US official’s trip canceled
A US Department of State official has canceled a visit to Taiwan due to personal reasons, the Presidential Office said yesterday. David Balton, deputy assistant secretary for oceans and fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, was invited to visit by the Council of Agriculture.
Hualien hit by 4.7 quake
A magnitude 4.7 earthquake jolted Hualien County early yesterday, but there were no reports of casualties, according to the Central Weather Bureau. The quake hit at 6:56am, with the epicenter located in Shoufeng Township (壽豐), about 15.2km southwest of the Hualien County Government building at a depth of 22.2km, the bureau said. The strongest tremor was felt in the county’s Tungmen area (銅門), according to the bureau. Seismologists said more time was needed to determine whether the temblor has anything to do with the 6.3 earthquake that rocked the county’s Rueisuei Township (瑞穗) on Thursday last week.
European film fest opens
The ninth annual Taiwan European Film Festival will open on Friday, offering free viewing of 16 European films over a one-month period. The festival will be hosted by the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) from Friday through Dec. 8, with the aim of introducing the EU’s cultures, arts and languages, the EETO said on the Web site for the event. The 16 films were recommended by 16 members of the EU, the organizers said, the highest number of films since the festival was launched in Taiwan in 2005. The films will be shown in 477 sessions at 36 venues in 14 counties and cities around the nation, according to the organizers.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,