TOEIC aborted mid-test
A nationwide Test of English for International Communications (TOEIC) session was yesterday canceled because the voice recordings did not match the content printed in the test booklets, affecting about 24,000 test-takers. The test started with a listening comprehension test, according to the local organizer of the test. However, when the first recorded question was played, participants reported that the question did not match the options on the answer sheet, the organizer said, adding that it decided to cancel the test and send all participants home. Compensatory measures would be published on the TOEIC Taiwan Web site at 10am today, it said. The recording was sent from the US and the error was the first of its kind since the test was launched in Taiwan, the organizer said.
Taipei to focus on campuses
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said his administration would make combating drug use among junior-high school students its top priority next year. Speaking at an anti-drug fair in the city, Ko said the use of illegal drugs is increasing among young students in Taipei. Statistics show that the average age at which residents first use narcotics is below 15 and the youngest drug users are only 12 years old, Ko said, adding that many students try their first illegal drugs between eighth grade and 10th grade. “We have to solve the problem at its root. The drug problem cannot be solved by the police only,” he said, adding that he would focus his anti-drug campaign on campuses and pay extra attention to junior-high schools. According to Ministry of the Interior data, most drug use suspects in 1997 were in their mid-20s, but since 2000, drug use has been most prevalent among people in their early 20s. People aged 18 to 23 now have the highest prevalence of drug use, the ministry said. Last year, the number of drug users aged 12 to 17 was three times as high as in 1997, the data showed.
Alishan rail marks 105 years
The Alishan Forest Railway yesterday celebrated its 105th birthday with activities, performances and a cake in the shape of a steam locomotive at a ceremony at the railway’s Beimen Railway Station. The event, which was organized by the Chiayi Forest District Office, featured stories about the railway told by Jhuci Senior High School’s Alishan Young Ambassadors team and songs by students from the county’s Shihzih Elementary School. Council of Agriculture Minister Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) said that the Alishan Forest Railway and its forestry culture are national treasures in terms of culture, sightseeing and nature conservation.
Emergency phones removed
The National Freeway Bureau on Friday announced it is to remove emergency telephone booths along portions of Freeway No. 6 and all of Freeway No. 10 from Jan. 1. The bureau cited the phones’ low usage rates and the omnipresence of cellphones as reasons to remove the booths, eliminating their maintenance costs. The booths in the tunnels of freeway No. 6 will remain, as cellphone reception there is poor, the bureau said in a statement. The National Freeway Bureau earlier this year did away with the telephone booths along freeways No. 2, 4 and 8, as only one call was made from the phones since July 1, 2014. The lack of emergency phones along the three freeways has not had any effect on people’s ability to report emergency situations, the bureau said, adding that they simply used their mobile phones.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s