■ Direct links
Poll reveals support
More than 50 percent of Taiwanese are eager to open direct links with China, but are worried about the security threat they may pose, according to a poll released yesterday. The survey by TVBS cable news was conducted this week, as the government prepares to release a plan for air links with China by the end of the month. According to the poll, 51 percent of Taiwanese support the opening of direct flights to China, and 30 percent are opposed to the move. The other 19 percent didn't have an opinion. Although the poll showed strong support for the opening of flights, 52 percent of those questioned said they were also worried about the security risks of such a move. Forty percent weren't worried and the rest didn't have an opinion.
■ Health insurance
Dead debtor found
The cash-strapped Bureau of National Health Insurance has not let up in its efforts to chase down a woman for payment of overdue health insurance premiums, local news media said yesterday. But the bureau's perseverance was fruitless as the debtor has been dead for more than five years, the Central News Agency said. For five years and six months, the bureau has sent its monthly bill to policy holder Chang Chin, despite the fact that she died in 1997 at the age of 81. Her son-in-law said he had informed the bureau about her death many times, but the bureau continued to send the dead policyholder a bill every month, with the overdue amount now totalling NT$39,864 (US$1,140).
■ Oral Sex
Man says he's innocent
A married man who was sued for adultery recently pleaded his innocence though he admitted that he had frequent sexual contact with his female colleague, a local newspaper said yesterday. His plea came a day after the Taiwan High Court reached a decision on Monday that the crime of adultery could only be prosecuted in cases involving sexual intercourse. Citing the decision, the man, identified by his family name Lee, told prosecutors he was wrongly sued because he had never had sexual intercourse with his girlfriend, though they had engaged in active sexual play for eight months, the paper said. Lee's angry wife, who had sued the pair for adultery, cried foul, but in the face of the High Court decision, the prosecutors could do nothing, the paper said.
Cross-strait plan discussed
The Ministry of Education will sponsor a two-day seminar at Nanhua University in Chiayi today and tomorrow to lay out the ministry's policy on cross-strait academic and cultural exchanges, a ministry spokesman said yesterday. The spokesman said that over the past several years, an ad hoc Chinese affairs group under the ministry has sponsored a series of such seminars for university and college administrators. Cabinet officials in charge of Chinese affairs will present the latest information on government policies and guidelines, as well as measures relating to cross-strait exchanges, the spokesman said. Statistics released by the Mainland Affairs Council indicate that exchanges between academic and cultural establishments on both sides of the Strait have become more frequent in the past decade. As of the end of September, the government had approved nearly 70,000 applications from China for visits to Taiwan for academic or cultural activities.
‘UNAFRAID’: Most Taiwanese do not seem to be aware of the danger of war and might be unprepared, a KMT legislator said of the poll by an affiliated foundation Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese believe that a war between Taiwan and China is “unlikely” or “impossible,” a survey released yesterday by the National Policy Foundation showed. The survey asked participants if they thought there was a possibility of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait based on recent developments, said the foundation, which is affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). While 42.5 percent of respondents thought it was “unlikely” and 17.1 percent believed it was “impossible,” 5.1 percent said it was “very likely” and 17.2 percent said it was “fairly possible,” the survey showed. Another 18.2 percent gave
The Kaohsiung Prosecutors’ Office on Monday indicted a Chinese sea captain over his alleged involvement in the killing of four pirates at sea in 2012, while serving as the captain of a Taiwanese fishing vessel. The suspect, identified by the media as 43-year-old Wang Fengyu (汪峰裕), was charged with homicide and breaches of the Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例), the indictment read. Wang asked two Pakistani mercenaries that he hired as acting captain of the Kaohsiung-registered Ping Shin No. 101 to fire on and kill four suspected Somalian pirates in the Indian Ocean off the Somalian coast on Sept. 29,
UPGRADE: The system is more efficient than others, which typically involve longer procedures that can produce pseudo-positive or pseudo-negative results The National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center yesterday unveiled an infrared wax physisorption kinetics imaging system, which it said efficiently detects 10 types of cancer. Through scanning tissue section samples, the imaging system can detect colon, breast, stomach, oral, ovarian, cervical, prostate and skin cancer, as well as neuroendocrine tumors and glioblastoma, center associate research fellow Lee Yao-chang (李耀昌) told a news conference in Taipei. The system uses paraffin and beeswax with organic solutions as developers for its infrared imaging device, which can mark abnormal polysaccharides on the surface of cancer cells in six to 15 minutes, while the wax is absorbed by
China is trying to convince Taiwanese that an authoritarian system is preferable to democracy, the Information Operations Research Group (IORG) said at a conference yesterday. China has been employing Taiwanese sympathetic to its “united front” tactics to help spread disinformation about democracy and Taiwanese society through social media, television programs, YouTube and by other means, the group said at the conference to promote public awareness of China’s cognitive warfare campaign. In the group’s latest report, it highlighted eight disinformation discussions that its researchers listed under three main topics: flu viruses in the US are deadlier than COVID-19; US troop movements caused the