Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan News Quick Takes

Staff Writer, with CNA

POLITICS

Legislators report for duty

Several legislators reported early for the new session yesterday, with one even staying overnight at the Legislative Yuan to be the first arrival. Legislators started reporting for the eighth plenary session of the seventh legislature at 8am yesterday. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Tsao Erh-chang (曹爾忠), Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠), Lin Te-fu (林德福) and Kung Wen-chi (孔文吉) attended, as well as Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Peng Shao-chin (彭紹瑾). The legislature holds two sessions each year, the first from February to the end of May, and the second from September to the end of December. Tsao said he arrived at 11:30pm on Wednesday night to get an early start, adding that he is often the first arrival for legislative sittings or committee meetings. KMT Legislator Lu Chia-chen (盧嘉辰) jogged in from Tucheng (土城) in New Taipei City (新北市). Lu said that when he was elected in 2008, he also jogged in to take his oath of office. The new session is scheduled to start on Sept. 16.

COMMUNICATIONS

HSR to upgrade WiMAX

The Bureau of High Speed Rail (HSR) said on Wednesday it would upgrade its telecommunications service by June to offer its passengers uninterrupted Internet access on mobile devices. In a NT$500 million (US$17 million) joint project, including the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Industrial Technology Research Institute and a local telecommunications company, the bureau said it would introduce the 4G (fourth-generation) WiMAX technology to overcome glitches in the current service. At present, high-speed rail passengers using 2G or 3G cellular devices often have reception problems because the high speed of the trains makes it difficult to achieve a smooth signal transition from one base station to the next. However, that obstacle should soon be overcome because hundreds of WiMAX base stations and 360km of optical fiber cable are being installed along the railway line, the bureau said.

TRANSPORT

EasyCard seeks trial testers

EasyCard Corp began accepting applicants yesterday for a trial scheme for IC EasyCards with a new function that allows users to look up their card usage record online. EasyCard was first introduced in Taipei in 2002. The company is offering 20,000 free Republic of China -centennial-themed IC EasyCards for commuters who apply to test-drive the new cards. According to the company , the chip embedded in the card allows holders to access their usage record for the past three months at home using a reader, rather than just the six most recent transactions the current EasyCard permits. The company said applications would remain open until Monday or until 20,000 applications had been accepted. EasyCard users can apply and submit their comments or suggestions at www.easycard.com.tw/newcard, the company said.

ENTERTAINMENT

Rocker Chyi Chin burned

Veteran Taiwanese rocker Chyi Chin (齊秦) was severely burned early yesterday at his home in Beijing, but was reported to be in stable condition, his agency said in a statement. The 51-year-old singer-songwriter suffered second-degree burns on his face and back while undergoing cupping therapy, the agency said, adding the therapist had accidentally spilled alcohol on Chyi. The burns covered about 8 percent of his body. Chyi was undergoing the treatment to alleviate fatigue. His agency said Chyi would cancel all public activities for the next two to three months to recuperate.

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