Man dies during race
A 25-year-old man participating in the Sun Moon Lake International Swimming Carnival yesterday fell ill soon after entering the water and was later pronounced dead, local authorities said. The man, surnamed Yuan (袁), removed his swim cap, signaling distress, about 100m into the annual 3,000m swimming competition across Taiwan’s largest lake, the Nantou County Government said. Emergency personnel quickly pulled Yuan onto a raft and transferred him into an ambulance, by which time he was already suffering out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, it said, adding that he was later pronounced dead at Puli Christian Hospital. Yuan had not drowned and his cause of death was still being investigated, it added. The swimmer’s death cast a shadow over the popular event, which this year attracted more than 24,000 competitors from 33 countries.
Photo: Hsieh Chieh-yu, Taipei Times
Hou You-yi takes leave
New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, went on leave starting from Saturday and would be absent from his mayoral post until the end of the year to focus on his campaign, the New Taipei City Government said. A KMT legislative candidate, who asked not to be identified, welcomed the move, adding that Hou had been much less active on the campaign trail compared with his rivals. Democratic Progressive Party New Taipei City councilors criticized Hou for taking 113 days off, longer than mayor-candidates in previous elections. Lin Cheng-yi (林正壹), head of the New Taipei City Personnel Department, said that mayors can roll their unused annual leave days over to the next year until the end of their term in office, and they have seven days of paid leave each year. As Hou has unused leave days dating back to 2021, he can take 77 days off in the remainder of this year, Lin said.
Chiang leaves for Seoul
Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday morning left Taiwan to attend the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum in Seoul, where he would give a speech on creativity and innovation. “I have two missions for my visit — one being urban diplomacy and the other youth development,” Chiang said before departing for the three-day forum from Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport). Chiang said he would meet with Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon at the forum that started yesterday and ends tomorrow, to celebrate 55 years of sisterhood between the two capitals and to sign a memorandum of understanding on youth affairs cooperation. The forum, which highlights inclusivity and sustainability in urban development this year, brings together about 200 participants, including about 50 mayors.
Nantou cycling route opens
A new 600m cycle route that crosses part of Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) in Nantou County was opened on Saturday, with the aim of making biking around the lake safer and more enjoyable for visitors. The route connects Ita Thao Pier (伊達邵) with the cable car station on the east side of the Sun Moon Lake cycling network, which has been chosen as one of the world’s top 10 cycling paths by CNNGo, the Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Headquarters said. The route, which cost NT$80 million (US$2.49 million), was built to make biking safer and give cyclists the option to ride closer to the water, officials said.
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she