Girl dies after nursing blunder
A nine-month-old baby girl who was given the wrong medication at Pingtung's Love First Clinic (崇愛診所), died in Kaohsiung's Chang Gung Memorial Hospital on Wednesday night. The baby fell into a coma after a clinic nurse mistook euglucon, a drug to lower blood sugar level, for periactin, usually used to treat fever-related symptoms. The girl was transferred to the Kaohsiung hospital on Dec. 8. On Wednesday night, her situation deteriorated and she suffered heart and lung failures. She died at 8:30pm. Pingtung's local department of health revoked the license of the clinic on Dec. 16. On Dec. 17, the owner of the clinic was fined NT$150,000 for negligence. According to the Department of Health, the clinic administered the wrong medicine to at least 122 patients and affected the health of 11 babies. The investigation into the medical blunder continues.
Thaksin vows to help police
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra vowed yesterday to track down and punish the influential people believed to be behind a gang smuggling stolen luxury cars from Taiwan to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Two shipments of stolen cars, including Mercedes-Benzes, Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans worth more than US$1 million, were seized by customs agents in Bangkok's outskirts on Dec. 14 and Dec. 17, officials said. Thai Customs Department chief Chaovalit Sethametheekul was quoted in local press reports as saying the smuggling gang responsible for bringing "more than 100" stolen cars in from Taiwan included suspects from Cambodia, Taiwan, Myanmar and Thailand. The reports said powerful Thai politicians were believed to be protecting the gang, which sold the stolen vehicles in Cambodia and Laos, where cars' steering wheels are on the left side, like Taiwan.
Gao's `Snow' opens in Taipei
Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian's (高行健) first opera production, Snow in August, premiered at the National Theater in Taipei yesterday. In addition to a full house, the opera -- based on Gao's play, which depicts the legend of a seventh-century zen master -- has attracted art-festival organizers from the US and neighboring Asian countries, according to a spokesman for the Council for Cultural Affairs. The council is a major promoter of Gao's work to bring Snow in August to the stage. Acclaimed actor Wu Hsing-kuo plays the leading role in the production, backed by 50 performers, a symphony orchestra, a percussion band and the chorus of the National Taiwan Junior College of Performing Arts in Taipei.
Researchers grow liver cells
Researchers at the Biomedical Engineering Center of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) have succeeded in developing liver cells from embryonic stem cells that can be used to repair damaged livers and to test new drugs, an ITRI spokesman said yesterday. Embryonic stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to form any adult cells, such as bone, muscle, liver or blood cells. The spokesman said that the research team is the second in the world to grow liver cells, following work by researchers at the Geron Incorporation of the US. As the only stem cell research center in Taiwan, the Biomedical Engineering Center has developed a cell-colony bank to grow cells for local biomedical labs, he said.
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said
IDENTITY: The time is right to press on with a referendum, as the nation has heightened visibility and support in the global community, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance said The Taiwan United Nations Alliance yesterday said that it is considering launching a petition for a referendum proposal to have the nation join the UN under the name “Taiwan.” Alliance chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) was joined at a news conference in Taipei by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and civic organizations. They said that it is the right time for a petition because Taiwan’s visibility on the world stage has increased, as it has been praised for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak and for helping other countries by sharing
An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under