Sat, Jun 25, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

■ Society

Men urged to doff suits

A group of women's rights and environmental activists called yesterday for men to discard business suits in the summer in favor of casual shirts to reduce reliance on air conditioning. The activists, led by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Shu-ying (黃淑英) urged the men to get stop wearing suits during summer to help save energy. Noting that air conditioning is the prime reason for surging power consumption in summer, Huang said that one degree higher on air conditioner thermostats nationwide in summer means the country could save 300 million kwhs -- the amount that Penghu residents use in an entire year. Wearing suits requires a temperature of between 22?C to 23?C to make an office or room comfortable in summer, Huang said, claiming that room temperatures could be raised if men wore less clothing.

■ Cross-Strait Ties

20 feared dead in storm

At least 20 Chinese were feared dead after the Taiwanese boat they were being smuggled in went missing during foul weather, officials said yesterday. The missing boat -- the Hsin Lien Fa 23 -- was last seen Sunday drifting off Fukuichiao (富貴角) at Taiwan's northernmost tip, a coastguard official said. "Our information showed that more than 20 Chinese people were on the fishing boat which lost power at sea in bad weather," she said. According to the coast guard, the Chinese boarded the ship in Fujian Province earlier this week in an attempt to sneak to Taiwan. "The boat has been missing for several days and we fear it might have sunk. The chances for survival of those onboard are slim," the official added. However, Coast Guard Administration officials said yesterday that the boat's captain and a crewman were rescued by Chinese fishermen at sea and were being detained in Xiamen for questioning, the officials said.

■ Defense

MND denies drug allegations

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied a media report about widespread drug abuse in the military, claiming that the report is a far cry from the truth. In a press release, the ministry protested against the report and said that new conscripts that test positive for substance abuse are immediately subject to prosecution as a way to wipe out drugs in the military. Only seven out of the more than 5,100 new conscripts summoned to the Cheng Kung (成功) military base in Taichung County in the first six months of this year tested positive, the ministry said, noting that all of them were sent to law-enforcement authorities. The ministry claimed that the report has hurt the military's image.

■ Society

Hello Kitty talk starts brawl

A scuffle broke out late Thursday night between a group of Japanese tourists and locals at a restaurant in Wanhua (萬華), Taipei as result of language barriers and miscommunication. The group of seven Japanese were giggling and talking about the "Hello Kitty" magnets which have recently a stirred frenzy among fans and collectors in Taiwan. Thinking that the Japanese were laughing at them, a table of Taiwanese patrons next to them -- about 10 in all -- approached the group and somehow a fight started.

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