Authorities sent convicted criminals to intimidate peasants and forcibly demolish their homes in a festering eviction dispute in southeastern China, villagers and a rights group said yesterday. \nMore than 380 people, including police and thugs recently released from labor camps, used bulldozers to flatten three homes and cut off the water supply as a warning to Wanli village in Fujian Province, New York-based Human Rights in China (HRIC) said. \nFour villagers were arrested after refusing to let their houses be razed, villager You Ajin said. \nAnother villager, Zhang Zongzhong, 70, ran upstairs with a bottle of kerosene and matches when he saw bulldozers approaching in an apparent suicide attempt, but was taken away by the clearance team. \nLocal officials told villagers that their houses had to be demolished because they had no proper ownership deeds, You said. \nShe claimed officials were taking over land and homes to sell to developers for profit without compensating farmers, like many other cases emerging around China. \nThe villagers have been told to leave on their own accord by Sept. 18, after which their homes would be destroyed, HRIC said. \nIt is the second time in a month that authorities have reportedly used heavy-handed tactics after farmers in the village were attacked by more than 100 police officers and 14 hired thugs on Aug. 1, HRIC said. \n"There was an eviction, there were relevant government departments involved but it was not a forcible eviction. Many buildings are against regulations and need removing," a Cangshan township government official said. \n"There were no clashes," he said, and denied that convicted criminals were used.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up