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CDC to begin next vaccinations

FLU SEASON: The CDC said that preschool children and people 65 years or older are eligible for vaccines starting today, as they are in high-risk groups for flu

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 08, 2019
By: Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said the second phase of government-funded flu vaccinations is to begin today for people 65 years or older and preschool children.

However, only 1,305 local public health centers and medical facilities, excluding Matsu, would provide the service today, as this phase of the program begins when many healthcare facilities are closed, the CDC said.

During the week, eligible vaccine recipients could still be vaccinated at the 4,090 healthcare facilities and public health centers across the nation, the agency added.

The government-funded vaccine this year, which would be provided in three phases to people in higher-risk categories, is a quadrivalent vaccine that protects against two strains of influenza A and two strain of influenza B, it said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwanese orchestra to retell the history of the Bunun people

Radio Taiwan Intertnatyional
Date: 06 December, 2019
By: Shirley Lin

A scene from a musical put on by the National Chinese Orchestra Taiwan (Photo by Chiang Chao-lun)

The National Chinese Orchestra Taiwan is set to put on a musical called “Crossing Ridges – Appreciating the Music Story of Bunun” this weekend. The Bunun are one of the sixteen recognized indigenous groups of Taiwan.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s Kuomintang opposition party says it’s struggling to pay staff amid asset freeze

  • It says it is relying on loans for salaries because of measure put in place by government as part of investigation into ill-gotten assets
  • Committee handling probe responds to ‘fake information’, saying the party had income last year of US$13.77 million that had not been frozen

South China Morning Post
Date: 6 Dec, 2019
By: Reuters

With Taiwan’s presidential and parliamentary elections just a month away, the island’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang, on Friday said it was struggling to pay staff due to an asset freeze put in place by the government as part of an investigation into ill-gotten gains.

“In spite of this, the party centre is still trying its best to assist the presidential and legislative candidates with its limited resources,” the Kuomintang said in a statement.

The Kuomintang said it was having to rely on loans to pay salaries, adding that it had yet to be able to pay December salaries, but that it had succeeded in finding people to support its presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu on the campaign trail.

The government committee handling the investigation into ill-gotten assets issued a statement on its Facebook page responding to what it said was “fake information”.    [FULL  STORY]

4 Coast Guard boats launched in Kaohsiung

600-ton cutter, patrol boats expected to help combat smuggling, illegal border-crossing activities

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/12/06
By:  Taiwan News, Staff Writer

President Tsai Ing-wen attends Coast Guard boat launching ceremony on Dec. 6. (Presidential Office photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Four Coast Guard boats were launched in Kaohsiung on Friday (Dec. 6) as part of the Tsai administration’s aspirations of military shipbuilding.

The four vessels include one 600-ton cutter (CG 601), two 35-ton patrol boats (PP-3682), and one coastal multi-purpose boat. Their launch marked the initial success of a 10-year Coast Guard Administration (CGA) plan that kicked off in 2018.

With the program, the CGA intends to expand its forces by having 141 new boats constructed within a decade with a budget of NT$42.6 billion (US$1.38 billion). The expansion, which will include four 4,000-ton, six 1,000-ton, and 12 600-ton ships as well as dozens of smaller vessels, is a response to the increasing volatility in the region and threats to maritime security, according to the CGA.

The new additions will allow Coast Guard officers to carry out their tasks more efficiently and in a safer environment, remarked President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the boat launching ceremony. She expressed gratitude to Coast Guard officers for protecting the fishing rights of Taiwan’s fishermen, clamping down on smuggling operations, and blocking the entry of pork products that may be contaminated by African swine fever.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan research sheds light on cure for spine-affecting arthritis

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/12/06
By: Wu Hsin-yun and Elizabeth Hsu

Taipei, Nov. 6 (CNA) A study by Academia Sinica researchers and practicing physicians at local hospitals has discovered an enzyme that causes ankylosing spondylitis (AS), a type of arthritis characterized by pain and stiffness in the patient's spine, shedding light on a cure for the disease that is currently incurable.

AS usually starts with inflammation in the pelvic area while a bone-like substance accumulates around the vertebra, connecting the ligament to the bone.

Eventually this causes inflexibility of the spine, leading to the so-called "bamboo spine" syndrome in which patients can no longer straighten their backs after they curve their spine.

Statistically, AS happens more to men, and the early symptoms are usually chronic lower back pain at a young age, according to a statement released by Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top academic research institution, on Friday.    [FULL  ST.ORY]

Museum, Goodall group to host wildlife carnival

CELEBRATING NATURE: The event is to feature booths from 26 elementary schools, games, arts and crafts, and music cowritten with elementary-school students

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 07, 2019
By: Staff writer, with CNA

National Taiwan Museum and the Jane Goodall Institute of Taiwan are to host a wildlife conservation carnival today at the 228 Peace Memorial Park (228和平紀念公園) in Taipei.

The carnival, part of the institute’s Roots and Shoots program to encourage environmental conservation and wildlife awareness with children, is to feature musical performances, arts and crafts displays, and stamp-collecting games with souvenirs as prizes, Jane Goodall Institute of Taiwan executive director Kelly Kok (郭雪貞) said.

Booths set up at the carnival by 26 elementary schools from Taipei, New Taipei City and Hsinchu City would feature information about the animals they care for, she said.

“It will be a wonderful affair where people can come together to celebrate the diversity of nature,” she said, adding that more than 1,200 people are expected to attend.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan to launch satellites every year over coming decade: Tsai

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 05 December, 2019
By: Paula Chao

President Tsai Ing-wen (Photo by the Presidential Office)

President Tsai Ing-wen says Taiwan will launch satellites every year over the next decade. Tsai was speaking Thursday during the opening ceremony of Future Tech Expo 2019 in Taipei.

Tsai said the government has a clear vision regarding the aerospace industry and will not miss any business opportunities.  

Tsai also said the government has already introduced a ten-year aerospace program, backed with a NT$25 billion budget. She said the government will train more young talent in the field of aerospace technology.    [FULL  STORY]

Police will summon foreigner and issue a fine of NT$300 after dangerous skateboard stunt in Taipei City goes viral

Taiwan English News
Date: December 4, 2019 
By: Phillip Charlier

Police will identify and summon a man who performed a dangerous skateboard stunt in Taipei City recently, and he will be fined NT$300 (US$9.84) for breaching traffic regulations, according to reports in Taiwan’s Chinese language media today, December 4.

Red Bull skate squad members 23-year-old Jamie Foy, Zion Wright, 20, and Alex Midler, 21, visited Taiwan some time in the last year as part of a trip exploring skate spots around the world.

The trio spent around one year putting together video of their exploits titled “You Good?”

RedBull Skateboarding uploaded the video to their You Tube channel December 2, and and it has received more than 398,000 views at the time of writing, December 4.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan KMT presidential candidate asks supporters to lie: Reuters

International news agency stunned by Han Kuo-yu’s unconventional political tactics

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/12/05
By: Ching-Tse Cheng, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Han Kuo-yu asks supporters to lie to pollsters. (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — UK-based news organization Reuters published an article last Friday (Nov. 29) about Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu's (韓國瑜) unorthodox tactic of asking his supporters to lie in opinion polls.

The article titled "Behind in polls, Taiwan president contender tells supporters to lie to pollsters" mentioned the KMT's desire to maintain close ties with China and observed that Han was running behind Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in opinion polls. The article said that Han wanted to trick Tsai and her campaign into thinking they were going to win.    [FULL  STORY]

Taipei ranked world’s best city for expat life

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/12/05
By: Pixabay image

Pixabay image

Berlin, Dec. 4 (CNA) Taipei has been ranked among 82 cities around the world as the best place to live and work for expatriates in 2019, according to the results of a survey published this week by the expat networking website InterNations.

The latest Expat City Ranking by the Munich-based company polled more than 20,000 respondents representing 178 nationalities and 187 countries or territories on their experiences of living abroad, based on five categories — quality of urban living, getting settled, urban work life, finance & housing, and local cost of living.

According to the annual survey, expatriates are particularly happy with Taipei's high quality of life, ranking the city third worldwide, preceded only by Tokyo in second place and the Swiss city of Zug in top position.

Taiwan's capital was also rated high in terms of transportation (98 percent), availability of healthcare (94 percent), public safety (96 percent) and cost of living (71 percent).