■ 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.
Without completed infrastructure and training, the expedited sale of new F-16s from the US could become a burden rather than a help, a military official said yesterday. Reuters on Thursday last week reported that Washington is looking to accelerate the delivery of 66 new F-16C/D Block 70 aircraft in response to what it sees as increasing intimidation by Beijing. Under the terms of the original US$8 billion deal signed in 2019, the US is expected to deliver a single-seater and double-seater for testing next year, then deliver the 66 new aircraft in batches of four or five from 2024 to 2026. The officials
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
TRACING UNDER WAY: The CECC has identified six transmission chains among 25 recently confirmed COVID-19 cases, including those linked to a restaurant and a bank The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 54 new COVID-19 infections — 44 imported and 10 local — and identified six transmission chains among local cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the imported cases are 18 who tested positive upon arrival at the airport and 26 who tested positive during quarantine. Of the local cases, seven are associated with a cluster infection at a Tasty Steak (西堤牛排) outlet in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District (中壢), one is linked to a family of four with COVID-19 reported on Monday, one is a family member of an
BILINGUAL NATION 2030: Those interested can apply online, while recruitment would continue until all of the positions are filled, the Ministry of Education said The recruitment of foreign English teachers for elementary and junior-high schools would be expanded in the 2022-2023 school year as part of Taiwan’s efforts to become a bilingual country, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday. In a statement, the ministry said that it has since 2004 hired 81 foreign nationals per year to teach English in 16 smaller counties and cities to build a better English-learning environment for students. However, for the 2022-2023 school year, the number of foreign English teachers recruited would increase to 531, with some of them to be posted to Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan