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.