No casinos yet: GIO
Until a high degree of consensus is reached among the public, the government will not allow the establishment of casinos anywhere in the country, Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) said yesterday. Discounting a news report that the government is planning to grant three licenses for casinos to be built in the offshore county of Penghu and the southern counties of Chiayi and Pingtung, Shieh said the government's plans for opening casinos were still on the drawing board and not expected to be implemented anytime soon. The Chinese-language United Daily News reported yesterday that the government's plans to establish casinos around the country would become clearer in October at the earliest, when the Council for Economic Planning and Development will have completed a draft bill governing the establishment and operations of casinos. According to the report, the government will initially issue licenses to enable three casinos to be established on Penghu and in Chiayi and Pingtung counties.
South shaken yesterday
A moderate earthquake struck the south early yesterday, officials said. No damage or injuries were immediately reported. The magnitude-5.7 quake hit at around 8:55am and was centered about 15km southwest of Taitung City, the Central Weather Bureau said.
Pedestrians get help
As the pedestrian death toll climbs this year, the Taipei City Government yesterday vowed to put greater effort into clamping down on drivers who fail to give right-of-way to pedestrians. The Taipei City Department of Transportation said that 15 pedestrians had been killed in traffic so far this year. To prevent such accidents, the department said drivers must always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Violators will be fined between NT$1,200 and NT$3,600, the department said. The Taipei City Police Department said some accidents had been caused by pedestrians violating traffic rules. Municipal police will clamp down on jaywalkers, who can be fined NT$360 for jaywalking.
Pottery shards found
Pottery shards unearthed from a prehistoric site in southern Matsu suggest that human activity on the island could date to the fifth century, Matsu cultural officials said yesterday. An archeological team found fish bones and pottery shards, including a roof tile dated to between 420AD and 479AD.
Lu calls for discussion
Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday said the Democratic Progressive Party must hold more discussions on its proposed "normal country" resolution, which received mixed responses from pro-independence groups. Describing the proposal as "too deep," Lu said she spent quite some time reading it from start to finish. The party drafted the resolution in hopes of firing up support among grassroots voters. The resolution highlights the need to change the nation's name to "Taiwan" and establish a new constitution to rid itself of "the myth of the `one-China' constitutional framework."