The government will help a Taiwanese fishing boat skipper standing trial in the Federated States of Micronesia for allegedly operating illegally in the country’s territorial waters two months ago, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said yesterday. \nChen Chung-yi (陳仲義), captain of tuna fishing boat the Sheng Feng Yi (聖豐億號), has been detained by authorities in the South Pacific island nation since May 6 for alleged trespassing and poaching. \nThe case will be brought to trial on Wednesday. \n“We hope the case can be resolved satisfactorily in a way that financial constraints on how much the captain can afford to pay in fines is taken into account,” MOFA Deputy Spokesman James Chang (章計平) said in response to an appeal for the government’s assistance in raising money for the lawsuit. \nMicronesian authorities had agreed to lower terms of a settlement with Chen after the ministry mediated between the two sides, but Chen refused to agree to the settlement as he was unable to pay a fine of US$33,000 and was resolved to clear his name in court, the ministry said. \nChen was initially fined US$200,000 and asked to pay an additional US$100,000 as a guarantee at a previous trial on June 24. \nSaying that the ministry has been in close contact with Chen’s family, Chang added that it will continue to assist Chen with arranging for his lawyers, family or translators to travel to Micronesia. \nSeven other Taiwanese crew members were released on May 22 and returned to Taiwan. \nThe ministry said Micronesian prosecutors will on Wednesday demand that the fishing boat and its catch be confiscated, that Chen pay a fine of US$200,000 in a civil lawsuit as well as a fine of between US$100,000 and US$1 million in a criminal lawsuit.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday said that it has allocated NT$68 million (US$2.32 million) to build an Internet-of-things (IoT) platform that would facilitate proactive maintenance of the railway system and enhance service punctuality. The agency said that it decided to build the platform to promote horizontal communication among its departments after an investigation into the Puyuma Express derailment in October 2018 found that its four main departments — electrical engineering, rolling stock, construction and transportation — failed to share information with one another. The platform would use artificial intelligence to analyze maintenance data collected by its departments, including railway crossings,