■ PoliticsNo date for debate yet
After more than an hour of intense exchange, no con-sensus was reached yester-day between the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on the date on which President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) should hold a debate on the issue of constitutional reform. The DPP proposed seven dates between Dec. 1 and Dec.7 but the KMT insisted the debate be staged only after Chen is formally nominated by his party as its presidential candidate. Chen is expected to be officially nominated on Dec. 10 by the DPP's Central Executive Committee. The KMT also insisted both sides announce their plans for substantial constitutional reform one week prior to the debate. The DPP said its proposal has already been clearly stated. DPP Secretary General Lee ying-yuan (李應元) later suggested both camps resume negotiations at the end of next month after they have completed their campaign platforms.
Illegal medicine seized
Police seized 873.5kg of smuggled medicines last Wednesday from the ware-house of an air cargo ship-ping company at Taoyuan, a source said yesterday. The smuggled medicines have a total market value of more than NT$100 million. They include duromine and 16 other kinds of controlled medicines. Duromine con-tains phentermine, which is similar to amphetamine. By law, a controlled medicine cannot be sold without a prescription. A suspect has been arrested, the source said.
Bomb task force formed
Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲) yester-day directed that a special police task force be formed to probe the recent spate of incidents involving explosive devices and fake bombs in Taipei. The latest bomb, containing explosive pow-der, electric wires and some rice, was found Nov. 22 at the Ministry of Finance's tax-data center near Tunhua South Road and Chunghsiao East Road. Two similar explosive devices were found in Ta-an Forest Park on Nov. 13 and Nov. 27. Yu instructed the National Police Administration to work with the Taipei City Police Department in establishing the special task force to look into the matter. Yu said that the National Security Bureau will also look into whether the incidents are connected to international terrorist activities.
UK warning on Indonesia
Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued a warning via the British Trade and Cultural Office to all UK citizens living in Taiwan, advising against all non-essential travel to Indonesia. "There is a high general threat from terrorism in Indonesia," a statement on the FCO Web site said yesterday. "We continue to receive information that indicates terrorists are planning further attacks, including against Wester-ners, throughout the country."
CWB monitoring typhoon
The Central Weather Bureau said yesterday that it is monitoring the movement of Typhoon Lupit, which could affect the weather in the coming days. Lupit was located 600km south of Guam early yesterday, moving west northwest at 22kph, the bureau said, adding that the typhoon could turn north and come close to Taiwan.