Taiwan's Spring Scream to see drug crackdown, free condoms

Taipei (The China Post/ANN) - Police have stepped up a crackdown on drug dealers and users, while the southern Pingtung County Government is ready to distribute condoms for safe sex during Kenting's annual outdoor music festival.

The 2012 music and arts festival covering Spring Scream and Spring Wave concerts will take place April 4-8 in Kenting on the southern tip of Taiwan. Organizers expect around 200,000 people to show up for the series of performances by bands from around the world.

Officials at the Health Department of the Pingtung County Government said condoms will be available for concert goers free of charge.

Past records showed that wild parties, heavy drinking and illicit drugs have also triggered unbridled sexual activities among young people and caused a surge in cases of HIV, the disease that causes AIDS.

In 2011, young people aged between 15 and 24 infected by HIV in Taiwan surged 15.4 percent from the previous year, with more than 90 percent contracting the disease through sex.

The officials advised young people going to the Kenting concerts to exercise self-control and prepare to practice safe sex so that they will not be infected or harm others.

But the county government will also supply condoms to help people protect themselves, they said.

Senior police officers said major drug syndicates from around Taiwan and neighboring nations have prepared to exploit the concerts by selling illegal drugs.

Information gathered from pre-concert events so far showed that drug pushers have concocted new drugs targeted specifically at people visiting the Kenting concerts.

The drugs can take lives when consumed together with alcoholic drinks, the officers said, urging people visiting the concerts to martial determination to reject temptations from drug peddlers so that they may help protect their friends or other innocent people.

They also encouraged all people to Kenting to stay alert and report drug dealers to police as early as possible.

Organizers have successfully attracted more international bands and attendees every year, and are also aware of the negative aspects like drug abuse and sexually transmitted diseases. They urged all people in Taiwan, especially the young people who will visit Kenting in coming days, to join the forces to keep the concerts clean and healthy.

  • Ford plants a new Mustang on the Empire State Building in style 42 minutes ago
    Ford plants a new Mustang on the Empire State Building in style

    Fifty years ago this week, Ford made history by staging the greatest car launch in history — building up the drama around its new Mustang with stunts like papering over dealership windows and landing on the covers of both Time and Newsweek magazine. To celebrate its anniversary, Ford re-created a stunt it last pulled off in 1965 — landing a new Mustang on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.

  • All-new 2015 Toyota Camry becomes an edgier appliance 1 hour 13 minutes ago
    All-new 2015 Toyota Camry becomes an edgier appliance

    Toyota finds itself in a tricky situation. Those that enjoy cars as more than a simple means of transportation think of the Camry as a bland spongecake gone stale. And yet it's been the best-selling vehicle in the entire industry for the past 12 years, with a car rolling off the production line every 65 seconds. So how do you add flavor to your insipid dish without alienating your loyal -- and vast -- customer base? Enter the 2015 Camry: Toyota's attempt to engage enthusiasts while appeasing to those that think a turbo is nothing but make-believe snail.

  • New Hyundai Sonata grows into a large contender 1 hour 16 minutes ago
    New Hyundai Sonata grows into a large contender

    So it’s taken a while, but Hyundai is in the big leagues now. There is rife evidence of this in its sales numbers, reliability ratings and white paper indices, but the most telling indicator to us, perhaps, is that Hyundai no longer feels the need to overdesign or mimic other automobile designs as if to say, “Look, we can build good cars, too! They look just like these other nice ones!”

  • Supermodel Qi Qi is afraid of flying
    Supermodel Qi Qi is afraid of flying

    The supermodel said that she will take her daughter in a vacation but will try to avoid boarding a plane

  • One dead as S. Korea ferry with 476 passengers sinks
    One dead as S. Korea ferry with 476 passengers sinks

    South Korea's coastguard said Wednesday one person had been killed as it struggled to rescue 476 people -- mostly high school students -- aboard a ferry that ran aground and sank off the southern coast. "The ferry is almost completely submerged," Lee said, adding that a detachment of South Korean Navy SEALS were taking part in the rescue. Of the 450 passengers on board the ferry bound for the southern resort island of Jeju, 325 were students from a high school in Ansan, south of Seoul. The 6,825-tonne ferry, which had sailed out of the western port of Incheon on Tuesday evening, ran into trouble some 20 kilometres (13 miles) off the island of Byungpoong.

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge...