People’s perception of pigs is key to whether the pigs feel happy, Anita said, adding that potential owners must fully understand what a pet pig would mean to the household. Bai Ji Elementary School principal Wang Lien-chin walks the school’s pet pig in Taoyuan on Dec. 30, 2015. As sound pollution can be an issue, people who live in less urbanized areas or have sound-proofed homes would be more suited to owning a pet pig, she said. Pig owners should neuter or spay their pets when they are little, she said. Pet pigs enjoy interacting with their owners and demand a lot of attention, she said, adding that they also need periodic walks, as this helps their digestion.
Virus Outbreak: Double-decker bus offering NT$50 ridesBy Tsai Ya-hua and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe Taipei Sightseeing Bus, the city’s double-decker tour line, is offering rock-bottom prices of NT$50 per ride from tomorrow until June 15, along with other promotional discounts, as it struggles amid a sharp decline in tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Taipei Sightseeing Bus said it is collaborating with the Great Taipei Commercial area and Green World Hotels in the promotion. Taipei Sightseeing Bus executive officer Hsu Hao-yuan (徐浩源) said that the promotional price is to be for single rides and four-hour rides, while day rides would enjoy an 80 percent discount. A Taipei Sightseeing Bus is pictured in Taipei on Saturday. Photo: Tsai Ya-hua, Taipei TimesPeople can get one free ride in their birth month, while up to two accompanying travelers can enjoy hop-on, hop-off service throughout the day for only NT$200, Hsu said.
Fire department honors retiring dog at ceremonyBy Yao Yueh-hung, Tang Shih-ming and Dennis Xie / Staff reporters, with staff writerThe Taipei City Fire Department honored a retiring rescue dog at a ceremony yesterday and extended its appreciation to the person who adopted the German shepherd. The dog, named Humble, received an honorary medal for its contributions to disaster relief at a ceremony, at which the department and the adopter, surnamed Lee (李), signed adoption papers, department commissioner Wu Chun-hong (吳俊鴻) said. The department said it hoped the ceremony would draw attention to rescue dogs and their post-retirement adoption, a practice it began in 2015, Wu said. Retired rescue dog Humble, front, poses for a photograph with Taipei City Fire Department commissioner Wu Chun-hong, right, at a ceremony in Taipei yesterday. Meanwhile, the Ministry of the Interior’s National Fire Agency yesterday began accepting adoption applications for five of its rescue dogs that are retiring this year.
NPP’s Claire Wang calls for breast milk controlsHEALTH RISK: Breast milk is still sold on e-commerce platforms, and if it has not been tested properly, babies consuming it could contract diseases, the legislator saidBy Wu Su-wei / Staff reporterNew Power Party (NPP) Legislator Claire Wang (王婉諭) on Friday called for breast milk to be regulated after a YouTube channel drew criticism for its descriptions of breast milk purchased online. In a video posted on Tuesday last week, YouTuber Hsiao-yu (小玉) was seen tasting breast milk purchased online and describing it as spoiled soy milk. For several years, local representatives and groups have been drawing attention to the “chaos” that is the sale of breast milk online, she said. Taiwan Academy of Breastfeeding representative Fang Li-jung (方麗容), who is responsible for Taipei City Hospital’s Human Milk Bank, said that as some diseases can be transmitted through breast milk, the purpose of the bank is to provide safe breast milk. Consuming breast milk purchased online is very risky, she said, adding that it is “absolutely unfit” for children to consume.
Treatable condition can cause nausea, dizziness at workBy William Hetherington / Staff writerPeople who experience dizziness or nausea whenever they are at work might have a medical condition that is treatable with medication and exercise, a psychiatrist in Kaohsiung said. In most cases, the condition is related to migraines, and is often caused by vestibular migraines, Tseng said. When these pulses pass through the inner ear they can cause tinnitus and dizziness, and when they pass through the spinal cord they can cause numbness in the limbs and muscle aches, he said. Regular exercise is also helpful, and people can achieve a healthy level of exercise by walking or cycling to and from work, he said. As other pre-existing conditions can also lead to dizziness in the workplace, people who suspect they have the condition should visit a doctor, he said.
Virus Outbreak: Disease prevention center to be set upGOAL OF 2027: The center would fight viruses and communicable diseases, with key tasks including inspection, and vaccine and biopharmaceutical developmentBy Chen Yu-fu and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writer and CNAThe government is to establish a dedicated center to improve disease prevention, injecting NT$4 billion (US$132.88 million) over the next seven years into the project, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said yesterday. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Wednesday approved a Ministry of Health and Welfare proposal to build a center for disease prevention, which is to be in the ministry’s compounds in Taipei’s Nangang District (南港), with construction scheduled to begin next year and be completed in 2027, Kolas said. People would be able to preorder masks every two weeks at FamilyMart, 7-Eleven, OK Mart and Hi-Life convenience stores using their National Health Insurance (NHI) cards, the official said. Payment methods for the store system have yet to be determined, the official said. Convenience store services are expected to ease congestion at NHI-affiliated pharmacies, where people usually have to wait in long lines to buy masks.
Virus Outbreak: Taoyuan, Kaohsiung check clubsBy Jason Pan / Staff reporterChecks on nighttime entertainment venues in major cities were conducted over the weekend, including raids in Taoyuan and Kaohsiung and fines to those found contravening the government’s COVID-19 prevention measures. Taoyuan police expanded their checks after the Central Epidemic Command Center on Thursday ordered all hostess clubs and dance halls to temporarily suspend operations after a woman who reportedly worked as a hostess at several clubs in Taoyuan and Taipei became the nation’s No. Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) yesterday said that police found 66 cases of clubs still operating or residents contravening quarantine and handed out fines totaling NT$13.84 million (US$459,755). Hostesses were working at two of the sites and the owners face fines ranging from NT$3,000 to NT$15,000, officials said. In related news, a 23-year-old woman who reportedly works as a club hostess was detained for questioning in Tainan after she allegedly ran over an elderly woman yesterday morning.
Virus Outbreak: Taipei first to introduce mask vending machinesBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThe Taipei City Government yesterday launched the nation’s first mask vending machines at the Xinyi District Health Center (信義健康中心). Starting today, people can buy the same number of masks — nine adult masks every 14 days or 10 children’s masks every 14 days — as they would at pharmacies or through the online mask preorder system at the center’s three vending machines. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, front, second left, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, right, and other officials stand next to a new mask vending machine at the Xinyi District Health Center in Taipei yesterday. People can pay with cash, mobile payment services Apple Pay, Google Pay, Line Pay and Jkos Pay, and EasyCard or iCash cards, it added. As masks are an important disease prevention resource, he supports how the government has controlled mask distribution, but he does not like people lining up for them, so he asked Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) to discuss launching mask vending machines with the NHIA.
Virus Outbreak: Medical unions criticize bonuses‘UNFAIR’: Compensation for those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 does not cover frontline workers such as radiologists and respiratory therapists, the unions saidBy Tsai Ya-hua and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writerA coalition of three medical workers’ unions yesterday called on the government to clarify the details of bonuses given to those contributing to epidemic prevention, and to expand the scope of the bonuses. The coalition — made up of members of the Taipei Doctors’ Union, the Taipei City Hospital Labor Union and the Taiwan Society of Laboratory Medicine — made the comments at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. It is also worded in a manner that allows medical institutions to be rewarded financially, but they are not obligated to distribute the money to frontline workers, it said, adding that frontline workers are putting their lives at risk every day to fight the disease. The government should clarify how the bonuses are to be distributed, and include all frontline workers, it said. The Ministry of Health and Welfare in a press release on March 19 specified that the bonuses applied to those caring for COVID-19 patients in negative-pressure isolation rooms, intensive care units and hospital wards established specifically for the care of COVID-19 patients.
Over 200 years later, adultery is still a punishable offense in Taiwan. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia CommonsFROM JAPAN TO THE KMTThe Japanese applied their Western-style criminal code to Taiwan when they arrived in 1895. The Qing code mandated that only the husband or his relatives could be the accuser; the Japanese law was even stricter as only the husband could press charges. Japan decriminalized adultery in 1947, but by then Taiwan was under Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rule. This law would persist until present day, making Taiwan one of the few countries in the world that still criminalizes adultery.
Machinist builds wireless coffee machineBy Chang Yi-chen and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writerA machinist in Yilan County has built an automated pour-over coffee machine that can be operated wirelessly by a cellphone through Bluetooth. Yu Teh-yuan (游德源), 62, said he was motivated by his love for coffee to build the machine and that he left it at the Suao Township (蘇澳) community office for local residents to use. Machinist Yu Teh-yuan stands next to his remote-controlled pour-over coffee machine at the Suao Township community office in Yilan County on April 5. He was happy to help the center, which takes care of children with disabilities, but realized that making several cups of pour-over coffee by hand was a very tiring process, he said, adding that he got the idea to make an automatic pour-over coffee machine after he returned to Yilan. After a coffee machine at the township office broke down, Yu replaced it with his newly built automated machine, which has been well-received by township residents, he said.
Virus Outbreak: Executive Yuan readies more quarantine roomsBy Lee Hsin-fang and Cheng Wei-chi / Staff reportersThe Executive Yuan has decided to increase the number of rooms at quarantine facilities from 1,500 to 2,000 as a pre-emptive measure amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a source said yesterday. The Cabinet decided to increase quarantine facilities because some people have left their homes, despite being under quarantine, they said. The quarantine rooms are equipped with TVs and have Internet connectivity, they added. Many post offices are narrow or do not have windows, meaning that people cannot maintain the center’s recommended distance of 1.5m indoors when there are four or five people inside, he said. People should not enter post offices if they are not wearing a mask, he added.
Military Maneuvers: Technology boosts jets’ electronic defenses, source saysBy Lo Tien-pin and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerA successful attempt by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to develop external pods for the nation’s locally made fighter jets would allow the military to shore up its electronic warfare capability, a military source said yesterday. Development of the external pods would address the Taiwan-made Indigenous Defense Fighter’s (IDF) lack of electronic warfare capabilities, the source said, adding that dependable pods would considerably enhance the fighter jets’ combat effectiveness. Larger fighter jets — such as the F-16Vs that Taiwan is purchasing from the US — come with such equipment built in, the source added. The air force’s Phoenix Rising Project has purchased external pods with digital radio frequency memory for the nation’s fleet of F-16A/B jets, which are receiving F-16V upgrades — a source of controversy. However, the pod development might encounter obstacles regarding US research and development on new pods, the source said.
Virus Outbreak: Chinese issue fake apology for TaiwanMISDIRECTION: Chinese social media users posing as Taiwanese have taken responsibility for racist attacks that the WHO’s head claimed originated in TaiwanBy Jason Pan / Staff reporterChinese posing as Taiwanese have issued online apologies to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for “personal attacks” and “racist abuse,” Taiwanese authorities said yesterday. Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau officials presented the findings at a media briefing to rebut accusations by Tedros, who on Wednesday accused Taiwan of engaging in personal attacks against him. Tedros said that he over the past three months received death threats and racist abuse, and claimed that it originated from Taiwan. A tweet by @RFXZ_China — a Twitter account purportedly of a Chinese media outlet — asks followers to use a message above in traditional Chinese as a template to apologize to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on behalf of Taiwanese. In addition to the messages, other evidence pointing to Chinese social media users include Internet protocol addresses traced to China, the use of simplified Chinese characters and phrasing that is different from that commonly used by Taiwanese, Chang said.
April 10, 2020 16:00 UTC
The presidents of state-owned corporations are in a prime position to appoint the people they want to certain levels within their company, Chen said. New Power Party Legislator Chen Jiau-hua speaks at a news conference yesterday at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Someone who works under contract for 15 to 20 years should become an actual employee through the proper channels, Chen said. The Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Division of Human Resources head Chen Jung-shun (陳榮順) said that all hiring of personnel through contracts is in line with the ministry’s regulations. Taiwan Power Co is the only state-owned business without contract employees, while CPC has 70, Taiwan Sugar has 21 and Taiwan Water Corp has 24, comprising 0.4 to 0.6 percent of total personnel, he said.
April 10, 2020 15:56 UTC