ID numbers prevent thefts
Imprinting identification numbers on motorbikes has greatly reduced thefts, the Taipei City Police Department (TCPD) said yesterday. The National Police Agency last March launched a program that provides motorcycle owners with free imprinting of a serial engine number or license plate number on several parts of their bikes, with the aim of discouraging thieves by making disposal of their loot more difficult. TCPD tallies showed that it has assisted in the imprinting of 215,000 motorcycles since the beginning of the program. Officials said the reported number of motorbike thefts from July last year to February this year in its precinct has dropped by 12.62 percent compared to the same period a year earlier: specifically, from 6995 cases to 6112.
Cremation rate rises
Concepts of interment have evidently undergone dramatic changes over the past decade given that the cremation rate rose to 85.6 percent last year, a survey on burial behavior published by the Ministry of the Interior showed yesterday. The results of the survey were announced in the run-up to Tombsweeping Day, which falls on Thursday. The survey noted that the cremation rate was 58.67 percent in 1997. The figure rose to 85.6 percent last year, showing that the public's ideas about interment have undergone change and that cremation, not traditional burial, is now the mainstream choice. The survey also showed that expenses for burials have decreased by NT$13,612 over the past 10 years, noting that the expenses averaged NT$354,145 last year, down from NT$367,757 in 1997.
Thoracoscope a success
The mini thoracoscope, which has been used in clinical treatment of pneumothorax, or collapsed lung, since 2001 has helped reduce the relapse rate from 8 percent to 2 percent, sources at National Taiwan University Hospital said yesterday. An expert on thoracoscopic surgery in the NTUH's Department of Surgery explained that the hospital began using the mini thoracoscope because it allows for minimally invasive surgery, adding that the hospital's staff have refined the operation process by using a new adhesive to reduce the chance of relapse. Conventionally, talcum powder is used to create an adhesive effect in the surgical process, the expert noted. But the hospital staff came up with the idea of replacing talcum powder with the antibiotic Minocycline which proved to be more effective while also facilitating recovery.
Men nabbed for illegal entry
A resident of Kinmen and two of his brothers-in-law from China were nabbed early yesterday morning for illegally entering Taiwanese territory, officials from the Coast Guard Administration's (CGA) Kinmen station said yesterday. The man, surnamed Yeh, was monitored by CGA radar while accompanying two Chinese men surnamed Liu -- whom Yeh identified as his brothers-in-law -- in an attempt to sneak into Kinmen aboard a Fujian fishing boat in the early hours of yesterday morning. The three men -- apprehended for attempting to land on a beach in Liehyu, a small island west of Kinmen, without entrance papers -- were handed over to the Kinmen District Prosecutor's Office for questioning, CGA officials said. According to Yeh, he traveled to Xiamen City in Fujian Province two days ago to meet with the Liu brothers before the three set off from Xiamen for Kinmen on Sunday night.
MOFA says Taiwanese safe
A strong earthquake and subsequent tsunami yesterday inflicted severe damage and casualties on the Solomon Islands, one of Taiwan's allies in South Pacific. Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman David Wang (王建業) said yesterday that Taiwanese residents and diplomats on the islands had all been safely accounted for. Wang said that electricity in the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, did not fail, but that since the extent of the disaster was still unclear at this time, the extent of aid that Taiwan would provide was still being evaluated. Wang said that the ministry would make an announcement on the extent of any aid in due course.
■ Animal Welfare
Adoption time extended
The Jianguo Holiday Flower Market in Taipei City will be expanding the hours of its stray dog and cat adoption stand to allow a larger number of animal protection groups to participate. The stand had previously been open for only a half a day on Sundays, but now it will be open for a full day on Sundays and half a day on Saturdays instead. The Taipei Municipal Institute for Animal Health also said that it would be increasing the number of groups and animal hospitals eligible to use the stand by as many as 30. The Taipei Municipal Institute for Animal Health urged people to adopt pets instead of buying them, and warned that the groups participating in the revised plan would be strictly prohibited from selling the animals. However, interested groups may apply to the Taipei Department of Social Welfare if they wish to try to raise funds while using the stand.
DELUSIONAL: The male patient said he did not know that the woman had mental problems, but the court said that her being restrained in isolation should have given him pause The Taiwan High Court has ordered the Jhudong branch of the Taiwan National University Hospital and a male patient to jointly pay a former female patient’s family NT$400,000 in compensation after the man had sex with the woman, who has mental problems, while hospitalized. The 26-year-old woman has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, a symptom of which is that she obsessively seeks to have sex, her mother said. The mother filed a formal complaint and sought damages from the hospital and the male patient surnamed Chen (陳) after finding out that her daughter had sex with the man while
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) should not use the government’s disease-prevention policy as an excuse to block people’s access to the Taipei Railway Station’s main hall, the Taiwan International Workers’ Association said yesterday. The association held a protest at the station after what organizers said were about 400 people staged a sit-in on Saturday to demonstrate against the TRA’s proposal to ban sitting on the floor of the main hall. In accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s disease-prevention measures, large gatherings have been banned in the hall since the end of February. After protesters yesterday expressed their grievances at the southern
SEEKING OPTIONS: A Sinyi Realty corporate realty official attributed the spike to proposed legal changes in the territory and the ongoing pro-democracy protests More Hong Kongers purchased real estate in Taiwan last year than other foreigners, Ministry of the Interior statistics showed. The ministry attributed the spike to a proposed extradition law that the Hong Kong government submitted last year, which would have allowed suspects to be sent to China and other nations, which sparked mass protests that are continuing. The rate of purchases last year by Hong Kong natural and juridical persons stood at 40 and 60 percent respectively, with building area purchased by both standing at 47.41 percent and 52.59 percent respectively, ministry data showed. Department of Land Administration statistics showed that Hong Kongers
NEW RECRUITS: Nearly 9 million students are to graduate from university next month, and Beijing plans to use incentives to convince them to join the military, an analyst said Rising unemployment in China due to the COVID-19 pandemic could benefit the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by allowing it to attract new, better educated recruits, a Taiwanese security researcher said on Friday. Chen Ying-hsuan (陳穎萱), a policy analyst at the Division of Chinese Politics and Military Affairs at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, a government-funded think tank, made the remarks in an article published in the Defense Security Biweekly magazine. About 8.74 million university students are expected to graduate in China next month, while Chinese companies’ demand for fresh graduates fell 16.77 percent annually in the