Teabag shipments seized
About 17,000 teabags were seized by customs officials after a regular inspection found that the teabags contained high levels of chemicals, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday. A shipment of tea from Sri Lanka and India — 197.1kg of six types of the Florian brand — was found to contain residues of 2,6-diisopropylnaphthalene, a plant growth inhibitor prohibited in Taiwan, the FDA said. A shipment of tea from Japan — 48kg of Ganko Uji — was also seized after it was found to contain residues of the pesticide thiacloprid at a concentration of 0.07 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the maximum permitted 0.05ppm, it said.
Architect dies aged 96
Architect Wang Chiu-hwa (王秋華), known for her designs of public libraries, died on Monday at the age of 96, architect and writer Roan Ching-yueh (阮慶岳) said. Wang served as a model for local architects, and her thinking and values had a considerable influence on the younger generation, Roan said. Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) on Monday offered his condolences to Wang’s family and said he would request that Wang be awarded a posthumous presidential citation. Wang was born in 1925 in Beijing, and went to the US in 1946 after obtaining a bachelor’s in architecture. She worked for US architect and urban planner Percival Goodman from the 1950s until resettling in Taipei in 1979 to continue her design work and teach at universities.
Mother to be deported
An Indonesian woman living in Taichung, who on Monday called for help to save her infant son, was later detained after police found that she was in Taiwan illegally. The Taichung Fire Bureau said that it received a call from her landlord saying that the woman’s son had stopped breathing. The Duty Command Center immediately contacted her online and told her to conduct CPR as firefighters rushed to her apartment. When they arrived on the scene, the boy did not have a heartbeat and was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Taichung police said they suspected that he might have died from asphyxiation and quoted the woman as saying that the baby might have become pinned down by her three-year-old son, who had been sleeping in the same bed. While investigating the death, police found that the woman was a migrant worker who had skipped out on her employer. She broke the terms of her contract, so she and the three-year-old are to be repatriated, they said.
Man dies in grain elevator
A Chiayi man yesterday died after slipping and falling into corn while working in a grain elevator in the county’s Yijhu Township (義竹), the Chiayi County Fire Bureau said. The bureau identified the victim as a 37-year-old man surnamed Ko (柯) who was an employee of the Yijhu Township Farmers’ Association. Ko and another employee were sweeping corn from the silo’s interior walls when he fell, the bureau said, quoting the coworker. As the corn was lowered to the conveyor belt, Ko sank into the grain, which shifted “like quicksand,” the coworker said. After breaching the wall of the silo, first responders retrieved Ko’s body with a harness, the bureau said. Ko was rushed to Tainan’s Chimei Hospital, but efforts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead, the bureau said. Police opened an investigation to verify the witness’ account, it added.
RULES TIGHTENED: Passengers arriving from Sydney and Los Angeles tested positive for COVID-19, while passengers arriving from Seattle all tested negative Seventeen of the 217 passengers who arrived on long-haul at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday morning tested positive for COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said, adding that the positivity rate was higher than expected. Yesterday was the first day that the government enforced stricter health guidelines for the testing of passengers arriving on long-haul flights. They must undergo a polymerase chain reaction test immediately after arriving at the nation’s international airports. Those who test positive are sent directly to hospitals to avoid spreading the virus to people working in and around the airports and at quarantine hotels. Victor Wang (王必勝),
‘NEW YEAR GIFT’: While the MAC called the song propaganda, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that it addressed the homesickness of ‘Taiwanese compatriots’ A pro-unification pop song aired on Chinese television earlier this month would only further sour Taiwanese sentiment toward China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Wednesday. The music video for We Sing the Same Song (我們同唱一首歌), which aired on China Central Television, features Chinese artists performing alongside Taiwanese singers Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) and Chen Li-nong (陳立農). The lyrics were reportedly written by Taiwanese lyricist Vincent Fang (方文山), known for his collaborations with Jay Chou (周杰倫), to music composed by a Chinese musician. Sung in Chinese and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), the song is about three Taiwanese siblings who
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
‘CHAOS’: Victor Wang, the CECC’s on-site commander at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, said testing of arrivals has sped up in time to meet holiday demand For now, people are not banned from eating and drinking on trains, despite the rise in locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday. “On Sunday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that the nation would remain on a level 2 COVID-19 alert until at least Jan. 24. So we will follow the center’s disease prevention guidelines for passengers on public transport systems,” Wang said. However, bus and train depots have been asked to disinfect facilities more frequently, he said. The center’s new