Man jailed for having pistol
A 23-year-old man was sentenced by the Taipei District Court to three years and three months in jail and fined NT$50,000 for the illegal possession of a pistol. The man, identified as Wu Lieh-chin (吳烈欽), was found by police on March 12 to have had a modified replica semi-automatic Beretta in his car during a random inspection in Taipei when he was stopped for illegally turning right at an intersection. Wu said he bought the gun for NT$70,000 from a man he called only by the nickname "A-tai" in April last year in Ximending.
Kinmen swim camp begins
A month-long summer swimming camp for elementary school pupils in the fourth to sixth grades began yesterday in Kinmen County, with 767 schoolchildren taking part. Lee Tsai-hang (李再杭), director of the county government's Education Bureau, said the outlying island used to be a military zone in which residents were not allowed to swim in the sea or play on the beach. As a result, he said, many Kinmen residents do not know how to swim. Lee said the swimming lessons, to be taught simultaneously in five swimming pools in the county, are intended to let the schoolchildren learn a sport as well as personal survival techniques in water. He said the aim is for each student to be able to swim at least 25m unaided by the end of their 10-day training sessions.
TBSF appeals for donors
The coming of the summer months has bought another appeal by the Taiwan Blood Services Foundation (TBSF) for donors to roll up their sleeves, and potential donors were reminded yesterday of the rules governing donor eligibility. Those who have traveled to areas where cholera is endemic are restricted from giving blood for a year, the foundation said. Those who lived in the UK for more than a total of three months between 1980 and 1996 or in Europe for more than five years after 1980 are restricted from giving blood indefinitely, it said. Those who are pregnant, have had a tooth extraction within three days or have had a tattoo within the past year are also ineligible to give blood. "More than 12 percent of willing donors have to be turned away," said Chang Ing-ell (陳英二), the chief executive officer of the TBSF.
Cops crack down on youth
Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) has asked police in Taipei County to step up inspections of entertainment venues frequented by youths as part of a police project to prevent young people from hanging out at venues late at night during the summer vacation, a Taipei County Police Bureau spokesman said yesterday. Lee made the request after conducting an inspection tour of a bowling alley late on Wednesday night. The police launched the one-month campaign last Sunday with the goal of preventing the county's young people from engaging in scooter racing on the street, drug abuse and the sex trade, the spokesman said. The police will issue fines or revoke the licenses of any entertainment venue owners who fail to comply with the order, the spokesman said. In order to offer a safe entertainment environment for youths during the summer vacation, Lee said, the government will organize healthy recreational activities and step up its crackdown on the illegal venues that have a negative influence on the nation's young people.