CDs offer 'green' fireworks
The Taipei City Government Department of Environmental Protection is offering free "firecracker sound" CDs to residents to make the Lunar New Year safer and more environmentally friendly. Department officials said the CDs were being offered to encourage people not to use firecrackers during the festive season to cut down on air and noise pollution and have a safe holiday. To provide an alternative, the department made audio recordings of firecracker sounds available on its Web site prior to last year's Lunar New Year holidays. Copies of the CD can be picked up for free at the department's main office in Xinyi District (信義), the officials said, adding that the audio file is also available on the department's Web site.
Superstition leads to change
National ID card numbers will no longer have more than one number "4" in the future, Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said in a news release yesterday. "Because the number '4' is traditionally considered an unlucky number, [the ministry] stopped issuing national ID cards ending in '4' in 2000," the statement said. "But the number `4' can still appear on national IDs." The number "4" is considered an unlucky number because the Mandarin pronunciation, si, sounds similar to the word for "death." The statement said avoiding the number "4" completely would be too difficult because 45 percent of national ID numbers would have to be replaced. Instead, the ministry will allow no more than one "4" on new national ID cards. The ministry will also allow "anybody whose national ID number contains a number '4' to apply to change their national ID number," the statement said.
China targets Web site
Police in China have shut down a Taiwan-based Web site that featured Chinese women in erotic footage and have arrested 33 people involved in the operation, China's state media reported on Wednesday. Viewers, mostly in Taiwan, paid to watch footage taken in Guangdong Province, Xinhua news agency said. The site had been in operation for more than one year and took in more than US$137,000 in three months, it said. Police told Xinhua that 23 of those arrested were performers for the site at 12 locations. The other 10 helped manage the operation. Two Taiwanese were among the 10 organizers, the report said without elaborating.
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had
Taiwanese who have recently traveled to China for tourism, to visit friends or relatives or for business reasons have been interrogated, detained and faced other forms of unreasonable treatment from Chinese officials, a source said on Sunday. Among them was a Taiwanese who was detained for eight hours at an airport in China due to their research, which is related to religion, while others have had their travel documents for China canceled for a number of reasons, the source said. In July, China expanded the scope of its counterespionage law, and recently announced a draft amendment to the law on the protection