NPA head to retire
National Police Agency (NPA) Director-General Chen Ja-chin (陳家欽) has applied for early retirement effective on Thursday next week, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said yesterday. While Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) “fully supports” Chen’s leadership of the agency since 2017 and is sorry to see him retire, Su “respected” his reasons for doing so, Lo said. Chen’s decision to step down ahead of his scheduled retirement in July next year was based in part on his desire to leave important personnel decisions to his successor, Lo said. More than 20 high-ranking police officials are to reach retirement age next month and in January next year, including the deputy director of the NPA, as well as police chiefs and deputies in the six special municipalities, Lo said. Chen also wanted to give his successor adequate time to prepare for security around the January 2024 presidential elections, rather than handing over the reins just six months before they took place, Lo said.
Kinmen Bridge to open
A bridge being built in Kinmen County linking the main island to Lieyu Island is on track to be finished by September and open to traffic in October, the government engineering office in charge of the project said on Wednesday. The 4.8km Kinmen Bridge, which is Taiwan’s first sea bridge, runs east-west from Hupu Road in Lieyu Township (烈嶼) to Cihu Road in Jinning Township (金寧). As of Friday last week, work was 97.46 percent completed, the office said. Construction, which began in 2012, has been plagued by problems such as inexperienced contractors and work crews, resulting in contracts being terminated twice, the Freeway Bureau said. In 2016, a new contract was undertaken and construction restarted in December that year, the bureau said.
Road to allow motorcycles
The section of Zhongxiao W Road in front of Taipei Railway Station would open to motorcycles this year for the first time in more than four decades, the Taipei Department of Transportation said on Wednesday. Department Commissioner Chen Shyue-tair (陳學台) told city councilors that the decision to allow motorcycles on the section was “certain” and would begin on a trial basis by the end of the year. The city had restricted that section to motorcycles because of heavy bus traffic and a lack of designated bus lanes, Chen said. Zhongxiao W Road is one of five major surface roads in Taipei with parts closed to motorcycle traffic, the others being Nanjing E Road’s Section 6, Tiding Boulevard’s Section 1, Huanhe N Road and an off-ramp toward Mingshui Road off Zhongshan Road as it crosses Dazhi Bridge.
Tablets recall ordered
About 980,000 tablets of a prescription medicine to treat high blood pressure have been ordered off pharmacy shelves, with a full recall to be completed by early August after they were found to contain an insufficient amount of a key ingredient, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Wednesday. “Rixia Tablets 0.5mg MACRO (Metolazone)” produced by Macro Global Corp in two batches — A1Y65 and U3Y96 — must be recalled by Aug. 9 because one of their major ingredients is below the required dosage, the FDA said in an advisory. Tablets in the A1Y65 batch contain only 80 percent of the ingredient, falling short of the required 90 to 110 percent, while those in the U3Y96 batch contain only 91.5 percent, FDA official Fu Shu-ching (傅淑卿) said.
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
TRAVEL CONFERENCE: Representatives from the two countries exchanged views on how to increase tourist numbers, with one identifying individual travel as a trend Taiwan and South Korea aim to increase the number of tourists traveling between the two countries to 3 million, government and tourism industry representatives said at a conference in Hsinchu City yesterday. The annual event was attended by Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯); Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰); Taiwan Visitors Association chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭); South Korean Representative to Taiwan Chung Byung-won; Yoon Ji-sook, an official at the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Korea Association of Travel Agents chairman Oh Chang-hee. Global tourism is expected to soon rebound to between 55 and
DAMAGE CONTROL: The KMT in a statement called the Taiwan Strait ‘international waters,’ after Alexander Huang said China had the right to claim it as internal waters Lawmakers and experts yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) envoy to the US Alexander Huang (黃介正) of acting as China’s stooge, after he said that Beijing has the right to claim waters beyond its maritime territory as its exclusive economic zone and that the US has no legal basis to assert that the Taiwan Strait is an “international waterway.” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said in an online post that most of the world considers the Strait an international waterway, adding that this is important for safeguarding Taiwan. “We have seen US warships transiting through the Taiwan Strait.
The Taichung District Court yesterday sentenced to nine years in prison an unlicensed judo coach who caused the death of a seven-year-old student after slamming him onto the ground more than a dozen times. In its decision against the coach, a man surnamed Ho (何), the court cited his lack of remorse for using excessive force against an inadequately trained child and his failure to reconcile with the parents for his role in their son’s death. Speaking on behalf of the boy’s mother, Taichung City Councilor Jacky Chen (陳清龍) said the family would appeal to a higher court. Prosecutors said that Ho on