Sat, Dec 24, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Society

PCs wanted for poor kids

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and the semi-official Institute for the Information Industry (III) yesterday urged the public to donate their used computers to help Aboriginal students living in the countryside. Some 1,600 second-hand computers with Internet access have been sent to children from low-income Aboriginal families in remote and mountainous areas in an activity jointly sponsored by the two organizations to bridge the digital divide, EPA officials said. The computers were reassembled by III engineers with parts selected out of more than 10,000 second-hand computers donated by 514 private and governmental agencies, the officials said, adding that the III also sent personnel to the communities to help set up the computers and advise the people there how to maintain them.

■ Society

Children's museum opens

The nation's first children's museum, which is situated in the new Eslite Bookstore in Taipei City's Xinyi District, was inaugurated earlier this week. The museum will serve as a fun and educational environment for children, said museum board director and Eslite Corp chairman Robert Wu (吳清友). There is little space for children in the city, but the museum can help provide some more, he said. It is also an opportunity for parents to observe and learn from their children, Wu added. Roger Wang (王榮慶), executive director of the museum, said that he had wanted Taiwan to have a children's museum of its own ever since visiting one in Boston. Wang said that he had been touched by the museum since it was exclusively designed for children. The museum in Taipei has bilingual (Chinese and English) signs and guides, although posters and wall charts are only in Chinese. Wang said the museum is working toward being fully bilingual.

■ Culture

GIO aided 80 films this year

Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Pasuya Yao (姚文智) said yesterday that the GIO has helped produce 80 movies since he assumed his post in March. "I promised that I would help produce at least 100 movies a year, and this promise is valid until March 13 next year. So far, we have 80 movies in the process of production already," Yao said. He was speaking at a press conference in Taipei yesterday at which the names of local filmmakers who had won the GIO sponsorship were announced. He said that the GIO sponsored or contributed to only 24 movies in the year prior to his inauguration.

■ Crime

Gas bomber gets life in jail

Kao Pao-chung (高寶中), also known as the "gas bomber," was sentenced to life in jail and a fine of NT$1 million (US$30,143) yesterday for violating the Statute Regulating Firearms, Ammunition, Knives and Other Deadly Weapons (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例). Kao, 46, blew up a minivan full of gas bottles near the Taipei Railway Station in the run-up to last year's legislative elections. The van, which contained 11 gas tanks with a 20kg capacity, exploded around noon on Dec. 9 last year. The explosion did not injure anyone, but it destroyed two vehicles parked next to the minivan. According to his indictment, Kao began planning his crime last October. He decided to carry out his plan in the outdoor parking lot next to the Taipei Railway Station. Kao, who is unemployed, was arrested on Dec. 17 last year. His sentence can still be appealed.

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