Taiwan Quick Take


Sun, Jul 20, 2003 - Page 3

■ WeatherTyphoon on its way

Typhoon Imbudo, moving in a westerly direction from Guam, is forecast to affect local weather patterns directly or indirectly from Tuesday until Friday, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The bureau said there was a good chance that Imbudo would make a direct hit on Taiwan island and that it would bring heavy rain to eastern Taiwan on Tuesday. The weather will remain cloudy and hot throughout the country over the weekend, with temperatures reaching 35?C in northern Taiwan and 34?C in central and southern Taiwan. There will be scattered showers and thunderstorms in mountainous areas over the next two days, according to weathermen.

■ Crime

Pizza brothel raided

Taipei police have cracked a brothel which used a pizza delivery service as a front and delivered prostitutes like pizza to clients, police said yesterday. "One of our policemen saw a tiny ad stuck on a roadside motorbike, saying: `Do you like pizza? You can eat it in our store, or we can deliver it to you.' There was also a telephone number," a policeman at the Chengchung Police Station said. "We thought it was suspicious and phoned them, and realized it was a brothel, so we raided it last night," he added. Police arrested four prostitutes, two clients and the manager. Prostitution is not illegal but brothels must be licensed. Underground brothels and advertising for custom is illegal.

■ Politics

Cabinet says no new taxes

The Executive Yuan has no intention for the time being of raising taxes to finance its many promises, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. In response to criticism that the administration of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is borrowing money to woo voters with pork-barrel politics, the Executive Yuan said its promises to raise pensions for farmers and to help local governments pay the lump-sum retirement payments for teachers will be financed from the government budget. These promises are actually the government's existing policies and the Executive Yuan is only reiterating these policies. The opposition's criticism that these promises were made to boost Chen's re-election bid is groundless, the Executive Yuan said.

■ Crime

Minister raids nightclub

Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲), National Police Administration (NPA) Director-General Chang Si-liang (張四良) and the NPA's Criminal Investigation Bureau Commissioner Hou You-yi (侯友宜) yesterday led a team of local police officers to raid the Lion King, the biggest nightclub in Taiwan. Yu, Chang and Hou arrived at the nightclub around 1am in a raid supposedly to search for Ecstasy. No illegal drugs were found at the scene, although the owner was fined NT$300,000 for violating the Architecture Law (建築法). The police said that the Lion King illegally tore down a wall inside the building which could compromise the structure during an earthquake. The owner of the nightclub was told to restore the wall within a month or the authorities would fine him again. With a dance floor big enough to accommodate 3,000 revellers, the Lion King has also been linked with Ecstasy use, although the police have never found any there. When Hou was Taoyuan County Police Department commissioner, he accompanied Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) on a raid of the club on Aug. 3 last year.