Contingency plan activated
The Department of Health said yesterday that it has activated a contingency mechanism for medical care in the central and southern parts of the country in the wake of days of torrential rain that caused serious flooding in several areas. Officials said that some residents are still trapped in mountainous or remote areas in central and southern Taiwan and that medical teams provided by local health authorities are on standby. If the trapped residents need emergency hospital care, the department will ask the Ministry of the Interior to organize helicopter airlifts to get them out. To avoid outbreaks of infectious disease in the flood-affected areas, the health department urged the public to pay special attention to dietary and environmental hygiene.
China urges media `sincerity'
China yesterday urged Taiwan to show "sincerity" in cross-strait relations by allowing journalists from the state-run Xinhua news agency and People's Daily back into the country. "We believe that cross-strait media exchanges should develop in a smooth and active manner," Li Weiyi (李維一), spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, told journalists. "If Taiwan wants to show this kind of sincerity, then all they must do is to allow journalists from Xinhua news agency and the People's Daily to return to their reporting duties," Li said. Taiwan in April banned journalists from the two media groups, accusing them of contributing to worsening ties between Taipei and Beijing. Three other Chinese state media organizations have reporters stationed in Taiwan on a monthly rotation basis. China allows five Taiwanese television stations, two newspapers and a news agency to be represented in Beijing, also on a monthly rotation basis.
Criminals get spy watches
Sex offenders released on parole will be electronically tagged with a tracking device disguised as a wrist watch to monitor their whereabouts, Ministry of Justice authorities said yesterday. Surveillance equipment will be installed in their residences to further monitor their behavior, ministry officials said. Meanwhile, the officials said, the Ministry of Justice will also tag major financial criminals with specially designed arm or leg bracelets to prevent them from fleeing the country after they are released on parole.
Chen lauds policemen
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) expressed his gratitude to the police yesterday, hailing their dedication and performance. At the nation's Police Day celebrated at the National Police Administration, Chen bestowed medals on policemen from around the country and said that improving social order is the government's top priority. Chen claimed that an action plan to improve social order launched on Feb. 1 has already seen solid results, mentioning in particular the capture of suspects who assaulted policemen and an individual who poisoned brand name beverages sold at convenient stores.
Rummage sale at TAS
The Taipei American School's (TAS) Orphanage Club will hold its 35th annual summer rummage sale on Saturday to raise money for the various orphanages and charities it helps support. The rummage sale will be held rain or shine from 10am until 5pm at TAS, which is located in Tienmu at 800 Zhongshan N. Rd. More information can be found on the club's Web site (www.come.to/tasoc).