Scooter exams expanded
People with vehicle licenses who wish to obtain a scooter license would from May 3 no longer be allowed to skip the written test, the Directorate-General of Highways announced on Thursday. The regulation also applies to light and heavy motorcycles, it said. Currently, holders of vehicle licenses can skip the written test and obtain a scooter license after a road test, which is usually conducted on a closed road. They were exempted because the questions in the tests for different licenses are similar, the agency said. The level of difficulty for scooter exams has also been raised, as part of the government’s effort to reduce motorcycle crashes, it said, adding that more situational questions have been added to differentiate the exam from other licensing tests. About 260,000 people apply for scooter licenses in Taiwan every year, and 50,000 of them already hold other licenses, agency statistics showed.
Ang Lee to get fellowship
Film director Ang Lee (李安) is to become the third Asian ever to receive a fellowship at the British Academy Film Awards tomorrow, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced on Tuesday. “Lee is one of the world’s most pioneering and revered contemporary filmmakers whose groundbreaking films are highly acclaimed spanning multiple genres throughout his producing, writing and directing career,” the academy said on its Web site. Lee has won several BAFTA awards for his movies Sense and Sensibility; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; and Brokeback Mountain. He also won the award in the best director category at the Oscars for Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi. Lee said that “it’s a tremendous honor to receive the BAFTA Academy Fellowship and be counted among such brilliant filmmakers,” who have previously been awarded the fellowship.
Agency promotes trails
The Forestry Bureau has selected three of the about 130 trails it operates — the Cypress Forest Trail in the Taipingshan (太平山) area, the Tefuye Historic Trail in the Alishan (阿里山) area and the Nenggao Cross-Ridge Old Trail in Taroko National Park (太魯閣國家公園) — for special promotion, the bureau said at an event last week. “These trails are unique and represent different challenges, which we think will meet the interests of different hikers,” bureau General Secretary Lin Hao-chen (林澔貞) said. Some other remarkable trails are eco-craft trails, which are built with on-site materials and maintained using techniques that minimize effects on the environment, she added. The Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association, which shared its knowledge of local eco-craft trails with bureau officials, said it would work with the bureau to promote the techniques in other countries.
Navy expects gun system
The navy expects the delivery of 13 sets of the MK15 Block 1B Phalanx advanced radar-controlled gun system from the US in the first half of this year, military sources said on Thursday, citing a delivery notification. The guns would be mounted on ships that are mostly equipped with the outdated Block 1A Phalanx systems, the sources said. The Ministry of National Defense has said that the new system is for short-range defense against small ships or missiles. It features a 20mm cannon with a rotating cluster of six barrels that can fire 4,500 rounds per minute and has a range of 1.5km. It is also equipped with radar and an infrared sensor.
MONITORED BY JETS: Chinese aircraft included Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft, suggesting that China refueled its short-range jets during flight The air force scrambled again yesterday to warn away 27 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the Ministry of National Defense said, the latest increase in tensions across the sensitive Taiwan Strait. Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by China’s air force near the nation, often in the southwestern part of its ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). Over a four-day period beginning on Oct. 1, when China marked its national day, Taiwan said that nearly 150 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military aircraft entered its ADIZ, not territorial
DESTABILIZING: Beijing’s efforts to choke Taiwan, pressure its friends and hamper its democracy are a threat to the world, AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk said China’s provocative military activities near Taiwan are destabilizing and risk “miscalculation,” American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk said yesterday, reiterating the US’ objection to any unilateral changes to the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait. Oudkirk made the remarks in a speech at the annual conference of the Association of International Relations in Taipei. “In the Indo-Pacific region, America’s effort to resolve and manage differences with the leadership of the People’s Republic of [PRC] faces distinct challenges,” she said, referencing a range of actions by China that she said run counter to the shared values and interests of the
EXTRADITION POSSIBLE? The suspect, who is quarantining upon arrival in Xiamen, is accused of killing a coffee trader on a street near his house in Sindian District The suspect in an execution-style murder of a businessman in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店) has fled to China and officials are negotiating his extradition, the New Taipei City Police Department said on Tuesday. The suspect, surnamed Huang (黃), took a flight from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 2pm on that day to Xiamen, where he is staying in a quarantine hotel, as required by Chinese COVID-19 regulations, the department said. Investigators accuse Huang of shooting dead a local coffee trader surnamed He (何) on a street near his residence when he was returning from dropping off his daughter at her
BACK HOME: Lawmakers said the government should have known that the military reservist would be turned away from his United Airlines flight from Guam to Palau A military reservist vaccinated with Medigen’s COVID-19 vaccine, who was not allowed to board a United Airlines transit flight from Guam to Palau on Sunday, has returned to Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. After local media reported the incident on Tuesday, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center, told a news briefing that day that the reservist might not have paid enough attention to the US territory’s quarantine regulations. At a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday, lawmakers asked Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials to clarify