Sat, Nov 01, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Weather

Typhoon to bring rain

Light Typhoon Melor, located 570km east of Manila at 8am yesterday, is expected to bring rain to eastern Taiwan in the next few days. According to Central Weather Bureau forecasts, from yesterday evening Melor would bring three or four days of rain to eastern Taiwan. Another typhoon, Parma, is currently moving away from Taiwan. The medium typhoon is unlikely to affect the nation's weather.

■ Education

Little English on islands

There is a noticeable gap between Taiwan proper and the smaller islands it controls regarding English-teaching resources and learning environments, according to a recent survey conducted by the privately run King Car Education Foundation. The poll results show that 93.6 percent of school children questioned around the country think it is important to learn English. However, the poll also revealed that only 34 percent of those polled really enjoy learning English, while 38 percent in Taipei County acknowledged that they learn English only in order to pass examinations. The results also show that a larger ratio of primary school students on the islands do not like learning English and that there are insufficient English textbooks and language learning activities at their schools. Some 47 percent of them said they have never read any English books, while about 44 percent said they have no confidence in talking with foreigners in English.

■ Politics

Siew off to Boao Forum

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) left for Hong Kong yesterday, on his way to an economic meeting in Boao, Hainan Province. Siew said the focus of the Boao forum will be discussion on the promotion of development and economic cooperation in Asia, and will not touch on cross-strait economic issues or issues concerning direct links. The Boao Forum, initiated by 26 countries, including Japan, Australia and the Philippines in 2001, is a non-governmental and non-profit international organization.

■ Culture

Aborigines want own council

The Pingpu Plains Aborigines Association of Taiwan (台灣平埔原住民協會) yesterday urged the government to establish a Cabinet-level council for Pingpu affairs. Pingpu Aborigines are the Aborigines living in the plains area. The group said that there were various Cabinet-level councils for Hakkas, oversea Chinese and Aborigines, but there was not such council for Pingpu people, and the Council of Indigenous People did not take charge of Pingpu affairs either. It said that having a separate Pingpu council could ease concerns of Aborigines in mountain areas that their resources would be divided. The association also wants the government to help maintain and promote their declining culture.

■ Crime

Police find drug factory

Police announced yesterday that they had raided a large amphetamine manufacturing factory in Kaohsiung seizing drugs with an estimated street value of NT$500 million. Police and investigation agents raided the factory in Taliao, Kaohsiung County, the previous day, seizing 14kg of amphetamine in solid form and nearly 700kg in liquid form, as well as a large amount of equipment used to manufacture the drug. Police arrested chief suspect Lee Wen-cheng (李文成) and were continuing to track down two other suspects, who were still at large.

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