Sports club offers free entry
The Nangang Sports Center in Taipei will have its official opening on Dec. 1, but free admission to the center will be available from today through the end of the month. The eight-story building, including four basement levels, was built at a cost of NT$570 million (US$17 million). The center includes a swimming pool, a diving pool, a children's pool, a sauna, a basketball court, a badminton court, a ballroom, a meeting room, a ping-pong room, a golf range and a shooting range (for air guns).
High speed rail derails
A rail inspection vehicle traveling north from Tainan on the high speed rail derailed early yesterday morning near Chiayi station as it was conducting routine inspection procedures. Testing on the train lines between Yunlin and Tainan was reduced to a single track until the situation was rectified yesterday afternoon. A Central News Agency report quoted an unidentified high speed rail staffer as saying that the derailment was likely caused by human error. Nobody was injured in the accident. The high speed rail last suffered a derailment early this month, when a train on a test-run came off the tracks as a result of human error.
KMT lawmaker found guilty
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Her Jyh-Huei (何智輝) was sentenced to 19 years behind bars on charges of breach of trust and corruption yesterday. He was found guilty of accepting NT$223 million (US$6.8 million) in bribes to help several contractors win bids for construction projects in Hsinchu Science Park. Her yesterday said he would file an appeal. The KMT said later yesterday afternoon that Her would be relieved of his party membership.
DPP lawmaker sworn in
A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member was sworn in yesterday as DPP legislator at large, replacing former DPP legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水), who resigned on Nov. 17. Hsu Teh-hsiang (許德祥), a well-known businessman in the fishery industry, was sworn in at a ceremony held at the Legislative Yuan that was witnessed by Grand Justice Hsieh Tsai-chuan (謝在全), Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘). Lin and Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) both gave up their legislative seats to express their disappointment with the way the party dealt with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) after his wife Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) was indicted on charges of corruption and forgery on Nov. 3. After Hsu was sworn in as a DPP legislator-at-large, the number of DPP seats in the 219-seat legislature reached 84. The vacancy left by Lee cannot be filled because a by-election can only take place when half of the legislators in his electoral district are no longer actively in service.
City staff to get English book
The Tainan City Government unveiled an English pocketbook yesterday that will be distributed to its staff to better prepare them for the city's "2007 Cultural and Tourism Year." The Public Servant's English Pocketbook contains useful English phrases officials might need when carrying out their duties, such as a brief introduction of Tainan and the Tainan City Government, as well as city tourism information. City government officials said they would also put the contents of the pocketbook on the Internet.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up