Squirrel bites woman in MRT
A person’s pet squirrel escaped from its carrier in a crowded Taipei MRT station earlier this month and bit a woman on the leg, the Taipei City Police Department’s Rapid Transit Division said in a news release yesterday. A woman was standing on a platform at Zhongxiao Xinsheng MRT Station on Aug. 16, when a squirrel climbed up her right leg and bit her on the back of her knee, the division said. The squirrel escaped through a gap in the carrier caused by other passengers pressing up against it. The owner only noticed the carrier was empty after their train had departed, and had to take the next train back to the station, where they found the squirrel, police said. Under the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), pet owners whose animals escape and injure others can face a maximum fine of NT$12,000 and up to three days in detention.
Kidnap victims rescued
Seven jobseekers, lured by offers of high-paying jobs only to be forcibly confined by a suspected criminal ring in an abandoned bunkhouse in Kaohsiung and have their bank accounts used for criminal purposes, were rescued, and five suspects were arrested last week, Kaohsiung police said yesterday. A woman in her 40s was reportedly shot with a stun gun and beaten with a water pipe when she was caught trying to flee after having written down the license plate number of a vehicle belonging to her captors, police said, adding that others were allegedly burned with cigarettes. A person who escaped on Thursday called the police from a nearby private home. Police immediately headed to the bunkhouse and arrested five suspects on site. Stun guns, chilli and pepper sprays, handcuffs, metal rods, wire nails, account books and bank cards were seized.
Agency to seed clouds
The Water Resources Agency on Sunday said that it is preparing to seed clouds to boost rainfall amid concerns over a water shortage in parts of northern Taiwan. The agency on Saturday set up a disaster response team, which immediately initiated cloud seeding operations. On Sunday, it notified the management offices of several reservoirs in northern Taiwan and Zengwen Reservoir (曾文水庫) in the south to prepare for cloud seeding operations and an afternoon thunderstorm system. The average rainfall in Taiwan last month was 8.3cm, down 63.9 percent from a year earlier and the lowest for the month since 2008, in part because no typhoons made landfall, a Bureau of National Statistics report showed.
Taipei Marathon entries open
People wanting to enter the annual Taipei Marathon can register now for the event, which is to be held on Dec. 18 for runners aged 18 and older, the city’s Department of Sports said yesterday. Registration lasts until Sept. 28, with up to 9,000 athletes to be accepted, the department said, adding that the marathon covers 42km from Taipei City Hall to the Taipei Municipal Stadium. A half marathon is also to be held on Dec. 18, and registration opens today for a maximum of 19,000 runners. First held in 1986, the annual Taipei Marathon is one of the city’s major events, not just for sports, but for tourism marketing and promotion, the Taipei Department of Information and Tourism said.
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