Taiwan News Preview – Taipei Times


  • Salaried writer, with agencies

COMPANY

Man dies when scaffolding collapses

A man was killed yesterday and six others injured when scaffolding collapsed at an oil terminal under construction at the port of Kaohsiung. Another worker was still trapped as we went to press last night. Their condition was described as slightly injured, but conscious. The Kaohsiung Fire Department said it was notified around 5:11 p.m. of an incident at the port’s partially constructed oil terminal. The collapse is believed to have been caused by a hydraulic failure in a jack that held the platform, which plunged eight workers into the 40m-tall cylindrical structure. Department first responders and port firefighters pulled eight workers from the collapsed scaffolding, including a man named Chung (鍾) who showed no signs of life. Taiwan International Ports Corp, which runs the port, said the cause of the incident was under investigation.

HEALTH

Kaohsiung opens a laboratory

The Kaohsiung city government on Wednesday launched a NT$100 million (US$3.62 million) medical laboratory that is the first Good Tissue Practice cell therapy center in southern Taiwan. The center is a joint establishment of the municipal government, Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital of Kaohsiung Medical University and Raypal Biomedical, a medical unit of Compal Electronics. Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said the technology surrounding the emerging field of cell therapy could become the next mainstay of Taiwan’s economy, adding that the city government hopes the center will advance medicine, while providing better medical care and economic opportunities for Kaohsiung residents. The university said the 132-hectare center houses two A2 biosafety cabinets and five Good Manufacturing Practices labs, each equipped with six incubators, meaning the facility can process 24 samples simultaneously.

DIPLOMACY

Nation slashes Honduras tariffs

The government on Friday slashed tariffs to zero on 25 goods imported from Honduras under a free trade deal, offering an incentive ahead of the inauguration this month of a new president who had threatened to sever diplomatic relations. Honduras is one of 14 countries that maintains official diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Before winning the presidential election in November last year, Xiomara Castro of the Freedom and Refoundation Party said that if she wins she could open diplomatic ties with China, but her team has since backtracks. The Ministry of Economic Affairs said the reduction in import duties on agricultural products ranging from avocados to yoghurts and pork bellies, initially agreed in 2019, came into effect after the completion of legal procedures. The ministry said that since 2007, bilateral trade had increased from $65.95 million to $148 million last year, with Honduras being Taiwan’s largest source of imported frozen shrimp.

CRIMINALITY

Judge rules in dog attack

Shihlin District Court on Friday sentenced a woman named Wang (王) to 55 days in jail after her German Shepherd, Mary, bit former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesperson Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭). Chang was bitten while trying to separate his dog and Mary at a park in Yangmingshan (陽明山) in Taipei on February 13 last year, according to the ruling. Wang’s two German Shepherds were not muzzled and she was not near Mary when she chased Chang’s dog. Wang denied that Mary had bitten Chang. Wang’s prison sentence can be commuted to a fine of NT$55,000 and can be appealed.

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