Austronesian program opens
National Taitung University (NTTU) on Monday last week became the nation’s first higher education institution to offer a doctoral program in Austronesian culture. The Graduate Institute of Austronesian Studies has recruited one international and three Taiwanese students for the program’s first year, NTTU Center of Austronesian Culture spokesperson Chen Ying-ju (陳盈儒) said, adding that the classes are taught in English. Taitung County is home to seven indigenous communities of Austronesian descent: Amis, Paiwan, Bunun, Rukai, Pinuyumayan (also known as Puyuma), Yami (also known as Tao) and Kavalan. It is the most diverse region in Taiwan in terms of Austronesian culture, offering students a chance to apply their research to real-world scenarios and engage in intimate observations of how indigenous groups grapple with the challenges of modernity, Chen said.
Gold fraud attempt foiled
Employees at a Bank of Taiwan branch and police in Tainan on Thursday prevented a 70-year-old woman falling victim to fraud. The woman, surnamed Cheng (鄭), told a bank teller that she wanted to withdraw enough money to buy 1.25kg of gold — about NT$2.15 million (US$71,786) — due to rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait, police said. However, the teller, suspecting foul play, alerted police rather than going through with the transaction, they said. Police later questioned the woman and found that a suspected member of a fraud ring posing as a prosecutor had told her by telephone that her personal documents had been used illicitly and that she would have to buy gold at a local bank to pay a deposit to settle the issue.
Father, son die in crash
Police in Pingtung County are investigating the cause of a light aircraft crash that killed two people on Saturday. The deceased were identified as a father and son surnamed Chu (朱), who were 61 and 27 respectively, police said. The Pingtung Bureau of Fire and Emergency Services said it received a report at 5:48pm that a light aircraft had crashed near a gravel pit along the border of Yenpu (鹽埔) and Gaoshu (高樹) townships. First responders found the aircraft in flames, and the bureau dispatched 12 firetrucks, 22 firefighters and medical personnel to the scene, it said. The father and son were dead when found, it added.
Ice shops fail tests
Ten ice shops in Tainan and Kaohsiung failed to meet health standards following inspections last month, the Consumer Protection Committee said on Thursday. The committee inspected a total of 50 ice shops in the two cities, as well as Pingtung County. All 10 of the inspected shops in Pingtung met health standards, while five out of the 15 inspected shops in Tainan failed and five out of 25 shops failed in Kaohsiung, it said. Legislative amendments to sanitation laws added new categories of bacteria to be screened in edible ice products, such as shaved ice and ice cream, resulting in more rigorous testing, the committee said. Prior to the amendments, inspectors would send an entire serving of a product — ice and edible toppings — to a laboratory. This year, inspectors separated the edible parts for testing, as each is held to different standards, it said. One shop was found to serve ice that contained 3,800 times the amount of acceptable Escherichia coli, the committee said.
PACIFIC OCEAN: Defense experts have warned that the ‘Shandong,’ China’s second largest aircraft carrier, poses a serious threat to eastern Taiwan’s defenses The drills conducted by the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong in the Western Pacific last week were more aimed at showcasing China’s military capabilities to the US rather than toward Taiwan, a Taiwanese defense expert said yesterday. Lin Yin-yu (林穎佑), an assistant professor at Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, said the drills which involved dozens of warplanes sought to test China’s anti-access and area denial capabilities should the US and its allies attempt to interfere in a cross-strait conflict. Lin said that the latest Chinese drills coincided with a joint maritime exercise conducted by the US, South Korea
Thousands of bottles of Sriracha have been returned or destroyed after the discovery of excessive sulfur dioxide, a bleaching agent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday. About 12,600 bottles totaling 9,991.8kg of the hot sauce imported from the US by Emporium Corp (河洛企業) were flagged at the border for containing illegal levels of sulfur dioxide, the FDA said in its regular border inspection announcement. Inspectors discovered 0.5g per kilogram of the common bleaching agent and preservative, higher than the 0.03g permitted, it said. As it is the first time within six months the product has been flagged, Sriracha products from
Two people were killed and another nine injured yesterday after being stung by hornets while hiking in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳), with officials warning against wearing perfume or straying from trails during the autumn to avoid the potentially deadly creatures. Seven of the hikers only sustained minor injuries after being stung along the Bafenliao Hiking Trail (八分寮) and made their way down the mountain with a guide, the New Taipei City Fire Department said. Four of them — all male — sustained more serious injuries and were assisted when leaving the mountain, the department said. Two of them, a man surnamed
CHANGES: While NCCU opened the nation’s first co-ed dorm in Mucha, a recent survey showed that Taiwanese are in favor of abolishing gender segregation at high schools National Chengchi University (NCCU) has opened a co-ed dormitory, a first in Taiwan among state-funded Taiwan universities. The 22 duplexes are at the renovated “Huanan New Village,” in Taipei City’s Mucha (木柵) area, near the NCCU campus, a school official said yesterday. Twenty-two out of 37 group applications were selected in a lottery draw to select who would be chosen to live in the units, which can either be shared by up to eight students if the unit has four bedrooms, or up to 10 students if it is a five-bedroom unit, officials said. Completed in 1964 for campus staff housing,