Page Three

Video: Perseid meteor shower to peak Wednesday night

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 12 August, 2020
By: John Van Trieste

After a period of wet weather, the skies over Taiwan have largely cleared up—and just in time, too! One of the summer’s biggest astronomical events, the Perseid meteor shower, is about to reach its peak.

The annual Perseid meteor shower is the result of debris ejected from Comet Swift-Tuttle. This year, the meteors are set to peak between 10:00pm and midnight, Taiwan Time, with about 100 meteors streaking through the sky per hour.    [FULL  STORY]

China dispute intensifies with Czech Republic over Taiwan visit

The Sidney Morning Herald
Date: August 13, 2020
By: Lenka Ponikelska

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, his wife Susan Pompeo (left), Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babis (right) and and his wife Monika Babis pose in Prague, Czech Republic. CREDIT:GETTY

Prague: The Czech Republic intensified its confrontation with China with a plan to send a 90-strong delegation to Taiwan to meet President Tsai Ing-wen.

Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib, who ignited outrage in China last year when he cancelled a sister-city agreement between Shanghai and the Czech capital, will accompany Senate leader Milos Vystrcil in a 90-strong delegation to Taiwan starting August 29.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, his wife Susan Pompeo (left), Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babis (right) and and his wife Monika Babis pose in Prague, Czech Republic. CREDIT:GETTY

The proposed visit deepens a rift between Beijing and politicians in a NATO and European Union member state that was once seen as the most China-friendly in Europe. That's despite an official stance of the national Czech government that Hrib, Vystrcil and others have veered from.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s new quarantine rules for Philippine arrivals kick in

Effective Aug. 12 all passengers arriving in Taiwan from Philippines must go directly to quarantine centers

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/08/12
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Passengers from Philippines prepare to board quarantine taxi.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan on Wednesday (Aug. 12) began implementing a new requirement that all arriving passengers from the Philippines must undergo testing for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) and go directly to government-run quarantine centers.

As coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket in the Philippines, which is the source of the majority of Taiwan's imported cases, Health Minister and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced on Sunday (Aug. 9) that starting on Wednesday, all passengers arriving from the Southeast Asian country must undergo testing for COVID-19 and enter a government-monitored quarantine facility for 14 days. Previously, testing was only carried out at the airport if a passenger exhibited or reported symptoms of the virus, and new arrivals could pick and choose where they spent their quarantine.

Before the rule change, foreign nationals or Taiwanese had the option of undergoing their 14-day quarantine at home or in a hotel. Given the larger number of infections coming from the Philippines, the CECC has now decided to funnel all incoming passengers into centralized quarantine facilities to better monitor them for signs of the disease and more effectively isolate them from the general population.

On Wednesday, the first day of the new regulations, only three passengers aboard Philippine Airlines flight PR890 arrived at Taoyuan Taiwan International Airport at 7:44 a.m., reported CNA. After filling out questionnaires and being tested for the coronavirus, the three passengers were taken by special epidemic prevention taxi to an assigned quarantine center.

Cultural vouchers focus on senior citizens, minors and the disabled

Focus Taiwan
Date: 08/12/2020
By: William Yen

Culture Minister Lee Yung-te. CNA photo Aug. 12, 2020

Taipei, Aug. 12 (CNA) A second round of "Arts FUN Go" electronic cultural vouchers, worth NT$600 (US$20.43) each, will be available through a lottery for registered senior citizens, minors, and people with disabilities next month, the Ministry of Culture said Wednesday.

Those under 18-years-of-age, over 65 and disabled will be able to register for the second round of 600,000 vouchers to be issued in late August, Culture Minister Lee Yung-te (李永得) said at a press conference.

Only those who did not receive vouchers in the first round are eligible to register, Lee added.

"Each voucher will still be worth NT$600, and that means the total value of the second round will be NT$360 million," Lee said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s ports at a low risk for explosions: TIPC

Taipei Times
Date: Aug 13, 2020
By: Shelley Shan / Staff reporter

The danger of explosions of ammonium nitrate at the nation’s seaports is low, as shipping service operators are required to follow regulations governing the storage of hazardous chemicals, Taiwan International Port Corp (TIPC) said yesterday.

The storage of hazardous chemicals came under scrutiny worldwide following the catastrophic explosion of ammonium nitrate in Beirut, Lebanon on Tuesday last week, which killed at least 220 people and injured more than 6,000.

Large quantities of the explosive chemical — 2,750 tonnes in total — had been stored in a warehouse in the Port of Beirut for six years and were accidentally ignited, according to reports.

Ammonium nitrate is used as a basis for fertilizers and explosives for mining and demolishing buildings, the company said, adding that the chemical must be stored in a dark and dry environment and kept away from sources of heat.    [FULL  STORY]

Tsai praises nurses for their role in fighting pandemic

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 11 August, 2020
By: Shirley Lin

President Tsai Ing-wen (center) at the International Nurses Day celebration (Source: President Tsai Ing-wen Facebook)

President Tsai Ing-wen praises Taiwan’s nurses for protecting the health of the Taiwanese people. Tsai was speaking Tuesday at an International Nurses Day celebration.

Tsai said the 175,000 nurses in Taiwan is comparable to the number of military soldiers and nurses are just as important in protecting the Taiwanese people. Tsai thanked medical personnel for playing their part in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. She said Taiwan is able to share its medical expertise with the world because of the hard work and professionalism of its medical staff. Tsai also said the government has plans to reform the medical work environment in the coming years.    [FULL  STORY]

Chinese fighter jets ‘target’ Trump’s messenger as tension deepens

Daily Post
Date:  August 11, 2020
By:  John Owen Nwachukwu

China on Tuesday sent fighter jets across the midline of the Taiwan Strait at the very time the United States of America’s health chief, Alex Azar, visited Taiwan to offer President Donald Trump’s support.

China had earlier condemned Azar’s visit to Taiwan after a period of deteriorating relations between it and the US.

The Asian giants threatened unspecified retaliation if the US health chief make to the trip.

And the country flew J-11 and J-10 fighter aircraft briefly onto Taiwan’s side of the sensitive and narrow strait at around 1am GMT, shortly before Azar met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, UK Express reports.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan McDonald’s prepares young girl’s favorite food for her funeral

McDonald's in Hsinchu obliges request to prepare French fries for girl's early morning funeral

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/08/11
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Special meal made by local Hsinchu McDonald’s. (Facebook, Chang Tien-chi photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A McDonald's restaurant in the Taiwanese city of Hsinchu went out of its way to prepare two portions of French fries on Sunday (Aug. 9) morning for the funeral of a 7-year-old girl, whose favorite food was French fries, in addition to handing out chicken nuggets and toys.

A funeral service director surnamed Chang (張) posted an article titled "Fresh McDonald’s French fries at 7 a.m.” in a Facebook group on Monday, stating that the company recently provided services for a 7-year-old girl. From talking to the girl’s family, he learned that the girl had enjoyed eating McDonald’s French fries, which gave Chang the idea to prepare the snack for the girl’s funeral to comfort her family.

The girl’s funeral was scheduled for Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. but the popular fast-food chain does not usually sell French fries at that time. Nevertheless, Chang said he mustered the courage to call a local McDonald's on Friday, ordering two packets of French fries for Sunday's funeral.

At first, his order was rejected by the cashier receiving the call. However, after explaining the reason for the off-hour order, Chang said the cashier went to ask the manager for permission and came back a few minutes later to tell him that the request would be fulfilled.

Taipei, Shanghai hold video conference on post-COVID-19 tourism

Focus Taiwan
By: Lee Wan-yu and Elizabeth Hsu

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je speaks at the forum/ CNA photo Aug. 11, 2020

Taipei, Aug. 11 (CNA) Taipei and Shanghai city officials met online at a video conference Tuesday where they exchanged views on how to transform the travel and tourism industries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting was the third of nine industry forums planned as follow-ups to the 2020 Taipei-Shanghai Twin City Forum, an annual event that started in 2010, with each city hosting the event in alternative years.

The Twin City forum was held on July 22 via videoconferencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Municipal officials from Shanghai invited to attend the video conference on Tuesday included Li Wenhui (李文輝), director of the Shanghai Municipal Taiwan Affairs Office, and Cheng Meihong (程梅红), deputy head of the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism.    [FULL  STORY]

Thesis advisers still liable: MOE

ACADEMIC ETHICS: Universities should improve their mechanisms to ensure the quality of graduate theses and hold faculty accountable for breaches, the MOE said

Taipei Times
Date: Aug 12, 2020
By: Dennis Xie / Staff writer, with CNA

A children’s science education book, titled “Go Go Giwas,” which is available in 16 Aboriginal languages, is displayed alongside scanning pens and promotional materials at an event in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Lin Hsiao-yun, Taipei Times

Although some universities have been requiring students to take full responsibility for breaches of academic ethics, their thesis advisers should still be held accountable for such breaches, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday.

Amid rising cases of thesis plagiarism in Taiwan’s higher education, many universities have begun requiring students to sign an affidavit prior to the oral defense of their thesis to state their willingness to take full legal liability should any breaches of academic ethics be found in their theses or written reports, the ministry said.

However, thesis advisers are still liable for the responsibilities related to their position, regardless of whether a student has signed such an affidavit, given that they are required to conduct regular meetings with students and keep them on the right track, it said.

Academic institutions also need to accept accountability to improve their mechanisms for quality assurance for graduate theses in the face of ethics breaches, it added.