■ Military affairsCivil defense drills held
A rehearsal for two civil defense drills scheduled to be staged in Taiwan's southernmost county of Pingtung on Thursday to test and sharpen homeland security protection measures was held yesterday, county officials said. The rehearsal for the joint excercise of the Tung Hsin No. 16 training drill for reservists and the Wan An No. 27 civil defense drill was held in Chaochou township, Pingtung County. In the drill scenario, invading enemies launch surprise landings on the coasts of Pingtung's Fangliao and Fangshan rural townships, while Taiwan's armed forces, including the reservists, try to deter the enemies from pushing north with the help of Pingtung civilians. The joint exercises will mark the first time in the nation's history that civilians and neighborhoods have been involved in drills for homeland protection, the officials said.
Doctors remove beer bottle
A man with the habit of inserting odd objects into his rectum was admitted to the emergency room of National Taiwan University Hospital yesterday. Doctors spent two hours removing a bottle of Taiwan Beer he had inserted into his anus. What particularly complicated the procedure was that the bottle had been inserted wide-end first. The man was required to remain in hospital for thee days for further observation. Records of the Veterans General Hospital over the past 20 years show that the man's habit is by no means an unusual one. Other objects retrieved from anuses include flower vases, glass bottles, vibrators and table legs. The largest object ever removed was a bowling pin. One of the hospital's male patients was admitted on three separate occasions with a different object each time.
Ma praises social work
Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) pledged yesterday to continue to incorporate government and non-government resources to promote community building in the capital city. Ma said there has been a number of successful cases, such as the "Sunshine Kitchen" set up by a group of women in the Neihu district with the help of a non-government organization. The kitchen, which cooks meals and gives them away to low-income families and elderly people who live alone in the neighborhood, has helped solve the unemployment problem for middle-aged women and also provides care for senior citizens, Ma said. The mayor said there is still ample room for community building in the city, where apartment complexes are emerging as the new form of community.
Wang appointed to new post
Wang Fu-lin (王福林), director of the education ministry's Department of Physical Education, will be sworn in as head of the ministry's student military education, the first time the position will be held by a civilian. Wang's position will be filled by Tseng Teh-jin (曾德錦), an educational supervisor at the ministry. Wang's predecessor, Sung Wen (宋文), was indicted on charges of corruption last Friday. The case first surfaced in July when a local Chinese-language newspaper reported that Sung allegedly took advantage of his son's wedding dinner to accept bribes. Prosecutors recommended a 13-year sentence if he is found guilty. Sung is out on bail and plans to apply to get his job back. Sung will automatically lose his position if he fails to file an application within three months. The ministry will call a meeting to review his application.