US lifts travel alert
US officials lifted a SARS-related travel alert for Taiwan on Tuesday, the only area remaining on a federal health alert list. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the Taiwan alert was lifted because more than 30 days had elapsed since the last SARS case there developed symptoms. ``Currently, no areas in the world are reporting ongoing transmission of the disease,'' the CDC said. Earlier this month, the World Health Organization said SARS had been contained, although WHO officials are wary of a re-emergence of the viral disease.
Storms form over Pacific
Two tropical low pressure systems have formed above the Pacific Ocean over the past two days, and both could develop into typhoons, the Central Weather Bureau reported yesterday. One of the tropical low pressure systems was located east of the Philippines and moving westward as of yesterday morning, while the other was located southeast of Guam and also moving west, meteorologists said. The two systems may develop into typhoons in the next one to two days, the meteorologists said. They called for people to be on alert against the approaching weather systems. Meanwhile, the bureau reported that hot weather is likely to continue for several days, with highs of over 36℃ for the north and 34℃ to 35℃ forecast for central and southern areas.
Fake visa warning issued
The Mainland Affairs Council yesterday warned Taiwanese traveling to China about the possibility of being issued fake multiple-entry visas or other related entry permits by fraud rings. The council issued the warning in the wake of a report by the Macau Daily that authorities from Gongbei, Guangdong Province, had discovered 119 cases of Taiwanese using counterfeit multiple-entry visas "for residents from Taiwan area" for exit and entry into China via Gongbei customs between Dec. 15 last year and June 3. The Chinese authorities announced recently that no travel agencies nor "intermediary" companies had been authorized to issue multiple-entry visas or other entry papers to people from Taiwan and that all entry-exit papers are only issued by local public security authorities around China, according to the paper.
KMT OKs Wu's expulsion
The KMT's Central Standing Committee yesterday approved resolution recommended by its Evaluation and Discipline Committee to expel Wu Kuo-tung (吳國棟) from the party for deciding to run against the official KMT candidate in the Hualien County commissioner by-election. "It's regrettable," said KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰). "But it was a difficult decision we needed to make." KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) added that, if the party does not discipline Wu, it would leave grassroots supporters filled with doubt, which might lead to an unfavorable electoral impact on Hsieh Shen-shan (謝深山), the official candidate of the KMT-PFP alliance. Lien also called on all pan-blue supporters to focus their efforts on Hsieh. In response, Wu, reiterated his determination to run in the by-election, saying he was not surprised by the KMT's decision to throw him out of the party.