Taichung to host forum
Taichung has been chosen to host next year’s Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, an annual forum that brings together international experts, activists and government officials to discuss participatory democracy, human rights and other issues. Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) yesterday announced the decision after signing a memorandum of understanding with forum copresidents Bruno Kaufmann and Joe Mathews. Lin said the city has made efforts to promote direct democracy, including promoting participatory budgeting since 2015, which allows residents to discuss and propose projects deserving of public funding. The forum, created in 2008, has been held in Switzerland, South Korea, the US, Uruguay, Tunisia and Spain. It is to take place in Rome in September.
‘Green’ points increased
The Environmental Protection Administration is expanding its “green” points campaign to encourage those people to use public transportation. People registered in the program will now receive 10 green points if they use public transportation on days when a “red alert,” indicating poor air quality, has been issued. It is hoped that the incentive will encourage people to use public transport. Passengers on the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit System, buses and Taiwan Railways Administration trains can receive green points when they register their EasyCard or iPass with an app. Users usually receive one point for each New Taiwan dollar spent on fares, with 100 points translating to a NT$1 deduction on purchases included in the program. Green points can be redeemed at RT-Mart, A-Mart, Hi-Life and 7-Eleven stores, as well as local online shopping platforms.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung