Chen questioned on projects
Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was questioned at the Taipei Detention Center yesterday by the Investigation Bureau on matters regarding classified diplomatic projects. Lee Ta-chu (李大竹), deputy director of the center where Chen is being detained, said that investigators questioned Chen from about 10am to 1:40pm. Special Investigation Panel prosecutors have investigated corruption allegations related to classified diplomatic projects during Chen’s presidency. However, Chen’s lawyer, Shih Yi-ling (石宜琳), told reporters: “According to the Code of Criminal Procedure, because Chen has already been indicted, investigators cannot reopen the case for investigation.” Chen was accompanied by Shih and another lawyer, Cheng Wen-lung (鄭文龍), during the questioning. Lee declined to comment on details regarding the questioning.
Railway to go electric
The railway between Hualien and Taitung counties will be fully electrified by 2013 as part of government efforts to upgrade rail services in eastern Taiwan, Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said during an inspection tour of Taitung yesterday. Mao said the railway electrification project would begin later this year. Huang Chung-chieh (黃中杰), chief of the eastern Taiwan division of the Railway Reconstruction Bureau, said that after the 155km railway is electrified, the railway’s speed would increase from 110kph to 130kph, shortening travel time.
Freeway links Wufong, Puli
National Freeway No. 6 linking Wufong in Taichung County to Puli in Nantou County was officially opened on Saturday. The 37.6km freeway incorporates high-tech and eco-friendly materials and techniques and will help boost Nantou’s tourism and agriculture, officials said. Nantou is rich in agricultural and tourism resources. One of its major products is Oolong tea and its tourist attractions include Sun Moon Lake and Shitou Forest Recreational Area, two of the country’s most popular scenic areas. The freeway is the first in Taiwan to prioritize the concept of sustainable growth by trying to minimize the impact on the environment along its route. The construction of National Freeway No. 6 started in 2004 and cost NT$37.6 billion (US$1.11 billion).
Cabinet proposes cap
The Cabinet last night said that the ceiling on interest rates for credit card and cash cards should be capped at 15.5 percent, based on the maximum 12 percent interest rate for non-collateralized loans set by the central bank plus a floating annual rate currently set at 3.5 percent. The rate cap is higher than the 12.5 percent cap suggested last week by lawmakers. The legislature’s Judicial Committee last Thursday preliminarily approved an amendment to the Civil Code (民法) that would cut the limit on all contracted interest rates from 20 percent to 9 percent above the central bank’s rate for three-month loans without collateral. In response to strong opposition voiced by foreign and domestic banks on the legislature’s move, Vice Premier Paul Chiu (邱正雄) called a meeting of economic officials last night. Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Sean Chen (陳冲) suggested lawmakers stipulate a cap of the interest rate based on Article 41 of the Banking Act (銀行法) and not the Civil Code so as not to affect other kinds of loans in the private lending market.
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
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
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung