Six vie for deputy speaker
Four Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators registered with the party as candidates for deputy legislative speaker yesterday, bringing the total number of hopefuls to six. KMT legislators John Chiang (蔣孝嚴), Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛), Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and Shyu Jong-shyoung (徐中雄) sent their applications yesterday, while KMT caucus whip Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) and KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) registered with the party on Thursday. KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), who has promised to select the candidate via a democratic mechanism, will meet the interested candidates this afternoon to discuss the selection.
No change on visas: Canada
Canada welcomes Taiwanese tourists with open arms but has no plans to change its visa policy for Taiwanese nationals, the Canadian Trade Office in Taiwan (CTOT) said on Thursday. Taiwan has called on Canada to provide visa-free treatment for Taiwanese nationals, saying that Canada should follow Japan's example, which lifted all visa requirements for Taiwanese tourists on March 11 last year. A local newspaper reported that Canada had decided against waiving visa requirements because of security concerns, worrying that some Chinese would enter Canada illegally using counterfeit Taiwanese passports. CTOT officials declined to comment on the news report, saying only that Taiwanese tourists are welcome in Canada as long as they follow the standard visa application procedures.
Banned chemicals found
One of 240 randomly tested vegetable samples contained residues of chemicals that are banned by the WHO for agricultural purposes, Hsieh Ting-hung (謝定宏), deputy director of the Bureau of Food and Drug Analysis, said yesterday. The banned chemicals are dicrotophos and fipronil, which are used to exterminate insect parasites on leafy vegetables, he said. The residual level for dicrotophos was recorded at 0.23ppm, exceeding the suggested acceptable daily intake (ADI) set by Japanese food authorities at 0.000066 mg/kg body weight per day, while the residual level for fipronil was 0.2ppm, surpassing the suggested ADI set by experts on pesticide residues in food and the environment at 0.0002 mg/kg body weight per day. Excessive levels of dicrotophos might cause people to lose their balance, while a high intake of fipronil might lead to liver poisoning and thyrotoxicosis, Hsieh said.
Southern metropolis planned
The Ministry of the Interior yesterday introduced a plan to forge a southern metropolitan area through the development of five major southern cities and counties. The plan aims to capitalize on the region's dual advantages -- its unique culture and marine industry -- to promote development in the area, an official with the ministry's Construction and Planning Agency said. Designed by the nonprofit Institute for Physical Planning and Information, the plan listed 10 major areas of investment needed to create the envisioned new metropolitan area. They include renovating the area's seaports and airports, strengthening the network linking industry and academia, and promoting better water resources management. Officials responsible for construction projects in the five cities and counties featured in the plan took part in the seminar yesterday.
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
Ninth graders were asked to define “trolling” on this year’s standardized exam, reflecting efforts to make the test better reflect real-life situations. Adjustments to this year’s Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High School Students were revealed on Sunday, after the last cohort of students completed the test over the weekend. The Ministry of Education solicited feedback about the test from teachers, who approved of the new question in the English portion. Not only was question No. 20 “very much in line with real-life situations,” but it also used a new style in which students were asked to ascertain the correct dictionary definition based
Taiwan is on alert for monkeypox, a rare viral disease that has caused 87 infections in 11 countries over the past three weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Saturday. The WHO on Friday convened an emergency session to discuss a sudden outbreak of monkeypox in North America and Europe. Since the beginning of this month, 87 confirmed cases and 28 possible cases have been identified in 11 countries. The countries with the highest case counts are England with 29 cases, and Portugal and Spain with 23 each. Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease occurring primarily in the tropical rainforest areas
Three human skeletons and artifacts believed to be about 400 years old were unearthed by construction workers at National Ilan University in Yilan County, the university said yesterday. The discoveries were made on May 10 as workers were digging to expand the College of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science’s facilities, the university said in a statement. The skeletons were found at three sites, along with glass beads, copper bells and rings, discs and a fish-shaped metal knot, it said. The find is likely connected to the “Old Baili Village” (擺厘舊社, Bai Li Jiu She), an as-yet-undiscovered Kavalan settlement that has been mentioned in