CDFHC plans to auction main office next yearBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterChina Development Financial Holding Corp (CDFHC, 中華開發金控) is to auction off its headquarters in Taipei next year at the earliest, the firm said yesterday. The company’s investment arm, CDIB Capital Group (中華開發資本), on Monday decided to sell the property via public auction. CDIB Capital, previously known as China Development Industrial Bank (中華開發工銀), has owned the property since 1985. “However, given that the two proposals had more uncertainties and would take more time to materialize, we decided to just sell the building,” he said. China Life, which is 35 percent held by CDFHC, would be able to bid at the auction, but if the insurer wins the bid, CDFHC said that it would not be able to recognize the gains due to accounting rules.
April 28, 2020 15:56 UTC
Virus Outbreak: Taiwan donates half a million masks to CanadaHUMANITARIAN AID: At least 120,000 Taiwanese have agreed to donate their unused quota of masks to other countries through a mobile application introduced on MondayBy Lin Chia-nan and Huang Pei-chun / Staff reportersThe government has donated 500,000 masks to Canada, while at least 120,000 Taiwanese have joined a humanitarian aid initiative by donating their share of masks to other countries through a mobile application to help them contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Tsao, right, and Canadian Trade Office in Taipei Executive Director Jordan Reeves, center, are pictured at the foreign ministry on Wednesday last week after Taiwan donated 500,000 masks to Canada. Excluding the gift to Canada, Taiwan this month has donated more than 18 million masks to 15 diplomatic allies, the US, 19 European nations, countries targeted by the government’s New Southbound Policy, Latin America and Caribbean countries, and Japan. Taiwan now produces nearly 17 million masks per day, up from a daily output of 1.8 million in January, 3.2 million in February, 10 million in the middle of last month and 15 million at the beginning of this month, Ministry of Economic Affairs data showed. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has said that daily mask production could reach 20 million.
April 28, 2020 15:56 UTC
Taipei Fire Department inspectors yesterday use an aerosol spray to test smoke detectors at the Partyworld Cashbox KTV branch at the Pacific Sogo Department Store on Zhongxiao E Road in Taipei. Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei TimesThe Cashbox Partyworld branch had been inspected many times between 2018 and March 30, and had passed its twice-a-year safety inspections last month as well as in October last year, he said. The Construction Management Office and the Taipei Fire Department would impose the severest possible punishments if evidence of misconduct is found, he added. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said the plan is to complete all the KTV and movie theater inspections within a week. If the building’s sprinkler and smoke extraction systems had been working on Sunday, there might have been be fewer victims, Huang said.
April 27, 2020 15:56 UTC
Virus Outbreak: App updated for holidayBy Lee Hsin-fang and Sean Lin / Staff reportersThe Freeway Bureau is to update its smartphone app, Freeway 1968 (高速公路1968), with enhanced functionality to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 over the International Workers’ Day long weekend next week. The updated app has passed tests on iOS devices, the source said. Premier Su Tseng-chang, center, is flanked by Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, left, and Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung during a news conference in Taipei yesterday. In response to questions about whether the government would cancel the holiday to limit the spread of COVID-19, Su said that the holiday is observed annually and this year would be no different. The government encourages people to carry on with their lives normally over the holiday, he said.
Causeway Bay Books manager Lam Wing-kei yesterday holds up a calligraphy with the text “Freedom” at the opening of the bookstore in Taipei. Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei TimesThe Taipei bookstore opened yesterday after raising nearly NT$6 million (US$199,468) through a crowdfunding Web site from September to November last year. It is difficult to compare Hong Kong to Taiwan, as unlike Taiwanese, Hong Kongers are not protected by a military, Lam said. A flower arrangement presented by President Tsai Ing-wen to Causeway Bay Books in Taipei is displayed at the bookstore on its opening day yesterday. Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times“For example, I opened a bookstore [outside of Hong Kong] as a way of rebelling,” he added.
Taiwan Railway Union members hold up signs that read “tired” during a protest against overwork in 2016. The first post-martial law Labor Day proved to be an eventful one. In addition to the train drivers, about 200 bus drivers and several hundred highway gas station workers also stayed home that day. After months of haggling, the TRA refused to budge, even berating Lin Fu-jung (林福榮), who represented the train drivers. The next TRA strike would take place in 2003 as employees opposed the company’s privatization.
Virus Outbreak: ‘Hand washing’ searches correlated to fewer casesBy Cheng Ming-hsiang, Ou Su-mei and Jake Chung / Staff reporters, with staff writerWeb searches for “hand washing” was correlated with lower confirmed COVID-19 cases in 21 nations, a National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) analysis of Google’s search data showed, the authors of a study said on Friday. A graph released on Wednesday shows nations’ numbers of confirmed instances of COVID-19 on the vertical axis and search frequency for the keywords “hand washing” in those countries. Photo copied by Cheng Ming-hsiang, Taipei TimesThree weeks after days on which the data showed a spike in searches for “hand washing,” there were fewer confirmed cases, Lin said. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand had higher frequencies of such searches, with all three subsequently showing lower numbers of confirmed cases, he said, adding that Iran, Italy and South Korea showed the opposite result after fewer searches. Medical personnel complain of dermatitis because alcohol dissolves sebum secretions on the hands, Yu said.
China Steel posts NT$2.57bn in first-quarter lossesBy Natasha Li / Staff reporterChina Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼), the nation’s largest steelmaker, yesterday posted pretax losses of NT$509.43 million (US$16.94 million) for last month, leading to first-quarter losses of NT$2.57 billion, due to dwindling shipments and lower prices amid the COVID-19 pandemic. CSC made a pretax profit of NT$5.13 billion in March last year. Last month’s pretax losses were an improvement from February’s losses of NT$794.43 million. China Steel Corp’s headquarters in Kaohsiung is pictured yesterday. It shipped 2.73 million tonnes of carbon steel in the first three months of the year.
Virus Outbreak: Diets high in fruits, vegetables could aid immune systemBy Tsai Tsung-hsun and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writerA diet that includes a variety of phytochemicals — natural plant pigments from vegetables and fruits — has a great effect in boosting the body’s immune system, a nutritionist said. Photo: Tsai Tsung-hsun, Taipei TimesFruits high in vitamin C — guavas, kiwis, papayas, tomatoes, strawberries and citrus fruits — can greatly enhance the immune system, Tu said, adding that people can eat them every day, but should avoid eating the same kind daily. It is also important to cut down on foods high in sugar or trans fats, as they cause inflammation, which weakens the immune system, she said. Therefore, people should refrain from eating foods like cookies, doughnuts, egg rolls, soda, fried chicken, French fries and processed meats, such as bacon and sausage, she said. Vegetable oils containing more monounsaturated fatty acids are healthier choices, such as olive oil and tea seed oil, she added.
Bail for paint suspects lambastedLAM WING-KEI INCIDENT: The former Hong Kong bookseller said that despite the oppression of China, many people voted for a candidate willing to stand with BeijingBy Chung Li-hua and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe bail set for suspects who allegedly threw red paint at former Causeway Bay Books manager Lam Wing-kei (林榮基) was tantamount to encouraging such acts of violence, academics said yesterday. After the incident in Taipei on Tuesday, the three suspects were released the following day by the Taipei District Court after posting bail of NT$6,000 to NT$20,000 (US$199 to US$665), although the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office appealed the decision. Taiwan must be a pure land for democracy and freedom before it can have the strength to back Hong Kong, Tung said. The bookstore in Hong Kong was forced to shut down after China intervened through violent means before it was purchased by Beijing’s agents in Hong Kong, Lam told the forum yesterday. Lam said that he feared for his safety upon hearing about the suspects being released on bail.
EVA unveils personal leave schemeBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterEVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) is offering partial pay to encourage its ground personnel to take personal leave from this month, in its latest effort to mitigate the financial impact from plunging passenger traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic. EVA Air will pay three days of salary at the maximum based on the program, encouraging its staff to take up to 14 days of personal leave per month, it said in a statement. While most local companies do not pay for personal leave, EVA decided to pay for part of those days off to help ease workers’ financial concerns, Lin said. The company’s financial burden will be alleviated, while the staff will still have partial income while taking leave,” Lin said. While Ministry of Labor statistics showed that the number of local workers on unpaid leave had reached 18,265 as of Thursday, Lin said EVA is different from those companies, as it only encourages staff to take personal leave.
Virus Outbreak: Museum promotes COVID-19 safetyBy Wu Chun-feng and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writerTainan’s Chimei Museum is promoting its exhibits in a video that advocates the importance of good disease prevention practices. A man takes the temperature of a replica of Auguste Rodin’s sculpture The Thinker at Chimei Museum in Tainan on Tuesday to raise public awareness of disease prevention efforts. Photo copied by Wu Chun-feng, Taipei TimesA replica of Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker makes an appearance, with staff reaching up to check his forehead temperature. In a separate video posted on Facebook on Monday, the Chimei Museum joined other museums to promote hand washing in a video themed after the popular Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing. The Chimei Museum said that it would continue making videos in the series to drive home the message that the public should not ease up on disease prevention efforts until the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.
Taiwan Beer beat Yulon Dinos 94-74 to even seriesBy Jason Pan / Staff reporterTaiwan’s top hoop stars last night were the focus of basketball fans around the world as Taiwan Beer rebounded from a seven-point halftime deficit to beat the Yulon Luxgen Dinos 94-74, evening up their Super Basketball League (SBL) Finals series 2-2 at the Hao Yu Sports Center in New Taipei City. The Yulon Dinos took Pauian Archiland in the first-round playoffs with a three-game sweep to advance to the finals, where they faced Taiwan Beer, who finished the regular season in first place thanks to their 25-7 record. Taiwan Beer’s Chiang Yu-an, right, puts up a shot against the Yulon Luxgen Dinos’ Douglas Creighton in their SBL Finals game at the Hao Yu Sports Center in New Taipei City yesterday. The Yulon Dinos roared to a 47-40 halftime lead, but Taiwan Beer hit their stride in the second half, outscoring their opponents 54 to 27 to close with a runaway 20-point triumph. Chou, looking ahead to tomorrow’s game, said he aims to prevail over the Yulon Dinos again and take the lead in the series.
Virus Outbreak: Tsai, VP urge unity against COVID-19KEY DIFFERENCE: As opposed to the SARS outbreak in 2003, central and local governments have joined forces to combat the novel coronavirus, Chen Chien-jen saidBy Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporterPresident Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday called for unity in the fight against COVID-19 as they reflected on a lockdown at Taipei City Hospital’s Heping branch during the SARS outbreak 17 years ago. Thousands of medical personnel, patients and their families suddenly found themselves forcibly confined in the hospital,” Tsai wrote on Facebook in Chinese. Taiwanese, having experienced the SARS outbreak, must still remember the panic when the epidemic spiraled out of control, she said. Quarantined medical staff hold a banner out a window at Taipei City Hospital’s Heping branch on May 4, 2003, during the SARS outbreak. The center has arranged for testing of 1,852 medical personnel, none of whom have tested positive, he said, questioning whether it is necessary to test a wider range of health workers.
I grope the rubbery, lifeless sex doll, and that was the highlight of the experience at The Room Bistro (房間餐酒), a sex-toy themed establishment. Photo: Han Cheung, Taipei TimesThat doesn’t really happen. But Room Bistro goes too far in the other direction. The “secret room” at The Room Bistro. Photo: Han Cheung, Taipei Times