CDs offer 'green' fireworks
The Taipei City Government Department of Environmental Protection is offering free "firecracker sound" CDs to residents to make the Lunar New Year safer and more environmentally friendly. Department officials said the CDs were being offered to encourage people not to use firecrackers during the festive season to cut down on air and noise pollution and have a safe holiday. To provide an alternative, the department made audio recordings of firecracker sounds available on its Web site prior to last year's Lunar New Year holidays. Copies of the CD can be picked up for free at the department's main office in Xinyi District (信義), the officials said, adding that the audio file is also available on the department's Web site.
Superstition leads to change
National ID card numbers will no longer have more than one number "4" in the future, Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said in a news release yesterday. "Because the number '4' is traditionally considered an unlucky number, [the ministry] stopped issuing national ID cards ending in '4' in 2000," the statement said. "But the number `4' can still appear on national IDs." The number "4" is considered an unlucky number because the Mandarin pronunciation, si, sounds similar to the word for "death." The statement said avoiding the number "4" completely would be too difficult because 45 percent of national ID numbers would have to be replaced. Instead, the ministry will allow no more than one "4" on new national ID cards. The ministry will also allow "anybody whose national ID number contains a number '4' to apply to change their national ID number," the statement said.
China targets Web site
Police in China have shut down a Taiwan-based Web site that featured Chinese women in erotic footage and have arrested 33 people involved in the operation, China's state media reported on Wednesday. Viewers, mostly in Taiwan, paid to watch footage taken in Guangdong Province, Xinhua news agency said. The site had been in operation for more than one year and took in more than US$137,000 in three months, it said. Police told Xinhua that 23 of those arrested were performers for the site at 12 locations. The other 10 helped manage the operation. Two Taiwanese were among the 10 organizers, the report said without elaborating.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan