Prodigy wins entry to NTU
A 15-year-old prodigy was admitted into National Taiwan University's (NTU) electrical engineering department yesterday, making her the youngest freshman in the country this year. Tsai Pei-chen (蔡佩真) graduated from the Taipei First Girls' High School but will not turn 16 until next Thursday. She has skipped grades twice since the age of 10, said her father, Tsai Yen-hsin (蔡彥欣), an assistant professor at the Technology and Science Institute of Northern Taiwan. He said Pei-chen has been interested in math, nature and physics since she was very young and that she has a photographic memory. He said his daughter had been excused from math classes because she was so far ahead of her classmates, which gave her additional time to spend in the library or to take online classes provided by the university.
Reservoir project on time
Approximately 25 percent of the Hushan Reservoir in Yunlin County has been completed as of last month, Council for Economic Planning and Development officials said on Tuesday, estimating that the entire project will be finished by 2014. The NT$20.5 billion (US$621 million) project is part of the government's efforts to resolve a land sinkage problem in the county, the officials said. The majority of the county's land is subsiding, a problem resulting from residents pumping too much ground water for use in irrigation and aquaculture, the officials said. More than 100 million tonnes of ground water is pumped out annually, they said, warning that water in some areas of the county has been found to be contaminated with toxic chemicals, including arsenic and nitrate nitrogen. The sinkage needs to be curbed as it poses a safety threat to the Yunlin station of the high speed railway, which is still under construction, the officials said.
Hsieh to visit Singapore
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) will travel to Singapore on Saturday to discuss his "Six Stars Plan," his campaign office said yesterday. The plan includes development of local business, improvement of social welfare and medical systems as well as promoting cultural and educational development. On his way to the DPP's Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday, Hsieh told reporters he believed it was necessary for him to visit Southeast Asian countries after his trip to the US last month. He said he hopes to help these nations understand his ideals, the opinions of Taiwanese and Taiwan's situation in the world. Details of the three-day trip are still being planned, his office said. Meanwhile, DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun is scheduled to leave for the Philippines today.
Accused rapist's bond raised
Bond was raised from US$2 million to US$15 million on Tuesday for a Taiwan-born man in Ohio accused of using chloroform to knock out his friends' teenage daughters and rape them. Prosecutors argued that the bond for Wu Chien-tai (吳建泰), a 50-year-old software designer, should be set higher because he was well-traveled and wealthy. "That is to protect the community and in the interest of justice," Judge William Mallory said of the higher bond. Defense attorney James Kolenich said Wu could not afford the previous bond. Wu has pleaded not guilty to 17 charges including rape, aggravated burglary and felony assault.
Legislative aides cry foul
Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lai Shin-yuan's (賴幸媛) seven aides resigned en masse last Saturday, accusing their employer of mistreatment. They issued a statement saying that one of the aides suffered a pay cut of NT$15,000 because Lai told her that she was in "dire" financial straits. Lai told the aide to keep mum about the cut, with the promise that she would restore the aide's wages at a later date, the statement said. However, Lai did not keep her word, as the aides found that Lai had given the legislative budget earmarked for legislative aides to her friends, the statement alleged. The statement also said that a close friend of Lai allegedly slapped an aide in the face in the legislative office for no apparent reason. Lai is currently abroad.
E71 case was imported
A two-year-old girl developed serious complications triggered by enterovirus type 71 (E71) soon after returning from China late last month, making her the country's first imported case of a severe enterovirus infection, a Center for Disease Control official said on Tuesday. The girl had been traveling in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, with her parents and four-year-old brother and returned to Taiwan on July 26, Deputy Director-General Chou Chih-hao (周志浩) said. On July 27, the boy displayed signs of hand-foot-and-mouth syndrome -- indicative of a mild enterovirus infection. The following day the girl came down with high fever, muscle twitching, a rapid heartbeat and sleepiness. Chou said the children were recovering well and that the girl had been transferred from an intensive care unit to an ordinary ward.
A domestically developed “suicide drone,” also known as a loitering munition, would be tested and evaluated in July, and could enter mass production next year, Taiwan’s weapons developer said on Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named drone was among nine drone models unveiled by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) on Tuesday. The drone has been dubbed the “Taiwanese switchblade” by Chinese-language media, due to its similarity to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which has been used by Ukraine in counterattacks during Russia’s invasion. It has a range of more than 10km, a flight time of more than 15 minutes, and an electro-optical
OFFLINE: People who do not wish to register can get the money from select ATMs using their bank card, ID number and National Health Insurance card number Online registration for NT$6,000 (US$196.32) cash payments drawn from last year’s tax surplus is to open today for eligible people whose national ID or permanent residency number ends in either a zero or a one, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. Officials from the ministry revealed which days Taiwanese and eligible foreigners would be able to register for the cash payments at a joint news conference with the Ministry of Digital Affairs. Online registration is to open tomorrow for those whose number ends in a two or three; on Friday for those that end in a four or five: on Saturday
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) officials are investigating why a Starlux Airlines flight to Penang, Malaysia, returned to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport nearly two hours after takeoff yesterday morning. The airline said in a statement that Flight JX721 to Penang took off from Taoyuan airport at 9:20am. “After the dashboard showed a signal of an abnormality in the hydraulic system, the captain followed standard operating procedures and returned the flight to Taoyuan airport for safety precautions,” the airline said, adding that the flight landed safely at the airport at 11:04am. The airline arranged for the passengers to have lunch after the flight landed and
TECH PROGRAM: A US official said that an important part of the delegation’s trip would be to meet with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co executives The US is to send officials in charge of chip development to Taiwan, Japan and South Korea to promote cooperation in the global semiconductor supply chain, the US Department of Commerce said on Tuesday. Chips Program Office Director Michael Schmidt announced the visit, which marks the first time officials from the office are to visit the three nations since it was set up in September last year. “As semiconductors and technologies continue to evolve, the United States will keep working with allies and partners to develop coordinated strategies to ensure that malign actors cannot use the latest technologies to undermine our collective