■ Politics Parties reach consensus \n \nA consensus among political parties has been forged concerning sections of two bills which will be voted on in the Legislative Yuan on Thursday, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday. Parties have agreed on most parts of the revised Statute Governing the Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) and a revision to the 1995 Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law (總統副總統選舉罷免法). The Taiwan Solidarity Union, which disagreed with the other parties on several articles of each bill, insisted on voting on them individually rather than as a package. \n \n■ Economics \nPremier Yu bullish \n \nPremier Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday that economic growth could reach 4.67 percent for the final quarter of this year. Yu made the forecast at a Legislative Yuan plenary session to dismiss a claim by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Kuo Tien-tsai (郭添財) that the administration is not competent enough to rev up the nation's sluggish economy. Dismissing Kuo's criticism as unfair, Yu cited figures, including growth in exports and foreign exchange reserves, to show that the economy has rebounded from its recent sluggishness and is now steadily improving. \n \n■ National Day \nCelebrations toned down \n \nTaiwan has limited its National Day activities in Hong Kong and Macau to indoor celebrations in line with an agreement with the special administrative regions of China, Mainland Affairs Council vice chairman Huang Chieh-cheng (黃介正) said yesterday. About 1,000 people attended an indoor rally held by Taiwan's representative office in Hong Kong on Sunday, with participants singing the national anthem and bowing to the portrait of the founder of the Republic of China (ROC), Sun Yat-sen (孫中山). Some 600 people will attend a similar event in Macau today, Huang said. Also known as Double-Ten Day, since it falls on Oct. 10, National Day had been widely celebrated by Chinese communities in Hong Kong and Macau before they reverted to Chinese rule. \n \n■ Foreign affairs \nPowell rumor dismissed \n \nMinister of Foreign Affairs Eugene Chien (簡又新) dismissed as "mere speculation" yesterday a media report that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) might have an informal meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell in Panama early next month. Chen is scheduled to leave for a Latin American tour late this month. His itinerary will include a state visit to Panama to attend a ceremony marking the nation's centennial on Nov. 3. As US President George W. Bush has designated Powell to attend the Panamanian ceremony on his behalf, local news media said Chen might meet with Powell by chance during their stays in Panama. \n \n■ Culture \nFree birthday performance \n \nThe Overseas Chinese Commission will sponsor a free performance of music and drama at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall at 7pm tomorrow as part of celebrations for Double Ten Day on Friday. The show is primarily designed to treat overseas Chinese who have returned to Taiwan for the 92nd birthday of the Republic of China. Commission Chairwoman Chang Fu-mei (張富美) said the show would be a "combination of modern and traditional arts."
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up