Sun, Jun 07, 2020
Kaohsiung residents in a recall vote yesterday overwhelmingly voted to remove Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) from office. The result made Han the nation’s first special municipality head to be recalled, just a year-and-a-half after he won a surprise victory over a candidate from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which had run the city for two decades. The vote was 939,090 in favor of recall and 25,051 against, with a 42.14 percent voter turnout, Kaohsiung City Election Commission data showed. There are 2,299,981 eligible voters in the city, the data showed. At least 25 percent of eligible voters — or 574,996 people — had to vote in favor of a recall and the number of people voting for it must exceed the number of those voting against for the recall motion to pass, according to Article 90 of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). The 939,090 votes in favor of the recall was more than Han had garnered in November 2018’s mayoral election, when he won the four-candidate race with 892,545 votes, or 53.86 percent, in a traditional DPP stronghold. The recall petition against Han began in June last year, after Han announced a presidential bid less than six months into his mayoral term. The civic organizations that initiated the petition said that Han launching a presidential bid so soon after being elected mayor angered many Kaohsiung residents, who thought he was not prioritizing the city’s governance. The recall campaign had strong backing from DPP politicians. After the vote results yesterday, Han led city government officials in a news conference and took a bow thanking Kaohsiung residents for electing him in 2018. He also expressed his gratitude to city government officials who worked with him. However, he said he was sorry to see the DPP focusing all its
The Executive Yuan said that it would designate an acting mayor for Kaohsiung next week after Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was recalled in a vote yesterday. Han has said he accepts the result of the recall election. According to Article 91 of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), the Central Election Commission (CEC) should announce the results of the recall vote within seven days of it being held. On the day the CEC officially announces Han’s removal from office, the Executive Yuan would announce the name of its appointed acting Kaohsiung mayor, Executive Yuan spokesman Ting Yi-ming (丁怡銘) said. There are more than two years until the next local elections. However, according to the act, a mayoral by-election must be held within three months of the CEC’s announcement of the recall result, putting the by-election date on Sept. 12 at the latest. Ting quoted Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) as saying that all the people who cast their votes are on the same boat regardless of whether they voted for or against recalling Han. What matters most is that everyone should show unity when developing Kaohsiung, which would be in the interests of city residents, Ting quoted Su as saying. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said that the recall vote was an expression of a basic constitutional right. The outcome of every vote is the most current manifestation of the public’s political will, she said, adding that every politician in the nation should be humbled by the outcome. “The DPP will continue to stand together with the people of Kaohsiung, and work together with them to build a happy, prosperous city,” she said. KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said that he “respected the outcome of the recall vote,” but denounced the DPP for allegedly manipulating the vote, adding that it would
MEDDLING BACKFIRED: Milos Vystrcil said that Beijing’s continued pressure motivated him to visit Taiwan and that he would disclose details of the plan on Tuesday Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil on Friday told local media that he would visit Taiwan by autumn, despite pressure from Beijing. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the announcement. In the Czech Republic, the position of the senate president is the second-highest official post after the president. The Czech Senate on May 20 passed a resolution supporting a visit by the senate president to Taiwan in a 50-1 vote. Former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera’s planned visit to Taiwan in February was called off after he died of a heart attack on Jan. 20. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis in March called on China to replace Chinese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Zhang Jianmin (張建敏) after the embassy sent a threatening letter to Czech authorities saying that Beijing would retaliate against Czech companies operating in China if a senior Czech lawmaker visited Taiwan. Kubera’s family during a media interview in April accused Zhang and Czech President Milos Zeman — who is considered a supporter of China — of contributing to Kubera’s heart attack with their letters of warning. In an article published on Friday by the Reflex weekly magazine, Vystrcil said he has made up his mind about visiting Taiwan by autumn, adding that he would reveal details of his plan at a news conference on Tuesday. Beijing’s continued pressure and Zeman’s pro-China stance motivated him to go ahead with the visit, the magazine quoted Vystrcil as saying. The visit might hurt the Czech Republic, especially businesspeople, he said, adding that the hoped to uphold the values represented by late Czech president Vaclav Havel and learn from Taiwan in related issues. Ministry deputy spokesman Tsuei Ching-lin (崔靜麟) said that Vystrcil is welcome to visit Taiwan at any time to deepen collaboration between the two sides. The ministry would offer an explanation once details of the visit become available, he added. Although
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) yesterday expressed gratitude to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) advisory specialist panel for serving as its “brain” in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Taiwan yesterday reported no new COVID-19 cases and 429 patients have been released from isolation after recovering, said Chen, who heads the CECC. The panel has provided numerous priceless suggestions to the center, including setting the guidelines for diagnosis, testing and treatment, and played a significant role in the nation’s efforts against the disease, he said. The CECC extends its special thanks to the panel, led by Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳), for keeping its policies on the right track, he added. Chang said that of the nation’s 443 confirmed cases, 306 (69.1 percent) were asymptomatic or had only mild symptoms, 100 (22.6 percent) developed pneumonia and 37 (8.4 percent) developed severe pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Seven patients remain in isolation waiting for three consecutive negative test results and 11 remain hospitalized for treatment, including four who were removed from isolation, but are being treated for other conditions, Chang said, adding that all patients are expected to be released from isolation in the next week or two. Since the panel first convened on Jan. 5, its number of specialists has risen from seven to 22 who have discussed various issues, including the case definition for COVID-19, reporting criteria, treatment procedures and recommendations, outbreak monitoring and infection control measures, he said. As COVID-19 is a new disease, the panel often had to respond quickly and modify guidelines according to new findings, and the nation’s success in controlling the spread of the disease was beyond their expectations, Chang said, expressing thanks for all the efforts by Centers for Disease Control officials, panel members, frontline healthcare professionals and related government officials. Lee Ping-ying (李秉穎), a National Taiwan University
Taking a knee, chanting and ignoring social distancing measures, outraged protesters from Sydney to London yesterday launched a weekend of global rallies against racism and police brutality. The death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while being arrested in the US state of Minnesota, has brought tens of thousands out onto the streets. Londoners intended to rally outside parliament yesterday and hold a big demonstration in front of the US embassy on the opposite bank of the Thames River today. Aboriginal protesters yesterday performed a traditional smoking ceremony at the start of a “Black Lives Matter” protest in Sydney, which was sanctioned at the last minute after initially being banned on health grounds. Tens of thousands of Australians defied government orders to stay home regardless, holding up signs and wearing masks marked up “I can’t breathe” — the words Floyd kept repeating while handcuffed as a policeman knelt on his neck. In Japan, the case of a Kurdish man who says he was stopped and shoved to the ground by Tokyo police became a rallying cry for protesters marching in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Several hundred people chanting “I can’t breathe” marched through the trendy Shibuya district on a sultry afternoon, saying that police abuse — particularly against foreigners — was a problem at home as well. In Paris, police banned a rally scheduled outside the US embassy compound and a second one on the Champs de Mars park facing the Eiffel Tower. The protests have even resonated in Iraq, where the “American Revolts” and the Arabic phrase for “We want to breathe, too” hashtags were spreading on social media.
REASONABLE ACTION? Johnny Chiang said residents must decide whether it is fair for political forces to compel them to judge the city government before its term is up Groups advocating the recall of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) last night made a final push with a rally, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) released a video appeal to voters’ softer side. The Central Election Commission in April verified public endorsement for a recall petition to remove the KMT mayor from office. The recall vote is to be held today. Civic groups initiated the recall petition in June last year, after Han announced a presidential bid less than six months into his mayoral term. The groups yesterday started with a procession through Kaohsiung, gathering at Yuandi Temple in Zuoying District (左營) before setting out toward Nanzih District (楠梓), with supporters lining the streets to greet them. The recall campaign culminated with an evening rally in front of the Kaohsiung MRT metropolitan railway system’s Formosa Boulevard Station, which included another procession on the banks of the Love River (愛河), with participants chanting: “Vote on June 6. Retake Kaohsiung.” Chen Kuan-jung (陳冠榮), a convener of the Wecare Kaohsiung coalition, called on the city’s residents to “be brave, be stubborn and show some effort to be responsible.” “We will determine a new future for Kaohsiung on June 6,” Chen said. The Kaohsiung City Election Commission has said that by law, if 25 percent, or about 575,000, of the city’s eligible voters, about 2.3 million residents, vote in favor of recalling Han and their ballots exceed those against the motion, the vote would be considered valid. The recall campaign has strong backing from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians. DPP Kaohsiung chapter director Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) yesterday said that the recall vote would not be along political lines, nor is it for or against Han, but is rather about creating a new standard of democratic responsibility. “The recall vote is making a statement that politicians, after being voted into office, should dedicate their term
People using Taipei’s MRT metropolitan railway network and public bus system would no longer be required to wear masks at all times when in stations, metro cars or buses from tomorrow, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) announced yesterday. The mask requirement on public transport in Taipei is being eased on the same day the central government plans to relax disease prevention measures on trains and domestic flights, as there have been no domestic COVID-19 infections in nearly two months, she said. “As long as social distancing can be maintained,” passengers riding the MRT and public buses in the city can remove their masks while at stations, in metro cars or buses, but would still be required to wear masks when entering a station or boarding a bus, she added. Metro and bus drivers, as well as station personnel, would still be required to have their temperature checked and wear masks when on duty, the Taipei Public Transportation Office said. Wearing masks remains obligatory for passengers who have a fever or respiratory symptoms, it said. Separately yesterday, New Taipei City Department of Transportation Director Chung Ming-shih (鍾鳴時) said that the easing of the mask requirement would be simultaneously implemented in New Taipei City, Keelung and Taoyuan to form a “zone defense” against the novel coronavirus. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has said that it plans to relax disease prevention measures on trains and domestic flights from tomorrow, as the spread of COVID-19 has eased in Taiwan. Passengers on Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) and Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) trains would still have their temperature checked at the ticket barrier and be required to wear a mask, but can remove the mask afterward if certain conditions are met, it said. Those conditions include observing proper social distancing, the ministry added. Tomorrow has been chosen as
RISK FACTOR: If left untreated, a fatty liver can increase the chance of developing cirrhosis or liver cancer by 10 to 20 percent, a doctor at Cathay General Hospital said About 20 percent of Taiwanese with liver cancer also have a diagnosis of fatty liver disease or alcoholic liver disease, Taiwan Cancer Registry data showed. One in four people worldwide have fatty liver disease, while the incidence rate in Taiwan ranges between 11.4 percent and 41 percent, reports released by the National Health Research Institutes showed. The main causes of fatty liver disease are high cholesterol and ineffective diabetes self-management, which are often related to being overweight and drinking too much alcohol. The WHO defines being overweight as a chronic condition, and people who are overweight for a long period are more likely to be diagnosed with fatty liver disease and to experience diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, gout and osteoarthritis — and at almost twice the frequency of those with a healthy weight, Health Promotion Administration Cancer Prevention and Control Division Director Lin Li-ju (林莉茹) said on Friday. Fatty liver disease results when excess fat causes inflammation in the liver, said Hsu Shu-ting (許舒淳), a doctor in the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Section of Cathay General Hospital in Taipei. Although it does not sound like a serious condition, persistent inflammation increases a person’s chance of developing cirrhosis or liver cancer by 10 to 20 percent, so it should not be ignored, she said. “People living a modern lifestyle are busy at work and lack exercise. They often eat out and take sugary drinks with their meals, which significantly increases their likelihood of developing liver cancer,” Hsu said. “Drinking too much alcohol will likely lead to alcoholic liver disease, which puts people at a higher risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer — at a much greater incidence rate than those with fatty liver disease,” she said. A fatty liver does not have obvious signs — those with a fatty liver who experience pain or fatigue might already have
TECHNOLOGY LINKS: The market office collaborated with two firms to introduce the point-of-sale devices at Xihu Market, which is often visited by tech park workers The Taipei Market Administration Office yesterday introduced touchscreen kiosks at Xihu Market (西湖市場) that allow customers to order meals in the food court by using their smartphone to scan a quick response code. The system was unveiled for the Taipei Traditional Market Festival, which opened at Xihu Market. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said that as the market shares a building with MRT Xihu Station and receives ample foot traffic, the office last year budgeted funding to renovate the market in the hopes of attracting more visitors and making the market a tourist attraction in Neihu District (內湖). The renovation included changing floor tiles, tables and chairs at the market’s second-floor food court; improving entry, exit and information signs and layout maps; and remodeling 15 stalls, the office said. Five touchscreen kiosks, which were installed near entrances this week, display products sold at each food stall and provide codes that customers can scan to order meals, it said. The market is near Neihu Technology Park (內湖科技園區) and many of the park’s workers frequent its food court, the office said, adding that it collaborated with two technology companies to introduce the point-of-sale kiosks in the hopes of making food orders more convenient and less time-consuming. The office said that it plans to introduce the system at three other traditional markets in the second half of this year. With the Central Epidemic Command Center easing disease prevention measures and the city’s public facilities beginning to gradually reopen to the public today, people can choose not to wear a mask if they can maintain social distancing on public transportation, Huang said. However, vendors and visitors at the city’s public markets are still required to wear masks, she said.
Several universities yesterday held their graduation ceremonies, which were smaller and incorporated videoconferencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At National Taiwan University’s (NTU) event, students wore masks while speakers participated via videoconference. The scaled-down ceremony, with attendees sitting apart to maintain social distancing, was attended by 523 students and 675 parents, compared with about 2,700 of each last year. “We are apart in distance, put on masks and avoid contact with others. Such distancing can lead to alienation, as well as to more apprehension and misgivings, but we should reduce the psychological distance between people so that our society can maintain its intimate connections,” NTU president Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) said in his address. The pandemic has changed people’s behavior and severely affected many industries, particularly those that require in-person interactions, he said. “Remote work will be the new normal. Tensions are running high between the US and China, and many countries have closed their borders, leading many to believe that this will be the end of the trend toward globalization of the past three decades,” Kuan said. “However, propelled by new information technology, globalization will continue. Although the ‘world order’ might be reorganized and economic powers might shift, these will not stop ongoing international development, so we must all face the challenges of globalization,” he said. To face such challenges, people would need more than the ability to speak foreign languages or competitive international skills, but also an appreciation for different cultures, and the ability to live in and interact with them, to find their own place and become leaders of globalization, he added. “Hold on to your passion and cultivate your transcultural quotient,” Kuan told students.
Tea eggs contain caffeine and theophylline, which are dangerous for pets, as they can lead to severe muscle contractions, epilepsy, faintness or even death, a veterinarian said. Caffeine and theophylline are methylxanthines and overconsumption can lead to increased cellular calcium concentration, which can cause intense muscle spasms, Taipei-based Primo Animal Hospital dean Chang Yang-chung (張洋崇) said on May 19, in response to a post on Facebook about a dog that was hospitalized after its owner fed it tea eggs. Pets begin exhibiting signs of methylxanthine poisoning one to four hours after consuming the substance, with symptoms including spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, palpitations, urine leakage, high body temperature, seizures and faintness, Chang said, adding that poisoning can be fatal. Tea bags and implements should be stored out of reach of pets to prevent them from accidentally consuming large amounts of tea leaves, he said. Pets should be immediately taken to a veterinary clinic should they eat tea leaves, he added. Separately on May 14, Taiwan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals researcher Chen Ting-yu (陳庭毓) drew attention to stereotypic behaviors of pets that receive too little attention from their owners. Such behaviors — including pacing, spinning in circles, unresponsiveness when called and constant biting or licking of the body despite having no ailment — can be repetitive and seemingly aimless, and are more commonly observed in animals kept in zoos or laboratories than in wild animals, Chen said. Stereotypies are not treatable and can result in physical harm to pets, such as injuries to limbs due to continuous pacing, skin damage or bacterial infections resulting from biting and licking, she said. Stereotypies indicate that pets are stressed, lack environmental stimuli and not receiving sufficient care, making them lose their sense of existential purpose, which they compensate for by “seeking fun for themselves,” such as feeling pain by biting
Railway fans are in for a treat, as the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) is planning a limited-edition reissue of the pocket watch used by its staff in the 1950s and 1960s built from reclaimed and recycled original parts to coincide with the Railway Festival on Tuesday. Not only have the watches been meticulously reproduced from original parts, they have been individually calibrated by professional watchmakers, the TRA said. The reissued watches would be available in limited quantities, with 48 dispatched to the TRA souvenir store at Taipei Railway Station, eight to the store in Taichung Railway Station, eight to the one in Kaohsiung Railway Station and five to the shop in Hualien Railway Station, it said. The watches would bear the logo of Swiss watchmaker Tissot, which along with Omega and Seiko previously made pocket watches for agency staff, the TRA said, adding that it last sold restored Tissot pocket watches in 2003. The reissued watches cost NT$58,000 and purchases are limited to one per person, it said. The mechanical watches, which were phased out in the 1970s, were issued to drivers, train conductors and stationmasters to enable them to accurately synchronize, and were the embodiment of punctuality, trust and security. Every reissued watch functions perfectly — a testament to Tissot’s exceptional craftsmanship, the TRA said. Each watch comes with a high-quality display case featuring a hardwood base and a metal prop, it said. The TRA said that it would on Tuesday also launch merchandise based on Mingjih round-the-nation tourism express trains, including a NT$350 mug and an NT$820 pullback car. The merchandise would be available at TRA souvenir stores at the Taipei, Songshan, Nanggang, Hualien, Taitung and Fongshan railway stations, as well as at boxed lunch stands at the Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung railway stations, it said.
NO DOUBLE-DIPPING: As the US seeks to build alliances to reduce reliance on Chinese technology, it might not tolerate Taiwanese firms seeking to profit from both countries The world might be divided into a China camp and a US-Europe camp following the US ban on Huawei Technologies Co, and Taiwanese firms should be cautious and prepare contingencies, an article published on Friday by a Taiwanese academic said. Entitled “The tightening of US technology export controls to China and its impact on Taiwan,” the article by Daphne Wang (王綉雯) appeared in the Institute for National Defense and Security Research’s Chinese-language Defense Security Biweekly. It cited a May 20 report to members of the US Congress that said the US approach to China over the past 40 years has “underestimated the will of the Chinese Communist Party to constrain the scope of economic and political reform in China,” and that the White House has adopted a “competitive approach” toward China “to respond to Beijing’s challenge.” Fearing that it could fall behind China in the development of 5G technology, the US has asked its European allies to shift away from Huawei’s products, and its ban against US companies selling the tech giant’s computer chips is aimed at delaying Chinese 5G development, Wang said. The US is increasingly aware of the incompatibility of its democratic government and free-market model with China’s military-civil fusion strategy, and the COVID-19 pandemic has generated a consensus to “stop Chinese expansion” throughout the US, she said. Given these circumstances, Taiwanese businesses are likely to find it difficult to profit from both the US and China, she said. An announcement by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) on May 15 that it would build a factory in Arizona coincided with an announcement that the company was no longer accepting orders from Huawei, Wang added. Although this could bring short-term benefits to companies such as MediaTek and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co over the medium to long-term, the US would not tolerate Taiwanese companies double-dipping or
‘UNITED FRONT’: The Mainland Affairs Council said China would seek to engage countries through the new centers under the pretense of representing Taiwan The Mainland Affairs Council on Friday said that it would impose stricter checks on academics from China’s Xiamen University who plan to visit Taiwan after the school established two unification promotion research centers. The university on Wednesday announced the establishment of the Research Center for Diplomacy Involving Taiwan as well as the Amalgamated Cross-strait Development and National Unification Policy Simulation Laboratory. The centers would use artificial intelligence to simulate scenarios involving a China unified with Taiwan under Beijing’s “one country, two systems” framework, it said. The Research Center for Diplomacy Involving Taiwan would be led by the dean of the university’s School of Law, Ji Ye (季燁), while the Amalgamated Cross-strait Development and National Unification Policy Simulation Laboratory would be headed by the dean of the university’s Graduate Institute for Taiwan Studies, Chen Xiancai (陳先才), the university added. During the administration of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), researchers from the university and various Chinese think tanks frequently visited Taiwan and its outlying islands “under the pretense of academic cooperation and research,” a source said on Friday. Chen, Ji and other Chinese researchers whose work is focused on unification would undergo stricter scrutiny when applying to visit Taiwan, and would likely be refused entry, the council said, adding that it would be the first time the National Immigration Agency introduces such strict checks for visiting Chinese academics. The Research Center for Diplomacy Involving Taiwan would allow Chinese academics specializing in Taiwan to more easily connect, while promoting exchanges in the US, Europe, Japan and elsewhere that emphasize the “one China” principle and preventing the development of “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan” policies, the university said. Through simulations and artificial intelligence, the Amalgamated Cross-strait Development and National Unification Policy Simulation Laboratory would “develop cross-strait policies that would advance international society’s understanding of and support for China’s national
Despite tense relations across the Taiwan Strait over the past four years, newly appointed Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman David Lee (李大維) said that Taiwan and China can work together in the public’s best interest. Lee, a former minister of foreign affairs and long-time diplomat who recently left the post of National Security Council secretary-general, said on Friday when formally named foundation chairman that he wants people in Taiwan and China to benefit from cross-strait ties, while ensuring their long-term development and regional stability. The foundation, established in 1991, is a semi-official intermediary body responsible for cross-strait affairs. A series of charter flights arranged to evacuate Taiwanese stranded in China showed how the two sides of the Strait can cooperate over the people’s interests, Lee said. However, hundreds of Taiwanese were stuck for months in China’s Hubei Province because the two sides argued over how to evacuate them. Lee reiterated what President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said about cross-strait ties in her second inaugural address on May 20. “Cross-strait relations have reached a historical turning point,” Tsai said. “Both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term, and prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences.” Lee stressed that everything between the two sides, no matter how big or how small, is important, saying that issues need to be handled with seriousness and professionalism so that exchanges and goodwill can continue to be improved. The future of cross-strait ties lies in the people of both sides, whether they are Taiwanese working or studying in China, or Chinese students or spouses in Taiwan, Lee added. Lee, who has been Taiwan’s representative to the US, Canada, the EU and Australia, took over as foundation chair from Katharine Chang (張小月), another long-time diplomat who filled the post for more than two years. Chang, who first headed the Mainland Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday reasserted national sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) and urged Japan to restrain itself after media reports that Okinawa’s Ishigaki City Council proposed to change the islands’ administrative name. The group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, are claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan. The Ishigaki City Council, which has jurisdiction over the islands, has proposed a bill to change the islands’ administrative name from “Tonojo” to “Tonojo Senkaku,” the Japanese-language Okinawa Times reported yesterday. The bill aims to streamline administrative procedures, the newspaper quoted Ishigaki Mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama as saying, adding that the proposal is expected to be passed on Tuesday and take effect from Oct. 1. In a statement, the ministry reasserted the nation’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands, saying that Taiwan’s sovereignty over the islands would not be altered by another country renaming them. The ministry said that it has sought more details through diplomatic channels in Taipei and Tokyo, while expressing concern that the unilateral move would harm regional stability and calling on Japan to approach the matter cautiously. Taiwan maintains that disputes should be resolved through peaceful means, and that unilateral actions that could provoke tension should be avoided, it said. The ministry called on Japan to maintain a peaceful and rational attitude, and to exercise self-restraint. The government would monitor the situation on the Diaoyutai Islands and in nearby waters, taking action to defend national sovereignty and fishers’ rights if needed, the ministry added.
In between her shifts, Zimbabwean nurse Sinothando Mpofu used to go to Bulawayo’s open-air markets to buy tomatoes and cabbages for her family of nine — until the country’s COVID-19 lockdown closed all stalls. Mpofu worried about where she would get fresh food, until she saw a message in her local church WhatsApp group about Fresh in a Box — one of a rising number of African tech companies delivering fresh food to people under lockdown. Now she places an order online and receives a box of produce delivered to her home every week. The fruit and vegetables are better quality than the food she used to buy at the supermarket, she said, at about one-third of the cost. “Buying vegetables at a local supermarket is very expensive, but now I get a variety of vegetables and I eat balanced meals all the time,” Mpofu, 37, said, adding that she would keep using the site even after lockdown ends. In many African countries, measures put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 have made it harder for people to access affordable, nutritious food, sparking warnings from aid groups that the pandemic would worsen malnutrition rates. An estimated 73 million people in Africa are already acutely food insecure, Matshidiso Moeti, regional director for the WHO’s Regional Office for Africa, said in a news release last month. “COVID-19 is exacerbating food shortages, as food imports, transportation and agricultural production have all been hampered by a combination of lockdowns, travel restrictions and physical distancing measures,” she said. A possible global GDP loss of 5 percent this year could push another 147 million people into extreme poverty — more than half of them in sub-Saharan Africa, the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute has said. CLICK TO EAT Mobile tech start-ups are helping people get hold of fresh food during the pandemic
In El-Arish, the provincial capital of Egypt’s North Sinai, a group of women sew colorful Bedouin designs on masks to protect against the COVID-19 pandemic, as an insurgency simmers in their restive region. Egypt’s toll from the disease has reached more than 31,000 cases, including more than 1,100 deaths, while North Sinai itself remains the bloody scene of a long-running Islamist insurgency. “I learned how to embroider when I was a young girl watching my mother,” homemaker Naglaa Mohammed, 36, said on a landline from El-Arish, as mobile phone links are often disrupted. A versatile embroiderer, she also beads garments and crafts rings and bracelets. Now with the pandemic, she has been designing masks showcasing her Bedouin heritage. Bedouins are nomadic tribes who traditionally inhabit desert areas throughout the Arab world, from North Africa to Iraq. Many have now integrated into a more urban lifestyle. Egypt’s Bedouin textile tradition of tatriz — weaving and beading rich geometric and abstract designs on garments, cushions and purses — has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. It has survived in the Sinai Peninsula, whose north has been plagued by years of militant activity and terror attacks spearheaded by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group. Security forces have been locked in a battle to quell an insurgency in Sinai that intensified after the military’s 2013 ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. In February 2018, authorities launched a nationwide operation against militants, focusing on North Sinai. About 970 suspected militants have since been killed in the region along with dozens of security personnel, official figures showed. Local and international media are banned from entering heavily militarized North Sinai. Yet for Amany Gharib, who founded the El Fayrouz For Environmental and Social and Economic Services Association in El-Arish in 2010, the violence has not dissuaded her from keeping Bedouin heritage alive while
‘HUGE SURPRISE’: Evidence of an earlier-than-expected recovery sent shares in airlines and Boeing Co soaring, while small-caps and transportation stocks also outperformed Wall Street on Friday surged after a strikingly upbeat jobs report for last month unexpectedly provided the clearest evidence yet that the US economy is headed for a quicker-than-anticipated recovery. The NASDAQ breached its all-time closing high reached in February, but pared its gains to end the session a hair’s breadth below it. All three major US stock indices advanced 2 percent or more. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are now 5.7 percent and 8.3 percent below their respective closing records. The benchmark S&P 500 is now 1.1 percent below its year-to-date break-even level. The US economy added a remarkable 2.5 million jobs last month, rebounding from April’s record 20.7 million drop, and pushing the unemployment rate down to 13.3 percent. Analysts saw unemployment soaring to a historic 19.8 percent. “The numbers are a huge surprise to the upside,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors in Boston. “It would suggest a further confirmation the economy is coming back online,” Arone said. “This is a strong signal that the effects are temporary and that the economy is improving.” “Long may it last,” he added. US Treasury yields rose on the jobs data, giving a boost to interest rate-sensitive banks and sending the S&P 500 Banks index up 4.9 percent. Airlines, among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis, soared, with the ARCA Airline Index jumping 5.7 percent. However, the WHO warned that the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the global economy to its knees in the wake of mandated shutdowns, is far from over and new cases are on the rise. Market participants now turn their focus to the US Federal Reserve, which holds a monetary policy meeting next week where the latest jobs data is almost certain to be discussed. The Dow on Friday rose 829.16 points, or 3.15 percent, to 27,110.98, the S&P
The Ministry of Education (MOE) is reportedly drafting a four-year, NT$500 million (US$16.8 million) plan to recruit African undergraduate and graduate students, to help train the kind of professionals needed to work in priority industries in which Taiwan plays a leading role. Reports of the plan, which surfaced a week ago, cited sources who talked about establishing dual-degree programs between Taiwanese and African universities, saying that some local schools had already started recruiting in Africa. It sounded like another admirable effort to expand Taiwan’s soft power, harnessing one of the nation’s strengths — its tertiary institutions — with one of its weaknesses, a shortage of students. However, another story was published just a few days earlier about the alleged exploitation of foreign students through work-study “internships.” It involved Swazi students enrolled at Mingdao University and questions about donations paid to the school by companies employing the student interns. It turned out that the ministry had been forced to intervene in late November 2018 after it learned of media reports in Eswatini about how the business administration students at Mingdao were working 40 hours per week skinning chickens at a Changhua County factory in return for tuition and accommodation. The ministry ordered the school to cancel the work contracts and help the students return to a full-time class schedule. The ministry was already well aware that the recruitment of foreign students from New Southbound Policy nations and others was open to abuse, as earlier that November it had reprimanded the University of Kang Ning over its recruitment of Sri Lankan high-school graduates who ended up working illegally at underground factories and slaughterhouses in Taipei and Tainan. At the time, the ministry said the Kang Ning case was an isolated incident, which it clearly was not, as more complaints have been raised since then about internship programs at
The COVID-19 outbreak that originated in central China has spread around the world and claimed over 300,000 lives. Infectious diseases are part of life, and it is critical that global defenses against pandemics hold. China was the world’s first line of defense, and that defense failed. Beijing cannot be held solely responsible for the impact of the pandemic, and, to be sure, the Chinese are justified in celebrating victories and acts of heroism in China’s struggle to contain COVID-19. However, Beijing cannot be let off the hook for its role in the crisis. Beijing’s response to the outbreak, rooted in the secrecy and paranoia inherent in its authoritarian system, robbed the world of precious time to prepare. Its lack of transparency has continued to frustrate global efforts to study and understand the virus. The experience reminds us that Beijing’s style of authoritarianism is not compatible with the transparent and effective governance needed to address modern global challenges. As the US has struggled to find its footing against the virus, it is not surprising to see emotion-driven American responses aimed at China, ranging from efforts by state attorneys general to exact punishment through lawsuits against the Chinese Communist Party to abhorrent attacks against people of Asian descent. Such responses serve no one’s interests. Americans must rise to this occasion by separating frustrations and emotions from legitimate concerns and focus on responses that reflect American values and strategic interests. The current situation reminds us of the US’ special role as champion of liberal democracy. It presents the US with a fresh opportunity to stand by its values and its democratic partners in Asia, and in particular Taiwan, which finds itself on the front line of defending democracy in Asia. Taiwan is among the few countries in the world to succeed in containing COVID-19. Taiwan not only
In times of crisis, our convictions matter. They even matter when a crisis is over, as they show how committed we are to our beliefs. While the nation moves toward a more open and free democratic society, the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) ban on sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall is puzzling and, more likely, not useful, if not counterproductive. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions on gatherings in public spaces have been put in place to slow the spread of the virus. The station’s main hall was one of the affected spaces. Now, as the pandemic shows signs of ebbing, the TRA is taking advantage of the restrictions, as it announced on May 18 that it plans to make permanent a ban on sitting on the station’s main hall floor. Unsurprisingly, the policy has sparked controversy and protest. In response, the TRA explained that it had never intended to provide such a “service” to tourists and travelers, but merely acquiesced to what happened. Now, to avoid confrontations, the TRA proposed inviting experts to discuss how the hall should be designed to benefit users and would put forward a proposal this month. Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) took a middle-of-the-road position, saying “the TRA can continue its dialogue with the public and find ways to satisfy both sides.” Lin should instead take charge and put the genie back in the bottle. In its history, the hall has been part of many people’s lives. During Lunar New Year holidays in the 1990s, long queues were seen inside the station, as hundreds of young workers waited for their trains to return home to their villages for family reunions, and given the limited waiting space, they brought sleeping bags and quilts to make beds on the floor, and stayed inside the station
HAIRCUTS DRAW FINES: Two Dortmund players were sanctioned for breaches of social distancing rules after they got haircuts at home without protective equipment Ten-man Borussia Moenchengladbach suffered a 1-0 defeat against SC Freiburg after substitute Nils Petersen’s superb second-half header dented their Champions League qualifying hopes in a lively Bundesliga game on Friday. The result left ’Gladbach, who had Alassane Plea sent off after 68 minutes, fourth on 56 points from 30 games, with fifth-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen level on points with them ahead of their home game yesterday against leaders Bayern Munich. ’Gladbach dominated the first half and missed a string of chances, with Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow denying Plea and Lars Stindl in quick succession as the home side defended desperately. At the other end, Gian-Luca Waldschmidt skied a shot over the bar and ’Gladbach ’keeper Yann Sommer parried a fierce Lucas Hoeler shot with the hosts relying on counterattacks. With ’Gladbach piling on more pressure after the break, Petersen met Vincenzo Grifo’s cross 67 seconds after coming on and headed past Sommer from 10m against the run of play in the 58th minute. Freiburg gained the upper hand after Plea was dismissed 10 minutes later for a second bookable foul and Sommer again denied Hoeler with a fine reflex save in the dying minutes. The visitors threw men forward and whipped a flurry of crosses into the penalty area, but the Freiburg defense, superbly marshaled by Schwolow, held out comfortably. Freiburg, who are chasing a Europa League qualifying spot, stayed eighth on 41 points, but are within a point of the two sides above them ahead of the final four rounds. Separately, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Manuel Akanji were fined by the league for breaking stringent health guidelines to get haircuts at home. Photographs emerged of Sancho and Akanji having their hair styled in their respective homes, with neither the players nor the hairdresser wearing any personal protective equipment. “Absolute joke DFL,” tweeted Sancho, referring to the German Football
Liverpool could end their 30-year title drought at home after all when the English Premier League resumes after the COVID-19 pandemic-enforced suspension. Police originally indicated that they wanted the club’s second game after the restart against Crystal Palace to be at a neutral venue because of concerns that supporters could congregate outside Anfield, while they are prohibited from being inside. However, the game on June 24 has been scheduled at Liverpool’s home stadium. Liverpool lead second-placed Manchester City by 25 points and are two wins from winning the title. Juergen Klopp’s side could clinch the trophy in their first game back against Everton if City lose to Arsenal on June 17. A few hours before that game in Manchester, a match between Aston Villa and Sheffield United is to mark the return of the league from its 100-day coronavirus shutdown. A reconfigured Premier League schedule released on Friday initially sees 32 games in 16 days — only two days will be without any action. Every game is to be shown live in Britain — many for free in an unprecedented move — because fans will not be allowed at games for the remainder of the season, which is due to end on the final weekend of next month. Pubs are also due to remain closed in England until at least next month. Sky Sports and BT Sport, who are the main domestic rights holders, will offer fans the option of watching games with pre-recorded crowd noise to cover the silence from stadiums. Sky Sports will have team-specific audio from FIFA video game producer EA Sports. There will also be new online services to link up housebound fans in video chats alongside game feeds: Watch Together on BT and Fanzone on Sky. “With live sport on hold for over two months, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident that his side will hit the ground running when the Premier League resumes his month. The English top-flight is to return on June 17 after several months of COVID-19 pandemic-enforced inactivity. United are to resume the season away to Tottenham Hotspur on June 19 — their first match since beating LASK 5-0 in the Europa League on March 12. That victory in Austria extended United’s unbeaten run to 11 matches and Solskjaer is in no doubt as to what his side must do to be ready as they continue their quest for a place in next season’s Champions League. “The first game is two weeks from today, so we need to step up the training and get an edge to our game again,” Solskjaer told United’s Web site on Friday. “Everyone knows that we will have to be at our best, have to be focused” against Tottenham, he said. “We know it’s a big game for everyone. We had Chelsea when we started the league this season, so I’m confident that our players can go into the Tottenham game with that mentality of going there to play a very good game of football,” Solskjaer added. Following the Spurs match, United face fellow European hopefuls Sheffield United at Old Trafford on June 24 before traveling to Brighton on June 30 — after an FA Cup quarter-final against Norwich City on June 27. Former United striker Solsjkaer said that his squad had been preparing for a congested schedule. “Training has been about recapping what we did well, tweaking maybe one or two things and looking at some new ideas, but hopefully we can see a lot of what we saw towards the end before the lockdown,” he said. “We’ve got games coming weekend, midweek, weekend for a spell, so you have to focus
Premier League chief executive officer Richard Masters would “fully consider” calls for a proposed Saudi Arabian-led takeover of Newcastle United to be blocked, the BBC reported on Friday. Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has written to the league to oppose the deal, while Amnesty International said that the Premier League “risks becoming a patsy” if the takeover is approved. Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and US resident, was killed in 2018 while at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), led by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is reportedly to take an 80 percent stake in the club should the ￡300 million (US$338 million) takeover go through. “I assure you and your client that her representations are being fully considered in our process,” Masters said in a letter to Cengiz’s lawyer. However, Masters has shunned the request of a private meeting with Cengiz “in light of correspondence appearing in the media,” the BBC reported. Cengiz has called on the Premier League to take a moral stand on the issue. The deal is also being held up due to alleged Saudi Arabian piracy of a host of major sports events, including Premier League matches. In a statement to the BBC, Cengiz said: “I’m cautiously optimistic the Premier League will make the right decision.” “I’m sure that if the Premier League follows its own rules and charter, especially the owners’ and directors’ test, it will block the sale of Newcastle United to Mohamed bin Salman and the Public Investment Fund he chairs,” she said. “Until Bin Salman is held accountable for his role in Jamal’s brutal murder, everyone must refrain from doing any business with him.”
‘SHARP INCREASE’: About 39 percent of people reported engaging in high-risk practices, including using bleach to clean food, as well as drinking or gargling it More than one-third of Americans misused cleaners and disinfectants to try to prevent infection by the novel coronavirus, according to a survey taken shortly after US President Donald Trump publicly asked whether injecting such products could treat COVID-19. Washing food with bleach, using household cleaning or disinfectant products on bare skin, and intentionally inhaling or ingesting these products were some of the most commonly reported “high-risk” practices in a May 4 online survey of 502 US adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Friday. The survey’s lead author said it was undertaken following a “sharp increase” in calls to poison control centers for exposure to cleaners and disinfectants during the pandemic. In late April, Trump asked scientists during one of his coronavirus task force briefings whether inserting disinfectant into the bodies of people infected with the virus might help clear the disease, horrifying health experts. Makers of household cleaners were compelled to urge people not to drink or inject their products. About 39 percent of people surveyed reported intentionally engaging in at least one high-risk practice not recommended by the CDC to prevent coronavirus infection, including using bleach to clean food or misting the body with a disinfectant spray. DRANK OR GARGLED Four percent drank or gargled with diluted bleach solutions, soapy water or disinfectants. One-quarter of those surveyed reported having at least one adverse health effect during the previous month that they believed resulted from using these products. The CDC suggested that official COVID-19 prevention messages that focus on hand hygiene and frequent cleaning should also include instructions on proper usage of cleaners and disinfectants, and storing chemicals out of reach of children. Limitations to the survey included that it was for a single point in time and was opt-in rather than a random sampling, the agency said.
India reported a record 9,887 new COVID-19 cases in one day yesterday and overtook Italy as the world’s sixth-biggest outbreak, two days before the relaxing of a lockdown with the reopening of malls, restaurants and places of worship. With its total number of cases rising to more than 236,000, India has fewer infections than only the US, Brazil, Russia, the UK and Spain, according to a Reuters tally. However, India’s toll of deaths from COVID-19 is 6,642, small compared with those other countries. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, anxious to jump-start an economy crippled by the epidemic and put millions of people back to work, is easing its lockdown of the 1.3 billion population imposed in March, which the government said helped avoid an exponential rise in cases. Restrictions would be loosened from tomorrow, but some experts were worried it is too soon. Giridhar R. Babu, epidemiologist at the Public Health Foundation of India, in particular questioned the reopening of religious places. “We can survive and sustain the gains without ... opening up religious places for sometime,” Babu said on Twitter. The WHO on Friday said that India’s lockdown had helped it dampen down transmission of the disease, but there was a risk the cases could rise again. “As India and in other large countries open up and people begin to move there is always a risk of the disease bouncing back up,” WHO Health Emergencies Program executive director Mike Ryan told a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland. People visiting places of worship would be asked to wash their hands and feet, and there will be no distribution of food offerings, sprinkling of holy water or touching of idols and holy books. The pandemic has killed at least 395,000 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to Johns Hopkins University’s global pandemic monitoring Web
At daybreak yesterday, Charles Shay stood lonesome without any fellow veteran on the very same beach where he waded ashore 76 years ago, part of one of the most epic battles in military history that came to be known as D-Day and turned the tide of World War II. Compared with last year, when many tens of thousands came to the northern French beaches of Normandy to cheer the dwindling number of veterans and celebrate three-quarters of a century of liberation from Nazi oppression, the COVID-19 lockdown turned this year’s remembrance into one of the eeriest ever. “I am very sad now,” said Shay, who was a 19-year-old US Army medic when he landed on Omaha Beach under horrific machine-gun fire and shells. “Because of the virus, nobody can be here. I would like to see more of us here,” he told reporters. Normally, 95-year-old Shay would be meeting other survivors of the 1944 battle and celebrating with locals and dignitaries alike, all not far from his home close to the beaches that defined his life. “This year, I am one of the very few that is probably here,” he said, adding that other US veterans could not fly in because of the pandemic. When a full moon disappeared over land and the sun rose the other side over the English Channel, there was no customary rumble of columns of vintage jeep and trucks to be heard, roads still so deserted hare sat alongside them. Still, the French would not let the day slip by unnoticed, such is their attachment to about 160,000 soldiers from the US, the UK, Canada and others who spilled their blood to free foreign beaches and fight on to finally defeat Nazism almost one year later. “It’s a June 6th unlike any other,” said Philippe Laillier, the mayor of Saint-Laurent-Sur-Mer, where he
June 8 to june 14 Every June 10 starting from 1921, students across Taiwan formed marching bands and paraded the streets, handing out flyers that reminded people to be punctual and adhere to the standard time. It was “Time Memorial Day” (時的紀念日), where schools and civic groups put on all sorts of activities to promote the habit. A mostly agrarian society when the Japanese arrived, there was little need for the average Taiwanese to know exactly what time it was. They followed the traditional Chinese system of dividing the day into 12 periods, and organized their lives around the lunar calendar and the 24 solar terms. Even after the colonizers implemented Greenwich Mean Time in Taiwan on Jan. 1, 1896, few people followed it unless they had government business, attended school or had a train to catch. An undated Time Memorial Day flyer features several Chinese proverbs about the importance of time and includes the following instructions: “1. Use time wisely. 2. Wake up early. 3. Establish routines for your tasks. 4. Be on time for appointments. 5. Refrain from excessive greetings and send-offs. 6. Take assembly times seriously.” The Japanese took punctuality so seriously that it was among their first priorities when they captured Taipei on June 7, 1895. On June 27, with local resistance still raging across Taiwan, they began firing a daily “noon cannon” (午炮) at 11:30am from the walled city’s west gate. The practice spread to other cities over the years. In 1913, the citizens of Tainan set up a “noon-cannon collective” where businesses shared the gunpowder and labor costs. In addition to Time Memorial Day activities, the introduction of radio to Taiwan in 1925 and the rise of factory work also contributed to the sense of time among the people. Finally, all citizens
If not for the pandemic, Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum would have missed out on a classic Dutch 16th century painting it so badly craved. Instead, the work now graces a central hall of one of the world’s most famous cultural institutions — all because a wealthy dealer in old masters elected to pay a very unusual tribute to COVID-19 victims. When the museum reopened Monday after the Dutch lockdown was eased, General Director Taco Dibbits stood beaming before Bartholomeus Spranger’s Body of Christ Supported by Angels. “This gift came and it was a moment of light,” he said. His joy contrasted sharply with the disappointment he felt at the early March TEFAF art fair — an annual jamboree in the southern Netherlands where culture meets capital. He thought the oil-on-copper painting was his to buy. “We were standing there with our curators around the painting and saying how wonderful it was,” he said. What they didn’t know was that the picture had been sold almost on arrival at the fair. Dibbits went back to Amsterdam, and was forced to deal with the impact of the coronavirus on his institution. With the public shut out, he said, “we were losing 1 million (euros) a week... That’s really a very substantial part of what we need to make the museum function.” So imagine Dibbits’ surprise when he got a call from international dealer and collector Bob Haboldt, who owned the painting and had earlier said he sold it. It turned out that as soon as the pandemic broke, the sale was canceled. The globe-trotting Dutchman, who lives in France and Italy and has offices in Amsterdam, Paris and New York, was tied down, just like everybody else. “In isolation, I took the step that I would not think about its financial value,” he said in a phone interview from Italy. “Only its
The recent death of Hana Kimura, a bubbly, pink-haired 22-year-old wrestler and reality TV show star, has spotlighted a rise in cyberbullying in Japan and prompted swift official pledges to do more to protect victims. Kimura, a cast member on the popular program Terrace House, was found dead at her home on May 23 from an apparent suicide after being deluged with negative comments on her social media feeds. Acutely aware of the public debate spurred by her death, Japan’s ruling party is holding hearings from this week to consider legal changes that will help cyberbullying victims seek justice. “People must understand where the line between constructive criticism and abuse lies,” said Junko Mihara, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party who is leading the party’s team on online harassment. Kimura’s death has been a lightning bolt as many Japanese spend more time online because of coronavirus lockdown measures. Celebrities, politicians and companies have all weighed into the debate. In a 2018 Ipsos poll, Japan ranked the highest among 28 countries saying cyberbullying prevention measures were insufficient, but among the lowest for public awareness about online abuse. Government data showed the number of reported cyberbullying cases at schools more than doubled in the four years to 2018. Yet the legal recourse for victims — a lengthy court process to impel Internet service providers to identify anonymous posters before those posters can be sued — has not changed since a law was established in 2001, before Twitter or Facebook were created. Experts and victims have welcomed the political momentum to update the law. “On the Internet, the balance between freedom of speech and dignity is completely skewed, with no protection in place for personal dignity,” said Daisuke Tsuda, an author of several books about online media. But Tsuda cautioned against knee-jerk regulation that could allow authorities to regulate content
Genetic sampling of the Dead Sea Scrolls has tested understandings that the 2,000-year-old artefacts were the work of a fringe Jewish sect, and shed light on the drafting of scripture around the time of Christianity’s birth. The research — which indicated some of the parchments’ provenances by identifying animal hides used — may also help safeguard against forgeries of the prized biblical relics. The Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of hundreds of manuscripts and thousands of fragments of ancient Jewish religious texts, were discovered in 1947 by local Bedouin in the cave-riddled desert crags of Qumran, about 20km east of Jerusalem. Many scholars believed the scrolls originated with the reclusive Essenes, who had broken away from the Jewish mainstream. But some academics argue the Qumran trove had various authors and may have been brought from Jerusalem for safekeeping. DNA sequencing conducted by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Antiquities Authority has allowed for finer matching or differentiation among the scrolls. While the sheepskin of some of the scrolls could be produced in the desert, cowskin — found in at least two samples — was more typical of cities like Jerusalem, where Jews, at the time, had their second temple and were under Roman rule. “The very material, the biological material of which the scrolls are made, is as telling and as informative as the content of the text,” Noam Mizrahi, Bible studies professor at Tel Aviv University, told Reuters. The Israeli researchers, assisted by a Swedish DNA lab, determined that two textually different copies of the Book of Jeremiah were brought to Qumran from the outside. Such findings, the researchers say, indicate that the wording of Jewish texts was subject to variation and interpretation — contrary to later views of holy writ as fixed. The lesson, Mizrahi said, is that “Second Temple Jewish society
A: Thank goodness we finally got rid of the cockroaches and ants. It was starting to affect my sleep. B: Yep. Remember when I woke up in a cold sweat one night after I dreamt of giant cockroaches? A: How could I forget? You screamed like a baby. B: Before the infestation, cockroaches didn’t bother me. I think I’m suffering from post-traumatic stress... A: 謝天謝地我們終於擺脫蟑螂和螞蟻，這問題都開始要影響我的睡眠了。 B : 是啊。你記得嗎？有一天晚上我全身冒冷汗被嚇醒，因為我夢到好多巨大蟑螂。 A : 我怎麼可能忘記？你喊得跟小孩一樣。 B : 在這次蟑螂大批出沒之前，這種害蟲並不曾困擾我。但是現在我覺得好像開始出現創傷後症候群了。 English 英文: Chinese 中文:
|New Taipei City||26-32||70%|