Mon, Jun 07, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Identification

IDs will have fingerprints

New national identification cards will contain anti-forgery features and a space reserved for the owner's fingerprint, despite activists' claims that such a requirement violates the cardholder's human rights. The Ministry of the Interior announced yesterday that the new ID cards will be designed using horizontal left-to-right Chinese writing, in accordance with legislation passed early last month mandating that all official documents and related paperwork should be changed to the horizontal left-to-right format from the current vertical right-to-left format, ministry officials said. The new ID cards will carry the cardholder's name, gender and address, as well as his or her parents' names and the name of his or her spouse. The card will not carry the cardholder's original domicile, as in the past, but only their place of birth. The cards will have 20 markers to discourage counterfeiting, including hidden lines, fluorescent paint and embossing, the officials said. The new IDs are expected to be circulated nationwide next year at the latest.

■ Earthquake

Tremor jolts southeast

An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale jolted Taiwan yesterday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, officials said. The tremor struck at 8:09am, with an epicenter around 21km northeast of Taitung, the Seismology Center said. Its epicenter was 3.3km below the ground.

■ Broadcasting

TV companies to be donated

Two government-owned terrestrial television companies, Taiwan Television Enterprise Ltd (TTV), and Chinese Television System (CTS), will be donated to the Public Television Cultural Development Foundation, under a plan to be discussed by the Executive Yuan this week. The plan will be examined by a panel headed by Minister-without-Portfolio Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁). Under the plan worked out by the Government Information Office (GIO), TTV and CTS, of which most stocks were owned by the government, will be run by the foundation after some stock owned privately was bought by the GIO. In addition to the two terrestrial television companies, the All-Hakka Channel ran by the Council for Hakka Affairs and Taiwan Macroview TV, run by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, will also be donated and controlled by the foundation, according to the proposal. This idea has alarmed some opposition lawmakers. Legislator Pang Chien-kuo of the People First Party (PFP) criticized the proposal as a scheme by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to control all television outlets. However, journalists supported the proposal.

■ Charity

Eden group helping Thais

In a bid to raise funds and materials for poor children in northern Thailand, the Eden Social Welfare Foundation has launched a campaign to collect second-hand clothes for the impoverished people in that region. The foundation also held a brassiere bazaar at Taipei's Hsinyi shopping district on Saturday to raise funds. The brassieres auctioned off at the bazaar were donated by several underwear manufacturers. A spokesman for the foundation said many residents in northern Thailand lead primitive lives. "We hope to raise funds to help improve their living conditions and health care," he said. People interested in donating used clothes or money can contact the foundation by phone (02-25784514, ext. 207) or donate cash to its postal account (19793932).

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