Stolen vehicle rate drops
Insurance companies paid out NT$600 million (US$18.6 million) less in compensation for stolen vehicles last year thanks to a drop in car and motorcycle thefts, figures released yesterday by the Criminal Investigation Bureau showed. The number of stolen motorcycles and cars dropped by 43,000 last year compared with 2005. The car theft rate fell 31 percent and the motorcycle theft rate dropped more than 20 percent, officials said, adding that the drops translated into a decline of NT$2.5 billion in property losses. Many insurance companies have long refused to provide motorcycle theft insurance because of the high theft rate.
GIO launches ad contest
Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) launched a national audiovisual contest on Monday for promotional campaigns about Taiwan. Shieh introduced the "Wow! eye Taiwan" competition at the Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University. How Taiwan promotes itself to foreigners is very important, Shieh said. He said he hoped the competition would attract audio and video works that would introduce Taiwan to foreigners and Taiwanese alike, and that young people would be encouraged to share their visions of Taiwan. He said any individual or group interested in creating a positive image of Taiwan could submit an entry in the four categories -- music video, animation, short film and documentary. There were no limits on gender, age or nationality of contestants, he said, adding that the winner would receive NT$500,000.
NIA sponsors seminar
The National Immigration Agency will hold a seminar on human smuggling rings and travel document verification tomorrow. Academics, airline representatives, diplomatic personnel and trade office officials will attend the seminar to discuss efforts to combat illegal human smuggling gangs, agency officials said. Since the agency was inaugurated in January, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport officials have uncovered 140 cases of forged or counterfeit travel documents used by smuggling rings, the officials said.
Changhua builds turbines
Changhua County plans to have 244 wind turbines built in its Changbin Industrial Park, the county government said on Monday. Officials said construction contracts have been awarded to four wind power firms, including state-owned Taiwan Power Co (Taipower). Ninety-eight of the turbines will be on land and 146 will be in shallow waters off the coast, the officials said. Taipower has completed 23 turbines, which began commercial operations on April 22, and it will have 32 units completed by the end of this year. When all the 244 windmills are in operation, they will have a combined installed capacity of 696,700 kilowatts, the officials said.
TSU's Lai targets fuel firm
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) yesterday urged the Cabinet to levy a windfall tax on the Formosa Group -- the sole private-sector petroleum provider -- to prevent it from profiteering and to help curb fuel prices. Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) promising to study the idea. Lai said the tax should be imposed because the Formosa Group had refused to participate in a government fuel-price stabilization program. Lai said the group made more than NT$50 billion (US$1.54 billion) in profits so far this year.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,