Park to reapply for pandas
The Leofoo Village Theme Park will reapply for permission this spring to bring a pair of giant pandas from China after the government rejected them last year amid political tensions, a park manager said yesterday. The park in Hsinchu County will ask the government next month or in April for permission to bring the pandas from the Wolong Giant Panda Reserve Center in Sichuan Province, Leofoo marketing manager Albert Yuan (袁相杰) said. "Everyone has a wish to see pandas," Yuan said. The 70 hectare park has examined the government's reasons for rejecting the animals and believes it can better address them now, Yuan said. The government said Leofoo personnel lacked experience with pandas and had not travelled to Sichuan to examine the animals. It also cited climatic differences between Taiwan and the bamboo forests of southwestern China.
Task force to be named
State Public Prosecutor-General Chen Tsung-ming (陳聰明) said yesterday that members of a soon-to-be-established special investigation task force are expected to be named early next month, paving the way for the group to formally become operational in April. Chen, who was nominated by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for the top prosecutor's post and confirmed in last month by votes from 126 legislators, said he has probed the intentions of several dozen prosecutors who were seeking to be candidates for the special investigation task force. The operations of the special investigation task force will be established under the State Public Prosecutor-General's Office and will work with the Anti-Corruption Center under the Taiwan High Prosecutor's Office.
Cosmetic surgery booms
Some Taiwanese will be returning to the office after the Lunar New Year holidays with a new face, having chosen a visit to cosmetic surgeons over a trip abroad. Whether they opted for the pricey procedures with year-end bonuses in mind or whether they wanted to take advantage of the nine-day break to recuperate from surgery, major clinics report being booked solid in the run-up to the holiday, with some operating even through New Year's Eve. Surgeon Chung Ching-yuan (鍾金源) said that his clinic had seen a 60 percent increase in the volume of patients leading up to the Lunar New Year, with most patients choosing relatively non-invasive procedures.
■ Post office
228 stamps issued
The renamed Taiwan Post Co said yesterday that it will issue stamps featuring the National 228 Memorial Hall on Wednesday in observance of the 60th anniversary of the 228 incident. The building is located on Nanhai Rd, which was previously used by staff of the American Culture Center. The design of the stamp was approved by the Executive Yuan. According to the company's statement, the new stamps will have a face value of NT$5 and have the country name Taiwan, both in Chinese and in English, printed on its top corner on the left. Besides the memorial hall, a lily was also placed on the right-hand side of the stamp. Only 1 million stamps will be made available to the public on Wednesday, and each person can only purchase two. Since Wednesday will also be a national holiday, the stamps can only be sold in post offices in Taipei and those branch offices that are open on holidays.
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