Yu to attend PM funeral
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun will attend the funeral of former Japanese prime minister Kiichi Miyazawa on behalf of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), party sources said yesterday. Yu is scheduled to leave for Japan on Aug. 26 and return to Taiwan on Aug. 28. Miyazawa, whose political career stretched from Japan's defeat in World War II to 2003, died at the age of 87 of natural causes at his home in Tokyo on June 28.
Officials warn about scam
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Officials yesterday cautioned residents not to be duped into working in fraud rings in Malaysia. The officials issued the warning after several Taiwanese citizens were arrested by Malaysian police for involvement in fraud cases. Initial investigations show that they had traveled to Malaysia to work as "sales clerks," calling Malaysian residents to inform them that they had won prizes. Ministry officials said the Taiwanese people arrested had found the jobs through recruiting advertisements in Taiwanese newspapers. In the past few years, the officials said, a number of Taiwanese citizens have also been conned by "talent scout" ads into traveling to South Korea to work in fraud rings. After arriving in South Korea, they were told to cheat people by phone. The officials said that the scams in Malaysia seemed to be a duplicate of the South Korean operations, urging the public to watch out for suspicious ads.
Dengue risk can be cut
The Department of Health yesterday urged the public to empty standing water from containers to prevent an outbreak of dengue fever. Deputy Director-General of the Centers for Disease Control Chou Chih-hau (周志浩) said heavy rain brought by Typhoon Sepat could create more breeding areas for mosquitoes and increase the risk of another outbreak of dengue fever. The south has been hit hard by dengue fever this year, with more than 60 indigenous cases reported since the beginning of summer. That number is much higher than last year's figure, Chou said. He asked the public, especially residents of Tainan and Kaohsiung cities, to watch out for stagnant water in and around their homes. Bureau of Environmental Sanitation and Toxic Substance Control Yuan head Shao-ying (袁紹英) urged the public to clear away mud left by the typhoon, as mud is the preferred breeding site of the midge, whose bites cause painful, itchy weals.
Tainan tops facility list
Tainan City topped the list in a nationwide assessment of barrier-free facilities for pedestrians, commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior. The survey, conducted by an educational foundation, assessed the barrier-free facilities on roads and in parks in the nation's 25 cities and counties directly under the central government, and in 139 cities and townships with populations of over 50,000. The foundation based its assessment on the criteria of "safety, comfort and accessibility." Among cities, Tainan was followed by Kaohsiung and Chiayi cities. Hsinchu and Keelung cities took the bottom two slots. Among counties, Yunlin, Taichung and Miaoli counties ranked highest, while Hsinchu, Nantou and Pingtung counties needed improvement. Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said subsidies for the cities and counties that ranked lowest would be cut, and the money used to encourage the top-ranking locations.