Sun, May 13, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES , WITH STAFF WRITER

■ Crime

SEF to help woman's family

The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) said late on Friday night it would help the family of a murdered Taiwanese businesswoman travel to Shanghai to deal with her affairs. Chen Yi-chun (陳怡君), a 30-year-old jeans designer from Taipei City, was found dead at her residence in Shanghai on Friday. A preliminary investigation by Shanghai police showed that she was murdered during the course of a robbery, a foundation spokesman said. The foundation will help the family members with paperwork and other requirements so that they can go to Shanghai as soon as possible, the spokesman said. The foundation, a quasi-official organization authorized to handle exchanges with China in the absence of official ties with Beijing, has asked its Chinese counterpart to urge the Shanghai police to fully investigate Chen's death.

■ Health

Syringes offered in Tainan

Drug addicts in Tainan County will be able to get syringe kits and needles from vending machines in 16 locations starting this week, a Tainan County official said. Tainan County Deputy Magistrate Yen Chun-tzuo (顏純左) said on Friday the vending machines will offer a package containing a pair of syringes with needles, two condoms and rubbing alcohol swabs for NT$10. He added that the county government will sign agreements with convenience stores to also provide free syringes and needles to drug addicts on a 24-hour basis. The Tainan county government implemented a program in October 2005 to supply free needles to drug users in an attempt to curb the spread of AIDS. Although some critics see the measure as encouraging drug users to continue their habits, the county government said it would expand the program, Yen said. He described the service as successful because the number of HIV carriers in Taiwan dropped from 3,392 in 2005 to 2,981 last year.

■ Politics

`Children's Day' mulled

The government is considering designating May 15 as "Children's Day" to raise public awareness of threats to children's safety in public and private places, Ministry of the Interior Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said yesterday. Lee said his ministry recently called a meeting with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Department of Health and the National Communications Committee to discuss the issue amid an increase in the number of accidents involving children. Twenty-three kindergartners died on May 15, 1992, when the minibus transporting them to a picnic in Taipei burst into flames, sending a great shock throughout the country.

■ Politics

Assets vote drive stepped up

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is gearing up to solicit greater public support for its campaign demanding that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) return its stolen assets. According to DPP officials, the party will set up booths today in cities and counties across the country to win further public endorsement for its campaign. At the booth erected on the plaza in front of Taipei Railway Station, carnations will be presented to people who sign the petition, a DPP official added. The DPP said it had collected over 750,000 signatures for the campaign as of Friday, and predicted it may hit the target for the referendum process' second-phase, one-million signatures, next month or in July.

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