Taipei Guest House open
The Baroque-style Taipei Guest House, a century-old national historic landmark, will be open to the public from 8am to 4pm today to coincide with the upcoming Lantern Festival, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced yesterday. Foreign Minister Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊) will also send out New Year’s greetings on behalf of the ministry by distributing small lanterns to visitors there at 2:30pm, the MOFA statement said. Visitors are required to present identification documents and submit to security checks to enter, and are advised to show up before 3:30pm.
Incest scam leads to jail
The Pingtung District Court on Friday sentenced three people to prison terms ranging from eight to 18 years for posing as religious masters and convincing a man to have sex with his own three daughters. The court said the two men, Chang Yao-ming (張耀明) and Chen Ming-tsun (陳明村), and one woman, Hsu Su-chun (?K), set up a sect several years ago in Pingtung County, claiming they had the power to cure illnesses. In 2005, a local man sought help for his sick wife at the temple run by the trio. The fake religious masters told the 48-year-old man that his wife was dying and the only way to save her was for him to have sex with his three teenage daughters. The daughters were told that they must have sex with Chang, too. The defendants then allegedly intimidated the three daughters into submitting to the sex act to save their mother’s life. From 2005 to last year, the three daughters had sex with their father and Chang many times, with Chen and Hsu watching and fondling the girls, the court said.
Tongue-tied man sentenced
A man whose tongue was bitten off by the women he tried to rape was sentenced by the Chiayi District Court on Friday to six years in prison for attempted rape, the Apple Daily reported yesterday. On Oct. 17 last year, Lee Tang-hsiang (李堂祥), 35, was riding his motorbike at 4am in Chiayi when he saw the woman on a motorbike. Lee, whose criminal record includes previous sex crimes and drug use, rode alongside the victim, pulled on her blouse and skirt and eventually caused her to fall off her motorbike. Lee jumped on top of the woman, held her down and forced his tongue into her mouth. She bit off his tongue, spat it out and ran to the nearest police station. Lee jumped on his motorbike and raced home. Police found about 2.5cm of Lee’s severed tongue and alerted hospitals in Chiayi. A few hours later, one hospital reported a man seeking treatment for a severed tongue. Police arrested Lee six hours after the incident, but it was too late to reattach the severed appendage. His wound was treated, but he cannot speak clearly and has lost most of the ability to taste, the paper said.
DOH quells salmonella fears
The Department of Health (DOH) assured the public that the US-produced nutritional bars contaminated with the Salmonella typhimurium bacteria and recalled by Natural Organics are not being sold in Taiwan. Since the US salmonella outbreak last month, more than 500 people have been sickened and at least eight have died. The US Food and Drug Administration has since ordered recalls of a long list of products, including nutritional bars produced by Natural Organics. The DOH confirmed on Friday that the tainted products are not being sold in Taiwan.