Officer on wanted list
The government has put a military intelligence officer on the wanted list after she failed to report to work following a holiday in Thailand last month, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. The lieutenant, identified only by her surname Yeh (葉), has been sacked by the military intelligence bureau and will face a court-martial for abandoning her post if she returns home, the ministry said. However, the ministry denied media reports alleging she had acquired important intelligence and defected to China. “We are investigating the case and we will thoroughly review our systems for recruiting, selecting, training and assigning staff,” it said in a statement.
Biopesticide selling well
The Council of Agriculture said yesterday it has developed a biopesticide that has received a favorable response from farmers since its launch late last year. According to an official with the Taiwan Agricultural Chemicals and Toxic Substances Research Institute, this is the first locally developed organic biopesticide to be approved by local authorities. The pesticide is effective against insect larvae that feed on vegetables such as cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and soybeans, the official said, adding that demand has been strong since the technology was transferred to Fwusow Industry Co for commercialization. Although deadly to the insect, the pesticide does not affect humans or other animals, making it a safe choice for farmers, the council said.
Shalun Beach tightens rules
Safety measures at New Taipei City’s (新北市) Shalun Beach, where five students recently drowned, have been tightened and those who ignore warnings against swimming or playing in the water will be fined, New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said on Monday. Swimming is banned at the beach, but since it is difficult to differentiate between swimming and playing around, the government will no longer allow beachgoers to enter the water, he added. Hou said beach guards who patrol the beach will discourage visitors from going into the water, and those who disregard the warnings will be fined up to NT$25,000. Meanwhile, authorities at Zheng De Junior High School, where the five students were enrolled, called for donations to help the bereaved families who are having a hard time paying for funeral arrangements. A total of 22 people have drowned at the beach since it was closed in 1999 because of strong undercurrents and dangerous whirlpools.
Six new enterovirus cases
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported six new cases of severe enterovirus in the nation yesterday, adding that the annual peak period for infection has not ended. Five of the six patients, all children under the age of four, have been treated and discharged from hospital, the centers said, but the sixth, an 11-month-old boy from central Taiwan, is still in hospital. “We discovered that a three-year-old boy and his one-year-old sister might have been infected by other family members,” the CDC said of two of the new cases. As of Monday, the number of serious enterovirus cases this year reached 102, with one death recorded. The fatal case involved a five-month-old boy who died late last month of enterovirus 71, a virulent form of the virus, the CDC said.
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
IDENTITY: The time is right to press on with a referendum, as the nation has heightened visibility and support in the global community, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance said The Taiwan United Nations Alliance yesterday said that it is considering launching a petition for a referendum proposal to have the nation join the UN under the name “Taiwan.” Alliance chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) was joined at a news conference in Taipei by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and civic organizations. They said that it is the right time for a petition because Taiwan’s visibility on the world stage has increased, as it has been praised for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak and for helping other countries by sharing
An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under
‘LONG OVERDUE’: The Republic of China is a military-political regime of the KMT that illegally occupied Taiwan, Taiwan Republic Office director Chilly Chen said Independence advocates yesterday at a rally called on government leaders to “rectify” the nation’s official name as “Taiwan” as they denounced Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu’s (吳釗燮) remark of “not seeking formal ties with the US” during a media interview. Organized by Taiwan Republic Office director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵), the advocates chanted slogans, such as “Taiwan is not the Republic of China [ROC],” and held a banner that read: “If the nation’s title is not corrected as ‘Taiwan,’ how can it fully establish diplomatic relations with the US?” as they gathered outside Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei at