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.