Activist starts long walk
A lone education reform activist began a 300km journey yesterday to highlight his campaign against "the authoritarian education reform." Tung Chung-hua (董宗華), the self-claimed president of the self-salvation association of junior and senior high school education reform, began his walk from Taipei City Hall. Donning a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "Say No to the Authoritarian Education Reform" and carrying a Taiwan map and two books in his backpack, Tung first walked to the Ministry of Education and staged a "stand-in" there for two hours. The officials of the Education Department of Taipei City Government and the education ministry received him and his written 10-point education reform statement. Tung plans to spend 15 to 18 days walking 20km a day through Taoyuan, Chungli, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Fengyuan, Taichung, Changhua, Tounan and Chiayi before reaching his destination of Tainan in southern Taiwan. He is expected to end his journey at the Confucian temple in Tainan where he will deliver his letters on education reform.
Police target street racing
Police started a three-day nationwide crackdown on car and motorcycle racing yesterday in the hope of curbing the resurgent problem of illegal racing on public roads. In addition to the mobilization of criminal and traffic police and Peace Preservation Police Corps, the National Police Administration (NPA) will also call in airborne police to help collect evidence through the use of advanced technology. The NPA is planning to arrest the race organizers and turn them over to prosecutors' offices on charges of hooliganism, a police spokesman said. Tiao Chien-sheng, an NPA traffic official, said that racers will be fined between NT$30,000 and NT$90,000 (US$869-US$608), have their licenses revoked and their vehicles impounded. The government will also consider opening legal race tracks so that the racers can have somewhere to race legally.
Cambodians arrest two men
Two Taiwanese men were arrested yesterday by Cambodian authorities at Phnom Penh International Airport when they attempted to board a Taipei-bound flight with what appeared to be around 8kg of opium. Customs officials at Phnom Penh International Airport said that two Taiwanese aged 25 and 27 were arrested at the security X-ray on their way to an EVA Air flight. Ministry of Interior spokesman General Sopheak said the drugs seized were being tested. If it proves to be opium the men could face up to 20 years in prison. Officials said the men had attempted to carry the opium onto the flight wrapped in plastic inside coconut oil-scented perfume boxes.
Temperature checks end
Temperature checks imposed in hospitals as a preventive measure against the re-emergence of SARS were completely lifted yesterday. Although the World Health Organization declared Taiwan SARS-free on July 5, the Department of Health required hospitals to continue temperature checks for 20 days to prevent a re-appearance of the bug. Temperature checks present in entrances of most buildings could also be lifted as of yesterday. The 20-day temperature checks were not a compulsory measure. But most hospitals and buildings followed the department's suggestions closely. Temperature checks at CKS International Airport will continue.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung