■ International Aid
Group urges Bam donations
World Vision Taiwan is urging the public to donate money for the emergency relief program in Iran. The city of Bam, in the south of the country, was devastated by a major earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale on Friday. The death toll is now estimated to be around 40,000. World Vision is set to send relief teams and emergency supplies to Iran tomorrow. The organization estimates the first stage of its relief plan will cost around US$250,000. Hank Du (杜明翰), director of World Vision Taiwan, said Iran had suffered several earthquakes before and there was a lack of general resources in the country. Du said victims of the earthquake would need food, clothing and shelter to make it through the cold winter. Those who wish to donate money to the relief program can call 02-2585-6300 or wire money to World Vision Taiwan's post office account 15752467. They should specify the money is for the earthquake relief program.
■ Filial piety
Chen honors father
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) recalled his own father while honoring seven models of "dutiful sons" in a ceremony in Tainan County. Chen said his father helped his wife, Wu Shu-chen (吳淑珍), run for a legislative seat in 1985 when Chen was at the nadir of his political career. At the time, Chen had just been defeated in the Tainan County commissioner's election and had been sentenced to jail for eight months for libel, and Wu was paralyzed from the waist down in a traffic accident. Wu succeeded in the election, but Chen's father was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and died four months after the election. Chen said his father didn't live long enough to see his son elected president. The president lauded the establishment of the prize to honor the models of filial piety, saying that filial piety can improve harmony in society. He said the founder of the prize, business tycoon Wu Hsiou-chi (吳修齊), is himself a well-known dutiful son.
■ Public transit
Special tickets to be released
The Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC, 台北捷運公司) will release commemorative tickets for next year at 9am tomorrow on the company's Web site, www.trtc.com.tw, and the MRT gift shop in Taipei Station. The tickets are in memory of pop singer Theresa Teng (鄧麗君). The package includes four tickets with Teng's stage photos, a CD single and a commemorative album, and costs NT$840. The company said it has limited the number of sets to 2,000. Another set celebrating the coming of the year of the monkey, which includes two tickets and three golden envelopes, costs NT$150.
NTU program gets top grade
National Taiwan University's (NTU) executive master's business administration (EMBA) program leads the pack among its counterparts in Taiwan, according to a survey released yesterday. The survey, conducted by the monthly magazine Cheers, showed most respondents mentioned NTU's EMBA program as their first choice. The NTU program topped the list in the magazine's survey for the second year in a row. National Chiao Tung University finished second, followed by National Chengchi University, National Sun Yat-sen University and National Tsinghua University. The three leading considerations of respondents in choosing EMBA programs were access to the school, the quality of the faculty and the fame of the school. The survey was based on responses from executives from the top 1,000 companies in Taiwan, with 241 valid responses being collected.
A DECADE’S WORK: The two-volume, 1,400-page lexicon has collected more than 20,000 words and phrases, and is expected to help people learning the Liu Dui dialect The Liu Dui Culture Research Association on Saturday unveiled the nation’s first domestically compiled lexicon of Hakka-language words in the Liu Dui dialect, an effort that took a decade of work and cost about NT$7 million (US$233,085 at the current exchange rate). The two-volume, 1,400-page lexicon collected more than 20,000 phrases and words, and is estimated to be of great value in helping people learn the Liu Dui dialect and culture, the association said. It could also become a reference book for teachers, the association added. The lexicon collected phrases and common words used in daily speech, as well as local sayings, phrases
EXPANSION: The transportation ministry is to subsidize Taipei and Kaohsiung’s purchase of 63 multipurpose taxis, as well as the payment of incentives for drivers The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is appropriating nearly NT$60 million (US$2 million) to subsidize plans by the Taipei City Government and the Kaohsiung City Government to expand their multipurpose taxi fleets, it said over the weekend. The ministry said that it has since 2013 subsidized the multipurpose taxi service nationwide, as it has become a way for disabled people to travel. The nation has 980 multipurpose taxis, including 301 in Taipei and 272 in Kaohsiung, ministry statistics showed. Last year, the service was accessed more than 200,000 times in Taipei and 460,000 times in Kaohsiung, which the ministry said shows
The One Bear Museum in Hsinchu County’s Guansi Township (關西), a teddy bear museum once touted by the county government as a “luminous pearl” along Provincial Highway No. 13, is facing possible closure. The museum’s building, which was provided by the county government, has a serious water leakage problem and lacks a parking lot for buses to bring in tour groups, Hsinchu County Councilor Lo Shih-shi (羅仕琦) said on Saturday. The county government should step in to rescue the museum, or the negative reviews about the museum on the Internet might affect visitors’ impression of the township and the county, he said. The
‘NATIONAL SECURITY PROBLEM’: Two DPP legislators said the government needs to help public agencies replace Chinese equipment and pass legislation banning their use More than 200 government entities are together using 1,108 telecommunications devices from Chinese brands, posing a cybersecurity risk, a government report showed. At the suggestion of the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee last year, the Executive Yuan investigated 7,704 public institutions to see whether they were using or had procured telecoms equipment manufactured by Chinese companies. They found that as of April 13, of the 3,837 public institutions that responded to their requests, 228 said they had been using equipment made by Chinese brands, including mobile phones, video cameras, drones and other Internet-related devices. The report highlighted products from seven brands considered to