■ Education \nPolicy issues discussed \nThe National Teacher's Association (全國教師會) and three other educational groups will today discuss educational policy issues with representatives of the two presidential candidates, the Democratic Progressive Party's Legislator Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) and Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱). The debate focusing on the topics of educational reform and new policies between the two presidential candidates will be held on Sunday, Feb.29. \n■ Economy \nRe-election to give boost \nPresident Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) re-election would boost the country's economy, Wu Rong-i (吳榮義), president of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, said yesterday. In an interview with CNA, the economic adviser to Chen said the country's economy has been in a strong upturn from the beginning this year and is expected to grow by 5.27 percent if the government's NT$500 billion (US$15.06 billion) budget for the 10 new major construction projects is approved by the Legislative Yuan later this year. The growth rate will further expand should Chen win another four years in office, because Chen will keep his current policy unchanged and keep the momentum for growth uninterrupted, Wu said. A new government would inevitably re-examine the current policy and such a situation would be unfavorable to the current upward trends, Wu said. \n■ Infrastructure \nJen Lien Bridge opened \nThe Jen Lien Bridge (仁連橋) across a steep valley of Mt. Tuli in the southern county of Chiayi was inaugurated and officially opened to public traffic yesterday, marking the 306th bridge that the renowned Chiayi Philanthropy Group has built around Taiwan. Volunteers of the Chiayi Philanthropy Group (CPG) -- founded by philanthropist Ho Ming-teh (何明德) -- spent three months and about NT$1.8 million (US$55,900) to build the 35m steel-wire bridge connecting the Chuchi rural township and Mt. Tuli, a scenic attraction but hard to reach without a bridge. According to Liu Ning-ching (劉寧欽), an abbot of a temple in Chuchi, the bridge was built in three months and is 2.5m wide. The single arch cable bridge has been overwhelmingly welcomed by mountain climbers who would otherwise walk nearly 10 hours to reach Mt. Dooli. \n■ Election \nChen urges people to vote \nPresident Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday urged his countrymen to be sure to vote in the country's first national referendum on March 20, saying that not doing so would be tantamount to handing a victory to mainland China. Speaking to a group of his supporters in Taipei City, the president called on the people to show their resentment towards Beijing's military threat against Taiwan, claiming that the number of Beijing's missiles targeting Taiwan increases at the rate of one every six days. He criticized his only rival in the presidential race, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), as "selfish" by branding the referendum illegal and vowing in Saturday's presidential debate that he would not participate in the referendum voting. Chen said Lien has set a bad example for the country by taking the law into his own hands and determining on his own that the referendum is illegal.
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
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
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