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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
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
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said