Web site taken to task
The Animal Industry Department (畜牧處) of the Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday suggested that Taiwan's largest online-auction Web site, Yahoo Kimo, ban the online trading of live pets. The suggestion was made after the Life Conservationist Association (關懷生命協會) publicly condemned the Web site on Thursday. According to the association, more than 10,000 animals are auctioned on the site daily. Although it's legally groundless to ban online auctions of animals, Yahoo Kimo's major competitor, eBay, is banning the trading of any live animals and plants, animal hides, furs and specimens.
■ Cross-strait ties
A new association aimed at helping Taiwan's investors whose legitimate rights have been infringed upon in China was inaugurated in Taipei yesterday. Association founder Kao Wei-pang (高為邦) said he welcomes those who have fallen victim to Chinese business practices to join his organization and pool their resources in pushing Beijing to implement rule of law, punish corrupt officials and protect Taiwanese businessmen's legitimate rights and property. According to the results of years of survey and study, Kao said, more than 10,000 Taiwan businessmen, himself included, have seen their stakes in China-based firms encroached upon or usurped, none of whom have been able to obtain compensation through China's judicial system.
City to levy fines for AC leaks
The Taipei City Government started slapping fines on companies and individuals whose air-conditioning systems drop water on the ground yesterday, city officials said. The latest rule, which comes with a mechanism to reward informants, also prompted hundreds, including those from outside Taipei, to flood the city's environmental hotline with telephone reports, the officials said. Under the latest order, a fine of up to NT$6,000 (US$171) will be given to any household or company that fails to improve its air conditioner water-dropping problem within seven days, the officials said.
Landscape contest planned
The Tourism Bureau yesterday announced a plan to invite internationally renowned architects to join in a competition for landscape design for scenic spots and routes. Bureau officials have selected five scenic spots -- the northeastern coastline, Sun Moon Lake, Kenting National Park, Nanpin National Park in Hualien and Alishan National Park -- for the competition. The bureau's plan came one day after the Executive Yuan's Tourism Development and Promotion Committee concluded its meeting in Hualien.
Tchen attends Czech event
Council for Cultural Affairs Chairwoman Tchen Yu-chiou (陳郁秀) attended the inauguration of a monument marking the rehabilitation of a bridge in the Czech Republic city of Cesky Krumlov on Monday. Tchen said at the ceremony that she takes great delight in seeing the restoration of the Plastovy Bridge which was seriously damaged by floodwaters last August. The council donated US$20,000 toward the rehabilitation of the bridge. Cesky Krumlov is one of the UNESCO-selected world heritage sites and subject to special protection.