Passenger sues over pets
A passenger has filed an administrative lawsuit against the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) because it allows people to bring pets on trains. The administration has been ordered to present an official response within 10 days, TRA Deputy Director-General Chang Ying-huei (張應輝) said yesterday. Chang said this was the first lawsuit to be brought against the TRA because of one of its policies. Court documents show the passenger claims that the implementation of the policy infringes on his rights as a passenger, Chang said. The TRA has been allowing passengers to board trains with their pets since July 1 in response to a request from the legislature. Before its implementation, the administration had said it would evaluate the policy for three months. The administration has conducted two surveys among passengers, in both of which passengers opposing the policy outnumbered those supporting it.
Bands head to Tainan County
The 15th Asia-Pacific Band Music Festival opens in Tainan County on Saturday, with bands from 27 countries and 152 local groups scheduled to perform during the week-long event. Tainan County Commissioner Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智) said the festival would be the biggest to date, with more than 10,000 band members expected to attend. Su said the festival presented a great opportunity for local band enthusiasts to learn from some of the world’s best performers. The opening day of the festival will feature a band music parade in the neighborhood of the Nan-Ying Green Heart Esplanade Park, the organizers said. The festival is being organized by the Tainan County Government and the Taiwan Band Association. More information is available on the Tainan County Government Cultural Affairs Bureau’s Web site at www.tnc.gov.tw/apbda.
Poll shows support for bears
A government survey yesterday showed that 56 percent of respondents are in favor of bringing pandas from China to Taiwan, and that almost 31 percent consider the end of the year to be the best time for the animals’ arrival. The survey, conducted by the Cabinet’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission, sampled 977 people aged 20 or older. A hundred people refused to answer questions in the survey. The results showed that 60 percent of respondents said pandas would help boost the nation’s tourism industry, while 47 percent said the pandas would facilitate cross-strait reconciliation. Sixty-two percent of those interviewed said that hosting the pandas would increase public knowledge of animal protection, and 54 percent said local zoos would be capable of taking care of the animals.
Jolin to host fundraiser
Singer Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) will host a fundraising event for worldwide famine relief in Taipei on Aug. 16, a local charity organization said. The campaign, sponsored by World Vision Taiwan, will be held at National Taiwan University. Tsai also acts as a spokeswoman for the campaign. World Vision, an international Christian relief and development organization, hopes to raise NT$150 million (US$4.9 million) at the fundraiser to promote its cause. Some of the proceeds will be allocated to assist children of HIV/AIDS sufferers, children and families affected by war, disadvantaged Taiwanese families and typhoon victims, the organizers said. More information is available on the charity’s Web site, www.worldvision.org.tw.