Wed, Oct 08, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Crime
Liu Tai-ying out on bail

The Taipei District Court decided to release former China Development Holding Corp chairman Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) on NT$20 million bail late on Monday evening after prosecutors applied to detain him on charges of embezzlement and money laundering because of his alleged involvement in a scandal about a secret fund to secure diplomatic relations with South Africa. Taipei Chief Prosecutor Hsueh Wei-ping (薛維平) said that he will consider whether to appeal the bail decision after he carefully reviews the verdict in the next seven days or so. Liu is also on a NT$60 million bail for his involvement in the Zanadau scandal. His NT$80 million total bail is a national record. Hsueh first applied to detain Liu on Aug. 15 but the district court decided to release him without bail on Aug. 16. Hsueh immediately appealed to the high court and his appeal was granted on Sept. 23. Monday's rehearing was the result of the high court's decision.

■ Travel

Warning issued for Spain

The Tourism Bureau issued a travel warning yesterday to tourists heading for Spain. "Taiwanese must be aware of the possible dangers of robbery and injuries while traveling in Spain," the bureau said in a statement. The warning came after two women from a 27-member Taiwanese tour group were cut and robbed by three knife-wielding men after they stepped off a tour bus in front of a Madrid hotel on Monday. The robbers also attacked the tour guide before fleeing, according to the bureau.

■ Sport

Triathlon set for Saturday

The nation's fittest men and women will challenge their physical limits Oct. 11 in Taiwan's 12th annual triathlon in Taitung County. Participants will swim 1.5km, ride a bicycle 40km and then run 10km. Taitung County Commissioner Hsu Ching-yuan (徐慶元) is urging more people to participate. More than 600 people have registered already, including Ma and his bodyguards, a Taipei City Government team comprised of police department bureau chiefs and former city Information Department director King Pu-tsung (金浦聰).

■ Culture

Contest lures potters

The first Taiwan International Ceramics Festival has attracted 692 entries from 47 countries for the competition to be held next January, the Council for Cultural Affairs said yesterday. Council Chairwoman Tchen Yu-chiou (陳郁秀) said 125 local and overseas artists have been selected as qualifiers to vie for the top prize of NT$1.3 million (US$38,460). Among the qualifiers, 25 are from Taiwan and the rest hail from 26 countries. Many well-known ceramics artists are competing in the festival, such as the modern pottery master Rudy Autio from the US and Steven Montgomery, who just won a gold medal in a competition in South Korea.

■ Agriculture

Flamingo flowers flourish

Flamingo flowers grown in a small southern Taiwan village have conquered Japan. Chuang Chun-chin (莊竣欽), head of a floral production cooperative in Tainan County's Chungshe village, said that since he took the initiative to plant flamingo flowers in styrofoam containers a few years ago, the imported floral species has grown well in his village. "The success rate is almost 100 percent, " Chuang said. Chuang said Taiwan is now Japan's largest flamingo flower supplier, accounting for a 39 percent market share.

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