Draft spam ban approved
The Executive Yuan yesterday approved the draft statute governing commercial spam (濫發商業電子郵件管理條例). If approved by the legislature, spammers will be subject to pay an individual or an organization damages of up to NT$20 million (about US$629,000) if they continue to send unwanted e-mail. The draft would also allow a receiver of spam to ask for a "damage loss" of between NT$500 and NT$2,000 per e-mail from the sender. The ceiling on the total damages that could be asked for by receivers of the same spam message would be NT$20 million. Spammers, however, would have to pay out the profit received from sending the same spam, if the total amount requested by those receiving the same letter exceeds NT$20 million.
Abuse kills 4.13 kids a month
Child abuse leads to the death of at least 4.13 children every month in Taiwan, according to the Taipei-based Child Welfare League Foundation. The average was worked out by compiling the number of cases reported by the media from January last year to mid-January this year, a foundation spokesman said. At least 56 children died as a result of abuse by adults or being driven to suicide by their parents during the last 13 months, the spokesman said. Citing statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior, he said that there were 2,930 reported child-abuse cases in the first half of last year alone, equal to some 55 percent of the 2003 total. He predicted that the number for the whole of last year will exceed the 2003 total as more cases are expected to have occurred during July and August.
Official attends Bush ball
Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) arrived in Washington on Tuesday to attend the Jan. 20 inauguration of US President George W. Bush on behalf of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Lee, a co-winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in chemistry, said his main mission is to convey Chen's congratulations on Bush's re-election. As for Taiwan-US relations, Lee said he is not versed in the relevant issues, but added that he thinks regular dialogue and communications are needed to boost bilateral ties. Lee said he has met with Bush on several previous occasions and found Bush to be an affable and charismatic person. Lee has attended the annual informal APEC leadership meeting on behalf of Chen for the past few years, where he has invariably held talks with Bush.
Overseas schools renamed
The Ministry of Education yesterday passed regulations for the founding and guidance of overseas Taiwanese schools to coordinate its operations with the goal of rectifying the national title, the local Chinese-language media reported. The regulations state that six schools, the Taipei School in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, the Thai-Chinese International School in Thailand, the Penang Tai Chiao School and the Chinese Taipei School (Kuala Lumpur) in Malaysia, and the Jakarta Taipei School and Surabaya Taipei School in Indonesia, will have their names changed to Taiwan Overseas School (台灣海外學校). A ministry official was quoted as saying that the timing is a mere coincidence, and that the ministry is following the Administrative Procedure Law (行政程序法). The official also said that to avoid problems when applying for permission to use the new name, which is done in English, the schools will first change their Chinese name.