Tue, Dec 30, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Crime

Mother asks Ma for help

The mother of Fryderyk Frontier, a US citizen who went missing in Taiwan in late May, called on Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday help in the search for her son. Barbara Klita, who sold her house to pay for airplane tickets, has made several trips to Taiwan since June. This time she appealed to the mayor for help. Ma told Klita that his heart goes out to her for her missing son, who arrived in Taiwan in May to take up an English-teaching job in Taipei. Ma promised Klita to do what he could to find Frontier. Ma then picked up the phone and called Hualien government officials. The eastern Taiwan county was where Frontier was reportedly last seen. Deputy Hualien County Chief Chu Ching-peng (朱景鵬) promised Ma that he will see to it that county police step up efforts in the search for Frontier and that Chu himself will meet with Klita shortly to gain a better understanding of the incident. Over the past several months, Klita has walked busy streets and railway and MRT stations in Taipei City, wearing a sandwich-board showing Frontier's name and photograph and asking pedestrians in broken Chinese "Have you seen him?"

■ Legal Battle

Deadline for Iruan's return

The Kaohsiung District Court in southern Taiwan has set a deadline for the return of a Taiwanese-Brazilian boy to his legal guardian in Brazil, judicial sources said yesterday. The court served notice to the Taiwanese family of Iruan Ergui Wu (吳憶樺) on Dec. 25 demanding it hand over the 8-year-old boy to his grandmother's representative in Taiwan within 20 days. Iruan's Brazilian grand-mother, Rosa Leocadia Silva Ergui, has authorized Paulo Pinto, Brazil's de facto ambassador to Taiwan, to take the boy back to Brazil on her behalf. Iruan's Taiwanese family said they will file an application with the court today to secure more time to prepare for Iruan's return to Brazil.

■ Mad Cow Disease

Taiwan bans US meat

The Council of Agriculture said yesterday Taiwan would join other countries in banning the import of US beef and related products. The council said the import of the meat of cattle, sheep and goats, whether fresh, frozen or otherwise, from the US is prohibited. Taiwan temporarily suspended US beef imports last week, hours after US agricultural authorities said a cow had tested positive for the disease in the northwestern state of Washington. The discovery of mad cow disease in the US has prompted some Taiwanese to give up eating beef, and has forced some restaurants and supermarkets to remove US beef from their menu or shelves.

■ Charity

Relief group arrives in Iran

A 19-member group from the Tzu Chi Buddhist Compassionate Relief Foundation (慈濟功德會), Taiwan's largest charity organization, arrived in Tehran at around 2am yesterday to help with relief work for Iranian earthquake victims. The members of the Tzu Chi relief group brought the foundation's first batch of supplies, including 100 medical supply kits, 11,000 blankets, as well as food supplies and bottled water, to those injured or made homeless by the earthquake. Meanwhile, a 60-member Taiwanese rescue team left for Iran Saturday evening to join search and rescue operations in the ancient Iranian city of Bam. A relief group from World Vision Taiwan is scheduled to arrive in Tehran this morning, bringing its first batch of relief supplies. The supplies are worth about US$25,000.

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