New child sex laws mulled
The government is considering tightening its child sex abuse laws following public outrage at three cases where defendants were controversially cleared or given a light jail sentence. In one case involving a three-year-old girl, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by prosecutors, saying they had failed to prove the girl was opposed to the sexual activity. Another case saw a male suspect charged with molesting his two-year-old niece acquitted as judges said they believed the victim was mistaken about the time of the alleged crime. “The Ministry of Justice is considering amending a provision of the Criminal Code … so as to better protect the rights of children,” a ministry official said. The third case saw a child abuser jailed for just 38 months — less than half the sentence sought by prosecutors. The rulings drew severe criticism from child protection groups, who called for the legal authorities to do more to save youngsters from abuse. The Garden of Hope Foundation has demanded the removal of what it called “dinosaur judges” and said the call has won the support of 270,000 people on its Web site. It also threatened to launch a mass protest if the authorities did not respond to its appeal.
Delegation to recruit
The nation’s top economic planner will lead a delegation, which will include Minister without Portfolio Chang Jin-fu (張進福), to the US and Canada on Thursday to recruit high-tech talent. The delegation, led by Chairwoman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development Christina Liu (劉憶如), will visit Los Angeles, Boston, Austin San Francisco and Toronto, where they will interview overseas Taiwanese and other professionals for positions in Taiwan’s high-tech industry. At a time when the recovery of the US economy is still slow, the delegation will highlight Taiwan’s relatively strong economy, its cosmopolitan work and living environment and career development opportunities for high-tech professionals, Chang said. During the trip, Chang will give speeches in Boston and San Francisco to promote a global investment solicitation campaign that will start in October. The Taiwanese government assembles high-tech talent recruitment delegations every year. Later this year, a delegation will head to Seattle, Boston, New York and Toronto and visit Intel, Google, Microsoft, IBM and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on a tour aimed at recruiting professionals in the field of cloud computing, Chang said.
■ CONSUMER RIGHTS
Sunglasses lack labels
The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection recently inspected 29 types of sunglasses on the market and found that although all passed product safety tests, more than 80 percent did not have proper labeling. Bureau officials have issued warnings to the makers of the sunglasses to make improvements immediately or face fines between NT$100,000 and NT$1 million.
NFA ready to aid New Zealand
The National Fire Agency (NFA) is closely monitoring the situation in New Zealand after a magnitude 7 earthquake occurred there on Saturday, and is ready to send a search-and-rescue team if necessary, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. After learning of the earthquake, the fire agency instructed its special search-and-rescue team to prepare to join the disaster relief work, the ministry said. New Zealand told the OCHA there was no immediate need for international assistance, the ministry added.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of