Calendar dogs on show
The Taipei City Government unveiled its 2006 calendar yesterday, which features 12 different breeds of dog to "bring good luck" in the year of the dog. A total of 12 dogs, including a Poodle, an Old English Sheepdog and a Yorkshire Terrier strode the catwalk as models to promote the calendar. In addition to pictures of dogs, the "2006 Municipal Calendar" also includes photos of the city's scenery with themes such as culture, ecology, and health. The calendar, priced at NT$150 (US$5), can be purchased between now and Jan. 15 at the San Min Bookstore on Chung Chin S. Road, the Wu Nan Culture Plaza on Shih Da Road, or the city government's publication sale center.
Crossing hogs to be fined
Vehicle drivers who do not slow down and yield to pedestrians at crossroads will soon face fines, according to a new amendment to the Road Traffic Management and Punishment Law (道路交通管理處罰條例) passed yesterday in the Legislature. Amendments to the law passed yesterday rule that all automobile drivers have to yield to pedestrians at cross-roads and intersections or face penalties of between NT$1,200 (US$36) and NT$3,600. In addition, the amendments also provide for fines of up to NT$3,000 for car drivers who do not install child safety seats when carrying children in their cars.
Ma says fight corruption
Corruption in Taiwan has worsened and the government should put greater effort into fighting this problem in order to earn back the people's trust, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday. "According to a study conducted by Transparency International, Taiwan was ranked 32nd this year in the global transparency investigation ? I do not say this to criticize the government, but I think we all need to do better in fighting corruption," said Ma, who also serves as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman. He said Transparency International published its first annual evaluation report when he was minister of justice, ranking Taiwan 25th in terms of government integrity. Since 2000, when the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power, Taiwan's rankings have ranged between 32nd and 35th.
Staff can improve refusals
Department of Health (DOH) officials said that there is still room for convenience store staff to improve their technique when refusing to sell cigarettes to teenagers. Chao Kun-yu (趙坤郁), deputy director-general of the Bureau of Health Promotion, made the remarks after inspecting a training program for convenience store staff that aims to improve their knowledge of the Tobacco Hazard Control Act (菸害防制法) and to learn techniques for refusing to sell cigarettes to people under the age of 18. Chao noted that the DOH has presented proposals for an amendment to the Tobacco Hazard Control Act to the legislature for screening, which will include some changes to the way stores are allowed to exhibit their tobacco products.