Tue, Feb 12, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ WEATHER

More cold, more rain

The Central Weather Bureau said yesterday that another cold front is approaching Taiwan, which will likely lower the mercury to about 8oC in northern and central areas from today. The bureau said the cold front would last until Thursday, bringing overnight lows of 8oC to areas north of Tainan, the northeastern coast and the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu. Temperatures are expected to pick up on Thursday. The cold front is also expected to bring more rain through the week to northern and northeastern parts of Taiwan.

■ CRIME

Hung Chi-te in car crash

Entertainer Hung Chi-te (洪其德) apologized yesterday to the family of a 59-year-old woman killed in a car accident. Police said the accident took place in Kenting at 12:15am yesterday, when Hung's car collided with the motorcycle Lu A-chao (盧阿昭) was riding. Hung said he had had a few whiskeys with a friend in Pingtung County on Sunday night and regretted what he did. He was released on NT$100,000 bail after being questioned by police, who said Hung's blood alcohol level exceeded the legal limit. Last year, Hung tearfully apologized on TV for using drugs. He has recently opened a steamed dumpling restaurant with entertainer Jung Hsiung (戎祥) in Hengchun (恆春), Pingtung County.

■ GOVERNMENT

Watchdog eyes legislature

The Citizen Congress Watch (CCW), a private watchdog that oversees the legislature, will pay close attention to the new legislature, in which the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-led "pan-blue" camp holds a three-quarter majority, the group's head said yesterday. CCW chairman Ku Chung-hua (顧忠華) said the watchdog would evaluate the performance of legislators "based on their attendance records and speeches during the legislative session that began on Feb. 1." The watchdog will also request the right to observe committee meetings relating to the rights of citizens, hold a forum in the middle of this month to prepare a white paper on parliamentary reform and organize a parade on March 15 demanding greater legislative transparency and openness, Ku said. Former legislator Joanna Lei (雷倩) said the watchdog should use three tools to supervise the legislature: the Legislative Yuan's Gazette, the property declarations of public servants and the Lobbying Act.

■ HEALTH

COA issues reminder

The Council of Agriculture is urging Taiwanese who are planning to travel abroad not to bring back prohibited goods, adding that sniffer dogs had been deployed at airports and harbors to safeguard the nation's environment. The council's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said about a dozen dogs, mostly beagles, were on duty at major gateways around the country, inspecting baggage around the clock, especially for travelers returning from Southeast Asian countries, Hong Kong and Macau. A bureau official said many migrant workers from Southeast Asia return to Taiwan after a visit to their native countries during the Lunar New Year vacation, bringing with them hometown specialties, such as tropical fruits, spices, seeds and plants, which may carry viruses. "All banned goods will be destroyed," the official said. To protect the environment against foreign species and contagious diseases, the official said that travelers carrying contraband goods could face prosecution and jail.

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