Ex-minister goes to prison
Former deputy minister of the interior Yen Wan-chin (顏萬進) on Tuesday reported to Yilan Prison to start serving a 12-year-and-six-month sentence for abuse of power and accepting a NT$1.2 million (US$39,600) bribe. Yen served as deputy minister from January 2006 to July of that year, during the administration of then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and then-premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌). The Taiwan High Court found Yen guilty in 2008 of accepting a NT$1.2 million bribe from a developer who wanted a construction license for a project, along with demanding plane tickets from a local airline and other abuses of power. Yen appealed the ruling, but the Supreme Court upheld the guilty verdict in November last year, closing the case.
CDC reports 13 flu deaths
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Tuesday reported 256 new influenza cases over the past two weeks, including H3N2, H1N1 and type B strains, with 13 fatalities. The oldest victim was 84, while the youngest, a three-year-old girl from central Taiwan, died just two days after developing symptoms, the agency said. She was the youngest flu case recorded this year, while the other patients who died were about 50 years old and suffered from a variety of other illnesses, the agency said. It said 16.5 percent of people who visited hospital emergency rooms seeking treatment between Feb. 2 and Sunday showed flu symptoms and 37.1 percent of those who went to local clinics for treatment tested positive for flu, higher than the number recorded in the week before the Lunar New Year holiday. The majority of those testing positive for flu had contracted the H3N2 strain, although the numbers of people with H1N1 and type B were increasing.