DUI violations reach 737
The National Police Agency yesterday reported 737 violations involving drunk driving from Friday to Sunday, after a stiffer penalty was imposed to help curb drunk driving and raise public awareness about road safety this month. The violations included 95 repeat offenders, 34 who refused breathalyzer tests and 282 who were turned over to authorities after testing over 0.55mg on the breathalyzer. Under the new law, the maximum fine for driving under the influence of alcohol was raised to NT$90,000 from NT$60,000. Individuals found guilty of drunk driving two times or more over a period of five years, and those who refuse to take breath alcohol tests are subject to the maximum fine and will have their licenses revoked. A total of 371 people were killed in drunk-driving accidents last year.
RTI wants your voice
Radio Taiwan International (RTI) yesterday urged listeners around the world to record their voices and submit the audio clips to the station for a campaign that seeks to benefit the visually impaired. MP3 recordings of stories or articles could be made in any of the 13 languages in which the RTI broadcasts, including Chinese, English, Thai and Vietnamese, the government-owned station said. The recordings, each of which should not exceed 10 minutes in length, could be made with the help of any recording devices, the station said, adding that the selected clips would be released in May for visually impaired individuals residing in Taiwan and overseas. The audio files can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Soybean strain developed
The Kaohsiung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station in Greater Kaohsiung recently unveiled a new strain of soybean that it hopes can be sold in local and foreign markets by the end of this year, a researcher said yesterday. “Kaohsiung 12,” nicknamed “Emerald,” a new strain developed this year, but which has not been genetically modified, boasts higher yields and bigger beans, an associate researcher at the station said. The new strain can yield at least 25 percent more than the mainstream soybean, “Kaohsiung 9,” making it more competitive globally. Vegetable soybeans, or green soybeans (immature ones in their green pods), are popular exports to Japan. The nation produced about 70,000 tonnes of green soybeans last year, with nearly half going to Japan. Exports of green soybeans reached a record US$71.6 million last year, up 80 percent from about US$40 million five years ago, government statistics showed.
Herb medicine book revised
After years of compilation, the second edition of Herbal Pharmacopoeia will be released on April 1, the Department of Health’s Committee on Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy announced. Building on the 2004 edition, which included 200 species of herbs, the latest edition added 101 items and adopted a more scientific approach to herb examination, it said. The pharmacopoeia is designed to standardize and regulate the use of herbal medicine in Taiwan. The pharmacopoeia was originally named Chinese Herbal Pharmacopoeia (中華中藥典) when it came out in 2004 and renamed Taiwanese Traditional Pharmacopoeia (台灣傳統藥典) in 2005. The latest, second edition has been rechristened Taiwan Herbal Pharmacopoeia (台灣中藥典).