Oil trader jailed
The Kaohsiung branch of the Taiwan High Court yesterday sentenced a businessman who sold oil to North Korea to one year in prison for contravening the Counter-Terrorism Financing Act (資恐防制法). Huang Wang-ken (黃旺根) sold 2,829 tonnes of oil to North Korea by arranging illicit ship-to-ship fuel transfers in international waters, prosecutors said. A tanker owned by Huang — the Panamanian-flagged Shang Yuan Bao — was sanctioned by the UN Security Council in October 2018 over the transfers, with the US Department of the Treasury imposing secondary sanctions on three of Huang’s shipping companies in August 2019. The court said that Huang had “seriously tarnished Taiwan’s image, and put it at risk of being sanctioned or reproached by the UN and the international community.” The court said it reduced a 14-month sentence Huang received in April in a trial at a lower court as the businessman confessed to wrongdoing in his most recent trial. The verdict can be appealed.
Kinmen Bridge to open
Kinmen Bridge, which connects the county’s main island and Little Kinmen, or Lieyu (烈嶼), would open to traffic on Sunday, the Freeway Bureau said. The final preopening inspection of the bridge was carried out on Monday and suggested improvements — which covered areas such as drainage, traffic engineering, traffic control systems and lighting — would be completed today, the bureau said. The 4.8km bridge stretches east-west connecting Jinning Township’s (金寧) Cihhu (慈湖) on the larger island to Houtou (后頭) in Lieyu Township. The project, which was approved by the Executive Yuan in 2010 and launched in 2012, had been plagued by problems such as inexperienced contractors and construction crews, which resulted in contracts being terminated twice, the bureau said. In 2016, a new contract was awarded, and construction resumed in December that year, it said. Meanwhile, the Kinmen County Government on Wednesday said that next year’s Kinmen Marathon would be revised to include the new bridge. Registration is to open on Nov. 11 for the marathon, which is scheduled for Feb. 11 and 12. The organizers have not released updated details of the race routes.
Poster painter dies
Chen Tzu-fu (陳子福), a prolific painter of movie posters before printed posters became the norm, has passed away, the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute said on Tuesday. He was 96. Chen was hailed as a national treasure for painting nearly 5,000 movie posters. Before mass printing of commercial movie posters became the norm, Chen would paint posters of domestic and international films freehand, often based on only a cursory understanding of the plot. Chen captured the essence of a film through his vibrant use of colors and dramatic use of framing, the institute said. At the peak of his career, he made about 40 posters a month to be hung at movie theaters, it said. Chen retired in 1994 after painting his final movie poster for the Meryl Streep and Glenn Close film The House of the Spirits. Following his retirement, he received a Special Award at the 43rd Golden Horse Awards in 2006. In 2018 and 2019, Chen donated 1,172 of his works to the institute, which are archived as important artifacts that document the history of Taiwanese cinema.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of
Actress Hu Ling (胡伶) on Saturday became the first Chinese movie star to walk the red carpet of the Golden Horse Awards since 2019, when China boycotted Taiwan’s biggest awards show over political tensions. Beijing banned its entertainers from joining the awards, dubbed the Chinese-language Oscars, after documentary director Fu Yu (傅榆) voiced support for Taiwan’s formal independence in an acceptance speech in 2018. There were no films from China in the 2019 nomination list and several Hong Kong movies dropped out that year, while several big commercial productions were conspicuously absent at both the 2020 and 2021 awards. However, Hu, nominated for