No timetable for executions
The government has not discussed when it would next execute death-row inmates or who would be executed, Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) said yesterday, denying an Apple Daily report that 10 executions were scheduled for next month, after Double Ten National Day. He said the death penalty was the government’s current policy and that any execution would be carried out only after a thorough review. He also denied reports that the ministry faced a shortage of police officials to carry out the death sentences because few want the job after more senior officers retire. The Supreme Court has confirmed 12 death row convictions this year, bringing to 51 the number of people awaiting execution.
Eco-wedding contest planned
The Environmental Protection Administration announced on Monday it was throwing a “low-carbon” wedding competition that will distribute vouchers worth up to NT$100,000 to couples planning to wed this year. Couples who generate the least carbon emissions through their weddings will be awarded gift vouchers that can be used to buy environmentally friendly products, Control and Evaluation Department Director-General Yuan Shaw-ying (袁紹英) said. Contestants will first be rated based on the amount of carbon emissions released in the decoration of wedding venues, the carbon footprint of the meals served, the wedding dress and transportation used by the bridal couple and their guests, Yuan said. Finalists will then have to submit a detailed plan for their low-carbon wedding. There will be three winning couples, one each from the north, center and south of the country. Interested couples must register for the contest by 5pm on Oct. 18 at greenliving.epa.gov.tw/GreenLife/.
Alishan nears record mark
The number of visitors to Chiayi County’s Alishan National Scenic Area this year reached 997,347 as of Monday, edging toward setting a new record of more than 1.07 million, the county’s Forest District Office said yesterday. The office expected the number of visitors to hit a new record in the next three months, attributing the high number of visitors this year to fewer typhoons and rebuilt access roads. The scenic area, a 2,200m high mountain resort established in 1976, has received an average of 800,000 visitors a year during the past decade, the office said. The current visitor record of 1.078 million was set in 2009. However, in August of that year, the area was devastated by Typhoon Morakot and the number of visitors plummeted, the office said.
Tour bus deals on offer
Tourists planning a one-day or half-day trip to scenic spots throughout the country next month might want to take advantage of special deals offered by the Taiwan Tour Bus Service, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday. Tourism Bureau Deputy Director Wayne Liu (劉喜臨) said the service has been popular among both domestic and international travelers. Bureau statistics showed that 50 percent of Taiwan Tour Bus passengers are international tourists. The bureau said 30 routes had been selected and it would promote one route each day next month. Those traveling on a route on its promotion day will need to pay just NT$499, which covers both the bus fare and tickets to tourist facilities. A one-day Taiwan Tour Bus trip normally costs NT$1,500. A half-day trip costs NT$1,000. The special discount will only be available to the first 100 takers daily, according to the bureau. Those interested in the special deals must reserve their trips online at www.taiwantourbus.com.tw.