Visa services suspended
Taiwan’s representative office in Thailand has suspended visa services because the Thai government designated Thursday until Monday a holiday in Bangkok and 20 other provinces that have been hit by the country’s worst flooding in 50 years. “The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand has suspended visa services from Oct. 27-31 in line with the Thai government’s holiday program,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement issued on Thursday. Taiwan residents who intend to invite people from Thailand to visit during that period should advise their guests to apply for visas or other certification at Taiwan’s representative offices in neighboring countries or areas, the ministry said. However, Taiwanese expatriates in Thailand can still contact the Taiwan representative office in Bangkok in case of an emergency, the ministry said. High tides in the Gulf of Thailand this weekend could complicate efforts to divert water away from low-lying Bangkok, according to reports from international news agencies.
Ship, freighter collide
Two sailors were killed and another two went missing after a Taiwanese ship collided with a Liberian freighter yesterday off the Penghu archipelago, rescuers said. The Taiwanese vessel, carrying 13 crew members, was transporting goods when it was allegedly rammed by the freighter and sank early yesterday near the islands, the coast guard said. One Taiwanese and an Indonesian drowned, while the ship’s Taiwanese skipper and another sailor were missing, the coast guard said, adding that nine others aboard the ship were rescued. No one from the Liberian ship was listed as hurt or missing. The cause of the incident is being investigated, the official said.
Headway made on visa plan
The nation is making headway in obtaining visa-free treatment from the US, a Taiwanese official stationed in the US said on Thursday. Leo Lee (李澄然), the nation’s deputy representative to the US, said the rejection rate for Taiwanese nationals applying for US visas was lower than 3 percent this year, one of the conditions for joining the US visa-waiver program. Regarding an APEC forum meeting scheduled for next month in Hawaii, Lee said the meeting’s agenda would focus on green energy and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — also known as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement — a multilateral free-trade pact that aims to further liberalize the economies of the Asia-Pacific region. With regard to progress of the TPP talks, Lee said the nation continues to communicate with the US on the issue.
University relay to be held
The first Asian university half-marathon relay will be held tomorrow at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Greater Tainan with 56 students from 14 universities in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore participating. Four students — two males and two females — from each university will run in the 21.2km race, part of activities to celebrate NCKU’s 80th anniversary. The Greater Tainan Government will temporarily block Shengli Road, Siao-dong Road and University Road, which surround the university, during the relay race. Some of the 14 participating universities are National Taiwan University, National Tsing Hua University, National Chiao Tung University, Peking University, Osaka University, Chiba University and National University of Singapore.
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
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
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