Prostitution suspects caught
Fourteen Taiwanese have been arrested for allegedly coercing Southeast Asian women into prostitution, police said yesterday. The prostitution ring, based in Miaoli County, had collaborated with manpower agencies and human smuggling groups to lure the women, who were mostly from Indonesia and Vietnam, from their home countries, police said. The women were locked up and forced to work as prostitutes, even when they were ill, police said. Many were domestic helpers who ran away from their original employers. Some of the women had to service 10 or more clients a day and had been subjected to violent treatment, police said, but did not elaborate. Eleven women were rescued during a police raid on Thursday when 14 members of the ring and two customers were arrested, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said.
Chinese tourists avoid vote
China has instructed tour operators to avoid arranging tour groups to Taiwan in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 14 presidential vote, Taiwanese travel agents said yesterday. “We are not surprised by the move as it is a sensitive time ahead of the election and the [Chinese] authorities want to be cautious,” said Roget Hsu (許高慶), secretary-general of the Travel Agent Association of ROC, Taiwan. A manager at a Taipei-based travel agency, who asked to be identified only by his surname, Lee (李), said his Chinese partner agencies have been urged to refrain from sending tourists to Taiwan in the two weeks before the poll. It would be bad for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) if Chinese tourists were spotted at its campaign rallies, as the opposition could describe it as interference in the election, he said. However, calls to travel agents in Beijing indicated no new restrictions had been put in place. Nor was there any indication of new rules on the Web site of China’s aviation authority.
TNC calls for eco campaigns
The fledgling Taiwan National Congress party (TNC) said yesterday the nation’s presidential and legislative election campaigns were generating large amounts of pollution, and urged the major parties to adopt campaign strategies that minimized waste. The party estimated that if the more than 150 legislative candidates from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) used campaign flags, they would generate 4.59 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions. The party also took aim at other campaign products, including the DPP’s “piggy banks” and the KMT’s “good luck charms,” saying they would continue to contaminate the environment long after the election. It urged the two parties to adopt more environmentally friendly campaign tactics.
FAMILY FEUD: Weng Jen-hsien, who was convicted of killing six people in 2016, was the second prisoner to be executed since President Tsai Ing-wen took office A death row inmate was executed on Wednesday, less than a year after he was convicted of killing six people by setting fire to his home. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he signed the order and the death sentence was carried out on Wednesday afternoon in New Taipei City. The Supreme Court on July 10 last year sentenced 53-year-old Weng Jen-hsien (翁仁賢) to death after he was convicted of killing his parents, niece, nephew and nephew’s wife and his parents’ caregivers. Weng set fire to his home in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) on Feb. 7, 2016, after a family feud
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
IN PRINCIPLE: The Central Epidemic Command Center began yesterday to ban visits to hospitalized patients, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 10 new COVID-19 cases — eight imported and two locally transmitted — bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 339. The imported cases involved six men and two women, all Taiwanese, who had traveled to Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, countries in Latin America, the UK or the US before arriving back in Taiwan between March 6 and Tuesday, center data showed. Among them, patient No. 338 was part of a tour group that traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic, and has resulted in an infection cluster of five cases,