■ Society \nWeather blamed for crime \nSocial order was generally good during the Lunar New Year holiday, statistics released yesterday by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) showed. Bureau officials said that during the six-day period, there were 81 major criminal cases reported, down 22 from 103 cases the previous year. There were 51 rob-beries and 16 burglary cases. There were also 11 man-slaughter cases, up nine cases from last year's holi-day, police said. They attributed the rise to the coldest holiday period in 11 years, so that when friends and relatives gathered they often lost control of them-selves under the influence of alcohol. The number of cases of rape and major burglaries were both fewer than 10, police reported. \n■ Society \nWhale's penis arouses envy \nScores of men have visited Tainan's Sutsao Wild Life Reservation Area where professors, students and volunteers were working on the corpse of a male whale, because they were curious about the whale's genitalia. The whale's penis measures 1.6m in length and it looks like a thick water pipe. More than 100 Tainan City resi-dents, mostly men, have reportedly gone to see the corpse to "experience" the size of its penis. The 60-tonne whale was found dead on the seashore of Yunlin County on Sunday. The county government sent the corpse to the National Cheng Kung University, whose biology professors wanted to preserve it as a specimen. \n■ Health \nNTUH prohibits bribes \nNational Taiwan University Hospital has set issued a code of conduct to regulate the widespread practice of giving red envelopes to doctors to ensure optimal health care. According to the new code, the first of its kind in the nation, hospital staff and workers are prohibited from accepting any red envelopes containing cash, gift certificates, or securities. However, gifts valued under NT$2,000 can be accepted. Doctors are also barred from encouraging patients to donate red envelopes to specific foundations. Hos-pital workers in charge of purchasing medical supplies are also prohibited from accepting bribes from medi-cal and pharmaceutical companies. Taiwan Health Care Reform Foundation chairwoman Chang Li-yun (張苙雲) yesterday said that while she supported the hospital's efforts, patients would have to stop giving red envelopes for the policy to be successful. The money in red envelopes given to doctors can reportedly amount to as much as NT$60,000 to NT$80,000 for organ-transplant operations. \n■ Politics \nYu pledges clean vote \nPremier Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday that his admin-istration will brook no violence or corruption in the March 20 presidential election. During the weekly Cabinet meeting, Yu said the fierce competition has given rise to allegations of vote-buying. In order to prevent the country from plunging again into the grip of "black gold" politics, Yu urged law-enforcement agencies to go all-out to maintain a clean, fair and just election. He said anyone found buying votes will be prosecuted regard-less of rank, status or political affiliation. Yu said the Ministry of Justice has opened a hotline (0800-024099) for tips on election irregularities. Police officers have also been asked to give special attention to prevent election-fixing, Yu said. The police department estimated that police officers will have to go on 100,000 election-related missions before March 20.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which
STRATEGIC MISTAKE: Beijing’s deployment of aircraft near Taiwan proves the ‘China threat theory’ that sees it attempting to destabilize the region, an analyst said China on Saturday and yesterday sent a record number of military aircraft into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in what analysts said was an attempt to flex its military might for US President Joe Biden. Thirteen Chinese warplanes flew into Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ on Saturday and 15 entered yesterday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. On Saturday, eight Xian H-6K bombers, four Shenyang J-16 fighters and a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, entered the ADIZ, while yesterday there were two Y-8s, two Su-30s, four J-16s, six J-10 fighters and a Y-8 reconnaissance
DISPOSING MYTHS: A new constitution would better reflect reality, as the current one was drafted ‘in and for China,’ without the consent of Taiwanese, advocates said Independence advocates yesterday launched the Taiwan New Constitution Alliance to promote drafting a new, localized constitution. “This is a historic moment for Taiwan. Drafting a new constitution is the most important task Taiwanese face,” veteran independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) said at the inaugural event in Taipei. “Although the Democratic Progressive Party is in power, its authority is based on the Republic of China [ROC] Constitution, which has no connection to Taiwan,” said the 95-year-old Koo, a former presidential adviser. “The historic task of drafting a new constitution depends on efforts by all Taiwanese,” Koo said. “A constitution for a sovereign, independent Taiwan