Former president stable
Former president Lee Teng-hui’s (李登輝) condition has stabilized after he suffered a brain hemorrhage, but he is still in intensive care for further observation, an attending physician at Taipei Veterans General Hospital said yesterday. Lee’s health was the same as the previous day, and it was still hard to predict whether he would be discharged from the hospital next week as originally expected, said Chan Wan-leong (陳雲亮), a physician in the cardiology department. Lee, 95, was rushed to the hospital after falling at home and hitting his head on the floor at about noon on Thursday. He injured his right eye and had a nose bleed. Minor bleeding was on Friday detected in his brain. Lee has been taking anticoagulant drugs for cardiovascular disease for a long time, Chan said, explaining that these could conflict with treatment for the bleeding.
Palau visa-free deal in effect
Reciprocal visa-free entry for citizens of Taiwan and Palau began yesterday, with visitors from the nation’s Pacific ally getting visa-free stays of up to 90 days in Taiwan and vice versa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday. The reciprocal visa-free privileges were granted based on the principles of equality and mutual benefit, the ministry said in a statement. Travelers from the two countries must have a passport that is valid for at least six months to take advantage of the deal, it said. Taiwan has made similar agreements with Nauru, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands in the Pacific and several Latin American and Caribbean allies.
A-mei to count down to 2019
Pop diva A-mei, also known as Chang Hui-mei (張惠妹), is to help Taipei count down the last few seconds of the year at the Taipei New Year’s Eve Countdown Party, the city’s Department of Information and Tourism said. Taiwan hip-hop trio MJ116 and South Korean girl group EXID are also to perform at the event, which has been celebrated annually since 1995. The performances will be accompanied by the traditional Taipei 101 fireworks when the clock strikes midnight and a light show using the T-Pad LED lighting system on the building’s north side measuring 100.8m by 168m. Last year’s LED light show featured images of A-mei. Department head Chen Su-yu (陳思宇) said that the celebrations, which are to begin at 7pm on Dec. 31, would also incorporate e-sports to promote Taipei internationally.
Cat protectors try new tack
The Leopard Cat Association of Taiwan has begun a fund raising campaign to cat-proof 100 chicken coops in Miaoli County. There are fewer than 500 leopard cats in Taiwan and between 20 and 50 cats are killed every year by chicken farmers, who hunt, trap or bait them, the association said, citing a questionnaire it distributed in Miaoli’s Tongsiao Township (通霄). Leopard cats are predators and will kill chickens should they find an accessible enclosure, said foundation president Chen Mei-ting (陳美汀). Building chicken coops that protect against the cats is the best option for resolving the problem without harming the cats, she said, adding that previously, conservationists would pay chicken farmers for each chicken killed by leopard cats. The funds raised are also to be used for a public information campaign to convince farmers not to use poison or wound-inflicting traps, she said.
A survey of young Taiwanese showed that only 36.5 percent of men and 19.6 percent of women believe marriage is important, a trend that academics say is key to the nation’s low birthrate. Yang Wen-shan (楊文山), an adjunct research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Sociology, yesterday announced the 12th round of results from a longitudinal survey of attitudes among young Taiwanese toward markers of adulthood. While few of the respondents, who were aged 28 to 32 when surveyed in 2017, found marriage to be important, 95.8 percent believed that being responsible for oneself should take precedence, data showed. Economic independence came in
SHRINKING FEMALE POPULATION: Last year, 107.74 boys were born for every 100 girls in Taiwan, which is a greater gender imbalance than in Japan and South Korea The Ministry of the Interior recorded 9,601 births in January, the first time the nation has produced fewer than 10,000 newborns in a single month, while different indicators showed that Taiwan might also be facing a population with increasingly fewer births, women and marriages. It comes after the ministry reported a record low 165,249 births last year, which was lower than the 173,156 deaths recorded last year. The nation experienced negative population growth for the first time last year, ministry data found. The number of births in January also dropped from a year earlier, when there were 12,510 births. In February, there were
The Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office has listed six people as suspects in a judicial investigation into a fatal train crash on Friday last week. Fifty people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the Taroko Express No. 408 train slammed into a crane truck that had slid onto the tracks near the entrance of Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The office also summoned six officials at the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Hualien Engineering Section for questioning about alleged illegal business operations and unsafe work conditions by Yi Hsiang Industry Co and Tung Hsin Construction Co, the two
SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY IN ASIA: Twitter aims to ‘play a unique role in enabling the public conversation around important social movements,’ the US company said Twitter has thrown its support behind the “Milk Tea Alliance” of democracy movements in Taiwan, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, defying China at a time when Beijing is punishing Western companies for commenting on what it considers internal matters. The social media company yesterday prominently displayed flags of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar and Thailand while unveiling an emoji to support democracy advocates in places that have in the past few years seen historic protests and share a love for the beverage. The emoji will automatically show up when users post the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag, which was posted been 11 million times