Drug smugglers get death
Nine Taiwanese people convicted of smuggling heroin into China have been sentenced to penalties ranging from death to life in prison, a newspaper reported yesterday. The Taiwanese and a Chinese accomplice were convicted of smuggling 3.9kg of heroin in travelers' luggage into the southeastern port of Xiamen last year, the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily said. Xiamen is the closest Chinese port to Taiwan. A court in Xiamen sentenced four of the Taiwanese to death and four to death with a two-year suspension, the newspaper said in its overseas edition. The other Taiwanese and the Chinese defendant received life in prison. One of those sentenced to death was identified as Chen Jinzhong and one of those with a suspended death sentence as Jian Hongrong. Suspended death sentences in China often are commuted to life in prison if the convicts are deemed reformed.
King supports Chinese law
Cambodia's retired king Norodom Sihanouk has endorsed China's "Anti-Secession" Law, which authorizes military action against Taiwan if it pursues formal independence. Sihanouk, in a statement seen yesterday on his official Web site, said he, his wife and former Queen Monineath -- as well as their son, current King Norodom Sihamoni -- "wish to support 100 percent the rightful stance of the People's Republic of China on the Anti-Secession Law." The statement, in the Cambodian language, was dated Friday. Sihanouk, 82, is a close ally of China, which provided him refuge after he was removed from power in a 1970 coup in Cambodia. He is currently in Beijing receiving medical treatment.
Berger accepts invite
Guatemalan President Oscar Berger on Friday accepted an invitation from visiting Republic of China Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) to visit Taiwan in August. Lu, who is currently on a three-day visit in Guatemala, called on Berger Friday and presented him with a satellite photo of Guatemala City, capital of the Central American country, taken by the satellite ROCSAT-II. Lu extended an invitation to Berger to visit Taiwan to attend the inauguration of the Democratic Pacific Union (DPU) on Aug. 14. Lu and her counterparts from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua earlier attended a DPU regional meeting in Guatemala. The DPU, the brainchild of the vice president, will be comprised of representatives of Pacific democracies to create a new alliance in the Pacific region to advance democracy, peace and prosperity. Berger accepted the invitation and expressed the hope that the two countries could sign a free trade agreement (FTA) by then.
Dane envisions design hub
Danish designer Frederick Rickmann said yesterday that he expects Taiwan will become a regional design hub by 2015 because of continued advancement of investments and education in the field of design. The chief executive and design director of the design company Designnord made the comments while calling on Johnsee Lee, president of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). Rickmann is visiting the country at the invitation of the ITRI to lecture at a three-day ITRI seminar titled "Methods for Innovated Design with Modern Thoughts," which will begin March 24.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
More than half of Taiwan’s middle-aged population, those aged between 40 and 64, have at least one of the “three highs” — high blood pressure, high blood lipids or high blood sugar — and an unhealthy waist size, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said, adding that more than 30 percent also have metabolic syndrome. The HPA, the Taiwan Millennium Health Foundation and local health departments are cooperating to encourage people to regularly measure their waist circumference and keep it at a healthy size — no more than 90cm for adult men and no more than 80cm for adult women. Taichung Veterans General
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’