Mon, Aug 10, 2020
US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian Harrison and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty. They were welcomed on the apron by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tien Chung-kwang (田中光), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) and AIT Director Brent Christensen. After a short talk with the officials, Azar waved to reporters. The visitors were then given COVID-19 tests in the airport’s VIP guest room, after having had one in the US, the ministry said. While in Taiwan, the visitors would be kept in a “diplomatic bubble.” They would be transported in special vehicles, would stay on a designated hotel floor and be kept separate from members of the public, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) has said. The delegation is to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) this morning and witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on bilateral health cooperation with Chen in the afternoon. The MOU would be signed by Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jenni Yang (楊珍妮) at the CDC in Taipei, the AIT said. Tomorrow, Azar is scheduled to visit Taiwanese mask manufacturers and deliver a speech to public health graduate students and alumni of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention training program, a source
CONTROLS: The CECC tightened its border policy because of the high infection numbers in the Philippines and a high positivity rate among travelers from there Starting on Wednesday, all travelers from the Philippines would be placed in centralized quarantine facilities for 14 days after being tested for COVID-19 at the airport upon arriving in Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center made the announcement as it confirmed a new imported COVID-19 case — a Taiwanese woman who had returned from the Philippines. The CECC tightened its border control policy after about 3,500 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Philippines daily over the past two weeks and a high positivity rate was detected among travelers from that nation, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Taiwanese and foreign nationals who hold an Alien Resident Certificate or a resident visa would not need to pay for their stay at a quarantine facility, the CECC said. Other foreign nationals traveling from the Philippines would be required to present a certificate showing that they do not have COVID-19 obtained within three days of their departure for Taiwan, and also pay NT$1,500 per night for their stay at a quarantine facility, it said. Among the 762 travelers who arrived from the Philippines in June, 12 were tested for COVID-19 at the airport for having symptoms, but none came out positive, Chen said. From July 1 to July 25, 19 of 727 arrivals from the Philippines were tested at the airport for having symptoms, four of whom, or 21.1 percent, tested positive, and another two later tested positive during home quarantine, he said. However, after a policy was introduced requiring all travelers from the Philippines to be tested upon arrival, 278 people were tested from July 26 and Saturday, 14 of whom tested positive, which is a positivity rate of 5 percent, Chen said. The rate is much higher than the 0.03 percent for travelers who arrived
A Japanese delegation of parliamentarians from across party lines, led by former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori, yesterday paid their respects to the late former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) at a memorial at the Taipei Guest House. Lee died on July 30, aged 97. The Japanese delegation arrived at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) on a chartered plane at 2:35pm yesterday. They visited President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office Building at 4pm, before heading to the memorial at 5pm. At the Presidential Office, Tsai thanked the delegation for their visit, and their long-term support and contributions to Japan-Taiwan relations. Tsai especially thanked Mori for allowing Lee to visit Japan after he stepped down from the presidency, and also thanked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso for speaking boldly in support of Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly on many occasions. She said that she hopes Taiwan and Japan can share information on the COVID-19 pandemic and the development of vaccines and medication, and continue to reinforce their good relationship. Mori delivered a condolence message from Abe and expressed his gratitude and respect for Lee’s contributions to the Japan-Taiwan relationship. He also said that he hopes the two nations can continue to be friends forever. To avoid close contact with other people, the delegation, all wearing masks, arrived at the Taipei Guest House after it had been closed to the public at 5pm. Mori presented flowers and offered his condolences to Lee’s daughter, Annie Lee (李安妮). Lee Teng-hui made many contributions to international society, and while Japanese lacked confidence after World War II, he always encouraged them to be courageous and proud, Mori said. He said it would probably take a hour for him to describe his deep relationship with Lee Teng-hui, but he always believed that he made the correct decision when
Belarus’ opposition candidate for president went into hiding the night before challenging the country’s long-time leader, Alexander Lukashenko, yesterday in the country’s most dynamic election in a generation. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya left her apartment after authorities on Saturday arrested her campaign manager and detained one of her two top allies before the crucial vote. She voted publicly in Minsk yesterday afternoon. Tikhanovskaya, a 37-year-old English teacher and translator, stood for election after authorities barred her husband, popular blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky, from running and then jailed him. She swiftly emerged as 65-year-old Lukashenko’s strongest rival and her rallies drew tens of thousands of supporters across the country. Her presidential bid has sparked widespread calls for change in the ex-Soviet country of 9.5 million people, which Lukashenko has ruled with a firm grip for the past 26 years. One polling station in central Minsk was unusually busy with voters standing in line for ballot papers, a reporter saw. Many wore white bracelets after Tikhanovskaya urged her supporters to wear them. “We are waiting for changes,” said one voter, a 60-year-old woman speaking on condition of anonymity. She added that she voted for a “new president,” Tikhanovskaya, because she “promises us the possibility of choice and changes.” Tikhanovskaya has said she is not a politician, describing herself as an “ordinary woman, a mother and wife.” She has campaigned in an all-women team with the wife of one barred opposition chief and the campaign manager of another. She has said that if she wins she will call fresh elections that include the entire opposition, including those in detention. Political observers said that Lukashenko, who is seeking a sixth term, would rig the vote in the absence of international observers. A record 41.7 percent of voters took part in early voting, the Central Election Commission reported, with observers saying this made it easier to manipulate the count.
Lebanese protesters enraged by official negligence blamed for Beirut’s enormous and deadly explosion yesterday vowed to rally again after a night of street clashes in which they stormed several ministries. “Prepare the gallows because our anger doesn’t end in one day,” said one message circulating on social media in response to Tuesday’s earthquake-strength blast of a huge pile of industrial chemicals. The calls for renewed protests came as French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris was to oversee a UN-backed virtual donors conference to raise aid for Lebanon, a country already mired in a painful economic crisis. In Beirut, the fury on the streets has further shaken the embattled government of Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, which saw its first Cabinet resignation when Minister of Information Manal Abdel Samad quit yesterday. “After the enormous Beirut catastrophe, I announce my resignation from government,” she said, apologizing to citizens for having failed them. The revelation that Lebanese state officials had long tolerated a ticking time bomb in the heart of the capital has served as shocking proof to many Lebanese of the rot at the core of the state apparatus. The death toll from the explosion of a long-neglected pile of ammonium nitrate yesterday stood at 158 people, with 60 still reported missing, and a 6,000 wounded, many by flying glass as the shockwave tore through the city. The blast, whose mushroom cloud reminded many of an atomic bomb, left a 43m deep crater at Beirut’s port, a security official said, citing French experts working in the disaster area. The mood was one of grief and fury in Beirut, a day after many of the dead were laid to rest and when thousands demonstrated in the biggest anti-government rally the country has seen in months. The army on Saturday used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear hundreds of protesters from
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China. “It’s about public health, it’s about our partnership with Taiwan, but also the model that Taiwan offers to the world community of a transparent and open healthcare system. It is a model others can learn from.” The trip is a geopolitical chess move in Washington’s contentious relationship with China, which has voiced concerns about the trip to Washington and called on the US to stop government-to-government interactions with Taiwan. Azar called Taiwan’s coronavirus response “incredibly effective” and said that he is willing to “learn from them about their responses.” It is not too late for the US, said a leading expert on Taiwan’s healthcare system, Cheng Tsung-mei (鄭宗美), a Princeton University health policy research analyst. “It will be good if our health chief can learn from Taiwan, how exactly they did it,” Cheng said. “It’s really a treasure trove of very useful information as to how you could effectively control and contain the spread of the virus.” Taiwan had direct experience with an earlier respiratory virus known as SARS, so it did not take the novel coronavirus lightly. A government-run healthcare system allowed public health authorities to mobilize resources to track and contain cases, and citizens were willing to follow public health
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has instructed government departments to implement proper disease prevention measures and diplomatic arrangements as three foreign delegations visit Taiwan this month. The visitors are a delegation of Japanese parliamentarians led by former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori to pay their respects to late president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) at a memorial in Taipei today; a delegation led by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to exchange ideas on disease prevention, also today; and a delegation led by Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil later this month. Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), told Su in a briefing that disease prevention measures for the delegations are to be handled as special diplomatic cases. The members of the US delegation need to provide Taiwanese authorities a negative result for COVID-19 from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test conducted within three days of their departure, and must be tested again upon arriving in Taiwan. They would also be traveling as a group and staying on a designated floor of a quarantine hotel, where they would use a separate elevator. The Japanese delegation would need to provide negative results for COVID-19 from a PCR test conducted within two days of boarding their airplane, maintain proper social distancing, wear masks at all times, and travel with designated drivers and vehicles during their one-day visit. Before their trip, members of the Czech delegation are to undergo a two-week quarantine and present two negative test results for COVID-19, Vystrcil has said. Foreign delegations that visit during the COVID-19 pandemic cannot have close contact with members of the public in Taiwan, so people do not need to be concerned, Executive Yuan spokesman Ting Yi-ming (丁怡銘) said. Yesterday, the CECC reported two confirmed COVID-19
PERCEPTION POLL: While the number of juvenile delinquents has seen a decline, many see problems with young people sidelined in school to become delinquent A survey on deviant behavior and delinquency among teenagers showed that nearly 98 percent of the respondents are concerned about substance abuse, with more than 90 percent also worried about street gangs. The survey, released yesterday by the Professor Huang Kun-huei Education Foundation last month, asked people aged 20 and above about their experiences with and opinions on teenage delinquency, and showed widespread concern over peer pressure leading teenagers to commit crimes. While 97.9 percent of the respondents said they were most concerned about substance abuse, street gangs (94.9 percent), self-harm (90.9 percent) and theft (90.4 percent) were also significant concerns to the respondents, the study showed. Bullying on the Internet was a concern to about 70 percent of the respondents, while 61 percent said that they knew of cases in which teenagers were physically bullied. Teenagers experiencing negative peer pressure in school, and frustration with coursework and teachers were seen as factors that could lead to teenage delinquency. The survey showed that 78.3 percent of the respondents saw peer pressure among teenagers as the main factor, while frustration with the coursework (57 percent) and negative experiences with teachers (51 percent) were also seen as potential causes for teenage delinquency. When asked about behaviors that teenagers could exhibit when they have been experiencing frustrations or failures in schools for a long period of time, 72.5 percent said they could develop emotional problems, whereas 58.4 said they could refuse to go school. Concerning preventive factors, 86.7 percent of the respondents said that teenagers who like learning and going to school would be less likely to become delinquent, while 10.4 percent disagreed. Asked which preventive measure schools should take, 76.2 percent of the respondents said that schools should help develop students’ interest in learning. Nearly 72 percent said that schools should nurture positive attitudes,
CULTURAL HERITAGE: Being a centerpiece of Taipei’s efforts to promote local history, the museum, housed in a Japanese colonial building, is one of the city’s finest Sitting on a hillside in Taipei’s Bei-tou (北投), a century-old district home to the nation’s oldest hot springs community, a two-story, wooden Japanese-style building has been a permanent feature as long as anyone can remember. The Beitou Museum is set to celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, and museum director Saalih Lee (李莎莉) has said that she hopes to breathe new life into the old building. Built in 1921, the structure was initially the Kazen Hotel, colonial Taiwan’s most luxurious hot springs resort, Lee said. “This building celebrates the wabi-sabi aesthetic,” Lee said, referring to a traditional Japanese worldview centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. Whether an unequal leaf door decorated with cloudy glass, a deserted bathhouse covered in green tiles, or a hidden Zen garden in the building’s central yard, she hopes that visitors would appreciate the museum building for its original style, Lee said. In its early years, the building was often used by the Japanese military, and at one point, it was a guesthouse for kamikaze pilots, said Lee, who has been museum director for 16 years. The building changed hands after 1945, became a private museum in 1984 and was designated an historic site by the Taipei City Government in 1998, she said. Despite its age, the 2,500m2 structure remains full of vitality and offers a combination of cultural exhibitions, dining events and recreational activities, such as fashion shows, Lee said. Having won the inaugural prize for preserving cultural heritage from the city government last month, the museum is a centerpiece of Taipei’s efforts to promote the idea of museums without walls, Taipei Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-kun (蔡炳坤) said. “Taipei is not only a bustling city, but also a city that breathes,” Tsai said. Through places such as the Beitou Museum, which is largely based on local participation and aims to enhance the welfare
A research team at National Taiwan University (NTU) discovered an unlikely connection between the physiological phenomenon known as goosebumps and the treatment of hair loss, publishing their findings on Thursday in the scientific journal Cell. The team, led by Lin Sung-jan (林頌然), a professor at NTU’s biomedical engineering department, examined the effects of the sympathetic nervous system — which regulates some of the body’s unconscious actions — on hair follicle stem cells responsible for hair growth. The researchers started by analyzing the phenomenon of goosebumps, a sympathetic nervous response involving the contraction of tiny arrector pili muscles, which causes hair to stand up straight. This response helps insulate the body from temperature loss and serves as a vestigial reflex against perceived threats, Lin said. While humans have evolved to have less hair than their prehistoric ancestors, the response made archaic humans seem larger and more imposing, Lin said, citing the way a cat’s fur stands up when the animal senses danger. In its research, Lin’s team observed that sympathetic nerve responses activate hair follicle stem cells — something that is necessary to start the cycle of hair growth. In people experiencing hair loss, the researchers found that arrector pili muscle reactions were mostly absent in the affected areas. This suggests that the biological mechanism behind baldness was closely connected to the sympathetic nervous system, Lin said. By examining this connection, Lin’s team discovered that sympathetic nerves near hair follicle stem cells formed structures similar to nerve synapses, which release adrenaline as a signal for the stem cells to become active. The research team hopes the findings will contribute to the development of drugs that activate the stem cells, prompting them to regenerate hair, Lin said. The article, titled “Cell Types Promoting Goosebumps Form a Niche to Regulate Hair Follicle Stem Cells,”
Chunghwa Post Co is redesigning the uniforms for 11,000 postal carriers nationwide, and is expected to introduce the new outfits to its employees by the end of this year, the state-run company said. The carriers’ outfits were last redesigned in 2015, but many employees complained about the clothes’ heaviness in warm weather and a generally poor design, the company said. The current uniforms are made of durable Tetoron and cotton. The company has invited employees and outside experts to join discussions on the redesign, Chunghwa Post president Chiang Jui-tang (江瑞堂) said on Saturday. While the carriers currently wear all-green uniforms, the new outfits would for the first time include silver-colored elements, Chiang said, adding that many experts have found drafts for the new design satisfying. The new uniform top would resemble a polo shirt and be made from breathable fabrics, the company said, adding that there would also be a new vest featuring several pockets. The new pants, also to be made from light but durable fabrics, would look more crisp and resemble police uniform pants, it said, adding that a purse could be attached to the pants. Male and female carriers would continue to wear the same uniforms, the company said, adding that there would be smaller sizes for women. The company would order 33,000 new outfits, three for each carrier, it said. Each uniform would cost nearly NT$1,600, about 30 percent more than the previous version, as the redesign effort aims at high quality, instead of cost reduction, it said. A tender for producing the new uniforms was also announced. The firm winning the bid would be expected to produce the uniforms within three months, so that the new outfits would be ready by the end of this year, Chunghwa Post said.
Tropical Storm Jangmi is not likely to make landfall in the nation, but people in central and southern Taiwan should beware of heavy rainfall brought by the southwest monsoon, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. The storm formed at 2am yesterday, developing from a tropical depression system off the northeast coast of the Philippines, bureau data showed. Jangmi’s center was 460km east of Taipei as of 2pm, moving northeast at 45kph. Maximum wind speed near its center reached 65kph and its radius was 80km, the data showed. The storm would be 300km northwest of Japan’s Nagasaki by 2pm today, the bureau said, adding that passengers and sea vessels should monitor weather updates. Jangmi was accelerating as it traveled north and would arrive at South Korea today, bureau forecaster Lee Meng-hsuan (李孟軒) said, adding that it would not directly affect Taiwan. The weather in Taiwan would worsen today as the storm would carry with it humidity from a low-pressure system in the south as it moves north, Lee said, adding it would affect the nation until tomorrow. Chances of rain would be high nationwide today and tomorrow, Lee said, adding that people in the central, southern and eastern regions should beware of damage caused by heavy rainfall. Temperatures in the south would reach 31°C to 32°C, he said. High temperatures in the rest of the nation would vary between 31°C and 34°C, Lee said.
KAOHSIUNG CAMPAIGN: Top DPP officials attended a rally last night, the KMT is working on its election-eve rally and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je worked the crowds for the TPP’s man Campaigning for the Kaohsiung mayoral by-election ratcheted up a notch yesterday ahead of Saturday’s vote, as the three candidates canvassed voters in the hope of being the one to succeed Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), who was removed from office after a June 6 recall vote. Vice President William Lai (賴清德), Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-chang (林右昌), Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林志堅) and Chiayi County Commissioner Weng Chang-liang (翁章梁) attended last night’s rally for former vice premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate, DPP spokesperson Liao Tai-hsiang (廖泰翔) said. Former vice president Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) is to accompany Chen Chi-mai this week, Liao said. The party’s Kaohsiung chapter has only one job ahead of the election: to canvas for votes, he added. The party has invited DPP Legislator Lai Pin-yu (賴品妤) and Chen Chi-mai’s international affairs consultant Enoch Wu (吳怡農) — both considered leaders among the DPP’s younger generation — to appear in a campaign video, hoping to increase the turnout rate among voters aged 40 or under, Liao said. The party’s six county commissioners and mayors have been invited to appear in a second video to show that having the DPP in power would ensure quality governance, he said. The DPP also plans to roll out a series of videos in which Chen Chi-mai explains his policy platforms and his determination to institute change in Kaohsiung, he said. The KMT said that KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) would be in Kaohsiung on election day to show support for its candidate, Kaohsiung City Councilor Jane Lee (李眉蓁). The KMT is considering having Han share the stage with Lee at a rally on Friday night, KMT spokeswoman Hung Yu-chien (洪于茜) said, adding that several high-level party officials would also stump for Lee on Friday. They could include
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has reportedly tapped caucus secretary-general Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) to serve as its spokesperson for issues related to constitutional amendments. Party headquarters chose Cheng over caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲), because it considered Lin as being prone to making remarks that could be at odds with its stance, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Saturday, adding that the appointment of a spokesperson was aimed at preventing such contradictions. While Lin and some other KMT lawmakers have expressed support for abolishing the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan, most KMT members oppose the move, the sources said. The public is unlikely to approve calls to transfer the Control Yuan’s investigative powers to the Legislative Yuan, as the public largely has a negative view about the legislature, they said. Even if the KMT persists in its bid to abolish the two branches of government, Control Yuan President Chen Chu (陳菊), whose appointment was approved by the legislature last month, would still serve out her six-year term until 2026, the sources said. KMT headquarters is inclined to shift the focus to formulating draft constitutional amendments that would allow opposition parties to provide more checks and balances on the government, they said. KMT hardliners have doubts about abolishing the branches, as they were established in accordance with Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) “five branches” ideal, they added. Even though KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) had said that he supported abolishing the two, he likely wanted to double down on the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) claim that it would work toward that aim, as he believed that the DPP was not serious about the issue, they said. A source from the KMT’s think tank echoed the views, saying that hardcore KMT supporters would not approve of Sun’s political system being dismantled. The KMT would not let the DPP take
The Awakening Foundation, the Birth Reform Alliance and lawmakers are pressing the government to allow expectant fathers to have five days of paid leave before their child is born to accompany their spouse to medical checkups. The Act of Gender Equality in Employment (性別工作平等法), which grants pregnant women five days of paid leave for medical checkups, should be amended, the groups and lawmakers said on Friday. Men often do not consider what fatherhood entails until after their child is born, and therefore have difficulty catching up with the bond formed between mother and baby, foundation general secretary Chou Yu-hsuan (周于萱) said. There is also insufficient social support for expectant fathers, as the prenatal period is focused on mothers-to-be, she said. The discrepancy in preparedness between husbands and wives often results in unequal distribution of the parenting workload after birth, and can lead to conflicts between the parents, she said. Article 15 of the act grants women paid leave for checkups, but nothing for their spouses who accompany them, foundation director of policy Chyn Yu-rung (覃玉蓉) said. Men wanting to accompany their spouses to prenatal checkups often need to use vacation time or take unpaid leave, she said. Alliance managing director Hsu Shu-hui (徐書慧) said fathers in France and Portugal can take three days of paid leave to accompany their spouses on prenatal checkups, while those in Sweden can apply for a 10-day leave to accompany spouses to child-rearing classes or prenatal checkups. Taiwan should look to Sweden as a positive example, she said. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) said that a survey last year found that 92.62 percent of workers, 97.78 percent of employers and 81.25 percent of unions were in favor of paid leave for fathers to accompany spouses on checkups. He has drafted a proposal for an
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan for “stepping up its engagement in East Africa,” adding that Taiwan is a great partner in health, education and technical assistance, among other areas. Mohamoud on Saturday also hailed his arrival with a tweet. “#Somaliland-#Taiwan relations will always remain intact. We are ready to establish good relations with all countries — those we share values of democracy are special,” he wrote. The government and Somaliland on July 1 announced that they would open representative offices within each other’s borders. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said the two offices would open later this month or next month.
SIDE EFFECTS: GIS received a boost from transferred orders from China’s O-film Tech, which the US added to its ‘entity list’ for human rights abuses in Xinjiang Shares of General Interface Solution Holding Ltd (GIS, 業成控股) have surged about 104 percent since a March 19 low of NT$63.4 in a bull run that reflects investors’ upbeat sentiment about the touch and LCD display module maker receiving more of the notebook computer and tablet business. The stock’s surge is higher than the broader market’s 48 percent increase over the same period, which indicates that a weakening handset business has not weighed on investors’ appetite for GIS, a unit of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密). Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) said that it expects the momentum to continue. “The company will continue to benefit from transferred orders from [China’s] O-film Tech Co (歐菲光) in low-end iPad business, and it is seeing market share gains from the notebook business” from Apple Inc and others, Yuanta analyst Nicole Tu (塗景婷) said in a note on Friday. O-film Tech is among 11 Chinese companies that the US Department of Commerce last month added to its so-called “entity list” over human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region. The US government’s trade sanctions on the company, which supplies screens and lenses to Apple, Samsung Electronics Co and other technology companies, would mean it might be excluded from Apple’s supply chain. In addition, “GIS has cut into the mini-LED iPad and MacBook supply chain, which should boost average selling prices for related products, while its new Taichung plant will start contributing in the second half of this year,” Tu said. Yuanta said GIS’ earnings would grow further, driven by stronger momentum in the tablet and notebook computer business and the company’s better product mix, after the company last week reported strong sales and profit for the second quarter. GIS’ consolidated revenue last quarter grew 50 percent from the previous quarter to NT$33.95 billion (US$1.15 billion), which was a record high for
Spillover insurance policies sales last quarter expanded more than sixfold to NT$537 million (US$18.19 million) from NT$81 million a year earlier, as consumers sought to increase their health insurance coverage amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Financial Supervisory Commission said on Tuesday. In comparison, the first-year premiums (FYP) of all life insurance policies contracted 32.5 percent to NT$191 billion during the same period, according to data compiled by the Life Insurance Association. Spillover insurance policies — named after the “spillover effect” that occurs when events in one sector affect those in another — spur consumers to improve their health in return for policy incentives such as premium cuts or bonuses. A total of 30,953 policies were sold during the April-to-June period, compared with 5,512 a year earlier, commission data showed. “Walker policies” — which give policyholders bonuses for implementing a walking regimen — continued to dominate the spillover insurance market, with a market share of 88 percent, followed by products offering rewards to insured whose performance in physical exams is good, the commission said. A total of 24,630 walker policies were sold in the second quarter, generating NT$492 million in FYP, which suggested a considerable growth of 2,978 percent and 863 percent respectively from a year earlier, the data showed. There were 22 available walker policies provided by seven insurers as of the end of June, compared with 11 offered by six insurers a year earlier, the data showed. Average walker policy premiums were NT$18,521 among 40,016 products sold in the first half of the year, compared with NT$59,398 a year earlier. By comparison, sales of policies with in-kind benefits declined 39 percent to NT$10.47 million in the first six months, as one major offering — Cathay Life Insurance Co’s (國泰人壽) travel insurance with air ambulance service and reimbursement of medical expenses — was hindered by the grounding of
FRIENDLY BOOST: TaiMed received a bump as the share price of Montreal-based Theratechnologies, of which TaiMed holds 2.3 million shares, surged last quarter TaiMed Biologics Inc (中裕新藥) swung into profit in the second quarter on rising sales of its Trogarzo HIV treatment in the US, improving gross margin and recovering value of its financial assets, the company said on Friday. Net profit in the second quarter was NT$30.42 million (US$1.03 million), compared with a net loss of NT$83.57 million a year earlier, the company said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Earnings per share last quarter were NT$0.12. Consolidated second-quarter revenue gained 15 percent year-on-year to NT$179 million, which could be attributed to a mild increase in the sale prices of Trogarzo and stable growth in sales, TaiMed chief financial officer Jack Chen (陳怡成) told the Taipei Times by telephone. “Revenue could have grown more during the April-to-June period if there had been no COVID-19 outbreaks... With the spread of the disease accelerating in the US since March, some patients could not go to hospitals due to lockdown measures,” Chen said. Trogarzo is a fourth-line treatment and is not often recommended to patients unless they have already tried the initial or second-line treatments, the company said. As a result, revenue contribution from the drug is expected to grow mildly rather than rapidly, Chen said. The company’s gross margin increased to 42 percent in the second quarter, from 17 percent a year earlier, as its contract manufacturer, China-based WuXi Biologics Co (無錫生物製藥), improved its production procedures, he said. “Given that our gross margin has remained above 40 percent for four quarters in a row, it seemed that it is not an issue anymore for TaiMed. I expect the figure to continue hovering between 40 percent and 50 percent in the second half of this year,” he said. TaiMed owns 2.3 million shares of Montreal-based Theratechnologies Inc — its marketing and distribution partner — whose rising share price during the second quarter,
US President Donald Trump on Thursday issued executive orders barring Americans from conducting business with WeChat owner Tencent Holdings and ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of popular video-sharing app TikTok. The orders are to take effect 45 days after they were signed, which is Sept. 20. The orders accuse WeChat of helping the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) review and remove content that it considers to be politically sensitive, and of using fabricated news to benefit itself. The White House has accused TikTok of collecting users’ information, location data and browsing histories, which could be used by the Chinese government, and pose an economic and national-security threat to US interests. The orders came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday stepped up the so-called “clean network” program to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from US digital networks to protect Americans’ privacy and US companies’ sensitive information from intrusions by the CCP. They also followed efforts by the White House to pressure ByteDance into selling TikTok’s North American business to a US company by Sept. 15. Social media platforms — whether small or large, Eastern or Western — all collect users’ information, which shows how people view, share and engage with content. Coupled with the emergence of big data analytics, social media data provide valuable insight for companies and allow platforms to provide a more tailored user experience. However, unlike their global peers, Chinese messaging apps and social media platforms are subject to Beijing’s authoritarian rule and the CCP’s censorship. They can also be used to intimidate Chinese dissidents and political refugees living abroad or to spread disinformation to benefit the CCP. On the surface, Trump’s executive orders only ban US companies and citizens from conducting transactions with WeChat and TikTok, and seem to suggest an intensifying technology dispute between the world’s two largest economies.
There are few areas where Beijing, Taipei, and Washington find themselves in agreement these days, but one of them is that the situation in the Taiwan Strait is growing more dangerous. Such a shared assessment quickly breaks down, though, when the question turns to identifying sources of rising tensions. Several Chinese experts and officials I have consulted with recently have argued that Beijing’s increasingly belligerent behavior in the Taiwan Strait is driven mostly by fear. According to this narrative, Beijing is worried that unless it puts a brake on Taiwan’s move away from the mainland, Taiwan could be “lost” forever. They assert that President Tsai (蔡英文) is more “dangerous” than Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was because she is smarter, more cunning, more effective at organizing and executing strategy, and because she has the sympathy and support of the United States. According to these Chinese counterparts, a growing number of voices in Beijing are warning that unless the PLA stands in the way, Taiwan’s drift from the mainland could soon reach a point of no return. Many friends in Washington and Taipei find these plaintive arguments from Chinese colleagues unpersuasive. They are much more prone to see Beijing exhibiting a combination of bullying behavior and willful neglect of Tsai’s steady moderation. They judge that Beijing’s actions are designed to sharpen psychological pressure on the people of Taiwan. Beijing’s recent behavior has fortified these assessments. Exhibit A is Beijing’s recent imposition of a national security law on Hong Kong which, for all practical purposes, marks the abandonment of any pursuit of a “one country, two systems” approach for Taiwan. Xi Jinping’s (習近平) rhetoric has done little to disabuse such perceptions. In recent years, he has linked unification to China’s national rejuvenation, asserted that Taiwan’s status would not be passed down to the next generation, and insisted that
In late 2015, ahead of the January 2016 presidential and legislative elections, then-Tainan mayor William Lai (賴清德) announced that he supported Taiwanese independence. Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) — who passed away on July 30 — responded by saying that if Taiwan sought independence, China would probably send the Chinese People’s Liberation Army to attack Taiwan. Lee also emphasized that he had never said Taiwan should seek independence, because it is already independent. Lee’s puzzling use of Mandarin and leaps of logic led to confusion and made it unclear what he really meant. However, I can testify that he was disapproving of de jure independence many years ago. My job relocation back to Taiwan from Los Angeles in 2006 coincided with a visit of Bruce Herschensohn, an old friend who is a professor at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy and the author of Taiwan: The Threatened Democracy. I once accompanied him on a visit to Lee. Herschensohn is an ardent supporter of the Democratic Progressive Party, so we initially had a great conversation. However, halfway through the chat, Herschensohn suddenly asked Lee about his Taiwanese independence strategy, which stupefied Lee. As Herschensohn pressed, Lee ended up giving him the silent treatment and turned to me, talking for five to six minutes in Mandarin about his philosophy of life, which derived from the passage: “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” in the New Testament’s Epistle to the Galatians. Embarrassed, I had no choice but to listen to his lecture. As Lee was a former president whom I highly respect, I was unwilling to interrupt him no matter how impolite he was to his other guest. It was really quite embarrassing. When I discussed the incident with Herschensohn afterward, we had no idea whether Lee had changed his stance on Taiwanese
‘IN A GROOVE’: Since the restart of the delayed season, the Pacers have improved to 4-1, closing with a 13-5 run to beat the Western Conference top seed Los Angeles T.J. Warren scored 39 points as the in-form Indiana Pacers inflicted a 116-111 defeat on LeBron James and his stuttering Los Angeles Lakers, who have lost three in a row as the NBA playoffs approach. Indiana’s win ensured the NBA’s top regular-season record would belong to the Milwaukee Bucks, despite them losing 136-132 to the Dallas Mavericks in overtime. “I just feel like I’m in a groove,” Warren said. “As a team, we’re in a groove, good rhythm, high energy; we come out with a lot of effort.” The Bucks (55-15) would not have the home court advantage that usually comes with the top mark, as all games are being played in a quarantine bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that halted the season in March. The Pacers improved to 4-1 since the restart, closing with a 13-5 run to beat the Western Conference top seed Lakers, who fell to 2-4 in the bubble and 51-18 overall. That was despite 31 points, eight rebounds and seven assists from three-time NBA champion James — the only LA starter in double figures. Anthony Davis went 3-of-14 from the floor for only eight points. “This stretch right here... it’s going to strengthen us,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “We’re playing against great defenses. That’s the best way to prepare you.” Dallas ended with a 7-0 run to force overtime at 119-119, then scored the first nine in the extra period on the way to victory. Slovenian guard Luka Doncic had an impressive triple double for Dallas with a game-high 36 points, a career-high 19 assists and 14 rebounds. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brooks Lopez each scored 34 to lead Milwaukee. Indiana and the Miami Heat, likely first-round playoff foes fighting for the fourth seed, meet today and Friday. The Lakers open the playoffs against the winner of a six-team
Maybe the Detroit Tigers should get four unexpected days off more often — or maybe they should just face a pitching staff in tatters. Either way, Detroit’s struggling offense has found traction in Pittsburgh. Niko Goodrum, Miguel Cabrera, C.J. Cron and Jeimer Candelario all hit home runs in the first inning against Pirates starter Derek Holland as the Tigers on Saturday drilled the Pirates 11-5. Goodrum took the second pitch he saw from Holland (0-1) and sent it into the seats in left field. Cabrera did the same two batters later. Cron followed with a blast to center. Candelario finished it off with a shot that scraped over the wall to give Detroit their first four-homer inning in seven years. “When something like that happens in the game, you can feel it in the dugout,” Cron said. “People get excited and want to step up and do the same thing. It just snowballed. We all got some good pitches to hit and it was a fun first inning for sure.” The Tigers were idle for four days when a series against St Louis was postponed. Detroit arrived in Pittsburgh hitting just .205 on the season. That average has now jumped to .239 after scoring 28 runs in 20 innings against the Pirates. “As an offense, four days off never hurt anybody,” Cron said. Cabrera got three hits, including his 481st career home run. The 37-year-old also drove in three runs to move him past Hall of Famer Jim Thome and into 24th on the all-time list with 1,701. Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson is next with 1,702. A night after driving in five runs, Goodrum homered and doubled. Jonathan Schoop added three hits and JaCoby Jones turned aside a Pittsburgh rally when he led off the sixth with his fourth home run of the season after the Pirates had drawn
Dustin Johnson on Saturday drained eight birdies to fire a five-under par 65 and seize a one-shot lead after a blistering third-round performance at the PGA Championship. Johnson had four birdies on the front nine then birdied three of his final five holes to reach nine-under 201 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. It was the eighth straight round in the 60s at the PGA Championship for Johnson, who nearly chased down Brooks Koepka in the final round at Bethpage Black last year before losing by two shots. “I putted really well,” said Johnson, who shot 31 on the back nine. “That was key. But I hit a lot of good shots to give myself some good looks because the flags are tucked. The greens are firm and fast. So I did hit a lot of quality iron shots.” Americans Scottie Scheffler (65) and Cameron Champ (67) are tied for second at eight-under 202. Two-time defending champion Koepka shot a one-under 69 and is tied for fourth with American Collin Morikawa and England’s Paul Casey on 203. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament is being played without spectators. Koepka, who is trying to become the first since the 1950s to win the same major three years in a row, looked unflappable until a bogey on the 13th hole began his back nine struggles. A stretch of three straight bogeys moved Koepka down the leaderboard, but he recovered quickly with birdies on 16 and 18. Johnson roared home, making birdie putts of 26 feet on the par-4 15th and 20 feet on the par-3 17th. He began his round with a par, but then drained a 17-foot birdie putt on the par-4 second. Johnson made back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth holes before meeting trouble on the sixth, but even that bogey and a double bogey on the par-4
Robert Lewandowski struck twice and set up two more goals as Bayern Munich on Saturday cruised past Chelsea 4-1 to reach the Champions League quarter-finals with a 7-1 aggregate victory and remain on course for a treble of titles. The Bavarians will be on an 18-game winning streak across all competitions as they head into next week’s Final Eight tournament in Lisbon, where they face Barcelona. “We’re already excited. Barca are a quality side but we want to compete with them,” Bayern defender David Alaba said. “We will go to Portugal with confidence and, after the last few months, we have nothing to hide from.” Bayern, who won the domestic league and cup double and have won all eight of their Champions League games, quickly killed off the tie with a ninth minute Lewandowski penalty, after having won 3-0 in London in the first leg in February. Polish striker Lewandowski, with 53 goals in 44 matches in all competitions this season, turned provider to set up Ivan Perisic in the 24th minute as the hosts showed no lack of fitness despite a five-week gap since their last competitive game. Chelsea, who conceded seven goals in a two-legged European tie for the first time, did not lack match practice having played in the FA Cup final last week. Half a dozen players were missing through injury or suspension, including Cesar Azpilicueta, Christian Pulisic and Pedro. “We had individual errors that gave them goals and at this level that will finish you off,” Chelsea coach Frank Lampard said. “It is a good exercise for us to go up against Bayern and their Champions League experience, with a lot of our players having debut seasons. “I can see where I want us to go and I know we’ll be back,” he added. Chelsea did get on the scoresheet with Tammy Abraham’s tap-in
RAPID PANIC: The quickness with which the fire spread through the 13-story building was unusual, and officials are still investigating the cause, a top firefighter said At least 11 people were killed and 10 injured in an apartment building fire in the northeastern Czech Republic, officials said on Saturday, with some suggesting that the fire could be arson. Police said the fire hit the 11th floor of the 13-story building in the afternoon in the town of Bohumin, near the Czech-Polish border. Firefighters spokesman Lukas Popp told local media that six people, three adults and three children, were killed in an 11th-floor apartment, along with a dog. “Our firefighters were on the site really fast but during the action, five people jumped out of the 12th-story window and died,” Popp said. The others died after trying to escape from the building “in a panic,” Czech Minister of the Interior Jan Hamacek told public radio. He described the fire as “a huge tragedy” in a tweet. “My deepest condolences to the bereaved,” he said. Hamacek and Regional Governor Ivo Vondrak suggested the fire was likely intentionally set. Regional firefighter chief Vladimir Vlcek said it was unusual how quickly the fire spread through the entire apartment building, but said authorities were still investigating the cause of the fire. “But the fire was very quick to develop, which is not normal. A fire like that typically affects one room, but this one hit the entire apartment, all the rooms are burned down,” he said. Vlcek added it was not clear why the five people had jumped out of the window when their apartment was not yet hit by the blaze. “All we would have needed was dozens of seconds to inflate the jumping cushion and the impact would not have been so tragic,” he said. Regional chief police officer Tomas Kuzel said police have detained one person in connection with the fire. “I think we are good when it comes to the culprit,” Kuzel said without specifying whether the
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of oil is estimated to have leaked from the ship onto the waters surrounding Mauritius. About 500 tonnes of oil have been salvaged from the ship, but there are still 2,500 tonnes remaining on the ship. Neither Mitsui OSK Lines nor Nagashiki Shipping, the ship’s owner, could confirm the cost of damages from the oil spill. Mauritius on Friday declared a state of “environmental emergency” following the accident, and on Saturday, France said it was sending help from nearby Reunion Island. “When biodiversity is in peril, there is urgency to act,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday in a tweet. A French statement from Reunion said that a military transport aircraft was carrying pollution control equipment to Mauritius and the navy’s Le Champlain has sailed with additional material. Clean-up crews are battling a growing ecological disaster on the archipelago’s pristine shores. Satellite images showed a dark slick spreading in the turquoise waters near wetlands that the government called “very sensitive.” Hundreds of volunteers, many smeared head-to-toe in black sludge, were marshalling along the coastline, stringing together kilometers of makeshift cordons in a desperate attempt to hold back the oily tide. However, a thick muck has already inundated the island nation’s unspoiled lagoons, marine habitats and
The Japanese city of Nagasaki yesterday commemorated the 75th anniversary of the detonation of a US atomic bomb, with its mayor and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warning against a nuclear arms race. Nagasaki became an atomic inferno three days after Hiroshima — twin nuclear attacks that rang in the nuclear age and gave Japan the bleak distinction of being the only country to be struck by atomic weapons. Survivors, their relatives and a handful of foreign dignitaries attended a remembrance ceremony in Nagasaki where they called for world peace. Participants offered a silent prayer at 11:02am, the time the second and last nuclear weapon used in wartime was dropped over the city. “The true horror of nuclear weapons has not yet been adequately conveyed to the world at large” despite decades of effort by survivors telling of their “hellish experience,” Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue said in a speech afterward. “If, as with the novel coronavirus — which we did not fear until it began to spread among our immediate surroundings — humanity does not become aware of the threat of nuclear weapons until they are used again, we will find ourselves in an irrevocable predicament,” he said. Guterres, in a message read by UN Undersecretary Izumi Nakamitsu, warned that “the prospect of nuclear weapons being used intentionally, by accident or miscalculation, is dangerously high.” “The historic progress in nuclear disarmament is in jeopardy... This alarming trend must be reversed,” he said. The number of participants in this year’s ceremony was reduced to roughly one-tenth the figure in previous years due to COVID-19 fears, with proceedings broadcast live online in Japanese and English. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe refreshed his pledge that Japan would lead “the international community’s efforts towards the realization of a nuclear-free world.” Terumi Tanaka, 88, who
Matiu Brokenshire once threw an axe at his partner in anger. Today, the 45-year-old works with a service credited with stopping hundreds of domestic violence cases in New Zealand, helping other men like him. The 0800 Hey Bro hotline has provided advice to about 2,000 abusive men and linked them to other services to stop them harming their partners. “I started the journey to uncover my own trauma,” said Brokenshire, who also works with New Zealand Police on tackling family violence. “I grew up in a world where this was normal. My mother used to strap me when I was a child and hit me. I was a victim of domestic violence for years,” he said. Brokenshire, who is indigenous Maori and has a son with his former partner, said he struggled with his violent behavior and drug addictions — until he got help eight years ago. “When I met my son’s mum, she was an angry, broken person and in the first three months, I had committed violence against her. Then it became weekly,” he added. Since starting a new chapter, he has joined a growing number of men, some of them ex-abusers, working to stop domestic violence in New Zealand. ‘HORRIFIC’ RECORD New Zealand has long had a progressive reputation and was the first nation to give women the right to vote in 1893. But women’s rights campaigners say sexism, drug and alcohol addictions, poverty and exposure to violence as a child have all contributed to a poor record on domestic violence. Police investigated more than 133,000 family harm cases in 2018, the latest year for which data is available, and were called out to respond to a family violence incident every four minutes. “Domestic violence is one of the biggest problems we have in New Zealand and we know it affects educational outcomes and creates mental health problems,”
A widely criticized peer-reviewed study that measured the attractiveness of women with endometriosis has been retracted from the medical journal Fertility and Sterility. The study, “Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control study,” was first published in 2013 and has been defended by the authors and the journal in the intervening years despite heavy criticism from doctors, other researchers and people with endometriosis for its ethical concerns and dubious justifications, with one advocate calling the study “heartbreaking” and “disgusting.” The study’s conclusion was: “Women with rectovaginal endometriosis were judged to be more attractive than those in the two control groups. Moreover, they had a leaner silhouette, larger breasts and an earlier coitarche.” Coitarche is the age at first sexual intercourse. Rectovaginal endometriosis is a severe form of the disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus — called endometrium — grows outside the uterus, often attaching to other organs and causing pain, scarring and sometimes infertility. One in 10 women and other people with a uterus of reproductive age have the disease. ETHICAL STUDY? The women taking part in the study had not given their consent to be judged for their attractiveness and did not know this was happening as part of their medical consultations. The study received ethics approval and was publicly funded by the University of Milan school of medicine. The authors asked the women about their sexual history and measured their body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio and breast-to-underbreast ratio. Only Caucasian women were selected for inclusion in the study. Authors have defended the study, saying that knowing if certain phenotypes — or bodily characteristics — were more susceptible to severe endometriosis would be useful. The lead researcher, Paolo Vercellini, an obstetrician and gynecologist at University of Milan and past president of the World Endometriosis Society, said: “Several researchers
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten about it.” Sometimes, patients who received Hsu’s help for free felt too ashamed to go see him again, and their conditions worsened. The affable physician reportedly lost his temper whenever he found out, yelling at the patients for neglecting their health. Hsu had no intention of retiring at the age of 81, working tirelessly for another 10 years. He received the Medical Dedication Award (醫療奉獻獎) three years later, his acceptance speech consisting of one sentence: “I’m old, I don’t talk much and I’m not good at speaking.” He died in his home on Aug. 12, 2016. TIRELESS PHYSICIAN There are no biographies on Hsu, except for a picture book published by the Pusin Township Office in 2017. The earliest available article on Hsu ran in the United Daily News in 1999, describing the then-79-year-old as the “only physician in Lotsuo (羅厝) village” who had no intention of retiring. “Over 50 years, Hsu has treated four generations of the same families, and many old patients refuse to see anybody but him,” the report states. “They pleaded with him to continue practicing, and he is happy to do it too.” In response to his children asking him to retire, Hsu said, “It makes me
A bowl of grass jelly, and the childhood memories associated with it, is perfect for taking the edge off of the sweltering summer heat. Grass jelly is made by boiling dried mesona plants and adding a gelling agent such as agar to the mesona tea. This summer, the traditional treat has been given an artistic, dreamy new look with the National Palace Museum’s (NPM) “Ink-painting Jelly,” a collaboration with the Taiwanese company BlackBall Grass Jelly. When cream is poured over the jelly, a mountain design imprinted on the top of the black jelly emerges, forming a mountain scene with misty clouds swirling around the peaks, a classic theme for traditional East Asian ink paintings. This is a winning design of the National Treasure Merchandise Design Competition, designed by Wang Bei-en and Liu Jia-xin, then students of National Taiwan University of Arts and National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, inspired by the famous black-and-white ink painting Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains by Yuan Dynasty artist Huang Gongwang, and Cloud, Mountain, Smog and Rain by Shi Xi of the Qing Dynasty. Over the past several years, many souvenirs launched by the NPM have become hits, such as paper adhesive tapes inscribed with zhen zhidao le (“Thou art understood!”, the signature note by an emperor on memos submitted by officials), and LINE stickers. Since 2010, the NPM has organized a National Treasure Merchandise Design Competition, in which the participants are invited to use the museum’s open data platform to develop creative products, so that NPM’s world-class collection of Chinese cultural relics can take on a new life of their own. (Lin Lee-kai, Taipei Times) 炎炎夏日，來碗冰涼的仙草，阿嬤的古早味最是消暑。仙草茶是由曬乾的仙草熬煮而成，若再加上凝固劑（例如洋菜粉）冷卻，即成為仙草凍。 這傳統的平民小吃，今夏有了飄逸夢幻的姿態。「墨戲仙草」是由國立故宮博物院與台灣品牌「黑丸嫩仙草」聯名推出，黑色的仙草凍表面有描繪山麓的凹凸紋樣，淋上白色的奶油，便成了山間迷濛的雲霧，一幅饒富意境的水墨畫頓時浮現。 這是故宮國寶衍生商品設計競賽的獲獎作品，取材自清代石谿的《雲山煙雨》，以及元代黃公望的《富春山居》這兩幅水墨畫，由王蓓恩及劉嘉欣所設計，她們當時分別就讀於台北藝術大學及台灣科技大學。 故宮近年來所推出的文創商品屢掀熱潮，例如「朕知道了」紙膠帶、LINE貼圖等，更自二○一○年起，舉辦國寶衍生商品設計競賽，廣發英雄帖，參賽者可運用故宮Open Data資料開放平台，發想出各式國寶衍生商品，讓故宮世界級的中華文物收藏，與我們的生活更貼近。 （台北時報林俐凱）
How was Father’s Day? 父親節過得如何？ A: Did you do anything special for Father’s Day on Saturday? B: Yep. Our whole family had a day out at the Taiwan International Balloon Festival. A: Is that the one that’s held every year in Taitung? B: That’s right. This year is the 10th year of the festival. A: Did you go for a ride in a hot air balloon? B: I sure did. I went for a ride in a SpongeBob SquarePants balloon. The views of the surrounding countryside were breathtaking, and we were so lucky with the weather: the sun had its hat on all day long. A: 上週六你有特別慶祝父親節嗎？ B: 有哦，我們全家出門去看臺灣國際熱氣球嘉年華。 A: 是那個每年都在台東舉辦的活動嗎？ B: 沒錯。今年是活動舉辦的第十年！ A: 你有去搭熱氣球嗎？ B: 那當然啊，我搭到海綿寶寶熱氣球。周圍的鄉村景色讓人讚嘆不已，而且那天很幸運，天氣超好，一整天都出大太陽。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
Stonehenge, a Neolithic wonder in southern England, has vexed historians and archaeologists for centuries with its many mysteries: How was it built? What purpose did it serve? Where did its towering sandstone boulders come from? That last question may finally have an answer after a study published on July 29 found that most of the giant stones — known as sarsens — seem to share a common origin 25km away in West Woods, an area that teemed with prehistoric activity. The finding boosts the theory that the megaliths were brought to Stonehenge about the same time: around 2,500 BC, the monument’s second phase of construction, which in turn could be a sign that its builders were from a highly organized society. The new paper appeared in the journal Science Advances. Lead author David Nash, a professor of physical geography at the University of Brighton, told AFP he and his team had to devise a novel technique to analyze the sarsens, which stand up to 9m tall and weigh as much as 30 tonnes. They first used portable x-rays to analyze the chemical composition of the rocks, which are 99 percent silica but contain traces of several other elements. “That showed us that most of the stones have a common chemistry, which led us to identify that we’re looking for one main source here,” said Nash. Next, they examined two core samples from one of the stones that were obtained during restoration work in 1958 but which then went missing until resurfacing in 2018 and 2019, respectively. They performed a more sophisticated analysis on these samples using a mass spectrometry device, which detects a bigger range of elements at a higher precision. The resulting signature was then compared to 20 possible source sites for these sedimentary rocks, with West Woods, Wiltshire found to be the closest match.
|New Taipei City||27-31||50%|