Thu, Jul 01, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Crime

Arrest in Japanese thefts

Police reported yesterday that they had arrested a man connected with a ring allegedly involved in stealing heavy-duty motorcycles from Japan. Hsieh Wen-hung (謝文宏), 26, was arrested at his shop in Pingtung where he reportedly sold the motorcycles. The police also impounded 22 motorcycles in a raid on June 18. Tokyo police confirmed yesterday that seven of the 22 motorcycles had been reported stolen from their city. Criminal Investigation Bureau agents said that they had received a tip from Interpol that Hsieh and some accomplices were involved in the motorcycle thefts. According to Interpol, the motorcycles were disassembled after being stolen and then exported to Taiwan under the guise of scrap metal.

■ Entertainment

Saisiat tale now a cartoon

The Disney Channel will be airing a five-minute cartoon based on local indigenous folklore on Saturday and Sunday at 8:55pm. The cartoon, The Lightening Spirit's Daughter: A Tale from Taiwan, is based on a Saisiat legend describing how the Saisiat people, who live in Miaoli and Hsinchu counties, became farmers. According to the legend, the Saisiat were hunters. The lightening god, saddened by the land being left to waste, sent his daughter to the Earth where she married a Saisiat man and taught the people how to farm. Although she eventually returned to the heavens, the Saisiat honor her memory by holding ceremonies each year. Disney is showing the cartoon as part of its cartoon series Legends of the Ring of Fire,which details myths from Southeast and Northeast Asia.

■ Travel

Tourist farms to be promoted

In a bid to achieve the Cabinet's aim of doubling the number of foreign tourist arrivals by 2008, government agencies will include tourist farms in their promotional plans, Council of Agriculture officials said yesterday. According to the officials, the council and the Tourism Bureau have decided to join forces in promoting tourist farms to overseas Chinese living in Southeast Asia, focusing on Hong Kong in particular this year. After a series of promotional activities in Hong Kong early last month, the first group of tourists is slated to arrive on July 25, where they will be accommodated at local tourist farms to experience the nation's natural landscape, rustic foods and environment, the officials said.

■ Women's Affairs

YWCA forum set for August

The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of Taiwan, the Taipei YWCA and the World YWCA will co-host a global forum on young women's issues between Aug. 26 and Aug. 30 in Taipei. The forum, called "Young women leading global change," will be held at the Grand Hotel and will feature local and international speakers and panelists talking about young women and their roles in the workplace, in advocacy work and how they can use technology to further change. Keynote speakers will include Anamah Tan, president of the International Council of Women; Susan Packard Orr, of the YWCA's USA Campaign steering committee; Joanna Lei (雷倩), ETTV's executive director ; and Lin Fang-mei (林芳玫), member of the Coordination Commission of North American Affairs and former head of the National Youth Commission. To learn more about the event, go to www.ymca.org.tw/2004ywgf.

■ Drugs

Heroin shipment found

Law enforcement officers yesterday seized a large amount of heroin hidden in hollowed-out logs shipped from Thailand to Kaohsiung. The 130-plus heroin bricks, weighing about 56kg, were shipped to Taiwan in a 20-ft container declared as containing wood carvings. The seized drugs had an estimated street value of NT$2 billion. The team also managed to arrest two brothers surnamed Lung, believed to have thought up the smuggling operation. Prosecutor Yang Ta-chih (楊大智), from the Taitung Prosecutor's Office in eastern Taiwan, said his team had been monitoring the Lungs for more than a month. "Through wiretapping, the team discovered that the Lungs maintained constant contacts with two Thai citizens of Chinese descent in Bangkok and had used code numbers in their conversations. After an extensive analysis of their coded messages, we came to learn that they would smuggle contraband drugs into Taiwan via container," Yang said.

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