Judge must pay for adultery
A former judge was ordered by the Taipei District Court to pay a prosecutor NT$1.7 million (US$523,351) in damages for committing adultery with the prosecutor's wife, who was also a judge. The plaintiff, surnamed Chiu, his wife, surnamed Lei, and the defendant, surnamed Chang, all worked for the Hsinchu District Court. Chang and Lei reportedly fell in love when they were both in a master's program at National Chiao Tung University and had sex in California in 2002. Lei gave birth after returning to Taiwan and her husband became suspicious about their daughter's parentage both because he thought the girl did not resemble him and because Chang frequently visited his house to see the baby. A DNA test proved that Chiu was not the father of Liu's baby. Both Chang and Lei quit their posts at the Hsinchu District Court after Chiu divorced Lei and brought a action against Chang. Although the Taipei District Court ordered Chang to pay Chiu damages, it threw out the criminal charge of adultery against Chang on the grounds that since the adultery occurred overseas, it did not fall under the court's jurisdiction.
No damages from quakes
Two earthquakes measuring 5.2 and 4.6 on the Richter scale rocked the country yesterday, the Seismology Center said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The stronger, second quake struck at 11:42am, with its epicenter 12km southeast of Kenting (墾丁), the center said. The quake originated 41km under the sea. The first quake occurred at 7:50am and its epicenter was 12.6km north of Nanao (南澳), Ilan County, officials said, and came from 46.6km under the sea.
New computers for the blind
Newly designed computers for the visually-impaired have been tested recently by students, who gave the thumbs up to the "talking computers," according to the Ministry of Education which is financing the program. Chen Kuo-shih (陳國詩), the author of a Braille English-Chinese dictionary, said that his classmates would take turns reciting English books for him every week when he was an undergraduate. To complete his doctoral thesis, Chen had to hire people to read aloud his textbooks for him, at a cost of more than NT$50,000. Chen said that a computer-reading machine, which caters to the needs of blind people, would be a great help to visually-impaired literature or history students. The computers have Chinese interfaces and can read aloud every word in a document or on a Web page.
HK-Taichung flights okayed
The Mainland Affairs Council yesterday approved an application by the newly opened Hong Kong Express Airlines to operate charter services between Hong Kong and Taichung. "After discussions with relevant departments, including the defense ministry, we have agreed to open up Taichung for the charter flight services with Hong Kong," said Council Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮). He said if Hong Kong Express Airlines, which has applied to land at the Chingchuankang (清泉崗) military airbase, has everything ready, including enough passengers, service could begin as early as today. The airline, which began operations earlier this month, applied for the Taichung route on Aug. 7, but security concerns made the government hesitate to approve the service. Council officials said the government finally decided to approve the charter service to help promote tourism in Taichung.