Stolen vehicle rate drops
Insurance companies paid out NT$600 million (US$18.6 million) less in compensation for stolen vehicles last year thanks to a drop in car and motorcycle thefts, figures released yesterday by the Criminal Investigation Bureau showed. The number of stolen motorcycles and cars dropped by 43,000 last year compared with 2005. The car theft rate fell 31 percent and the motorcycle theft rate dropped more than 20 percent, officials said, adding that the drops translated into a decline of NT$2.5 billion in property losses. Many insurance companies have long refused to provide motorcycle theft insurance because of the high theft rate.
GIO launches ad contest
Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) launched a national audiovisual contest on Monday for promotional campaigns about Taiwan. Shieh introduced the "Wow! eye Taiwan" competition at the Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University. How Taiwan promotes itself to foreigners is very important, Shieh said. He said he hoped the competition would attract audio and video works that would introduce Taiwan to foreigners and Taiwanese alike, and that young people would be encouraged to share their visions of Taiwan. He said any individual or group interested in creating a positive image of Taiwan could submit an entry in the four categories -- music video, animation, short film and documentary. There were no limits on gender, age or nationality of contestants, he said, adding that the winner would receive NT$500,000.
NIA sponsors seminar
The National Immigration Agency will hold a seminar on human smuggling rings and travel document verification tomorrow. Academics, airline representatives, diplomatic personnel and trade office officials will attend the seminar to discuss efforts to combat illegal human smuggling gangs, agency officials said. Since the agency was inaugurated in January, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport officials have uncovered 140 cases of forged or counterfeit travel documents used by smuggling rings, the officials said.
Changhua builds turbines
Changhua County plans to have 244 wind turbines built in its Changbin Industrial Park, the county government said on Monday. Officials said construction contracts have been awarded to four wind power firms, including state-owned Taiwan Power Co (Taipower). Ninety-eight of the turbines will be on land and 146 will be in shallow waters off the coast, the officials said. Taipower has completed 23 turbines, which began commercial operations on April 22, and it will have 32 units completed by the end of this year. When all the 244 windmills are in operation, they will have a combined installed capacity of 696,700 kilowatts, the officials said.
TSU's Lai targets fuel firm
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) yesterday urged the Cabinet to levy a windfall tax on the Formosa Group -- the sole private-sector petroleum provider -- to prevent it from profiteering and to help curb fuel prices. Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) promising to study the idea. Lai said the tax should be imposed because the Formosa Group had refused to participate in a government fuel-price stabilization program. Lai said the group made more than NT$50 billion (US$1.54 billion) in profits so far this year.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37