Losheng eviction to begin
More than 50 Losheng Sanatorium preservationists gathered in front of the Department of Health (DOH) building yesterday, protesting the eviction of Losheng residents and demanding that Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan (葉金川) listen to their pleas. “No forced eviction, we want dialogue!” shouted the members of the Youth Alliance for Losheng and Losheng Self-help Organization. “[Today] they will force [the residents] out. Why will no one listen to our pleas?” said alliance member Chang Hsin-wen (張馨文). The preservationists’ fight against what they consider human rights violations and the destruction of historic buildings has continued for four years.
Kao defers on Dalai Lama
A visit to Taiwan by the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, would be politically sensitive, and would be left to the country’s security agencies to decide, said Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission Chairman Kao Su-po (高思博). Kao said the commission would welcome his visit, but that security authorities would make an assessment before arriving at a decision. Kao made the remarks after the Dalai Lama, in an interview with the Hong Kong-based weekly Yazhou Zhoukan, said he would like to visit Taiwan again if the chance arises to forge friendly relations with Chinese brothers and sisters and to have exchanges with Buddhist followers. “The commission attaches great importance to the Dalai Lama’s possible visit, given his high profile in the international community,” Kao said. But in view of China’s concerns wherever he goes, “[choosing] the appropriate time for the visit and arranging his meetings with political heavyweights in Taiwan would be an issue that requires careful thought,” Kao said.
Water officials impeached
The Control Yuan yesterday impeached three officials and the former head of the Third River Management Office of the Water Resources Agency Hsu Che-yen (?? on charges of corruption. Prosecutors in Taichung sought a 20-year prison term for Hsu and a 10-year term for Yeh Yi-kuang (葉奕匡), Lin Jong-shao (林榮紹) and Chao Shih-jey (周世杰) for corruption in July, saying that they accepted favors dozens of times from businesspeople who were contracted for dredging constructions on the Dajia River (大甲溪). Control Yuan members Chien Lin Hui-chun (錢林慧君) and Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄) said in the impeachment statement that they found the agency negligent in supervising its officials when they were away on business trips.
MOFA warns travelers
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) urged Taiwanese travelers yesterday to take necessary precautions to avoid becoming embroiled in drug-trafficking, a serious crime in many popular Southeast Asian destinations. Victor Yu (于德勝), director-general of MOFA’s East Asian and Pacific Affairs division, issued the warning at a press conference after a report from the Indonesian government said 23 individuals — 13 of them Taiwanese nationals — were caught with drugs at the country’s gateways over the past eight months. Some of the Taiwanese nationals were severely punished, Yu said, while others are still in the trial process. More than 110 Taiwanese nationals are still serving sentences for drug-trafficking and other drug-related crimes in Thailand, Yu said. To avoid being implicated in a drug-trafficking case, Yu said travelers should not carry packages for strangers.
Amway workers to take tour
Some 13,000 Amway China employees are set to visit Taiwan on a cruise next March, which will give a boost to the nation’s tourism industry, Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said yesterday. In a report by Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄), Mao said the visit would be handled as a special case and not be subject to the quota of 3,000 Chinese tourists to Taiwan per day. Mao said the Amway China employees will be making the tour as part of the company’s annual bonus trip and to take part in an overseas training seminar in Taiwan. The employees will visit in several groups on cruise liners from Shanghai to Keelung Harbor and Taichung Harbor, he said. Although regulations limit travel from China to residents of 13 specified provinces, the Amway China employees would come from all over the country, Mao said.
Anti-cancer element found
A series of experiments has recently led to the discovery of an alkaloid-based compound that can efficiently kill various kinds of cancer cells and could be used in cancer drugs after further testing, the team that made the discovery said. The compound “antofine” is made from alkaloids extracted from herbs such as cryptocarya chinensis and ficus septica, said Wu Tian-shung (吳天賞), the project’s leader and a chemistry professor at the National Cheng Kung University. Alkaloids — nitrogen-based chemical compounds — can be naturally produced by numerous organisms, including bacteria, fungi, plants and animals. In laboratory testing, Wu said, the antofine proves effective in killing tumorous cells of lung cancer, breast cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer, and multi-resistance nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
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
WORKING UP AN APPETITE: Sales at the Rueifong Night Market surged 20 to 30 percent, while seats at Liouhe Night Market were packed until 1am, market officials said South Korean pop band Blackpink’s concerts over the weekend in Kaohsiung helped draw large crowds to local night markets, the Kaohsiung City Government said yesterday. The two concerts on Saturday and Sunday at Kaohsiung National Stadium drew more than 90,000 people. The city government offered NT$50 vouchers to spend locally to concertgoers who showed their ticket stubs. Liouhe Night Market (六合夜市) management committee head Chuang Chi-chang (莊其章) said that crowds over the weekend surged at about 10pm and the market remained packed until 1:30am. “Almost all the seats were filled,” Chuang said. Night market stall owners had stocked up in expectation of an increased number
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
The Taipei City Government on Wednesday introduced of a series of tourism promotions, including free sightseeing bus tours and hotel discounts, in a bid to boost the number of international visitors. From now until June 30, 10,000 free Taipei Sightseeing Bus tickets are to be made available to travelers who stay in designated hotels for two nights, cruise passengers and European visitors transiting for more than 15 hours, the Taipei Department of Information and Tourism said. Eligible tourists can ask for the free four-hour unlimited ride bus tickets by presenting their passports at the hotels they stay in or from the