute film in Taiwan. The films will premiere on May 16 at the opening of the Fortnight section.
Chinese tourists injured
Eighteen tourists from China were slightly injured in Hualien yesterday when two tour buses were involved in a traffic incident in rainy conditions, police said. The injured were taken to two hospitals after the accident. They were all discharged and are expected to continue their tour. The incident happened when a tour bus carrying tourists from Chongqing rear-ended another bus with passengers from the northwestern Shaanxi Province on Provincial Highway 9, police said. The likely causes of the accident included a wet and slippery road surface, and failure of the following driver to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, police added.