Bike travel site launched
The Tourism Bureau yesterday unveiled an English-language Web site featuring Internet celebrities traveling the nation on bicycles to promote two-wheeled tourism. There is already a lot of biking information online, but it is limited and region-based, and fails to give a bigger picture of biking as a unique way to travel, bureau International Division chief Joseph Cheng (鄭智鴻) said. Over the past eight months, the bureau has worked with Fox Networks Group and eight Internet celebrities to film their bike travels around the nation to be featured on the Web site www.taiwanon2wheels.com, Cheng said. The site also details routes totaling 866.3km that circle the island, tips on planning and recommendations for scenic spots, events and festivals.
Drug cases at record high
There has been a steady rise in drug possession cases over the past three years, with a record 58,515 cases recorded last year, a 6.6 percent increase from 2016, the Ministry of the Interior said. A ministry report published yesterday shows that since 2015, the number of possession cases and the amount of drugs seized by police have increased, with 9,685kg seized last year, more than double the amount seized in 2016. Ninety-three percent of the drugs seized were classes 1 and 2, with amphetamines making up 69.1 percent, followed by heroin at 20.8 percent. The number of apprehended suspects also set an all-time high of 62,644, with 84.7 percent aged 24 or older and the remaining 15.3 percent aged between 12 and 23.
Drink not poisoned: police
Yilan County police have concluded that a coffee drink thought to be poisoned was only damaged by a convenience store employee. A customer at a FamilyMart in the county’s Jiaosi Township (礁溪) on Thursday contacted the police on suspicion of attempted poisoning after discovering that the covered straw hole in the drink’s packaging had been pierced, following previous food scares involving packaging that had been tampered with. Wei Chuan Foods Corp, which produces the drink, decided to remove its products from FamilyMart shelves around the county as a precaution. After Yilan police on Friday confirmed that the damage was caused by an employee at the Jiaosi store and did not pose any danger, Wei Chuan said it reserved the right to press charges against the store employee for inciting fear.
Fringe festival set for August
The 11th annual Taipei Fringe Festival is to bring 125 artistic groups to the city in August to perform in multiple locations, the organizers said. The festival, to be held from Aug. 4 to Aug. 19, is to feature 473 performances at 27 locations. The festival has continuously pushed venue boundaries, having used professional theaters, yachts, coffee shops, tea houses and old mansions, among others. The event this year is to shift its focus to western Taipei and the historic Dadaocheng (大稻埕) area, with venues including the Red House (西門紅樓) — a Western-style red brick octagonal structure — Dadaocheng Theater and the Bopiliao Historical Block (剝皮寮歷史街區). The festival is also to have two-hour venues, which would challenge troupes to set up, perform and pack up within two hours.
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,
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
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