A prosecutor was indicted yesterday on corruption charges for allegedly taking bribes to cover up gambling businesses, in the latest scandal to hit the nation’s judiciary. Chen Yu-chen (陳玉珍), a mid-level staff member of the High Prosecutors’ Office, was charged with accepting nearly NT$24 million (US$827,000) from a gambling business operator over a period of six years, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) said. She allegedly took money from the businessman in return for services including pressuring other prosecutors to stop investigating him, SID said. “We demand the most severe punishment for Chen as she has gravely damaged the reputation of prosecutors and dealt a deep blow to public confidence in the judiciary,” the SID statement said.
Airline to fly to Urumqi
China Southern Airlines announced yesterday that its charter service between the northwestern Chinese city of Urumqi and Taiwan is set to be launched on Tuesday. The carrier said that three charter planes will depart from Kaohsiung Airport on March 12, March 19 and March 26 for the approximately 6.5-hour flight to the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The carrier is also expected to launch regular flight services between Urumqi and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport next month, with flights every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Meanwhile, China Airlines, eyeing business and tourism opportunities in Xinjiang, is planning to offer flights on the Taoyuan-Urumqi route from late June. Urumqi is among eight new destinations for cross-strait flights agreed upon by Taiwan and China in December last year. The other seven are Hohhot and Hailar in Inner Mongolia, Yinchuan in Ningxia Province, Zhangjiajie in Hunan Province, Xining in Qinghai Province, Lijiang in Yunnan Province and Weihai in Shandong Province.
Low-carbon forums planned
Taiwan and Germany will jointly launch low-carbon cities forums in Taiwan next week to facilitate interaction between experts from both nations. One forum will be held in Taipei on Tuesday and another in Greater Tainan on Thursday, with support from Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Agency, said the German Institute Taipei, which is co-organizing the forums with the Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy. The forums will allow experts, academics and government officials involved in the development of low-carbon cities and buildings to interact with each other, the office said, adding that Germany can offer its experience in building low-carbon cities.
FDA says no toxic masks
The Department of Health’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sought to allay fears on Thursday following reports of Chinese toxin-containing facial masks. According to the FDA, the four types of facial masks that were found to contain chemicals banned in cosmetics are not available in Taiwan, adding that it had increased its oversight measures to ensure the products do not enter the country. The FDA warned consumers about purchasing the products online or in China. The Chinese food and drug administration found the masks contained acrylamide and clobetasol propionate. The former can cause skin irritation and neurological damage can result from long-term exposure. Clobetasol propionate is only approved for medical use and has not been approved for use in cosmetics in Taiwan.