Wed, Jul 07, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Earthquake

Taipei rocked by tremor

A strong earthquake shook buildings in northern Taiwan, including Taipei, yesterday, but no damage or casualties were immediately reported. The 5.8-magnitude quake struck at 3:32pm. Its epicenter was under the ocean, 50km northeast of Suao, the Central Weather Bureau said, at a depth of about 10km.

■ Diplomacy

Chen confirms appointment

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) confirmed yesterday that Michel Lu (呂慶龍), vice chairman of the ministry's NGO (non-governmental organization) Affairs Committee and a former ambassador to Haiti, is to succeed Richard Shih (石瑞琦) as the ministry's spokesman and director general of the Department of Information and Cultural Affairs. Lu, fluent is French, has been one of the planners of the country's annual bid to enter the World Health Organization.

■ Disaster Relief

Typhoon aid offered

Several associations for Taiwanese businesspeople in China plan to donate funds to aid in alleviating the destruction brought about by Typhoon Mindulle, according to reports yesterday. The president of a Taiwanese business people's association in the city of Shantou in Guangdong Province told reporters that he would be bringing the issue up with the heads of other Taiwanese businesspeople's associations in order to garner support and work out a plan for contributions. In addition, China's semiofficial Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) sent correspondence via fax to its Taiwanese counterpart, the Straits Exchange Foundation, expressing concern regarding the aftermath of Mindulle in Taiwan.

■ Education

English teachers needed

Owing to the shortage of English teachers at elementary schools, the Ministry of Education yesterday announced that teachers who score more than 213 on the computer-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or pass the third level of Taiwan's General English Proficiency Test (GEPT) can teach English in elementary schools. According to the ministry's policy, pupils in grade-three or above are required to take English courses beginning in the fall semester next year. However, only Taipei City, Taipei County, Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County have enough eligible English teachers, said Wu Tsai-shung (吳財順), the director of the ministry's Department of Elementary and Junior High School Education. Therefore, Wu said that the ministry decided to loosen the qualifications for English teachers and will not limit teachers who majored in English Literature to be English teachers, since they only need to teach pupils simple English dialogue.

■ Crime

Starlet faces prosecution

Taipei prosecutors decided on Monday to officially begin their investigation toward film star Brigitte Lin (林青霞) who allegedly displayed her ballot publicly during the presidential election. Prosecutors said that they have received five complaint calls over this matter. After they talked to witnesses and Lin, they decided to launch their official investigation into the case. Usually, when prosecutors launched their official investigation, it was a sign that they have collected some sufficient evidence to prove the subject person guilty.

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