may be considered
Opposition Kuomintang Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) said yesterday that she may initiate a referendum to let the people decide whether Taiwan should accept the pair of pandas offered by China if the government insists on denying access to the animals.
Lu said she hopes that the referendum could be held alongside the elections for borough chiefs in June. Claiming that the import of the pandas has nothing to do with politics, Lu said the animals should not become a "sacrifice of political struggle."
Lu accused the Mainland Affairs Council of having a "phobia about China" for opposing the import of the pandas and said the MAC is the biggest obstacle in cross-Taiwan Strait exchanges.
More than 103,000 people registered to take part the first General English Proficiency Test basic level test which was held yesterday.
The Language Training & Testing Center, the sponsor of the GEPT, said that compared with the two GEPT basic level tests held last year, the number of registrants this year was far lower.
LTTC officials said that in the first GEPT basic level test in 2005, around 124,000 people registered, while in the second test, the number of registrants reached nearly 130,000. Those under 14 years old accounted for one-third of the total registrants.
Taiwan women now make up half of the Internet user population in the country, and they have become the driving force in online shopping, according to the results of a recent survey.
According to the online survey conducted by the domestic portal Web site Yam.com, Taiwan's female Internet users, with strong purchasing power, have rapidly grown in number over the past decade to be on par with their male counterparts. They accounted for only 24.4 percent of Taiwan's total cyber population in 1996, Yam researchers said.
Since 2003, more than 60 percent of Taiwan's Internet users have purchased products online, with 31.5 percent of those buying beauty care goods, the survey found.
The Taipei Smart Card Corp. said yesterday that it will release 1,000 sets of commemorative EasyCards for the Year of the Dog on January 8.
Of the 1,000 sets of commemorative EasyCards, only 900 will be sold openly, at NT$1,200 per set, company officials said.
The commemorative cards will feature dog paintings by local painter Chang Ke-chi, and the company will donate 5 percent of the income from the card sales to sponsor two search and rescue dogs belonging to an international search and rescue team in Taipei, they said.