Downed tree lives on
A Taitung County farmer has propagated three saplings from the “Takeshi Kaneshiro tree” in Chihshang Township (池上), which was uprooted by Typhoon Matmo in late July. The 7m tree became a local landmark after an EVA Airways Corp commercial last year that showed Taiwanese-Japanese movie star Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武) sitting under the tree, drinking tea and resting after a bicycle ride. The farmer, surnamed Chen (陳), said he rushed to the site shortly after the bishopwood was toppled by the typhoon and gathered seeds from the fallen foliage. Chen said one of the saplings is 25cm tall, and he has given it to the National Museum of Prehistory in Taitung. The other saplings have been given to friends in the hope of propagating the “Takeshi Kaneshiro tree” throughout the county.
Cigarette stash to be burned
Nearly 3 million packs of smuggled cigarettes with a market value of NT$120 million (US$4.3 million) were handed over to the Keelung City Government by the Keelung Customs Office yesterday for destruction. The 2,963,300 packs of cigarettes are being transported in garbage trucks to an incinerator in Keelung for destruction in an operation that will continue until Thursday. Customs officials said that the cigarettes were seized between 2011 and last year and that the smugglers had already been brought to justice. According to the Tobacco and Alcohol Administration Act (菸酒管理法), those who smuggle cigarettes can face jail terms of up to three years and fines up to NT$10 million, Customs Office chief secretary Lien Yuang-jay (連永杰) said. Those who sell, transport, display or store smuggled cigarettes can be fined between NT$30,000 and NT$500,000, Lien said.