Job screening tightened
The government has imposed stricter measures on the employment of foreign workers on Taiwanese fishing boats by requiring all applicants to present a clean criminal record certificate, Fisheries Agency Deputy Director-General Tsay Tzu-yaw (蔡日曜) announced on Tuesday. The measure, which takes effect three days after the announcement, is to be implemented as part of efforts to prevent crime on the high seas, said Tsay, who also suggested that ship owners hire workers from more than one country to lower the risk of foreign workers joining forces against their Taiwanese bosses. Under the new measure, foreigners applying for jobs on Taiwanese fishing vessels must present a clean criminal record certificate verified by the Taiwanese representative offices in their countries. The move was in response to the alleged July 16 murder of the Taiwanese skipper and chief engineer of a deep-ocean fishing boat registered in Suao (蘇澳), Yilan County, by its nine Indonesian crewmen.
Students to perform in Africa
Students from the Taipei National University of the Arts will give a variety of performances in Africa during their trip to Burkina Faso and Sao Tome and Principe next month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Invited by the ministry to promote bilateral cultural exchanges, the 12 students, accompanied by their professor, will depart for Sao Tome and Principe on Sept. 4, the ministry said. During their two-week trip to the two countries, the students will give percussion performances, sing Taiwanese folk songs and perform a traditional martial arts drama and modern dances, the ministry said. David Wang (王建業), director-general of the ministry’s Department of West Asian and African Affairs, will lead the group on the trip.
Bi-color sweet corn unveiled
The Council of Agriculture on Tuesday unveiled its first bi-color sweet corn that can be grown in Taiwan’s baking-hot summer, with the aim of boosting farmers’ revenues by two to three times. Developed by the council’s research station for eight years, the No. 27 yellow-white sweet corn is more heat-resistant than other bi-color breeds favored in Taiwan — mostly foreign breeds that can only be planted in fall or winter, the council said. A trial of the No. 27 sweet corn began in June on two farms in Yunlin County, and the new breed can be priced as high as NT$17 per kilogram, compared with NT$6 to NT$8 for other local breeds of yellow sweet corn, the council said. The new breed’s higher price is attributed mainly to the fact that it is sweeter than yellow sweet corn. The council said small-scale mass production is scheduled for next year.
Grandrider tour planned
An annual bike tour for elderly motorcyclists, affectionately dubbed “Grandriders,” will include more international participants this year, organizers said yesterday. Twenty motorcyclists from abroad will join 40 local riders on a four-day trip from Sept. 28, seeking to convey the message that one is never too old to do anything, the Hondao Senior Citizen’s Welfare Foundation said. Last year, 10 motorcyclists from the US were the first international participants to join the event, riding around the nation for a week. Although this year’s program is shorter, it has become more international, with seniors from the US, Europe and Asia expected to participate in a 350km ride from southern to central Taiwan, the foundation said.