Sexual assault cases rise
While reported cases of sexual assault on men have seen a sharp increase in the past 20 years, the majority of incidents still involve women as victims, with a male-to-female ratio of 1:10, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said yesterday. Between 1997 and last year, a total of 131,134 sexual assault cases were reported, with the number of female victims accounting for 90 percent of the total, or 10.52 times that of male victims, according to ministry statistics. However, the number of cases involving male victims has risen significantly from 19 in 1997 to 1,159 last year, the data showed. The statistics also reveal that the percentage of stranger-perpetrated sexual assault cases fell from 25.81 percent to 4.36 percent, while that of acquaintance-perpetrated cases jumped from 12.98 percent to 75.65 percent.
Graduations put on hold
An increasing number of university students are postponing their graduation, mainly to develop specialized skills in different fields, the Ministry of Education said. Ministry data showed a total of 48,000 students are to postpone their graduation this academic year, an increase of 1.4 percent year-on-year. The number is 6.6 percent higher than in the 2011-2012 school year, with most of the growth coming among female students, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said. In its analysis of the figures, the agency said some of those delaying their graduation were doing so to pursue a double major or a minor in another field to develop interdisciplinary skills, seen by many as critically important to success in a constantly changing economic environment. Others are extending their time in school because they have not met the necessary graduation requirements or for technical reasons, the agency said.
Slow tunnel drivers fined
Since a crackdown that began on Monday last week, 11 tickets for driving at less than 70kph in the Hsuehshan Tunnel have been issued, the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau said on Tuesday. Each of the drivers was fined between NT$3,000 and NT$6,000, the bureau said. Traffic flow and speeds of vehicles using the tunnel have increased, which is a key part of reducing congestion on the Chiang Wei-shui Memorial Freeway (National Freeway No. 5) which connects Taipei and Yilan County. Some have blamed slow driving in the tunnel for worsening the problem, prompting the bureau to increase in the minimum speed in the tunnel from 60kph to 70kph on March 10, with a one-month grace period so that drivers could adapt to the new rule.
Cold front to bring rain
The north and east of the nation are likely to see rainfall over the coming week with the arrival of a cold front and the strengthening of northeasterly winds, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. Northern and eastern Taiwan can expect intermittent rain today as the front approaches, while central and southern areas could see rain or thunderstorms as a cloud system moves north from the south, the bureau said. Temperatures in the north and northeast are forecast to drop tomorrow as the front passes across the nation and the northeasterly winds strengthen, while heavier rain or thunderstorms are expected in western and northeastern areas. From Saturday to Monday, cloud and rain from southern China are forecast to move east, bringing intermittent rain to northern and eastern parts of the nation, the bureau said.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said