The army is in the process of establishing three new mecha-nized infantry brigades, which will become the service's major fighting force in the future, defense sources said yesterday. \nThe first mechanized infantry brigade is already being formed, while the next two are in the planning stage. The first brigade integrated the Tainan-based 298th motorized infantry brigade with the Pingtung-based 395th armored infantry brigade to form a new type of combat force that the nation's army has never seen before. \nThe 298th brigade will disappear after the integration. The other two motorized infantry brigades, to be located in the center and north of the country, will soon follow suit. \nA senior army official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the new mechanized infantry brigade features high mobility and concentrated firepower. \n"These brigades will be equip-ped with an eight-wheeled armored vehicle currently under development. They are to become truly mobile forces," the official said. \n"The reason for integrating a mobilized infantry brigade with an armored infantry brigade is to concentrate personnel and equipment, which are to become increasingly limited in the next few years as a new wave of personnel streamlining efforts get under way," he said. \nIn a previous personnel stream-lining program, the Chingshih Project, the 333rd infantry division, of which the 298th brigade forms a part, was reduced to a regional command without any forces under its direct control. The Chingshih Project was completed in 1997. \nThe three brigades of the division, including the 997th, 998th and 999th brigades, were then detached from the division. Only the 998th brigade has survived, in the form of a motorized infantry brigade renamed the 298th brigade. \nBut over the past seven years, the three motorized infantry brigades have been found unable to live up to the "motorized" part of their name, since their major form of transportation was marching.
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