TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After a boxer died in a boxing match after being struck by his opponent, prosecutors on Tuesday (Sept. 26) decided not to charge his opponent and the event organizers.
On Jan. 7, 2023, a man surnamed Lin (林) took part in a boxing match in Zuoying District, Kaohsiung City. He suffered fatal head injuries after being struck by his opponent, collapsed, and died soon after the match.
Police sent both the event organizers and his opponent, a man surnamed Bai (白), for prosecution. However, the prosecutors did not find any evidence of foul play or irregular attacks, and they classified the cause of death as accidental and did not press charges due to insufficient evidence.
During the investigation by the Qiaotou District Prosecutor's Office, Qiu (邱), the person responsible for the event, argued that it was an amateur boxing match, which is why headgear was not included as protective gear for the participants. He added that participants were told to wear other protective gear, and there were three medical personnel on-site.
Qiu said that during the match, there was no evidence that Bai had attacked Lin inappropriately. Bai had not hit Lin in the back of the head or below the waist, he said.
The person in charge of the venue, surnamed Chen (陳), said that after the 2016 Rio Olympics, the International Boxing Association (IBA) removed the requirement for male participants in high school and above to wear headgear. He said the victim fell on his buttocks, not his head, after being struck, and the cause of death was unrelated to protective gear.
Bai insisted that in the first two rounds of the match, Lin did not fall, and in the third round, he indicated that he could continue the fight. It was only after the match had ended that Lin laid down, and Bai said he did not violate any rules.
The prosecutors, after consulting the Chinese Taipei Boxing Association (CTBA), received a response stating that only the adult male category (ages 19 to 40) was exempt from wearing headgear in competitions. After reviewing video footage of the event, they said no irregularities were found on the part of the organizers or Bai.
The association said that Bai did not attack Lin inappropriately in the head or areas below the waist, nor did he violate the rules or referee's instructions. Additionally, the forensic examination determined that the cause of death was accidental.
Based on these findings, the prosecutors decided not to press charges against Qiu, Chen, or Bai. The case is subject to further review upon request.
Lin's family filed a complaint against both the event organizers and his opponent Bai, alleging involuntary manslaughter. The non-prosecution decision stated that despite medical treatment in the intensive care unit, Lin eventually succumbed to cardiac arrest, subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, severe cerebral edema, and brain herniation.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Approximately 64% of Taiwanese people are concerned about Japan’s decision to release wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean, according to a recent survey.
The survey was released by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF) with an election poll on Tuesday (Sept. 2), and it asked if people were concerned that releasing the wastewater would pollute the ocean globally, and in the waters surrounding Taiwan. About 64% of respondents said they were concerned, and just under 32% said they were not.
Experts are divided on the decision to release the nuclear power plant’s wastewater into the ocean, though many agree that it will not directly cause harm to the environment or people. Physics and astronomy professor at Australia's Curtin University Nigel Marks said that the wastewater release is similar to many others that have occurred over the past six decades.
“The main problem with the release is that it sounds bad,” according to Marks. “Despite the controversy, ocean release is the only practical option at Fukushima, and every conceivable step has been taken to choose the best decision that considers all factors," he said.
The TPOF survey also asked respondents if they thought China’s blanket ban on Japanese seafood in response to the release was reasonable. Just over half of respondents said they thought the decision was reasonable, and about 35% said they thought it was not.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An elderly motorist has died from an apparent suicide after he allegedly struck and killed a female scooter driver with his vehicle and fled the scene.
A fatal car accident occurred in Taoyuan City's Daoyuan District on Monday (Sept. 25) when a scooter driven by a 23-year-old woman surnamed Liang (梁) was struck by a white sedan driven by a 69-year-old man surnamed Liao (廖) who made an illegal left turn onto her lane. She lost all vital signs was was pronounced dead after being sent to the hospital.
According to the Taoyuan City Police Department, Liang was riding her scooter at 2 p.m. on Monday when she entered the intersection of Huaxing Road, Section 2, and Hangcheng Road, Section 2. As can be seen in a video of the incident, Liao made a left turn across the double-yellow lines into Liang's lane just as she was passing through the intersection, giving her no time to avoid his car, leading to a head-on collision.
When paramedics arrived at the scene, Liang had lost all signs of life and they immediately commenced CPR. They rushed her to a nearby hospital, but doctors were unable to resuscitate her, and she was declared dead.
Video of the incident showed that Liao got out of his vehicle immediately after the accident and looked at the victim briefly, but soon got back into his car and fled the scene. Police used surveillance camera footage to track his movements and located his car at a local temple in the Paotienshan Scenic Area in Yilan County's Su'ao Township at around 10 p.m. that evening.
However, he was found dead in a sheet metal house next to the temple. At the scene, police found a handwritten note and medication near his body.
In the note, Liao wrote that he could tell that the female scooter driver was seriously injured, but that he lacked the means to provide compensation. "This is the only way to solve the problem," he said.
A preliminary investigation by police confirmed that there were no signs of a struggle at the scene and ruled out foul play. They will report the case to the Yilan District Prosecutor's Office for further examination.
Those considering suicide should immediately call the Taiwan Suicide Prevention Center at 1925 or Taiwan Lifeline International at 1995. Foreign residents can call the Community Services Center's 24-hour emergency hotline at 0932-594-578.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A medical team from Tri-Service General Hospital became the first in Taiwan and the second in Asia to transport a "beating heart" from Chiayi to Taipei for a successful heart transplant.
On Sept. 8, a young foreign national who had opted to be an organ donor died from a cerebral hemorrhage, and his heart met the criteria for an organ donation. Since his heart function was "not that good," most medical teams declined the donation, but Tri-Service General Hospital, ranked 11th on the transplant priority list, decided to accept the case.
At a press conference on Tuesday (Sept. 26), Lin I-chang (林宜璋), chief physician of the Cardiovascular Surgery Division at Tri-Service General Hospital, said that it was categorized as a "borderline functional heart." This was because the donor underwent a rigorous, one-hour cardiac massage and emergency treatment, including the use of cardiac stimulants, and the heart had to be transported from Chiayi to Taipei for transplantation, he said.
However, Lin said that the biggest reason why the hospital did not give up on the transplant was that in addition to the donor being young and having a sufficiently functional heart, they had access to the Organ Care System (OCS). According to Lin, the OCS can make a "dead," donated heart beat again, and the heart can be kept functioning outside the body for up to 10 hours.
Simultaneously, it can also monitor and evaluate heart function, allowing marginally functioning hearts that have not been used in the past to be viable for transplantation.
Lin said this is a new system that has not been tried by any hospital in Taiwan. For this mission, three medical personnel who had received training in the U.S. were dispatched and transported by ambulance throughout the journey.
Lin, who has completed over a hundred heart retrievals in his career, said that the mission was no longer a race against time. The heart within the OCS did not experience any ischemia (restricted or reduced blood flow), and he said it would not affect the recipient's survival rate.
In the past, American medical teams faced snowstorms, where planes were unable to take off or land, but the machine continued to operate for 16 hours, resulting in successful heart transplant cases, said Lin. Previously in Taiwan, Lin said they could only transport hearts in frozen coolers to the south, bringing back non-beating, ischemic hearts to the north.
He recalled, "During the day, they could take the high-speed train to save time, but at night, they had to use the ambulance to reach speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour, risking their lives in transit." Lin added, "In the past, heart retrieval from Chiayi would involve at least 4 hours of ischemia, but this time there was almost no ischemic time."
The recipient of the heart donation was a middle-aged man, and the transplant was completed on Sept. 9. He is in stable condition and has been transferred to the general ward, according to Lin.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese drone maker has signed a deal to acquire 160 Turkish-built JACKAL attack drones.
GEOSAT Aerospace & Technology said on Sept. 16 that it had signed a memorandum of cooperation with the British firm Flyby Technology on Sept. 14. The deal covers the transfer of the JACKAL drone technology in the Asia-Pacific region and other areas.
Flyby Technology will provide its Taiwanese partner with payload solutions, testing and production planning for the new JACKAL drones, GEOSAT said. It will also provide other authorized Flyby Technology products.
The JACKAL is a multi-role attack drone designed and made by Flyby Technology's Turkish partner FlyBVLOS. The drone can take off and land vertically and conduct various missions, such as engaging helicopters, killing tanks and delivering logistics, according to FlyBy Technology's website.
The U.K. Royal Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office requested information on the new drone after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Airforce Technology reported. The drone successfully flew for 40 minutes for the Turkish Armed Forces in April 2022, and that same month Fly BVLOS Technology transferred the design and all other rights to the U.K.
Defense News reported that the agreement was signed during the Taipei Aerospace Defense Technology Exhibition. Murat Islioglu, general manager of Fly BVLOS Technology, said that the drone was originally for civilian use, but it has been equipped with Thales lightweight multirole missiles and has tested them successfully.
Islioglu said that his firm signed a US$1.25 million export deal with Flyby Technology to export five drones. He said that a few months later, his company signed a deal with the Taiwan UAV Technology Center to exchange know-how and open an office in Taiwan.
FlyBVLOS posted on social media on Sept. 15 that it had signed a preliminary agreement for Taiwan's purchase of 160 JACKALS.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — One of the three former assistants to Hsinchu City Mayor Kao Hung-an (高虹安), who appeared in court on Monday (Sept. 25), said she had no choice but to do as the mayor said when asked to take actions that prosecutors say constituted fraud.
The assistants represent three of five defendants in a corruption case that began in a Taipei court on Monday, and all plead guilty to the charges laid against them. Prosecutors said the trio acted with Kao and submitted false statements claiming NT$460,000 (US$14,310) in overtime pay for hours they did not work.
One of the defendants, Huang Hu-min (黃惠玟), responded to the prosecutor’s claim that they conspired with Kao by saying that she was an employee, and she had no decision-making power. “Kao Hung-an made all the decisions,” Huang said.
The defendants did not otherwise dispute the prosecutor's version of events.
Lawyers for defendants Chen Huan-yu (陳奐宇) and Chen Yu-kai (陳昱愷) said that their clients could not refuse Kao’s requests because of their position as employees. They said their clients did falsely claim the overtime pay, but asked that their sentences be suspended on compassionate grounds.
Kao, who is a member of Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), denied any wrongdoing. When the charges were first laid, Ko, a candidate in Taiwan's upcoming presidential election, said he would support Kao to defend her innocence.
Kao has been dogged by multiple corruption allegations recently. Earlier this month, she faced unrelated allegations that she abused her mayoral power on the same day she appeared in court to defend herself against claims that she plagiarized her doctoral thesis, all of which she denied.
The two other defendants in the case are Kao herself and her former assistant Wang Yu-wen (王郁文). Kao will appear in court for the overtime pay case on Oct. 11 after Wang, who will appear on Oct. 2.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A five-person hiking group was swarmed by Asian hornets while hiking a mountain trail in Ruifang, New Taipei City, on Monday (Sept. 25).
An ambulance met the hiking expedition at the trail head and the hikers were given emergency medical assistance and transported to the hospital. A 60-year-old woman surnamed Liu (劉) succumbed to shock and required intensive care unit attention.
The elderly woman was given an emergency vasopressor and other anti-allergy drugs to counter the venom from the hornet sting, later stabilizing in the ICU ward. Three other hikers in her expedition were admitted to the general ward of the hospital.
One hiker, a 69-year-old man surnamed Zheng (鄭), had left the scene of the Asian hornet attack before the ambulance crew arrived. He was later contacted and had sought treatment at a private medical clinic.
A similar Asian hornet attack proved deadly last week, taking the lives of two hikers and injuring nearly a dozen hikers and firefighters on Wednesday morning (Sept. 20) in New Taipei City's Ruifang District. The group was traveling through the Bafenliaoshan hiking area.
Regarding the latest Asian hornet attack, a man surnamed Kuo (郭), said the five-person hiking group had been on the lookout for Asian hornets, with two hikers leading the expedition armed with a pesticide in case of such an encounter. When they saw a swarm of Asian hornets on the ground, they tried to avoid provocation, but due to the narrow path, they had no choice but to proceed.
An injured female member of the hiking group said it was too late to run away from the swarming hornets. She noted it was it was the first time she had been attacked by hornets.
She described herself as being paralyzed with fear as the swarm began attacking her neck, shoulders, back, hands, and head.
Ruifang District Office Head Yang Sheng-ming (楊勝閔) said the incident happened on a trail leading toward Tianwaitian Cemetery, which sits on the border between New Taipei and Keelung. Yang added that in July of this year, his office received a report that hikers had been bitten by paper wasps and had closed the trail entrance to remove the nest.
New Taipei Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office Director Yang Shu-fang (楊淑方) said a 20 kg honeycomb was located and removed Monday afternoon (Sept 25). She confirmed the species was the Asian giant hornet, numbering in the thousands.
Autumn is the breeding season for hornets, and swarms can be quite aggressive when they encounter humans. Hornets leave their nests during the day and travel several kilometers to feed on fruit. Hikers may encounter foraging hornets or disturb hives located underground or in trees.
Hikers are advised to turn back when they encounter hornets circling in front of them. Furthermore, overgrown hiking trails and other inaccessible areas are best avoided in autumn when hornets are active.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei and Seoul inked an agreement on youth affairs on Monday (Sept. 25), taking bilateral cooperation one step further.
Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) met with Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and the two oversaw the signing of an MOU between Taipei City Government's Research, Development, and Evaluation Commission Chairman Yu Chen-hua (俞振華) and Seoul Metropolitan Government's Future Youth Planning Group Director-General Kim Chul-hee, per a Taipei City Government press release.
Chiang said ties between Taipei and Seoul have been strong since the two became sister cities in 1968. He expressed admiration for Oh’s efforts to make Seoul a friendly city for vulnerable pedestrians including children and the elderly.
The Taipei mayor said he has a similar vision of making Taipei a "sustainable and inclusive capital." He also mentioned Oh’s initiatives in youth policies including the "Happy Youth Project," which intends to boost investment in youth entrepreneurship 8.8 fold.
Chiang said he was pleased to be signing an agreement with Seoul and hoped to promote exchanges and shared spaces between South Korea and Taipei’s startup incubators.
South Korea's Oh said that Seoul is focusing on providing technical training to match university graduates with employment opportunities, increasing investments in youth housing policies, and developing more youth-related policies. In response, Chiang said Taipei Education Bureau has also established a specialized unit for technical and vocational education and is promoting youth priority in social housing allocation.
He said that Taipei is eager to learn from Seoul, especially as Taipei prepares to establish its own Youth Bureau.
Chiang traveled to Seoul in order to attend the 2023 World Cities Summit. On Sunday, he met with Han Cheol-soo, who served as South Korea’s ambassador to Taiwan from 1988-1991.
He also visited Seoul's innovation base and theaters on University Street to learn from the capital's cultural and artistic industries and use them as policy references for Taipei in the future.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two newborn sperm whales have died, one stranded in New Taipei’s Jinshan District and another in a Keelung marine center while undergoing rehabilitation on Monday (Sept. 25).
A veterinarian, surnamed Chen (陳), of the Taiwan Cetacean Society, conducted an examination of the sperm whale stranded in Jinshan District which appeared thin with multiple wounds and scars. Chen noted the location of the stranding was a rocky shore, as the sperm whale may have crashed into nearby rocks.
The nature of the whale's injuries prevented any chance of a rescue. Also, the success rate of rehabilitation and release for such injuries is very low. Due to the poor physical condition of the calf, a decision to end its life by way of humane treatment was made.
Meanwhile, another newborn sperm whale that was stranded in New Taipei’s Bali on Friday (Sept. 22) died of lung complications four days after being brought to a rescue facility in Keelung.
The sperm whale was 3 meters in length and quite large in size, requiring the mobilization of many volunteers to help with its transport. Examinations revealed the sperm whale was hit by a propeller and was malnourished.
The Taiwan Cetacean Society said the calf had severe lung disease and was unable to maintain normal buoyancy, potentially drowning if not receiving assistance. Ultimately, this sperm whale died early Monday morning (Sept. 25) due to weak breathing.
The Taiwan Cetacean Society added that if the calf was released into the wild, there was a high chance it would once again become stranded again and potentially die. Results of a blood test also confirmed the animal had a severe infection that was difficult to treat. Hospice-type care was ultimately chosen.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Gaming company XPEC Entertainment Inc. ex-Chair Aaron Hsu (許金龍) reported to prosecutors Tuesday (Sept. 26) to start a 10-year prison term for embezzlement.
A Japanese firm, Bai Chi Gan Tou Digital Entertainment Co., tried to buy XPEC in May 2016, but when the attempt failed, an estimated 30,000 Taiwanese investors lost their money. During the subsequent investigation, it turned out Hsu had set up the Japanese company as part of a fraudulent scheme.
The Supreme Court on Sept. 20 rejected final appeals against his prison sentence, while it also confirmed a fine of NT$60 million (US$1.86 million) for Hsu and the confiscation of N$1.2 billion in illegal profits from the deal.
The authorities took steps to prevent him leaving the country, but he showed up at the Taipei District Prosecutors Office on time Tuesday morning to start serving his sentence.
In 2018, the Taipei District Court had sentenced him to 18 years in prison and a fine of NT$100 million. Later court decisions reduced the length of the jail term and the size of the fine.
A Chinese and a Japanese citizen were also allegedly involved in the scheme. Also, former central and local government officials were investigated as they served as independent directors with XPEC.
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