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Taiwan mango festival highlights brisk sales despite COVID-19

Mainichi Japan
Date: June 27, 2020

Taiwan kicks off this year’s mango festival in Tainan in the south on June 26, 2020. (Kyodo)

TAINAN, Taiwan (Kyodo) — An annual mango festival kicked off in the Taiwanese city of Tainan on Friday, with officials pointing out that sales of the popular fruit remain brisk, despite the hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tainan International Mango Festival, which runs this year from June 26 to July 12, comes at the peak of the city's mango season and includes a variety of mango-themed events.

Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che told the crowd at Tsou Ma Lai Farm in Tainan, southern Taiwan, that despite COVID-19, the city's export of mangoes has grown by 14 percent since January this year compared to the same period last year.

"We hope the number will increase to 20 percent at the end of the mango season," Huang said.    [FULL  STORY]

Chinese ambassador: There is no reason to destroy mutual relations

Radio Prague Internatinal
Date: 06/27/2020

By: Ian Willoughby

China’s ambassador to the Czech Republic says he does not see why the countries would insist on destroying mutual relations that are in the interest of both nations. Zhang Jianmin made the comment in an interview for the Czech News Agency centred on a planned trip to Taiwan by Czech Senate speaker Miloš Vystrčil. Mr. Zhang said some people were still stuck in a Cold War mentality and overlooked facts and believed everything stemmed from ideology or political objectives.

Mr. Vystrčil has said he will visit Taiwan in late August not just for business reasons but also because in his view senior Czech politicians have not responded sufficiently to Chinese pressure to abandon the planned trip.

Earlier this year China put pressure on the previous upper house speaker, Jaroslav Kubera, to drop his intention to visit Taiwan. Mr. Kubera died of a heart attack soon afterwards.

Lawmaker calls for ban on Chinese TV talk shows broadcast from Taiwan

Chinese media allowed to rent studios for local correspondents: Mainland Affairs Council

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/06/27
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

A 2019 protest against Chinese influence on Taiwan media.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government should ban Chinese television companies from broadcasting news talk shows from Taiwan, a ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker said Saturday (June 27).

Several Chinese media companies, including CCTV, Southeast Television and Haixia TV, operate TV studios in Taiwan, featuring news talk shows presented by a Chinese host and two Taiwanese guest speakers, the Liberty Times reported.

While news organizations from China are allowed to post correspondents in Taiwan, they should not broadcast negative political shows from Taiwan, said DPP legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉). He said the government should ban the production of such Chinese talk shows and revoke the media companies’ licenses.

The Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said the Chinese media groups were allowed to rent studio space from local broadcasters for their correspondents. If they recorded special shows, then they should ask for permission first, MAC said.    [FULL  STORY]

Boy in critical condition, 6 others injured in Taipei auto accident

Focus Taiwan
Date: 06/27/2020
By: Liu Chien-pang and Matthew Mazzetta

Majority of escalator accidents involve soft-soled shoes and sandals. (Pixabay photo)

Taipei, June 27 (CNA) A five-year-old boy is in critical condition and six others received treatment for injuries following a three-vehicle crash on Yangde Boulevard in Taipei's Shilin District Saturday, according to the local police department.

Taipei police received an emergency call at around 4 p.m. notifying them of the accident in front of the National Security Bureau, and arrived to find a tour bus and overturned motorcycle in the middle of the road and a van crashed on the shoulder.

Investigators believe the van was traveling downhill on the mountain road when it suffered a brake malfunction, causing it to ram the motorcycle in front into a tour bus, before swerving into trees on the roadside.    [FULL  STORY]

Study links conception date to health problems

DOES TIMING MATTER? Researchers linked newborns conceived in September to December to an increased risk of depression, high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 28, 2020
By: Wu Liang-yi and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer

An international study has suggested a possible link between conception from September to December and health complications in new mothers and infants.

The study, led by the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics collaborative program, looked at the effects of the term of pregnancy on the risk of disease in mothers and newborns.

Taipei Medical University assistant professor Usman Iqbal participated in the study along with other doctors from Taiwan, the US and South Korea.

The group found a correlation between babies conceived between September and December (born between July and October), and the risk of depression, high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation in newborns, as well as high blood pressure in mothers.    [FULL  STORY]

Los Angeles County official thanks Taiwan for face mask donation

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 26 June, 2020
By: Leslie Liao

Kathryn Barger and Representative Abraham Chu

A Los Angeles County official thanked Taiwan on Thursday for a donation of 90,000 surgical face masks. Kathryn Barger, a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said that the donation was a symbol of the sibling-like relationship between Los Angeles County and Taiwan. 

Barger met with the head of the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Los Angeles, Abraham Chu, to receive the donation. The surgical masks were delivered in ten boxes, each with the words “Taiwan Can Help” printed on them. At a handover ceremony, Barger said that the Los Angeles County government can learn from Taiwan. Barger added that she would like to visit Taiwan after the pandemic.     [FULL  STORY]

Ramen pizza? Crazy mashup revealed by Pizza Hut Taiwan

Date: 26th June 2020
By: Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNN

(CNN) — You may need chopsticks for this pizza.

Pizza Hut Taiwan has teamed up with Menya Musashi, a popular ramen joint from Japan, to dish out the world's first ramen pizza.

The new pizza has the toppings of a Tonkotsu ramen (pork bone soup ramen) including thick ramen noodles, pork slices, white sesame, fresh chili, and a half-boiled egg in the middle.

Spring onions and bamboo shoots are served on the side.

It isn't the first boundary-pushing gimmick from Pizza Hut Taiwan.

It's the team behind some of the previous wild pizza mashups including durian pizza, bubble tea pizza and stinky tofu pizza.    [FULL  STORY]

All 123 Taiwan contacts of Japanese coronavirus case test negative

Student at Kaohsiung university a 'weak' positive case and unlikely to be infectious, according to Central Epidemic Command Center

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/06/26
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — All 123 people in Taiwan in close contact with a Japanese student diagnosed with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) after her return home have tested negative, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Friday (June 26).

A first batch of tests on 109 individuals were negative on Thursday (June 25), with results for the remaining 14 made public by the CECC at a news conference Friday. The 20-year-old woman, who had been studying at a university in Kaohsiung City, was a “weak” positive case and unlikely to be infectious, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told reporters.

First batch of returning foreign students arrive Friday

Focus Taiwan
Date: 06/26/2020
By: Chen Chih-chung, Chiu Chun-chin and William Yen

CNA photo June 26, 2020

Taipei, June 26 (CNA) Eight international students, part of a larger group who have not been able to return to Taiwan this semester because of the COVID-19 pandemic, arrived Friday, after the government eased some of its border controls.

The eight foreign nationals, natives of Hong Kong, are due to graduate this year from National Central University in Taoyuan, Soochow University in Taipei, Tainan University of Technology, National Taipei University, and National Chin-Yi University of Technology in Taichung.

They are among the 2,238 international students now able to return to Taiwan after the government deemed their home countries and regions at low-risk for COVID-19.

Foreign nationals, with few exceptions, have been barred from entering Taiwan since mid-March due to the pandemic, but the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) opened the doors to foreign nationals from 11 low-risk countries on June 17.    [FULL  STORY]

Woman seeking custody of twin girls loses lawsuit

ILLEGAL TRANSACTION: The court ruled that the woman, surnamed Yeh, had contravened Taiwan’s law that prohibits the ‘sale of human reproductive eggs’

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 27, 2020
By: Jason Pan / Staff reporter

A woman in Kaohsiung this month lost a lawsuit in which she was seeking to become the mother of twin girls born to a surrogate in Ukraine.

Despite the woman, surnamed Yeh (葉), presenting evidence that she paid NT$4.47 million (US$150,810), including fees for the surrogate mother, surrogacy agency, government registration and travel to Ukraine, the Kaohsiung District Court ruled that she had contravened Taiwan’s law that prohibits the “sale of human reproductive eggs.”

At the hearing, Yeh said that while she was not married, she wanted to raise children and had decided to emulate her friend, who had a baby born by a surrogate mother in Ukraine, where surrogacy is legal.

Yeh’s brother had agreed to be the sperm donor and to travel with his wife to Ukraine. Yeh had her brother signed an agreement that, after her brother returned to Taiwan with the baby, Yeh would register to adopt the child and become the legal mother of the infant, court documents showed.    [FULL  STORY]