Free education extended
Starting this academic year, children aged between five and six who are of Aborigine heritage or live on outlying islands will receive free education, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The ministry intends to include children whose families have an annual income of less than NT$1.1 million (US$35,000) in the free early childhood education program next year, said Cheng Lai-chang (鄭來長), deputy head of the Department of Compulsory Education. The program will later be extended to all children in the five-to-six age group, Cheng said. The government plans to include all children aged between two and six in the nationwide compulsory education system once the legislature gives approval to the plan, Cheng said.
Night owls get extra day
Starting next month, consumers who rent movies between 10pm to 12am will get an extra day before they have to return the movies, the Consumer Protection Commission said yesterday. It said many consumers had complained that they don’t have time to rent a movie until 10pm or 11pm, but they are still charged for the full day. The commission recently revised standard contracts for movie rentals, which now states that consumers who rent movies between 10pm to 12am will get an extra day before they must return the videos, legal division director Chiu Hui-mei (邱惠美) said. For example, when the new regulations take effect next month, a person who rents a movie for three days between 10pm to 12am on Wednesday needs to return the movie by the end of Saturday, the comission said.
Samuel Yin honored
Ruentex Group president Samuel Yin (尹衍樑) has been named vice president of the Russian Academy of Engineering (RAE), becoming the first person not from a former Soviet Union country to receive the honor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Yin also received the institute’s “Engineering Courage Award” on Sept. 15, said Lin Jinn-jong (林進忠), director general of the Department of West Asian Affairs. Yin, whose business interests include textiles, education, retailing, medical services and construction, became an RAE member in 2008 and received an Engineering Glory Award the same year. The 60-year-old Yin is best known for introducing prefabricated construction to Taiwan in the mid-1990s, which he used to help build Taipei 101.
Meat Free Monday urged
Mankind’s chances of survival on Earth would increase if fewer people ate meat, Nobel Chemistry Prize Laureate Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) said in a discussion yesterday. In a video presentation at a press conference in Taipei, Lee urged people to live a simpler and more thrifty life that would include eating less meat and more vegetables. “The fewer meat consumers there are, the better humans’ chances of survival on the planet,” said Lee, adding that if humans fail to take any action, floods and droughts would become more serious. He also said that the human race could become extinct in another 100 years if the level of greenhouse gases continues to rise at unprecedented rates. Writer Su Hsiao-huan (蘇小歡) and a group of environmentalists initiated Meat Free Monday in Taiwan last year with the aim of raising public awareness of the environmental impact of meat production and consumption. It promotes the idea of making a difference by eating vegetarian meals at least one day a week.