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.