Sun, Aug 08, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ ProtestsSex workers march on TSU

Activist group the Collective of Sex Workers and Supporters yesterday morning stormed the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) national congress with chants of "Don't fine Taiwanese prostitutes" and burlesque dancing. At the demonstration, collective workers asked the TSU to ensure that its candidates in the year-end legislative elections are supportive of an amendment to Article 80 of the Social Order Law (社會秩序法). The collective said that it is unfair that only sex workers and not patrons are punished for having sexual activities. The collective's secretary-general Wang Fang-ping (王芳萍) urged voters to ask their candidates to remedy the problem with promises to revise the article so that neither party in a sexual exchange is punished.

■ Politics

Anti-nuke group travels

A nationwide walk to solicit support for lowering the threshold for holding a referendum on the fate of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant came to Kaohsiung yesterday. More than 30 participants wearing bamboo hats took part in the Kaohsiung leg of the walk sponsored by the Nuke-4 Referendum Initiative Association. Wu Chien-kuo (吳建國), director of the association, said the Referendum Law passed by the Legislative Yuan last November was flawed, which he said has hindered the people in exercising their democratic rights. That law has set an "unreasonably high threshold" for the public, Wu said. People must collect 800,000 signatures from eligible voters to propose a referendum. Moreover, under the law a high number of "yes" votes will decide if the referendum is effective, which he said runs counter to democratic norms. The group has staged several nationwide walks to oppose the nuclear plant in Kungliao.

■ Education

Chen visits young scholars

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday visited two Aboriginal students in Hsinchu who have won presidential education prizes. Chen first visited Yu Han (余涵), a junior high graduate who lives in the remote mountainous area of Chienshih village. Chen said Yu, living in an area lacking educational resources, still managed to pass the entrance examination to be a student at National Hsinchu Girls' Senior High School. "She is the pride of all her tribal neighbors," Chen said, encouraging her to study hard. Later Chen visited a tribe in the mountains where Chen Shih-wei (陳世偉) lives. Chen Shih-wei is an elementary school graduate. In addition to obtaining good marks in school, Chen Shih-wei also has to take care of his younger brothers and sisters.

■ Singapore

Drug suspects charged

Three men were charged yesterday with importing controlled drugs after they were allegedly caught with 20,000 tranquilizer tablets in Singapore, authorities said. The men -- two Taiwanese and one Singaporean -- face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and 15 strokes of the cane if convicted on the charge. The bureau declined to release their names. Officers detained the trio at a hotel on Thursday night after finding Erimin 5 tablets in the possession of one of the Taiwanese men, the bureau said in a statement. The tablets were worth about S$200,000 (US$116,500), it said. Police also confiscated more than S$1,500 (US$875) of suspected drug proceeds from the Singaporean man, the bureau said.

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