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.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb