Fri, Nov 21, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Crime
Police hunt piglet thieves

More than 100 piglets were stolen from a farm in Hsinkang village, Chiayi County, early yesterday morning. According to preliminary police investigations, the thieves killed the farm's guard dog by poisoning it and then herded the pigs into a truck. The pigs were only a few weeks old. Each had a market value of about NT$2,000. Several farmers in the county have recently reported thefts of eels, ducks and geese.

■ Health

SARS discussed in the US

Department of Health Director-General Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) arrived in Washington on Wednesday to exchange views with American officials on how to prevent another outbreak of SARS and strengthen cooperation in improving public health. While in Washington, Chen will meet with officials from the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research, the National Institute of Health, and other organizations, sources said.

■ Defense

Penghu wants to tax military

Penghu County Commissioner Lai Feng-wei (賴峰偉) yesterday said that the county government is planning to ask for "military training tax" from the local air force headquarters. According to Lai, the air force has been taking advantage of the county's isolated islands to carry out their regular bombing training for pilots over the past 30 years. Residents of Huayu, a small island about 8km from the military exercise zone, have been seriously affected by the military training because houses on the island crack and collapse, and windows regularly break due to the bombing exercises. Lai said that the exercises damage residents' properties and health.

■ Health

New test for SARS

Taiwanese researchers have developed a test that can diagnose SARS infections as early as the first two to three days after the onset of the virus, according to reports in the Chinese-language media yesterday. The test, developed by the National Taiwan University, works by detecting the SARS-associated coronavirus antigens in specimens collected from the patients, according to the reports. "The tests have displayed a high degree of accuracy," Chang Ming-fu (張明富), head of the university's Graduate Institute of Biochemistry and Molecularbiology, was quoted as saying. The new test can help identify SARS infection much earlier than existing methods, the reports said.

■ Legal system

Prosecutor resigns

Panchiao District Prosecutor Kuo Wei-chung (郭緯中) submitted his resignation yesterday to the Ministry of Justice. Kuo, his colleague Huang Chung-kang (黃重鋼) and Taipei Prosecutor Lu Chao-chang (呂朝章) were trailed by members of the ministry's "paparazzi team" team on Oct. 28 when they went out for drinks with two women at midnight. The ministry's Inspection Department decided the trio's behavior was "improper" since Kuo and Huang are married and proposed administrative punishments for them. Kuo was to be transferred to Changhua District Prosecutors' Office. According to Kuo's letter of resignation, he hoped to leave his current post on Dec. 1. The Government Officials Evaluation Committee, the highest administrative office to decide punishment for government officials, is also considering to suspend Kuo's admission to the bar.

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