Mon, May 03, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF REPORTER WITH AGENCIES

■ CrimeAssassination plotter nabbed

Lai Chu-hsing (賴注醒) was arrested by prosecutors yesterday for allegedly planning to assassinate President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Police said Lai had recently distributed flyers calling for the establishment of a revolutionary party to assassinate Chen. Lai was invited on several TV programs to talk about his assassination plan. Lai was arrested yesterday afternoon as he was on his way to a TV station to participate in a talk show. Lai told reporters that the best time to assassinate Chen would be during the May 20 inauguration ceremony. The 40-year old Lai is reportedly an entrepreneur who sells water.

■ Society

Four missing at sea

Four people were reported missing yesterday after a ferry boat overturned off Hsiaoliuchiu island, officials said. The boat shuttling between the fishing harbor of Tungkang in Pingtung County and the island capsized at 6:15am as it approached the island, the National Rescue Command Center said. "Airborne and maritime search has been underway," an official said. He said one sailor had been rescued from the vessel after he managed to grab hold of a log and stay afloat for at least an hour before being plucked to safety by another boat. Missing are the skipper, another sailor and two passengers. Hundreds of racing pigeons being transported on the ferry died.

■ Expatriates

Heritage activities in LA

The annual Taiwanese-American Heritage Week kicked off in the greater Los Angeles area on Saturday, with hundreds of members of major Taiwanese associations joining a riverbed clean-up campaign with other Asian-Pacific ethnic groups as part of the celebrations of Asia-Pacific Heritage Month. Huang Wen-ku, president of the Taiwanese-American Citizens Association, that a series of cultural, sports and culinary activities will be staged during Taiwanese-American Heritage Week to promote multicultural exchanges, encourage Taiwanese-Americans to take part in mainstream US social activities and promote traditional Taiwanese folk arts, crafts and festivities.

■ Politics

Soong mahjong jibe denied

The People First Party (PFP) yesterday denied that its chairman, James Soong (宋楚瑜), left a demonstration on April 10 to play mahjong. Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) last week suggested that the PFP chairman left the protesters -- who were calling for a recount and an investigation into an assassination attempt on the president -- to play mahjong before the demonstration became violent. PFP spokesman Hsieh Kong-ping (謝公秉) yesterday detailed Soong's activities on April 10 and said the party would not rule out filing a defamation suit against Lee.

■ Diplomacy

Equipment donated

Taiwan has donated a batch of information-technology equipment worth US$20,000 to the Paraguayan government in a bid to help upgrade its administrative efficiency, an official from the Republic of China embassy said on Saturday. Ambassador Bing Yen (顏秉璠) delivered the materials, including 16 computers, digital cameras, fax machines and printers, to the Paraguayan government at a dinner party hosted by President Nicanor Duarte Furtos on April 26. Duarte expressed his heartfelt gratitude for Taiwan's generous donation.

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