Taipei to install cameras
The Taipei City Government will spend NT$1.6 billion (US$47.5 million) within the next year to install 13,000 new high-performance closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras on streets all over the city to fight crime and monitor traffic conditions, Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday. After hearing a briefing at the Taipei City Police Department on a plan for the new video surveillance system, Hau said the cameras would be mounted at strategic locations on the city’s public roads to make Taipei a safer city. Asked whether the new equipment would mean a further erosion of residents’ privacy, Hau said no one would be given access to the recorded tapes without a justifiable reason. He added that all the video footage would be on roads and would not infringe on people’s privacy in their homes.
Ma to invite Tsai
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is to officially invite Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) today for talks, the Presidential Office said. Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said Presidential Office Secretary-General Chan Chun-po (詹春柏) would personally deliver an invitation this morning to DPP Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), whom Wang said was the contact person assigned by Tsai for the matter. Wang declined to offer details of the letter, saying it would be rude to disclose it. Talk about a meeting between Ma and Tsai has been in the air, but Ma and Tsai failed to agree on the format and issues of the meeting. DPP Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) yesterday said the party would not comment until it had received the letter.
Chiang events planned
The Presidential Office yesterday announced a series of activities to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國). A seminar sponsored by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) tomorrow will start the month of events. Organizers planned to invite 20 guests who were Chiang’s associates or friends to tell their own tales about Chiang. The KMT yesterday made public a 196-page Chiang pictorial. Historica Sinica will hold an exhibition from Saturday to Sept. 13. The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange will invite author Jay Taylor to speak at a forum on Saturday at Eslite Bookstore in Taipei City’s Xinyi District. The Government Information Office will also premiere a 48-minute film on Saturday. A concert is scheduled for Sunday at the square of the National Concert Hall.
‘Formosa Post’ to debut
Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) announced yesterday the trial issue of her planned Formosa Post (玉山午報) would make its debut tomorrow. The date was picked to coincide with the anniversary of the implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act 30 years ago, Lu said. Another trial issue will be issued on May 20, with the official launch of the afternoon newspaper slated for July 1. Despite financial difficulties, Lu said there was no problem with manpower, but they planned to relocated to a new office within six weeks. Accusing the media of sensational coverage and giving in to commercial manipulation, Lu said she hoped to create a newspaper that served the public.
ADHD proposal passed
The legislature’s Education and Culture Committee yesterday passed the preliminary review of part of an amendment to the Special Education Act (特殊教育法) that would include children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in special needs education. Children with ADHD have been excluded from special needs education as the current Act stipulates that only those with “severe emotional disorder,” mental retardation, learning disorders or visual, hearing, linguistic or physical impairment are considered in need of special education. Legislators agreed to change the phrase “severe emotional disorder” to “emotional disorder” based on input from experts and educators. They also agreed that early intervention for children with special needs should begin as early as three years of age. However, legislators remained in disagreement over whether local governments should earmark more funding for special needs education and who should be authorized to evaluate and place a child with special needs.