DBS Bank Taiwan launches co-branded iPass cardBIODEGRADABLE POLYMER: The bank said that its iPass credit card, the first such card issued by a foreign bank, gives it access to stores that do not accept its credit cardsBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterDBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣) yesterday launched its first co-branded credit card with iPass Corp (一卡通票證), and said it expects its credit card business to fully recover in the second half of this year. The new “DBS eco card” is made of polylactic acid — a bio-based biodegradable polymer that can be produced from renewable resources — and is the bank’s first credit card to have the iPass electronic payment function, it said. The partnership would give the bank new business momentum, DBS Bank Taiwan general manager Lim Him-chuan (林鑫川) told a news conference in Taipei. DBS is the first among the nation’s foreign banks to issue a co-branded iPass credit card, indicating that the Singaporean-based lender is committed to local development and digital transformation, he added. Each credit card contributes profit of NT$200 per month to the bank, the highest among all banks, which shows that its strategy works, said Calvin Lin (林群凱), DBS Bank Taiwan’s executive director of cards and unsecured loans.
NHRI team finds potential brain cell repair toolPATENTS PENDING: The researchers have been granted a Taiwan patent for their discovery and are applying in the US, the UK and Japan, the team leader saidBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterExosomes derived from stem cells have the potential to regenerate damaged brain cells, and could someday be used for to treat brain damage and neural degeneration diseases, researchers from the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) said yesterday. Team leader Li Hua-jung (李華容), an associate investigator at the Institute of Cellular and System Medicine, told a news conference in Taipei that brain damage and neurodegenerative diseases often cause irreversible impairment for patients, and increase the risk of dementia. Photo: Lin Hui-chin, Taipei TimesTraumatic brain injury, unhealthy habits, hypertension, diabetes, long-term stress or mental illness are all potential risk factors for brain damage and neurodegenerative disease, she said. Although clinical studies have suggested that stem cells have the potential to repair a damaged central nervous system, there are risks of complications from implantation, ectopic tissue formation and unwanted engraftment, Li said. Her team spent seven years studying alternatives, and discovered that exosomes secreted by mesenchymal stem cells found in human bone marrow or fat tissues contain substances that can facilitate cranial nerve regeneration and brain functional recovery.
Line Taiwan aims to sell sticker-based merchandiseBy Angelica Oung / Staff reporterMessaging app Line hopes to cash in on the popularity of artist-created “stickers” by offering physical merchandise of fan favorites, Line Taiwan Ltd (台灣連線) said yesterday. From left, Line Taiwan Ltd service planning head Neil Lin, senior director Rebecca Lu, general manager Roger Chen, corporate business head Susan Wang, content business head Janice Chang and commerce business head Jerry Ku pose for a photograph at the company’s annual Line Converge news conference in Taipei yesterday. Line Taiwan yesterday also announced a bevy of upgrades and redesigns for the app, including a new karaoke function, a more personalized home page, and “special effect” stickers that trigger background effects. Line Taiwan said its traffic volume tripled from January to May this year, likely due to increased communication caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the moment, people are looking for as little physical contact as possible when making purchases, Line Taiwan managing director Roger Chen (陳立人) said.
Craftsmen series features miniaturistBy Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporterThe General Association of Chinese Culture yesterday released the latest short film in its documentary series The Soul of the Craftsman (匠人魂), featuring miniaturist Hank Cheng (鄭鴻展). Miniaturist Hank Cheng displays his work Man’s Romantic at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Chen Yu-hsun, Taipei TimesWhen he was in junior-high school, Cheng was diagnosed with congenital amblyopia, or lazy eye, the association said. In the film, Cheng says although he does not know how much longer his eyes would allow him to create miniatures, he intends to continue doing so until he loses his sight. The film on Cheng is the 23rd installment in the series.
With the terms of the current Control Yuan members expiring on July 31, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has nominated Chen to head the branch. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Wei-chou, third right, caucus secretary-general Lin Yi-hua, second right, and KMT Legislator Chen Yu-jen, right, stand by a barricade outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei TimesThe KMT caucus yesterday criticized increased security measures, including barricades, outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei ahead of Friday’s vote. KMT legislative caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said that in his three terms as a legislator he has never seen this level of security. KMT Legislator Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said that the situation outside the Legislative Yuan made it seem like martial law had been imposed.
NPP says questions to nominees unansweredBy Chen Yu-fu, Hsieh Chun-ling and William Hetherington / Staff reporters, with staff writerThe New Power Party (NPP) yesterday expressed regret after questions it posed to President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominees for the Control Yuan went unanswered. The NPP said it had sent questions to the nominees via the Presidential Office and sought a reply by Thursday last week, but as of yesterday it still had not received a response. New Power Party (NPP) caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih, left, and NPP Legislator Chen Jiau-hua present a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday. The NPP would see how the nominees respond to questions on Friday before deciding whether to back their appointments, Chiu said. Control Yuan members “should be braver” in the face of the conflict between judicial and supervisory authorities, Hsu said.
Chunghwa Post voucher system startsBy Shelley Shan / Staff reporterNearly 90,000 orders for physical Triple Stimulus Vouchers through Chunghwa Post’s online system had been made within six hours of the launch of the service yesterday, the company said. Chunghwa Post estimated that a large percentage of the remaining 13.62 million people would claim their vouchers from post offices nationwide. A woman reads information on Triple Stimulus Vouchers at a Chunghwa Post branch in Taipei yesterday. They can do so through Chunghwa Post’s Web site or by calling 0800-700-199 to avoid long wait times at branches, it said. People who order vouchers online can start claiming them on Monday next week, Chunghwa Post said, adding that its Web site would show the number of vouchers it has in stock.
Another possible reason is that while women often use umbrellas during summer, men are more likely to wear wide-brimmed hats to protect against the sun, he said. Only about one in every 20 men on the street uses an umbrella, Chu said, citing his personal observations. Among the patients, there were 2.65 times as many men as there were women, the data showed. Data from 2016 to last year also showed that about three to four times as many men were sent to the emergency department for heat injuries than women from May to October. HPA Community Health Division head Lo Su-ying (羅素英) urged men not to be shy about using an umbrella when going outside.
Tatung controversy shows rules need altering: expertsBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterLegal experts have urged the government to consider amending regulations to prevent more listed companies from taking controversial actions to maintain control of their boardrooms. However, Tatung announced that it would appeal the ministry’s rejection and said it would defend itself against the center’s suit. “Put it simply, there is nothing the government can do if Tatung is determined to ignore all the government’s instructions and public opinion. Tatung must obey the court ruling, but the legal process will likely take a long time,” he said. “What Tatung did is wrong, but I am more frustrated that the government could not solve the situation quickly,” he said.
DPP set on preventing KMT blockage‘A DIFFICULT TIME’: The KMT has assigned caucus officials to draw up plans to disrupt the vote for Control Yuan members, but the DPP said that it is preparedBy Peng Wan-hsin / Staff writer, with CNAWith lawmakers scheduled to vote on Control Yuan member nominees on Friday, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus has battened down the hatches to prevent opposition parties from obstructing the proceedings. The terms of the current Control Yuan president and members expire at the end of this month. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) on Saturday reiterated that his caucus would oppose Tsai’s nominations. The DPP caucus would work to prevent the KMT caucus storming the legislative chamber and occupying the speaker’s podium as it did at the start of the current extraordinary session, to avoid conflict, Chung said. Both proposals say that any new design must make a distinction between China Airlines and Chinese state-run Air China.
Likewise, overall scooter sales in Taiwan grew 2 percent annually to 403,199 units in the first six months of the year. That brought electric scooter makers’ local market share to a combined 18.7 percent. Our efforts to promote tax equity starting last year are also affecting electric scooter sales. With the new tax incentives in place for the remainder of the year, electric scooter sales could drop a bit more. In my view, all these factors are likely to lead to falling electric scooters sales this year.
Taipei Railway Station calls off ban on sittingBy Shelley Shan / Staff reporterThere will be no permanent sitting ban in the main hall of the Taipei Railway Station, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday, adding that it has placed smiley face decals on the floor to welcome all visitors. People yesterday sit on the floor of the main hall of the Taipei Railway Station yesterday, which has been decorated with decals of smiley faces and the word “smile” in 10 languages. Our hope is that people, be they standing or sitting, can come to the main hall and find a place they belong,” it added. “These moves demonstrate our commitment to fulfilling our social responsibility and to making the Taipei Railway Station’s main hall a landmark for cultural diversity that is friendly to all,” it said. Given that COVID-19 has been contained domestically, event organizers are welcome to rent TRA station facilities, provided that participants follow social-distancing guidelines, wear masks and wash their hands frequently, it added.
New execution rules drop organ donation articlesBy Wu Cheng-feng and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writer and CNAThe Ministry of Justice on July 1 unveiled a mandatory preview of draft amendments to the Regulations for the Execution of the Death Penalty (執行死刑規則), which would remove articles governing the use of organs from executed convicts. Although the use of organs from executed prisoners has been banned in Taiwan since the Human Organ Transplantation Act (人體器官移植條例) was amended in 2015, three articles in the regulations still contain rules that regulate the practice, the ministry said. That year, five prisoners were executed and three of the bodies were taken to a hospital for organ transplant surgery shortly after execution, it said. Recipients of the organs could also develop stress disorder after finding that the organs came from executed prisoners, it added. Amending the rules to require a prisoner to wear a hood would limit the chances of that happening, they added.
EDITORIAL: Alleyways are a national treasureA Briton who has lived in Taiwan for 10 years has gained renown for drawing detailed maps of Taiwanese cities. The Taipei Times first reported on Rook in 2015 (“The accidental illustrator,” Sept. 9, page 12). Rook’s maps, with their ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia, easily lend themselves to rendering Taiwan’s unique history and identity, fostering a national consciousness and claiming a beachhead among tourists. Another British artist, Amy Tams, integrates things she considers to be representative of Taiwan into caricatures of birds that are seen throughout Taiwanese cities. It makes sense then that the country’s communities — and the living spaces they share — should be emphasized when sharing Taiwan with the world.
July 11, 2020 16:07 UTC
Taiwan has 1,235 monuments, statues, sculptures and large-frame portraits commemorating the two Chiangs, commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠) said, adding that of those, 511 fall under the central government’s jurisdiction, and only 54 have been removed or renamed. There are also 579 memorial sites and office spaces named in remembrance of them. A Chiang Kai-shek statue stands at the Cihu Memorial Sculpture Park in Taoyuan’s Dasi District on June 3. Taipei has the most statues of Chiang Kai-shek at 129, followed by Taoyuan at 112 and Taichung at 98, it added. The three ministries also have the highest number of office spaces and sites dedicated to the two Chiangs at 143, or 89 percent.
July 11, 2020 15:56 UTC