■ Society \nWeather blamed for crime \nSocial order was generally good during the Lunar New Year holiday, statistics released yesterday by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) showed. Bureau officials said that during the six-day period, there were 81 major criminal cases reported, down 22 from 103 cases the previous year. There were 51 rob-beries and 16 burglary cases. There were also 11 man-slaughter cases, up nine cases from last year's holi-day, police said. They attributed the rise to the coldest holiday period in 11 years, so that when friends and relatives gathered they often lost control of them-selves under the influence of alcohol. The number of cases of rape and major burglaries were both fewer than 10, police reported. \n■ Society \nWhale's penis arouses envy \nScores of men have visited Tainan's Sutsao Wild Life Reservation Area where professors, students and volunteers were working on the corpse of a male whale, because they were curious about the whale's genitalia. The whale's penis measures 1.6m in length and it looks like a thick water pipe. More than 100 Tainan City resi-dents, mostly men, have reportedly gone to see the corpse to "experience" the size of its penis. The 60-tonne whale was found dead on the seashore of Yunlin County on Sunday. The county government sent the corpse to the National Cheng Kung University, whose biology professors wanted to preserve it as a specimen. \n■ Health \nNTUH prohibits bribes \nNational Taiwan University Hospital has set issued a code of conduct to regulate the widespread practice of giving red envelopes to doctors to ensure optimal health care. According to the new code, the first of its kind in the nation, hospital staff and workers are prohibited from accepting any red envelopes containing cash, gift certificates, or securities. However, gifts valued under NT$2,000 can be accepted. Doctors are also barred from encouraging patients to donate red envelopes to specific foundations. Hos-pital workers in charge of purchasing medical supplies are also prohibited from accepting bribes from medi-cal and pharmaceutical companies. Taiwan Health Care Reform Foundation chairwoman Chang Li-yun (張苙雲) yesterday said that while she supported the hospital's efforts, patients would have to stop giving red envelopes for the policy to be successful. The money in red envelopes given to doctors can reportedly amount to as much as NT$60,000 to NT$80,000 for organ-transplant operations. \n■ Politics \nYu pledges clean vote \nPremier Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday that his admin-istration will brook no violence or corruption in the March 20 presidential election. During the weekly Cabinet meeting, Yu said the fierce competition has given rise to allegations of vote-buying. In order to prevent the country from plunging again into the grip of "black gold" politics, Yu urged law-enforcement agencies to go all-out to maintain a clean, fair and just election. He said anyone found buying votes will be prosecuted regard-less of rank, status or political affiliation. Yu said the Ministry of Justice has opened a hotline (0800-024099) for tips on election irregularities. Police officers have also been asked to give special attention to prevent election-fixing, Yu said. The police department estimated that police officers will have to go on 100,000 election-related missions before March 20.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
‘NOT IMPOSSIBLE’: Acceptance to the UN would end the nation’s troubles, but it would be impossible to achieve without US backing, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun said The US might recognize Taiwan if war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said yesterday while discussing politics with former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Speaking on Chen’s program on Smile Radio, You reminisced about his agrarian childhood, studies, the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1986 and his eight years as Yilan County commissioner. Chen’s appointment of You as premier in February 2002 marked several firsts, as he was Taiwan’s youngest premier, as well as the first from a farming background and first democratically elected county leader to hold the office. Asked to share his views on
ONLY EXCEPTIONS: The mayors of the two largest cities voiced concerns over hidden cases, while all other local governments are to follow eased CECC guidelines All local governments, with the exception of Taipei and New Taipei City, are to allow dine-in services at restaurants after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday announced that it would on Tuesday lower a nationwide COVID-19 alert to level 2. The center on July 8 allowed the resumption of dining at restaurants nationwide — despite keeping the alert level at 3. At the time, this prompted all cities and counties, except Penghu Country, to keep local dine-in bans in place. Following Friday’s CECC announcement that COVID-19 prevention measures would be further relaxed, the Taipei and New Taipei City governments
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday rejected the claim Beijing has been making about Taiwan’s status, while thanking US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for raising concerns about Taiwan during her meeting with Chinese officials. Sherman met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on a visit to Tianjin on Sunday and Monday, with Wang urging Washington not to infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Taiwan is part of China, a fundamental fact that would never change, and China has the right to take any action needed to restrain Taiwanese independence, Wang said, urging Washington to abide