Thailand jails kidnappers
Two Taiwanese and four Thais were each given 22-year jail terms by Thailand’s Supreme Court for their involvement in the 2009 abduction of five family members of a Taiwanese businessman, according to a Bangkok Post report on Monday. The six kidnappers demanded a ransom of 30 million baht (US$889,274 at current exchange rates), half of which was paid by a relative of the family in Singapore, the report said. The five victims were rescued by police from Thailand and Taiwan. More than US$400,000 of the ransom was also retrieved. The mastermind behind the abductions, surnamed Lin (林), was apprehended in February.
TAS to host rummage sale
The Taipei American School (TAS) Orphanage Club is hosting its 45th June rummage sale tomorrow. Club members have collected a large variety of new and used clothing, shoes, toys, electronic items, IKEA furniture, hundreds of DVDs and other items. The sale begins at 10am and ends at 5pm, and is to be held at the school, at 800 Chung Shan N Road, Sec. 6. Part of the proceeds from the sale are to go toward helping children orphaned in Nepal by the recent earthquakes, while the rest is to go to needy children and orphans in Taiwan.
Daan Park station awarded
The Taipei MRT railway system’s Daan Park Station has won a gold award for infrastructure and amenities from the Paris-based World Prix d’Excellence Awards. A spokesman for the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp said the 18m-deep station impressed a jury of 68 experts from 28 countries with its greenery and environmentally friendly interior design.
S Koreans’ actions ‘regretful’
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that it regrets that eight South Korean workers engaged in activity other than that stated on their visas and undermined public order, urging foreign nationals to respect the nation’s laws. On Tuesday, eight South Koreans — former employees of Hydis Technologies — staged a protest in Taipei and were detained by police for breaching the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法). They were deported on Wednesday. Hydis is a South Korean subsidiary of Taiwan’s E Ink Holdings. Since Hydis was shut down in March, former Hydis workers have traveled to Taiwan several times to protest the closure. The ministry said that the workers should file a complaint with the South Korean Ministry of Employment and Labor over any irregularities, in accordance with South Korea’s laws. Staging illegal protests overseas would not resolve the problem, the ministry said.
Athletes bring home medals
Taiwanese athletes clinched a medal haul of one gold, four silver and one bronze at the 2015 Asian Athletics Championships in Wuhan, China, which concluded on Sunday. On the final day of the five-day championships, Hsiang Chun-hsien (向俊賢) won silver in the men’s high jump, clearing the 2.24m bar. The previous day, Huang Shih-feng (黃士峰) won the nation’s sole gold medal in the men’s javelin with a throw of 79.74m. The other silver medalists were Chang Ming-huang (張銘煌) in the shot put, Ted Hooper (侯育伯) in the long jump and Chen Chieh (陳傑) in the men’s 400m hurdles. Meanwhile, Wang Wen-tang (王文堂), Yang Chun-han (楊俊瀚), Lo Yen-yao (羅巖耀) and Shen Yu-sen (沈郁森) won bronze medals when Taiwan finished third in the men’s 4×100m relay.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up