Sun, Jul 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

TRANSPORT

New bike rules to take effect

From July 17, cyclists in Taipei are to be fined NT$300 if they ride on sidewalks outside of established bike lanes, the Taipei City Government said on Friday. Riders would be required to stick to designated bike lanes and if such a lane does not exist, they would have to ride in the slow lanes of city streets, city officials said. The regulations are to first be enforced in areas that have well-defined bike lanes, such as on Xinyi, Renai, Roosevelt and Xinsheng South roads, officials said. The Taipei Department of Transportation had originally planned to put the regulations into practice yesterday. However, it decided to delay the launch by two weeks after Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said he was unaware of the new rules and asked transportation officials to step up publicity of them.

SOCIETY

Conscript number dips

The government plans to conscript 138,975 military personnel this year, a decrease of 29,144 people from last year and the lowest annual number in the past decade, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. The low number is partly a result of superstition, as on the Chinese zodiac, 1998 — the birth year of the conscripts — was a Year of the Tiger, so the birth rate was low, the ministry said. It is believed that people born in the Year of the Tiger have bad luck. The number of conscripts per year over the past 10 years has often reached 165,000, with 2009 seeing a high of 174,000, the ministry said. Among those conscripted this year, 89.4 percent would not be able to fulfill their duty in the year, ministry data show. The ministry said 85.9 percent of that group remain in school and 9.8 percent have already served their terms — for example as military-school students.

WEATHER

Mercury soars in Taipei

The mercury hit 35.9°C in Taipei at 12:10pm yesterday, the highest temperature recorded in the capital this year, the Central Weather Bureau said. As of about 2pm yesterday, the highest temperature across the nation occurred in Chiayi, where the temperature climbed to 36°C at 1:16pm, the bureau said. The highest temperature in northern Taiwan was the 35.9°C recorded in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋), although a high of 36.2°C was recorded there on Wednesday, it said. The bureau reminded the public to take precautions against sunburn and to stay hydrated to avert heat stroke.

SOCIETY

FDA flip-flops on fluopyram

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday revoked its decision to tolerate traces of fluopyram in tea, after its previous decision to permit residue of the fungicide stirred controversy. In line with the Council of Agriculture policy of allowing the use of a pesticide that is a mixture of fluopyram and trifloxystrobin on tea bushes, the FDA on March 15 announced that up to 6 parts per million of fluopyram residue would be permitted. The announcement immediately triggered a public outcry because fluopyram has been linked to thyroid and liver cancer in mice. According to FDA Food Safety Division director Pan Chih-kuan (潘志寬), the decision to revoke the tolerance was made to ease consumer concerns and avoid unnecessary misunderstanding. The FDA and council would reconsider the use of fluopyram and its residue limit and would improve communication with the public before a further decision is made, he said.

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