Pufferfish kills man
One person has died and eight were poisoned after consuming poisonous pufferfish — known in Japanese as fugu — in Nantou County on Saturday night, local authorities said. The poisoning occurred after a restaurant owner, surnamed Hung (洪), in the mountain town of Cinjing (清境) invited eight neighbors to a meal at his home that included pufferfish, Nantou County police said yesterday. The following morning, one of the guests, surnamed Yang (楊), noticed a numbing sensation in his mouth, hands and feet, and decided to go to Hung’s house to check on him, and after Hung failed to answer the door, Yang entered the house to find him lying on the ground without vital signs and called for an ambulance, police said. Hung was later pronounced dead, while the eight guests at the dinner were taken to hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening symptoms, police said. They had asked prosecutors to take samples of the fish for testing, the police said.
Ukranian mayor visits
The Mayor of Bucha in northern Ukraine Anatoliy Fedoruk arrived in Taiwan with a delegation on Saturday, with the aim of attracting investment in construction projects planned by the city, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. After Moscow launched an invasion of Ukraine in February last year, Russian forces occupied Bucha for nearly a month, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians, according to international media reports. During the delegation’s four-day trip, its members are to visit Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute (TSRI), Taiwan External Trade Development Council and the Taipei Computer Association. The government has worked closely with the Bucha City Government in recent years, including providing a donation of US$600,000 for the construction of an air-raid shelter and a children’s school in August, the ministry said. Taiwan also helped Bucha renovate 11 shelters, one kindergarten and nine houses in April last year, it added.
Smart inspection to start
Starting from March next year, the Highway Bureau is to employ smart road-inspection vehicles to collect data on the condition of the roads of Taiwan to facilitate timely repairs and more efficient road upkeep. The vehicles would be equipped with panoramic cameras, light detection and ranging systems and other instruments to automatically detect problems with roads such as potholes, and wear and tear, the bureau said. Artificial intelligence (AI) would then be employed to analyze the raw data, enabling maintenance units to better grasp the situation and determine whether issues require immediate attention, so repairs can be tackled quickly, it said.
Ticket scalpers arrested
Police have arrested more than 20 people on suspicion of scalping tickets to the 30th BFA Asian Baseball Championship opener between Taiwan and South Korea at the Taipei Dome on Sunday. As of yesterday, a total of 23 people have been arrested on suspicion of violating the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), Taipei police said, adding that the suspects are mostly ordinary people, rather than professional ticket scalpers. A field-level seat ticket for Sunday’s game is priced at NT$600 on the ticketing platform tixCraft. The 13,000 tickets available for the game sold out minutes after going on sale at 12pm on Friday.
Two lottery players recently won NT$1 million (US$31,822) prizes on scratch lotto tickets they purchased on the same day at the same store in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area. Taiwan Lottery Co said that the lotto wins both happened on “20 million Super Red Envelope” (2,000萬超級紅包) scratch cards sold at a shop on Kunming Street on the first day of the Lunar New Year holiday on Thursday last week. The first of the winners was a married couple, who first won NT$2,000 on a NT$300 scratch lotto card, and then used their winnings to buy a NT$2,000 Super Red Envelope. After noticing that there
CAMBODIAN CON: The two men filmed videos with made-up content with a focus on purported human trafficking, beatings and sexual assaults by scammers Cambodian authorities yesterday sentenced two Taiwanese to two years in prison and a NT$30,000 fine each for staging a kidnapping in the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville which they live streamed online. Chen Neng-chuan (陳能釧), 31, and Lu Tsu-hsien (魯祖顯), 34, were convicted of inciting and causing social disorder a day after Cambodian police officials convened a news conference about their arrest. Chen, who goes by the online name “Goodnight Chicken” (晚安小雞), and Lu, known by the handle “Anow” (阿鬧), must each pay 4 million riels (US$982), according to a court filing. The court said the duo arrived in the Cambodian capital, Phnom
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Never hike alone and prepare food, water and appropriate equipment for Taiwan’s mountains, particularly in the winter, officials said Two mountain hikers were rescued yesterday, a day after a body was airlifted out of Yushan National Park, one of several deaths related to mountaineering or hiking in the past two weeks, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. A Nantou County mountain rescue team called for a helicopter while responding to a call yesterday morning. They said a woman surnamed Chen (陳), 31, and a man surnamed Lin (林), 32, got lost in the mountains around the Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道), while traveling west toward Dongpu Township (東埔). They were directed to a nearby alpine meadow, where the helicopter landed with four
National Taiwan University (NTU) was ranked in the 126-150 band in the Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings 2023 released on Tuesday, falling for a third consecutive year. In the 2020 rankings, NTU took the 40th spot, improving significantly from the 51-60 band the previous year in its best ranking in past five years, THE data showed. However, since then the university’s ranking has dropped continuously, falling into the 61-70 band in 2021 and the 91-100 band in 2022. The list does not assign specific rankings to universities ranked outside the top 50. In 2020, three other Taiwanese universities were also listed in