Program cuts trash volume
Fast food restaurant chains in New Taipei City (新北市) reduced garbage levels by 179 tonnes last year because of a recycling program initiated by the city government, according to an official with the city’s Environmental Protection Department. The 105 restaurants that participated in the program reduced the amount of garbage they created by 179 tonnes last year, a decrease of 49.5 percent from a year earlier, said Liu Ho-jen (劉和然), director of the department. Displaying clear instructions for the public to follow was one major factor helping to reduce waste by such a large amount of garbage in just one year, Liu said. By using their own mugs and using fewer packaged sauces and napkins, customers have helped restaurant operators save around NT$11.8 million (US$400,000) in costs.
China builds Fujian airbase
The Ministry of National Defense said yesterday that it is aware of a new Chinese military airport in the southeastern province of Fujian and will take appropriate measures to ensure Taiwan’s safety. Taiwan has a good understanding of Chinese military deployments, ministry spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) said in a statement after local media reported the building of a Chinese military airbase in a mountainous area of Fujian. “Our citizens can rest assured that the ministry has full knowledge of the situation and will take countermeasures,” he said. The airport, close to completion, is an estimated 245km from Taipei, 380km from the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) and 200km from an undersea natural gas field in the East China Sea, according to the Chinese-language United Evening News. The location suggests China is seeking to support its sovereign claims in the region and to counteract the military power of Japan and the US, it added.
Group helps disadvantaged
A child welfare organization is raising funds for disadvantaged children in families suffering as a result of rising consumer goods prices caused by fuel and electricity price hikes. In its project to build a “101 Building of Love,” the Taipei-based Child Welfare League Foundation said it hoped to attract at least 1,001 donors and raise NT$3 million (US$101,000) or more. According to a foundation survey, the monthly expenses of a four-member household increased by NT$571 on average last month. For disadvantaged families, the impact of rising prices was 9.5 times larger than for other families, the survey indicated. Against this backdrop, the foundation launched its campaign on May 3 to raise funds to pay for healthcare and living expenses for disadvantaged children, the group said. So far, the foundation has drawn 700 donors, who have made combined donations of NT$1 million, enough to feed over 5,000 disadvantaged children for one day, the group said.
Thief’s sentence reduced
The Taiwan High Court on Friday sentenced a former post office employee on the outlying island of Matsu to six years in prison for embezzling NT$39.53 million (US$1.33 million). In an earlier ruling by the Taipei District Court on March 22, Ho Pin-hui (何品輝) was sentenced to nine years for embezzling the money and evading the authorities for six years. Following an appeal to the high court, Ho’s sentence was reduced to six year after judges took into account that he confessed to the crime and returned NT$1 million to the post office. The case can still be appealed to the Supreme Court.