Shen Lyu-shun dies
Former representative to the US Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡) passed away on Friday morning at Cardinal Tien Hospital in New Taipei City. He was 73. Born in 1949, Shen was a descendant of Shen Pao-chen (沈葆楨), a Qing Dynasty official who made a mark in Taiwan’s history by pushing for the nation’s modernization and exploration of mountainous areas. Shen served as deputy minister of foreign affairs from 2009 to 2011 and assumed several diplomatic posts, including representative to the US (2014-2016), representative to the UK (2011-2014), and representative to the EU and Belgium (2008-2009).
Allowance move approved
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Thursday approved an extension of the monthly per person living allowance of NT$750 (US$24.42) and NT$500 for individuals in income and middle-to-low income households for an additional year until the end of this year. Along with the policy’s extension, which Su had announced a day earlier, people from about 600,000 eligible households are to receive this month’s allowance before the Lunar New Year holiday on Jan. 20, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) told a news conference in Taipei after a weekly Cabinet meeting. Su told the meeting that he had authorized NT$4.5 billion for the program and expected the funds to be disbursed to local governments yesterday, Lo said. Su hoped the living allowance would bring “warmth” to recipients ahead of the new year, Lo said. In a statement later in the day, the Ministry of Health and Welfare confirmed the extension of the program, which was launched in March last year as a part of the government’s COVID-19 relief measures. Local administrations would determine eligibility for the allowances, meaning that no application is necessary, it said.
House fire kills five
Five members of a family, including two boys aged 12 and 5, were killed in a suspected arson attack at a three-story house in Taichung’s Dali District (大里) early yesterday, the city’s Fire Bureau said. A 62-year-old woman, a woman aged 38, a 32-year-old man and the two boys, who were pulled from the home by firefighters, were pronounced dead at a hospital, the bureau said in a news release, adding that they were diagnosed as having had out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. A 66-year-old man, who is also a member of the family, escaped alive, the statement said. The bureau dispatched 17 trucks, eight ambulances and 84 firefighters to the scene when it received a report of the blaze at 3:52am, it said, adding that the flames were extinguished at 5:25am. Authorities said they suspect the fire might have been arson, but did not provide details. The cause of the fire is being investigated.
Air facility fee added
Air passengers who transit in Taiwan would have to pay a NT$500 facility fee per person, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications announced yesterday. Aviation regulations would be revised before the new policy is introduced, which exempts children under the age of two, as well as individuals and their companions who have received special dispensation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the transport ministry said. The fee would be collected by airline companies on the government’s behalf — either as part of airfares or at airports — it said, adding that passengers who pay but do not transit would be able to apply for a full refund.
A Keelung high school on Saturday night apologized for using a picture containing a Chinese flag on the cover of the senior yearbook, adding that it has recalled the books and pledged to provide students new ones before graduation on Thursday. Of 309 Affiliated Keelung Maritime Senior High School of National Taiwan Ocean University graduates, 248 had purchased the yearbook. Some students said that the printer committed an outrageous error in including the picture, while others said that nobody would notice such a small flag on the cover. Other students said that they cared more about the photographs of classmates and what was
GOING INTERNATIONAL: Rakuten Girls squad leader Ula Shen said she was surprised that baseball fans outside of Taiwan not only knew of them, but also knew their names Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics on Saturday hosted its first Taiwanese Heritage Day event at the Oakland Coliseum with a performance by Taiwanese cheerleading squad the Rakuten Girls and a video message from Vice President William Lai (賴清德). The Rakuten Girls, who are the cheerleaders for the CPBL’s Rakuten Monkeys, performed in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 people, followed by a prerecorded address by Lai about Taiwan’s baseball culture and democratic spirit. Taiwanese pitcher Sha Tzu-chen (沙子宸), who was signed by the Athletics earlier this year, was also present. Mizuki Lin (林襄), considered a “baseball cheerleading goddess” by Taiwanese
A 14-legged giant isopod is the highlight of a new dish at a ramen restaurant in Taipei and it has people lining up — both for pictures and for a bite from this bowl of noodles. Since “The Ramen Boy” launched the limited-edition noodle bowl on Monday last week, declaring in a social media post that it had “finally got this dream ingredient,” more than 100 people have joined a waiting list to dine at the restaurant. “It is so attractive because of its appearance — it looks very cute,” said the 37-year-old owner of the restaurant, who wanted to be
EVA Airways was ranked the eighth-best airline in the world for this year, the only Taiwanese carrier to make it into the top 25 Airline Excellence Awards this year, aviation reviews Web site AirlineRatings.com said on Wednesday. AirlineRatings.com has a seven-star rating system to evaluate more than 360 airlines around the world every year, EVA Airways said in a statement on Thursday. “We are delighted that efforts by the entire EVA staff have been recognized by Airline Ratings,” EVA Airways president Clay Sun (孫嘉明) said in the release. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company identified and adopted services and procedures that enhance and