Keelung mayor suspended
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Evaluation and Disciplinary Committee yesterday suspended Keelung Mayor Chang Tong-rong (張通榮) for three months over a legal case alleging Chang coerced police into releasing a suspect. Chang was indicted on Monday for allegedly interfering with the police detention of a suspect. He is said to have forced police officers to release a woman who had punched a police officer. Keelung prosecutors charged Chang with illegally freeing a detained person. If found guilty, he could face a prison term of between one and seven years. The committee said through a press release yesterday the allegation involving Chang, a local chief, has severely damaged the KMT’s image and reputation.
Chilly weather on its way
People planning to celebrate the Double Ten National Day outdoors early this morning may feel a chill as seasonal winds are expected to bring cool and wet weather, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The dreary weather will be felt nationwide, with occasional showers and moderate winds most prominent in northern and northeastern Taiwan and in coastal areas, it said. According to forecasters, temperatures will hit ranges of between 20°C to 31°C across the country. Meanwhile, it said Tropical Storm Prapiroon became a typhoon yesterday morning, but chances are low that it will affect Taiwan before the weekend.
MOFA urges caution
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday advised Taiwanese heading to Europe to be alert to possible scams while abroad, citing recent cases of fraud in the UK and tainted alcohol in the Czech Republic. One of the cases involved a Taiwanese who was conned into buying a debit card from a scammer while traveling in the UK, said Hsu Mien-sheng (徐勉生), director-general of the ministry’s Department of European Affairs. The Taiwanese was later caught and sentenced to jail after being arrested for using the counterfeit card to make payments at stores, Hsu said. Citing the increased numbers of Taiwanese travelers to Europe — after Taiwan was granted visa-free privileges by the EU in late 2010 — Hsu urged Taiwanese to be alert to the existence of fraud schemes when traveling in the region. Hsu also noted the outbreak of fatal alcohol poisonings in the Czech Republic last month. The bootleg liquor, which left 24 people dead, contained high levels of methanol, and Hsu urged travelers to the country to be careful when drinking.
EVA begins Myanmar route
EVA Airways Corp, the nation’s second-largest carrier, launched direct flights between Taipei and Yangon yesterday, reflecting growing interest in travel to Myanmar. EVA Air is to operate three flights per week between Taipei and Yangon, hoping to capitalize on a potential surge of leisure and business travelers to Myanmar. Greater stability in the country’s economy and society means there should be an increase in flight demand between Taiwan and Myanmar, EVA Air said. The company also expressed optimism that the new route will cater to foreign travelers, predicting that more than 30 percent of its future clients will be North American passengers flying to Myanmar via Taiwan. Rival China Airlines currently operates five flights per week between Taipei and Yangon, but said it will increase the number to seven per week starting on Oct. 28.