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.
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.
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.
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.
The Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. It will be the first time in 60 years that the event has not be held at the mosque. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. This year Ramadan began on April 23 and is to
KAOHSIUNG VOTE: A city official allegedly wrote a message calling on supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu not to participate in the vote next month Prosecutors on Wednesday initiated an investigation of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director-General Tsao Huan-jung (曹桓榮) for allegedly telling supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to interfere with a recall vote against Han, while pan-green politicians denounced the mayor and his team for devising ways to obstruct voting. After receiving complaints from residents, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office launched its probe of Tsao for alleged breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Complainants provided evidence that Tsao on Saturday last week wrote on messaging app Line that Han supporters should not vote in the June 6 recall vote, saying:
BILINGUAL ASSISTANCE: The center launched a chat bot that features Chinese and English interfaces to provide foreigners with instant information about the pandemic The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that it would discuss with other nations the possibility of allowing businesspeople to visit on a case-by-case basis. Asked about loosening border restrictions, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said at the daily CECC news briefing that while the center is cautious about opening the nation’s borders, it would aim to diminish obstacles for important trade interactions without risking transmission of the novel coronavirus. Several foreign representatives in Taiwan have expressed an interest in the matter and the center would conduct related negotiations with the help of the
DELUSIONAL: The male patient said he did not know that the woman had mental problems, but the court said that her being restrained in isolation should have given him pause The Taiwan High Court has ordered the Jhudong branch of the Taiwan National University Hospital and a male patient to jointly pay a former female patient’s family NT$400,000 in compensation after the man had sex with the woman, who has mental problems, while hospitalized. The 26-year-old woman has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, a symptom of which is that she obsessively seeks to have sex, her mother said. The mother filed a formal complaint and sought damages from the hospital and the male patient surnamed Chen (陳) after finding out that her daughter had sex with the man while