Thousands of species banned
An import ban on more than 8,000 species of live animals is to take effect on Wednesday next week, the Forestry Bureau said. Animals such as raccoons and the crested myna are to be banned from entering Taiwan without authorization from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the bureau said. The banned import list includes one mammal, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, totaling 8,478 species, it said, adding that they are being banned because they pose a threat to Taiwan’s endemic species or its agricultural produce. People caught importing any of the animals without authorization would face a fine of NT$200,000 to NT$1 million (US$6,744 to US$33,721) under the Wildlife Conservation Act (野生動物保育法), and could also be charged with smuggling and breaching the Foreign Trade Act (貿易法), the bureau said.
Rainy week forecast
A stationary front that arrived yesterday is expected to linger near Taiwan until Saturday and bring rain to most of the island, Daniel Wu (吳德榮), a former Weather Forecast Center director who is now an adjunct associate professor of atmospheric sciences at National Central University, said yesterday. The front would initially be relatively weak, but would bring isolated showers to areas across Taiwan today, he said. A southwesterly wind system would build up from tomorrow to Saturday, causing the stationary front to intensify and ushering in the plum rain season, he said. People should be alert for lightning, strong winds and torrential rain, Wu said. On Sunday and Monday next week, the front would move toward the East China Sea, but due to southwesterly winds, central and southern Taiwan could still experience rain, while hot weather is forecast in the north and east, he said.
PTS appoints new chair
Communications academic Hu Yuan-hui (胡元輝) was chosen to serve as chairman of the Public Television Service (PTS) on Friday. Hu received 15 of 19 votes from PTS directors, who are nominated by the Executive Yuan. His only competitor was Lin Kuan-yu (林寬裕), an adjunct assistant professor who teaches a Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability Executive Master of Business Administration course at National Taiwan Normal University. Lin received two votes. Hu said he hopes to draw on experiences at his previous jobs at commercial TV stations such as TVBS Media Inc, Formosa Television Co and Taiwan Television Enterprise to guide the development of PTS. Tchen Yu-chiou (陳郁秀) resigned on April 22 to take responsibility for the airing of several erroneous news tickers last month on Chinese Television System, where she doubled as chairwoman.
Comic contest wants entries
The Golden Comic Awards (GCA) is accepting submissions for its annual competition, including newly published works by foreign artists, the Ministry of Culture said. The 13th GCA competition offers a total purse of NT$2.45 million to NT$2.75 million, which includes a cash prize of NT$10,000 for each shortlisted entry, as part of an effort to encourage greater participation. Another addition this year is a NT$150,000 prize for the Special Contribution Award, which did not previously have a cash reward, said the ministry, which organizes the annual competition. Also for the first time, foreign artists would be eligible to submit original comics recently published in Taiwan, it added. Submissions are open until June 15, the ministry said.
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
TRAVEL CONFERENCE: Representatives from the two countries exchanged views on how to increase tourist numbers, with one identifying individual travel as a trend Taiwan and South Korea aim to increase the number of tourists traveling between the two countries to 3 million, government and tourism industry representatives said at a conference in Hsinchu City yesterday. The annual event was attended by Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯); Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰); Taiwan Visitors Association chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭); South Korean Representative to Taiwan Chung Byung-won; Yoon Ji-sook, an official at the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Korea Association of Travel Agents chairman Oh Chang-hee. Global tourism is expected to soon rebound to between 55 and
DAMAGE CONTROL: The KMT in a statement called the Taiwan Strait ‘international waters,’ after Alexander Huang said China had the right to claim it as internal waters Lawmakers and experts yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) envoy to the US Alexander Huang (黃介正) of acting as China’s stooge, after he said that Beijing has the right to claim waters beyond its maritime territory as its exclusive economic zone and that the US has no legal basis to assert that the Taiwan Strait is an “international waterway.” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said in an online post that most of the world considers the Strait an international waterway, adding that this is important for safeguarding Taiwan. “We have seen US warships transiting through the Taiwan Strait.
The Taichung District Court yesterday sentenced to nine years in prison an unlicensed judo coach who caused the death of a seven-year-old student after slamming him onto the ground more than a dozen times. In its decision against the coach, a man surnamed Ho (何), the court cited his lack of remorse for using excessive force against an inadequately trained child and his failure to reconcile with the parents for his role in their son’s death. Speaking on behalf of the boy’s mother, Taichung City Councilor Jacky Chen (陳清龍) said the family would appeal to a higher court. Prosecutors said that Ho on