Bosnia to grant visa waiver
Bosnia and Herzegovina has decided to grant Republic of China passport holders visa-waiver privileges, bringing the number of countries and regions Taiwanese can visit without a visa or landing visa to 128, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Yaser Cheng (鄭泰祥), deputy director-general of the ministry’s Department of European Affairs, said that the southeastern European country has not yet announced the maximum stay for visa-waiver visitors or the program’s implementation date, but he expected it to do so soon. Separately, Cheng advised Taiwanese visitors to the UK to remain vigilant following a number of incidents in which tourists have encountered fake police officers who demanded to see their credentials and took their wallets.
Google map used in case
A judge recently used a Google map showing an unleashed dog as evidence a man was responsible for his neighbor’s bike accident. The defendant, surnamed Lee (李), denied being the dog’s owner and causing injury through negligence. The victim, surnamed Peng (彭), testified that he became scared after the dog began chasing him when he was riding his bicycle in July last year, as a result of which he fell and injured his forehead. Judge Song Kuo-chen said yesterday that a two-year-old Google Street View picture showed the dog standing in Lee’s yard, which meant that Lee was its owner. The judge fined Lee NT$59,000.
Mercury hits year high
Temperatures of 36.2oC were recorded in Taipei yesterday, surpassing the year’s previous high of 36.1oC on Tuesday, according to the Central Weather Bureau. The high was recorded at 11:57am, following days of sunny weather caused by a Pacific high pressure system. The weather pattern has affected the whole nation, with daily highs ranging between 30oC and 35oC, the bureau said. However, showers were likely later in the day in southern and southeastern regions because of an approaching tropical depression, the bureau said.
Airport numbers set record
The number of passengers passing though Taiwanese airports reached a 10-year high from January to May, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday. The ministry said passenger traffic through the country’s 17 airports, including three international ones, in the first five months of the year was 18.23 million, an increase of 13.9 percent from the same period last year and the highest in a decade. The number of passengers on international routes, including Hong Kong and Macau, was more than 9.53 million, up 10.9 percent year-on-year, ministry statistics showed. Air travel between Taiwan and China also increased in the first five months of the year, with passenger numbers rising 31.4 percent to more than 3.66 million year-on-year, the figures showed. The ministry attributed the increases in part to the creation of the “Northeast Asia Golden Aviation Circle” with direct flights from Taipei International Airport (Songshan) to Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai and Gimpo Airport in Seoul. Passenger traffic at Songshan airport in the first five months of the year was 2.23 million, about 12.23 percent of the total, a ministry official said.
Youth agency launches draw
The government is offering prizes to young people who share pictures of their overseas exchange experiences in order to promote more international exchange activities, the National Youth Commission said yesterday. Young people are encouraged to share up to three photos from international exchanges such as volunteer programs, internships or working holidays, the commission said. A 140-word description should be attached to the pictures, the commission added. Not only will this campaign promote international exchanges, but it will also allow countries around the world to learn more about the many aspects of Taiwan, the commission said. A total of 43 prizes are up for grabs, with the winners being chosen at random. The prizes include cameras, luggage locks, suitcases, clothing and cellphone straps. All entries must be submitted before Aug. 31 and should be posted online via the iYouth (Youth International Exchange Information) Web site.
Nationwide quake drill
An earthquake drill to be held on Sept. 21, in which school children around the country will take part, was described by Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) at a quarterly meeting on disaster prevention and protection as a “meaningful event” that will require cooperation by relevant agencies. The goal of the drill is to teach the nation’s students how to take cover within the space of one minute, the Natural Disaster Prevention and Protection Office said. The office said that drills for natural disasters have been held every Sept. 21 since 2000. Chen also ordered that a task force be created to study ways to enhance the country’s infrastructure after reading a research report by the National Science Council on possible scenarios of tsunamis hitting Taiwan.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions