Staff writer, with CNA, WASHINGTONThe US Department of State on Friday again expressed concern over the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) lack of military transparency and reiterated its opposition to attempts to change the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait, after Chinese military aircraft circled around Taiwan. “The United States remains concerned by China’s lack of transparency about its growing military capabilities and associated strategic intentions,” a department spokesperson said in an e-mailed response to queries by Taiwanese media. “The United States opposes unilateral actions by any party aimed at altering the status quo, including any resort to force or other forms of coercion.”The US has a deep and abiding interest in cross-strait peace and stability and encourages Taipei and Beijing to engage in constructive dialogue that pursues a peaceful resolution of differences acceptable to the people on both sides of the Strait, they added. In the latest incident on Friday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force conducted a long-range drill with aircraft circling Taiwan in opposite directions, according to information released by the Taiwanese and Chinese militaries. Involved in the exercise were the Xian H-6K bomber, Su-35 and J-11 fighters, the Shaanxi Y-8 transport plane, the Kj-2000 early warning aircraft and Tu-154 electronic surveillance aircraft, but neither Taipei nor Beijing disclosed the number of aircraft involved.
Staff writer, with CNAA Lego model created by a Taiwanese teenager is being reviewed by the Danish toymaker after receiving 10,000 votes on Lego Ideas, a Web site that allows people to submit ideas for Lego products to be turned into potential sets available for sale. Cheng Yu-liang (鄭宇亮), 14, created a Lego model of a vintage BMW R60/2 motorcycle that reached the threshold of 10,000 votes on April 28 to be eligible for a review by Lego designers and marketing representatives on whether to turn it into a new Lego product. There have been more than 26,000 submissions to Lego Ideas, but only 146 projects have entered the review phase and 21 have been turned into merchandise, Cheng Yu-liang said. However, there could be an additional challenge for his work to hit store shelves, as his model is based on a BMW vehicle and might need the German company’s authorization, some Lego enthusiasts have pointed out. Cheng Yu-liang said he has dreamed of working at Lego since the fourth grade and would continue to work toward that goal.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterGastroesophageal reflux disease is a common upper gastrointestinal problem in Taiwan and about 2 percent of patients develop Barrett’s esophagus, increasing their risk of esophageal cancer, a physician said yesterday. The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease in the nation is about 20 percent to 30 percent and is growing, Taipei City Hospital Heping Fuyou Branch family medicine physician Chiu Lin Shao-chia (邱林劭嘉) said. Barrett’s esophagus is a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease marked by an abnormality in the lining of the lower esophagus, Chiu Lin said, adding that it increases the risk of developing esophageal cancer. As many people can exhibit symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease for a long time, there are some signs that people should be aware of that require immediate medical attention and an endoscopic examination, Chiu Lin said. People whose first-degree relatives have a history of gastrointestinal cancer, those with many Barrett’s esophagus risk factors and individuals who demonstrate poor drug response are also at high risk, she added.
Most Taiwanese who embark on Peace Boat cruises are retired or university students, South East Travel said, adding that university students often work onboard a cruise in exchange for room and board. As Taiwan’s sole representative and operator for Peace Boat cruises this year, South East Travel said it is offering discounts that reduce cruise admittance fees to less than NT$300,000, while Taiwanese men younger than 30 would be able to purchase a ticket at NT$275,000. Children aged two to six would be able to board for free, it added. Averaging three cruises per year, Peace Boat’s vessel usually launches from Yokohama, Japan, South East Travel said. Peace Boat cruises are not typical pleasure voyages, as every passenger can participate in the organization’s endeavors to offer care to disadvantaged people among its 30 stops through activities including building houses and delivering supplies to impoverished children, it added.
By Sean Lin / Staff reporterLawmakers across party lines yesterday passed the Information and Communication Security Management Act (資通安全管理法) to tackle the challenges posed by threats to government information security by deploying public and private resources. Under the act, the Executive Yuan — the agency governing the act — should plan and push forward a national information and communication security policy, facilitate development of a local information security sector and promote international exchanges. It should regularly publish reports on the level of the nation’s information security and government agencies’ performance in safeguarding their data, the act says. In addition, the Executive Yuan is to establish a channel of communication between agencies to facilitate exchanges of intelligence on information security and threats. Agencies at all levels should devise reporting and response measures and report to the Executive Yuan and, if applicable, their parent agencies, whenever they encounter an information security event.
By Ian Bartholomew / Contributing reporterSpring is a time for bamboo shoots, an ingredient for which the Taiwanese have a particular fondness. There are a wide variety of bamboo shoots available, the most celebrated at the moment being the sword bamboo shoots (劍筍), which is a specialty of southern Hualien County. Makino bamboo shoots up with the plum rains, growing up to 20cm in a single day. PROCESSING THE SHOOTSThe bamboo shoots should be processed as soon after purchase as possible. VERSATILE SHOOTSMakino bamboo shoots, with their delicate flavor and pleasant crunch, are extremely versatile in the kitchen, fitting in perfectly with anything from soups to braises.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterA survey on botulinum toxin injections showed that 36.7 percent of users found the effect reduced after repeated injections, while a dermatologist said botulinum users should carefully select injection ingredients to avoid drug resistance. Yang cited a 2016 market research survey on Taiwanese customers’ botulinum therapy experiences, which showed that 36.7 percent of respondents considered the effect reduced after repeated injections. Yang said the substance is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum that works by blocking nerve impulses, causing muscles to relax and therefore reduce wrinkles, but that some injections might also contain complexing proteins. The immune system can reject complexing proteins, becoming more resistant to the injection, she said, adding that a study has suggested that injections with botulinum toxin type A are free of complexing proteins and show less drug resistance. He said that before making an appointment, people should ascertain with a licensed physician that the injections are free of complexing proteins, and discuss their expectations as dosage is based on their skin condition and desired effect.
Staff writer, with CNA, WashingtonUS Representative Ted Yoho, chairman of the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, on Thursday wrote a letter to US carriers urging them to resist pressure from Beijing and Chinese political correctness. In his letter to Delta, American and United Airlines, Yoho addressed a letter China’s Civil Aviation Administration had sent to foreign airlines asking them to list Taiwan as a province or region of China, under threat of penalties. The lawmaker agreed with the White House, which on Saturday last week called those demands “Orwellian nonsense,” and pledged congressional support for US companies against such threats. “Congress will also stand behind US companies that prudently refuse to be drafted into the CCP’s [Chinese Communist Party] political warfare against Taiwan,” Yoho said in the letter. While American and United Airlines have yet to respond to China’s demands, Delta in January apologized for listing Taiwan and Tibet as countries on its Web site.
It is our best ally... My president [Ortega] has said that as long as he is president of Nicaragua, we [will] never abandon Taiwan,” Tapia said. “I’m very proud to say that among all the Latin American countries, Nicaragua is the best. While acknowledging that Nicaragua is facing strong pressure from Beijing, Tapia said he did not think Ortega would succumb to pressure. If we had surrendered to China’s pressure, we would have had that canal a long, long time ago,” he said. Despite the protests, Nicaragua is still running normally, he said, adding that he hopes the rest of the world can support his government’s call for peace.
By Kuo Chia-erh / Staff reporterThe nation’s major listed restaurant operators yesterday reported mixed earnings results for last quarter amid fierce market competition. That translated into earnings per share (EPS) of NT$3.95, up from NT$3.77 a year earlier, TTFB said in a statement. The strong performance could be attributed to seasonal demand during the Lunar New Year holiday, which helped stimulate sales last quarter, the company said. Wowprime Corp (王品集團) bucked the trend by posting a 40.72 percent decline in net profit last quarter, which the company blamed on rising labor costs and intense competition. Net profit fell to NT$77.37 million from NT$130.51 million a year earlier, and EPS slid to NT$1 from NT$1.7.
By Aaron Tu and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerPeople’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) spokesman Colonel Shen Jinke (申進科) yesterday said that the PLAAF had launched military aircraft from separate airbases under both the Eastern and Southern Theater Commands in a coordinated flight around Taiwan. Of note was the inclusion of the PLAAF’s Su-35 jets and its first mission with its H-6K bombers, a derivative of the former Soviet Union’s Tupolev Tu-16, Shen said. Beijing signed a US$2 billion contract with Moscow for 24 of the jets in November 2015, the first foreign export of the Sukhoi Su-35. Air Force Command Headquarters said Taiwan deployed its Indigenous Defense Fighters and F-16s to tail the Chinese aircraft. The air force later added photographs to its Facebook page to show that it had effectively followed the movements of the Chinese aircraft.
After an application is submitted, approval must be granted before publication, else the publisher would be penalized, it said. Cheng said that a law requiring publishers to receive approval to publish books from China in Taiwan has long existed and the ministry is simply enforcing it. The regulations allow authorities to withhold approval if the content of the published materials “propagate communism or engage in united front tactics” or harm public order. According to the UDN, the ministry sent the notice after finding that 43 books from China targeted at elementary and junior-high school students were published in Taiwan without being submitted for review and approval. Cheng reiterated that she had not given instructions to strengthen the review of Chinese works and that the ministry has never had such a plan or carried out substantive reviews.
Many students at the high school come from agriculture backgrounds and often chose agriculture-based degrees in college, said Chang Chih-hung (張志宏), director of the division of animal husbandry and healthcare at National Huwei Agricultural and Industrial High School. The school would like to extend special thanks to the Huwei Farmers’ Association for its willingness to collaborate in the carnation planting project and for their technical assistance, Chang said. Such experiences can be influential in students choosing to take up farming like their parents, Chang said. The school said that school dean Lee Chung-yi (李重毅) had yesterday morning visited the plot to pick carnations to give to colleagues as a present. The school wishes to extend special thanks to association director-general Huang Yu-hui (黃鈺惠) and staff member Tsai Wu-chi (蔡武吉), Lee said.
AFP, KUALA LUMPURThe king has agreed to pardon Anwar Ibrahim immediately, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday, paving the way for the jailed leader to return to politics and potentially become prime minister. Mahathir previously said he would likely remain prime minister for two to three years, before transferring power to Anwar. Mahathir told a news conference that Malaysian King Sultan Muhammad V, in a meeting with opposition leaders, had agreed to grant Anwar a royal pardon. “The [king] has indicated he is willing to pardon Datuk Sri Anwar immediately,” Mahathir told a news conference, using a Malay honorific to refer to Anwar. Meanwhile, speculation was mounting about Najib’s future, with a senior member of his party, former Malaysian minister of youth and sports Khairy Jamaluddin, calling for “big changes” to be made without delay.
Veteran entertainer Sun Yueh died of septicemia in combination with multiple organ failure at the age of 87 last Tuesday, National Taiwan University Hospital announced on Wednesday last week. Sun suffered from lung adenocarcinoma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) due to years of smoking, and was repeatedly hospitalized in recent years. Sun, who was often dubbed “Uncle Sun,” first rose to fame hosting variety shows with artists David Tao and Swallow Chang. With a friendship that spanned more than four decades, the trio was referred as the “Three Musketeers” in showbiz. He also received a lifetime achievement award from Tao and Chang at the Golden Horse Awards in 2010.
May 10, 2018 16:07 UTC