Fri, Sep 23, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Transportation
MRT tries out voice system

The Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) began a six-month trial run of a voice-guided system at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall MRT station to better assist visually impaired commuters. If the test is successful, a more complete system will be installed in all MRT stations, according to the company. The new voice-guided system includes a broadcast speaker, an infrared ray sensor, a Braille board and a service bell speaker. The infrared ray sensor will broadcast the message, "visually impaired passengers who need help please stay on the right side, and press the service bell to talk to our staff members," when it senses approaching passengers. The company urged visually impaired or disabled passengers not to hesitate to ask for help at MRT stations if needed.

■ Society

Offensive map removed

A publisher has withdrawn tourist maps from CKS International Airport showing a pop singer with a profanity on her T-shirt, the company said yesterday. The free map of Taipei shows singer Vivian Hsu (徐若瑄) wearing a pink sleeveless T-shirt with the words "dirty white slut" printed on it in gothic letters, a pink cap and hot pants. The words seemed to refer to promiscuity. The map's publisher, the Vision Group, said there had been no complaints about the slogan, but it had still decided to remove the maps from the airport. "The person responsible for issuing the map didn't understand English, but when we saw the picture, we thought it better to withdraw it from circulation," a company spokeswoman said. The map is still available at some hotels in Taipei, though. "We have no right to interfere with the hotels, they make their own decision about the map," she said.

■ Politics

CCP officials `chat' with Li

Writer and independent legislator Li Ao (李敖) yesterday told the press that Chinese authorities had "visited him for a chat" after his first speech in China on Wednesday during which he championed freedom of speech and took repeated swipes at the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In his speech to an audience of about 500 people at Peking University on Wednesday, Li advised the 69 million members of the CCP to relax and stop "wearing a poker-face." Li told the press yesterday that his second speech to an audience at Tsinghua University today will go ahead as scheduled, as will the pungency of the content of his speech.

■ Health

Flu-shot campaign starts

Free inoculations for selected people will begin this week, drawing on the 2.15 million doses of influenza vaccine purchased earlier this year, the Department of Health said yesterday. Health officials said that the medicine is similar to last year's, and that they hoped to see a higher inoculation rate than the 60 percent achieved last year. The free shots are offered to medical personnel, children, rare-disease patients as well as workers in the poultry or livestock industries. Officials from the health department's Center for Disease Control reminded those involved in raising, slaughtering or shipping poultry and livestock to receive inoculations. The inoculation rate last year for this industry was the lowest in the country at 59.9 percent, while those in the medical care and quarantine industries had the highest rate at 88 percent. Hospitals and clinics will provide shots to the general public for between NT$400 and NT$500 each.

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