Man bitten in sex assault
A man had to seek medical treatment after his genitals were bitten while forcing a homeless man to perform oral sex, local media reported yesterday. The incident occurred about 3am on Monday in Daya Park in Taichung County, the Apple Daily said. The man, surnamed Hou (侯), 31, who is homeless, was drunk and loitering in Taya Park when he saw a 60-year-old homeless man, identified only as Kuo (郭), sleeping under a pavilion. Hou woke Kuo up and asked him for money. When Kuo refused to give him money, Hou knocked Kuo to the ground. Kuo pulled himself up and walked into a toilet to urinate. Hou followed him into the toilet, grabbed Kuo’s head and forced Kuo to perform oral sex on him, the paper said. Kuo bit Hou’s genitals, drawing blood and causing Hou flee for help at a police station about 50m away. Police rushed Hou to Cheng Ching Hospital, where doctors said that Hou’s foreskin had several lacerations. Hou was given a tetanus shot and had his wounds treated. The function of his penis was not damaged. After police questioning, Hou was turned over for prosecution on sexual harassment charges.
Wu mulls ‘Matsu Day’
Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said yesterday he planned to include Taiwan’s Matsu religious culture in celebrations for the nation’s 100th birthday. When fielding questions from Non-Partisan Solidarity Union Legislator Yen Chin-piao (顏清標), who doubles as chairman of the Da Jia Jenn Lann Temple — a major Matsu temple — the premier also promised to have the Ministry of the Interior consider designating the goddess’ birthday as a national memorial day. Matsu’s birthday falls on March 23 on the Lunar calendar.
MOFA pushes ‘digital’ ties
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to push for “digital diplomacy” by holding computer-related training sessions and expositions with its allies in Latin America, Weber Shih (施文斌), director-general of the ministry’s Department of Economic Affairs, said yesterday. Sharing Taiwan’s expertise in computers and information technology can help cement bilateral relations as well as bridge the digital gap, Shih said, citing as an example the Compu Expo held in the Dominican Republic early this month, which generated more than US$7.5 million in business opportunities. Taiwan also conducted a seminar on digital developments in Panama yesterday, he said, with more than 80 officials and computer experts from Taiwan, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama expected to attend.
Tianmu to hold tree festival
The Taipei City Government said yesterday that part of Tianmu, near Zhongcheng Rd Sec 2, will be closed to traffic on Saturday and Sunday in celebration of the Tianmu Flame Gold-rain Tree Festival. Initiated in 1996 by local businesses, the festival will run from 1pm to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday in front of Eslite Bookstore, featuring various performances and a make-up party. Benjamin Roan (阮燿斌), director of Tianmu Business Association, said the make-up party would be held at 4pm on Sunday, with participants invited to dress up according to the day’s theme — trees. Winners will also receive free coupons from local restaurants. The public is also encouraged to join a book donation activity. The festival takes its name from the approximately 1,600 flame gold-rain trees that stretch along Zhongcheng Road, with the leaves turning yellow and then red around September and October, Roan said.
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
TRAVEL CONFERENCE: Representatives from the two countries exchanged views on how to increase tourist numbers, with one identifying individual travel as a trend Taiwan and South Korea aim to increase the number of tourists traveling between the two countries to 3 million, government and tourism industry representatives said at a conference in Hsinchu City yesterday. The annual event was attended by Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯); Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰); Taiwan Visitors Association chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭); South Korean Representative to Taiwan Chung Byung-won; Yoon Ji-sook, an official at the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Korea Association of Travel Agents chairman Oh Chang-hee. Global tourism is expected to soon rebound to between 55 and
DAMAGE CONTROL: The KMT in a statement called the Taiwan Strait ‘international waters,’ after Alexander Huang said China had the right to claim it as internal waters Lawmakers and experts yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) envoy to the US Alexander Huang (黃介正) of acting as China’s stooge, after he said that Beijing has the right to claim waters beyond its maritime territory as its exclusive economic zone and that the US has no legal basis to assert that the Taiwan Strait is an “international waterway.” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said in an online post that most of the world considers the Strait an international waterway, adding that this is important for safeguarding Taiwan. “We have seen US warships transiting through the Taiwan Strait.
The Taichung District Court yesterday sentenced to nine years in prison an unlicensed judo coach who caused the death of a seven-year-old student after slamming him onto the ground more than a dozen times. In its decision against the coach, a man surnamed Ho (何), the court cited his lack of remorse for using excessive force against an inadequately trained child and his failure to reconcile with the parents for his role in their son’s death. Speaking on behalf of the boy’s mother, Taichung City Councilor Jacky Chen (陳清龍) said the family would appeal to a higher court. Prosecutors said that Ho on