Monday, November 26, 2007

Assignment #10

Most tofu products contain hydrogen peroxide: TSU

A majority of tofu products sold at supermarkets and traditional markets contain hydrogen peroxide, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) claimed yesterday.

TSU spokeswoman Chou Mei-li said yesterday that product testing conducted by the party showed that eight out of 15 tofu products purchased from three of Taipei City's supermarket chains and one traditional market contained hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is a weak acid that is used for bleaching and as a disinfectant. Reactions to too much hydrogen peroxide include headache, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, skin eruptions or ulcers.

Hydrogen peroxide is not allowed in foods, but most of the products tested showed positive results.

The three supermarkets covered in the test were RT-Mart, Carrefour and Kuma Supermarket.

Chou said that public health was one of the party's prime concerns and called on the government to come up with a plan to more effectively manage and supervise the quality of locally produced food products.

She said that an examination of tofu products conducted by the Bureau of Health in June found 46 percent contained undesired additives, adding that they continue to be sold in supermarkets.

"This administration has completely ignored the health of consumers and turned a blind eye to enforcement of regulations," Chou said.

1. Why is a political party (the TSU) doing food tests?
2. Do you think this could be a problem with all local-made food, and not just tofu?
3. What should regular people do about this?

For the real article:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Assignment #9

Filipina indicted for murder, US citizen free to go

Kaohsiung prosecutors yesterday indicted Armia Panaglima of the Philippines, the girlfriend of US citizen David Michael Fillion, and asked for the death sentence for the September murder of a Kaohsiung teaching agent.

Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office spokesman Chung Chung-hsiao told reporters that "Because Panaglima cruelly killed a woman who had no animosity toward her, and she showed no regret during the investigation, prosecutors decided to ask the Kaoshiung District Court to sentence Panaglima to death."

Panaglima is charged with robbery and murder, Chung said.

Chung said prosecutors did not find enough to show that Fillion had anything to do with the murder.

He said prosecutors have lifted the ban prohibiting Fillion from leaving the country.

Kaohsiung prosecutors began an investigation into the murder after a woman's body was found in a garbage bag in Kaohsiung on Sept. 15.

Panaglima is suspected of killing 48-year-old Chou Mei-yun on her own and dumping her body in a garbage bag.

Prosecutors said Panaglima met Chou at her residence on Sept. 15. She allegedly wanted Chou to lend her some money but Chou refused.

The suspect is said to have hit Chou in the face and then to have robbed her of her ATM cards, credit cards and cash.

But as Chou refused to reveal the card PIN numbers, Panaglima then allegedly attacked Chou with a kitchen knife and killed her.

Chou was a broker who helped foreigners find teaching jobs at private schools in and around the Kaohsiung area.

1. Have you heard this story before? How did you feel when you read it?

2. Will this story influence how people see foreigners in Taiwan?

3. Do you believe the death penalty should be used?

For the real article:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Assignment #8

Taiwan observes 1111 hiking day

The first 1111 National Hiking Day was observed yesterday, with over 15,000 people walking out of their homes to go hiking in suburb areas of 25 cities and counties around the nation.

Among the people who took part in the activity in Taipei were Yang Jong-her, minister of the Cabinet-level Sports Affairs Council and Chi Cheng, a veteran athlete and Asian Games silver medalist who has been actively promoting jogging and walking for decades.

The opening of the hike in Taipei kicked off at 9 a.m. Yang encouraged members of Taiwan's public to get more exercise, including hiking, which he said is the easiest form of exercise and probably the cheapest as well.

Hou said exercise is the best way of improving one's health and quality of life. He expressed his hope that the Taiwanese people will change their most-used greeting phrase, "Have you eaten yet?" to "Have you exercised yet?"

Chi said that walking 10,000 steps a day is the best health choice for today's busy people.

Around the country, over 1,000 people drawn to hike in a"green tunnel" in Kukeng, Yunlin County. They enjoyed walking in the fresh air over a 5-km route, which included country roads lining with big, old trees creating a "green tunnel," and amid green hilly areas sprawling across the southern agricultural county.

In Kaohsiung, some 10,000 people took part in the hiking activity -- walking around the scenic Cheng Ching Lake Park, which is a wide, sprawling tourist attraction with a hiking trail of about 6.5 km.

1. What do you do for exercise?
2. How can schools and the government promote good diet and exercise?
3. Why is this important enough to be in the news?

For the real article, visit the China Post

Monday, November 5, 2007

Assignment #7

Freeway not the answer for Hualien

WE OFTEN FORGET that the place where we live is "Ilha Formosa" -- the beautiful island. It's only when others remind us that we discover that there are a lot of interesting places to go in Taiwan. Following several foreign media reports on traveling in Taiwan, the National Geographic Traveler Magazine published a 12-page article about it in this month's issue. Such articles always report that Taroko Gorge and the East Coast leave a deep impression on foreign visitors. But on Oct 28, the Chinese-language China Times reported that the Taroko Express is having trouble selling tickets. These news reports reveal several things.

One is that Taiwan has a lot of potential for tourism, but needs more media coverage to promote it globally. Another is that to develop further, the tourist industry still needs to learn the necessary basic skills, such as solving the transportation problem.

The geographical isolation of the East Coast has helped preserve the natural landscape of Hualien and Taitung, making it an important economic foundation. The construction of the Suhua freeway will only quicken the destruction of this landscape.

The tourism industry has eagerly awaited the relaxation of the regulations for Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan. But it has forgotten to develop other foreign tourism. Stories about travel in Taiwan that appear in European and US media prove that there is a lot of unused tourism potential. But if the government wants to attract foreign tourists, there is a lot of fundamental work to be done.

An example is maps: when traveling in some countries, every time one arrives at a place, one can find clear maps of the area. Many of these maps include recommended itineraries, and even three-dimensional pictures of some buildings in the area. Maps in Taiwan, however, often only show roads and road names. For people who can't read Chinese, such maps are difficult to use because their knowledge of the area is based not on street names, but on some characteristic or familiar landmarks, like McDonald's restaurants, gas stations, 7-Elevens, or prominent buildings. Taiwan's tourist maps show that the industry doesn't really understand how to attract foreign tourists.

If Hualien really wants to attract more tourists, building a freeway is not the way. The way to implement sustainable management is to first make sure there is a good foundation for a quality tourism experience

1. What do you think of the proposed Suhua Highway?
2. Which is more important, preserving the environment or promoting the economy?
3. What can Taiwan do to improve its foreign tourism?