Learners’ license digitized
A digital version of the learners’ driver’s license was launched yesterday, the Directorate-General of Highways said. Applicants can choose to receive a digital, rather than a printed license, which can be downloaded via an app released by the directorate for a fee of NT$50, half the price of a printed one. The learners’ license is a limited-period license that allows aspiring drivers to practice on designated streets before taking their driving test and obtaining a full license.
MOFA rebuts passport rumor
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday rebutted an Internet rumor that Republic of China (ROC) passports are no longer recognized by international airlines due to Chinese pressure. According to the rumor, an ROC passport holder was “almost” denied entry to the UK after the traveler’s airline said that it was no longer valid from Wednesday last week on Beijing’s insistence. MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) yesterday said the story was false and called on Taiwanese not to fall for “fake news.” Both the UK and the EU grant ROC passport holders visa-exempt entry and the rules have not changed, Lee said, adding that Taiwanese should have confidence in the nation’s passport, which grants visa-free access to 167 countries and territories. However, he added that some airline ground personnel might not be well-informed. Should that happen, passport holders should contact local overseas representative offices for assistance, Lee said.
Ma Ju-feng confirmed dead
A prosecutor and a coroner in Nantou County yesterday issued a death certificate to the family of actor Ma Ju-feng (馬如風), who was on Sunday found dead in the bathroom of a bed-and-breakfast where he was staying. After examining Ma’s body, the two determined that the 63-year-old renowned actor had died of natural causes possibly related to heart failure. Prosecutor Shih Kuang-che (石光哲) and the Nantou District Prosecutors’ Office’s coroner were accompanied by Ma’s wife, who said that he was visiting his younger brother on a vacation and on Saturday told her over the telephone that he was enjoying the fresh country air. “I still cannot accept the fact that he has gone so suddenly,” she said. Born in 1955, Ma first appeared on TV in 1980 and won the Golden Bell Most Promising Newcomer Award in 1981. Ma started acting at the age of 25 and starred in more than 40 TV series over a career that spanned 38 years.
Vietnam gets Taiwan clinic
Taichung Veterans General Hospital, in collaboration with a Vietnamese medical center, yesterday launched a special treatment facility for Taiwanese expatriates in Vietnam. Housed at Ho Chi Minh City’s University Medical Center (UMC), the facility is to serve an estimated 60,000 Taiwanese who live in Vietnam, the hospital said. Most Taiwanese in Vietnam are employees of companies based in central Taiwan, Taichung Veterans superintendent Hsu Hui-heng (許惠恒) said. Taichung Deputy Mayor Lin Yi-ying (林依瑩), who took part in the opening ceremony through a video connection, said that the medical center would guarantee a good quality of treatment for Taiwanese living and working in Vietnam. In May last year, Taichung Veterans and the center signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct medical exchanges, including the training of UMC nephrologists in Taiwan, the Taichung Health Bureau said.
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
A legislator yesterday called for authorities to investigate the sale of Chinese-made, Internet-connected karaoke machines containing “propaganda songs.” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said she was approached by a person who had discovered Chinese patriotic songs such as My Motherland (我的祖國) — which is commonly referred to as China’s “second national anthem” — in Chinese-made karaoke devices sold in Taiwan. The machines are popular, as they can connect to the Internet, providing access to thousands of songs, she said. One retailer, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the machines first entered the local market about three years ago, starting with