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.