Drug smugglers get death
Nine Taiwanese people convicted of smuggling heroin into China have been sentenced to penalties ranging from death to life in prison, a newspaper reported yesterday. The Taiwanese and a Chinese accomplice were convicted of smuggling 3.9kg of heroin in travelers' luggage into the southeastern port of Xiamen last year, the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily said. Xiamen is the closest Chinese port to Taiwan. A court in Xiamen sentenced four of the Taiwanese to death and four to death with a two-year suspension, the newspaper said in its overseas edition. The other Taiwanese and the Chinese defendant received life in prison. One of those sentenced to death was identified as Chen Jinzhong and one of those with a suspended death sentence as Jian Hongrong. Suspended death sentences in China often are commuted to life in prison if the convicts are deemed reformed.
King supports Chinese law
Cambodia's retired king Norodom Sihanouk has endorsed China's "Anti-Secession" Law, which authorizes military action against Taiwan if it pursues formal independence. Sihanouk, in a statement seen yesterday on his official Web site, said he, his wife and former Queen Monineath -- as well as their son, current King Norodom Sihamoni -- "wish to support 100 percent the rightful stance of the People's Republic of China on the Anti-Secession Law." The statement, in the Cambodian language, was dated Friday. Sihanouk, 82, is a close ally of China, which provided him refuge after he was removed from power in a 1970 coup in Cambodia. He is currently in Beijing receiving medical treatment.
Berger accepts invite
Guatemalan President Oscar Berger on Friday accepted an invitation from visiting Republic of China Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) to visit Taiwan in August. Lu, who is currently on a three-day visit in Guatemala, called on Berger Friday and presented him with a satellite photo of Guatemala City, capital of the Central American country, taken by the satellite ROCSAT-II. Lu extended an invitation to Berger to visit Taiwan to attend the inauguration of the Democratic Pacific Union (DPU) on Aug. 14. Lu and her counterparts from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua earlier attended a DPU regional meeting in Guatemala. The DPU, the brainchild of the vice president, will be comprised of representatives of Pacific democracies to create a new alliance in the Pacific region to advance democracy, peace and prosperity. Berger accepted the invitation and expressed the hope that the two countries could sign a free trade agreement (FTA) by then.
Dane envisions design hub
Danish designer Frederick Rickmann said yesterday that he expects Taiwan will become a regional design hub by 2015 because of continued advancement of investments and education in the field of design. The chief executive and design director of the design company Designnord made the comments while calling on Johnsee Lee, president of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). Rickmann is visiting the country at the invitation of the ITRI to lecture at a three-day ITRI seminar titled "Methods for Innovated Design with Modern Thoughts," which will begin March 24.
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
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions