■Missing persons \nAIT issues search appeal \n \nAn American by name of Fryderyk M. Frontier went missing in late May, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said yesterday as it issued an appeal to the public to help locate his whereabouts. Frontier arrived in Taiwan on May 20 and reported to a Hess Language School in Chung-ho the next day. This was the last time he was seen, the AIT statement said. However, on May 22, Frontier called a friend in the US and said he planned to go to a national park for a three-day visit before returning to Taipei, the statement said. He has not been heard from since. "Records show that on May 23 he purchased a train ticket to Pingtung. He had expressed an interest in going hiking and in visiting Kaohsiung," the statement said. Anyone with information about Frontier is encouraged to contact the local police or the AIT at email@example.com. \n■ Politics \nFormer speaker convicted \n \nPFP Legislator Liu Sung-pan (劉松藩), a former speaker of the Legislative Yuan, was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison and a fine of NT$30 million (US$864,550) because of his alleged role in helping a friend getting an illegal loan from a bank. The Taichung District Court determined in its judgment that Liu provided a front company to a friend and helped him get a loan of NT$1.5 billion from the Taichung Commercial Bank in 1998. Liu took a commission of NT$150 million (US$4.32 million) from the friend in return, according to the court. The case came to light when Liu's friend failed to repay the loan. Liu said through one of his staff that he was surprised by the sentence and would appeal it. \n■ Education \nWinning team returns home \n \nA team of students from the department of computer science and industrial engineering of National Taiwan University returned to Taipei yesterday after winning an international computer-software design competition last month in Washington. The team was led by the department chief Feipei Lai (賴飛羆) and was composed of Kuo Mei-chen (郭美辰), Huang Pao-shuan (黃寶萱), Cheng Hsien-ting (鄭先廷) and Lin Puo-yun (林伯均). The team won the top prize given by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) at the 2003 Computer Society International Design Competition after beating more than 300 competitors in about 170 teams from universities around the world. The team's design -- Novel Educative Wireless -- which helps teachers create a small-class digital-learning interaction with students through the use of a Tablet PC wireless system. The device also won the first "multimedia" prize offered by Microsoft Corp. \n■ Cross-strait ties \nFerry sent for ill woman \n \nThe Mainland Affairs Council allowed a ferry to sail directly from Kinmen to Fujian Province yesterday to retrieve a seriously ill Taiwanese businesswoman. Direct shipping services between Kinmen and Matsu and Xiamen and Mawei were suspended May 18 over SARS concerns. The council resumed direct Kinmen-Xiamen and Matsu-Mawei cargo services late last month, but direct passenger services have not yet been resumed. Based on humanitarian considerations, the council approved an application by the Kinmen County Government to send a ferry to Xiamen to pick up Chen Chin-lien (陳金蓮), who has cervical cancer and requires emergency surgery, as well as her husband and other family members.
The chief mechanic in an air force unit from which an F-16 and its pilot went missing last week died on Sunday evening in what might have been a suicide, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. The ministry in a statement confirmed media reports that the mechanic, surnamed Huang (黃), “hurt himself” at a military barracks. Huang was taken to Hualien Armed Forces General Hospital after he was found unresponsive in the barracks, but doctors could not revive him, the ministry said. Huang served in the 26th Tactical Fighter Group of the 5th Tactical Fighter Wing, the same unit as the missing
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) last night said that it had no comment about reports that a senior US Navy officer had arrived in Taipei for a visit. Several media outlets reported that Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, director of intelligence of the US Indo-Pacific Command, arrived at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) on a special charter flight at about 7pm. The schedule of a “senior US official” in Taiwan would not be made public, the ministry said in a news release, without confirming the visit or the official’s identity. Interactions and exchanges between Taiwan and the US are common, and visits
‘VIRUS DIPLOMACY’: The nation’s expertise in handling COVID-19 was among the reasons that it should not be excluded from the WHO, the European Parliament said The European Parliament this week passed resolutions that support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO and its intention to negotiate a trade pact with Taiwan. During its plenary session from Monday to Thursday, the parliament approved resolutions on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and the EU’s trade policy, parts of which were viewed as friendly toward Taiwan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a statement yesterday, the ministry welcomed the passage of the resolutions and thanked the parliament for its support for Taiwan. In the first resolution, the parliament cited Beijing’s increasing threats to Taiwan, the crackdown on
NON-TYPICAL: Apart from Atsani, storms in autumn missed Taiwan, rainfall has been lower and average temperatures have been higher, a CWB forecaster said The current water shortage is expected to worsen in the next few months, with the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) yesterday forecasting a colder, dryer winter than normal. With winter starting next week, the bureau at a media briefing outlined the expected conditions through February and reviewed autumn’s significant weather events. Weather Forecast Center director Lu Kuo-cheng (呂國臣) said that autumn this year had three major characteristics: First, 13 tropical storms and typhoons formed from September to this month, up from 11 in the same period last year, Lu said. Apart from Atsani, for which sea and land alerts were issued in Taiwan, the tropical