Taiwanese jailed in Vietnam
Five Taiwanese nationals were jailed for between two and nine years on charges of manufacturing and circulating fake credit cards in Vietnam, state media said yesterday. The men, aged between 24 and 33, were found guilty by Ho Chi Minh City's People's Court Friday, Vietnam News Agency said. They had been using 21 forged credit cards and bought goods worth more than 1.5 billion dong (US$95,000) from Jan. 31 until their arrest on Feb. 3 last year, it said.
Anti-suicide law urged
Passing a law to help prevent suicide could reduce the number of people in Taiwan who take their own lives, a representative of a non-profit organization said yesterday. The Shepherd Love Association petitioned legislators to immediately pass the act by holding a two-day signature drive in Kaohsiung yesterday. Wu Mei-li (吳美麗), the association's CEO, said while the government has made suicide prevention one of its top priorities by setting up help centers and keeping hotlines open, suicide was ranked the ninth highest cause of death in 2002. "Laws regarding suicide prevention need to be enacted," she said.
Urban renewal discussed
Sixteen experts from various European countries will gather in Taipei April 18 to join a four-day conference to discuss urban development issues, a Ministry of the Interior (MOI) official said yesterday. The 16 invited guests will consist of academics, along with serving and retired officials from France, the UK, Spain, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands. The conference is being organized by the non-profit International Network for Urban Development, said Chen Kuang-hsiung (陳光雄), director of the MOI's Construction and Planning Agency. Chen said the experts attending the conference will discuss policy changes in urban renewal, which is one of the areas the government has prioritized. He added that Taiwan's eagerness to amend existing regulations and policies regarding urban development is the reason for hosting the conference. Chen said he expects that more offshore investments can be brought into the country by amending policies and creating a better commercial environment.
■ The Arts
Stone monkey exhibit opens
A stone sculpture exhibition organized by the Chiayi Stone Sculpture Association opened at a cultural park in Chiayi City yesterday. The group presented a stone monkey sculpture to the city-owned park as a gift, while in return it received the city government's promise to provide outdoor space for artistic creations. Chiayi Mayor Chen Li-chen (陳麗貞) said that the southern city has been dedicated to the art of stone sculpture, especially monkey-shaped sculptures, for more than 60 years, and the association played a key role in promoting the city's cultural development. She indicated that the city government is now working to build a stone sculpture park as part of the city's efforts to develop a culture industry with local characters, noting that construction of the planned park is expected to be finished by the end of this year. The city will also initiate a yearly "stone monkey festival" to boost tourism. Chiayi is passed through by the Pachang River, one of major rivers in Taiwan, which produces abundant high-quality stones perfect for sculpting.
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