Traffic slow on freeways
Heavy traffic was reported yesterday on many freeways as people visited to their ancestors’ graves to clean their tombs and pay their respects on Tomb Sweeping Day. As of 11am, the average speed was less than 40kph for those traveling southbound on Sun Yat-sen Freeway (Freeway No. 1), between Hsinchu County’s Hukou Township (湖口) and Jhubei City (竹北), as well as southbound on Formosa Freeway (Freeway No. 3) between Taoyuan’s Dasi (大溪) and Longtan (龍潭) townships, the Freeway Bureau’s real-time data showed. Traffic was jammed on the north-south Chiang Wei-shui Memorial Freeway (Freeway No. 5) from 7am, with vehicles in some sections averaging speeds of less than 20kph, bureau data showed.
Four killed in Taoyuan fire
Three adults and one child yesterday died in a house fire in Taoyuan, officials said. The Taoyuan Fire Department said it received a report at 4:48am about a fire at a two-story house in Taoyuan District (桃園). A total of 26 fire trucks and 81 firefighters were dispatched to the scene, and the fire was extinguished at 5:37am, the department said. The four victims — a 44-year-old woman, a 43-year-old man, a 41-year-old man and a boy — were found dead, their bodies burned beyond recognition, on the second floor of the house, which was partly made of iron sheeting, fire officials said. Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze.
Boarding passes going digital
Mobile boarding passes are soon to be made available to passengers taking domestic flights in Taiwan, a Civil Aeronautics Administration official said yesterday. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) and Kaohsiung International Airport allow international flight passengers to download boarding passes to their smartphones or other mobile devices, instead of printed boarding passes. That service is to be extended to domestic flight passengers before the end of the year, Air Transport Division official Han Chen-hua (韓振華) said. Mobile boarding passes are convenient, good for the environment and help airlines save on labor costs, Han said. Songshan airport installed the necessary scanning equipment this year and once other airports follow suit, airlines can begin offering mobile boarding passes, he added. Passengers would also to be able use their mobile passes to clear customs, he said.
Lai to assess Taichung move
Premier William Lai (賴清德) is to visit Taichung today to evaluate the possibility of relocating the Executive Yuan and Legislative Yuan there, a plan he has said he supports. Taichung Information Bureau Director-General Cho Kuan-ting (卓冠廷) said the Taichung City Government, governed by Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), a Democratic Progressive Party member, welcomes Lai and the relocation proposal. According to the city government’s preliminary field assessment, ideal locations for the legislature include the 250 hectare Chenggong Ling (成功嶺) military base, a 273 hectare plot near the Taichung high-speed rail station and a 10.5 hectare ordnance readiness development center in front of the Wuri (烏日) Railway Station. The military base would be an appropriate location, Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said, adding that protests around the legislature frequently paralyze Taipei’s roads and could impair development.
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,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
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