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.
A domestically developed “suicide drone,” also known as a loitering munition, would be tested and evaluated in July, and could enter mass production next year, Taiwan’s weapons developer said on Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named drone was among nine drone models unveiled by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) on Tuesday. The drone has been dubbed the “Taiwanese switchblade” by Chinese-language media, due to its similarity to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which has been used by Ukraine in counterattacks during Russia’s invasion. It has a range of more than 10km, a flight time of more than 15 minutes, and an electro-optical
OFFLINE: People who do not wish to register can get the money from select ATMs using their bank card, ID number and National Health Insurance card number Online registration for NT$6,000 (US$196.32) cash payments drawn from last year’s tax surplus is to open today for eligible people whose national ID or permanent residency number ends in either a zero or a one, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. Officials from the ministry revealed which days Taiwanese and eligible foreigners would be able to register for the cash payments at a joint news conference with the Ministry of Digital Affairs. Online registration is to open tomorrow for those whose number ends in a two or three; on Friday for those that end in a four or five: on Saturday
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) officials are investigating why a Starlux Airlines flight to Penang, Malaysia, returned to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport nearly two hours after takeoff yesterday morning. The airline said in a statement that Flight JX721 to Penang took off from Taoyuan airport at 9:20am. “After the dashboard showed a signal of an abnormality in the hydraulic system, the captain followed standard operating procedures and returned the flight to Taoyuan airport for safety precautions,” the airline said, adding that the flight landed safely at the airport at 11:04am. The airline arranged for the passengers to have lunch after the flight landed and
WORKING UP AN APPETITE: Sales at the Rueifong Night Market surged 20 to 30 percent, while seats at Liouhe Night Market were packed until 1am, market officials said South Korean pop band Blackpink’s concerts over the weekend in Kaohsiung helped draw large crowds to local night markets, the Kaohsiung City Government said yesterday. The two concerts on Saturday and Sunday at Kaohsiung National Stadium drew more than 90,000 people. The city government offered NT$50 vouchers to spend locally to concertgoers who showed their ticket stubs. Liouhe Night Market (六合夜市) management committee head Chuang Chi-chang (莊其章) said that crowds over the weekend surged at about 10pm and the market remained packed until 1:30am. “Almost all the seats were filled,” Chuang said. Night market stall owners had stocked up in expectation of an increased number