Sun, Dec 05, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Agencies

POLITICS

Tainan mayor certified

The mayor-elect of soon-to-be-created Greater Tainan municipality yesterday received his election certificate issued by the Central Election Commission (CEC). CEC Chairwoman Chang Po-ya (張博雅) presented the certificate to William Lai (賴清德) at his campaign headquarters in Yongkang, Tainan County. Lai was the first of the five winners in the Nov. 27 mayoral elections to receive his election certificate. According to Chang, the other winners will get their certificates next week. Tainan will join Taipei as a special municipality on Dec. 25 after merging with Tainan County. The other new municipalities are Sinbei City (the new name of Taipei County after its upgrade), Greater Taichung (an integration of Taichung and Taichung County) and Greater Kaohsiung (a merger of Kaohsiung and Kaohsiung County). Lai, one of two members of the Democratic Progressive Party who achieved victory in the elections, will head an administration serving a population of 1.8 million people.

CRIME

Drug dogs prove effective

Sniffer dogs helped customs agents find narcotics with a combined value of NT$150 million (US$4.91 million) in the first 10 months of this year, the Ministry of Finance’s Directorate General of Customs (DGC) reported yesterday. According to the DGC, 20 cases of drug smuggling were detected by the customs authorities with the help of sniffer dogs at major airports and ports nationwide from January to October. Five cases involved heroin weighing a total of 6.62kg, eight cases involved marijuana totaling 2.11kg, with the remaining seven cases involving 52.31kg of ketamine. The DGC began training narcotics detection dogs in July last year, with 12 squads of sniffer dogs completing the training and now serving at prime gateways to Taiwan.

HUMANITARIANISM

CGA rescues Chinese sailors

Coast Guard Administration (CGA) officials yesterday said they rescued 16 sailors from a Chinese cargo ship that sank off southern Taiwan in rough weather. They continue to search for eight men still missing one day after the 50,000-tonne Hong Wei sank in rough seas 60km off southern Taiwan. The ship was carrying iron ore from Indonesia to Dalian port in northeastern China. Three Chinese cargo ships have sunk in or near Taiwanese waters over the past three months, according to the coast guard.

TOURISM

Customized taxis offered

A total of 100 tourist taxis in eight urban areas are offering foreign travelers another choice for experiencing the country through customized routes in a cooperative venture between the organizer of the service, ezTravel, and local taxi companies. The travel company said it would benefit in particular backpackers from China once authorities give the green light for entry by Chinese independent travelers. Currently, Chinese tourists are only allowed to travel in Taiwan as part of a tour group. Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) in July said the additional measures would take effect late this year or early next year, to coincide with the Lantern Festival. The 36 designated sightseeing routes connect with major traffic systems, such as Taiwan High Speed Rail and the Taiwan Railway Administration, to make traveling more convenient, ezTravel said. In the initial stage, contracted taxi drivers will guide tourists around cities such as Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung at an hourly rate, it added.

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