Tue, Jul 13, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Politics

Travel plans denied

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) never had any

plans to visit Greece, the Presidential Office said yesterday, in response to a newspaper report that she had dropped the plans only after learning that it would be difficult for her to attend the opening ceremony of

the Athens Olympics next month. "Lu has never had any plans to attend the Athens Olympic Games opening ceremony nor has she had any contact with the Olympic Games organizing committee," the Presidential Office said in a press statement. The statement said it was regrettable that the newspaper failed to make any verification before publishing the report.

■ Society

Indigenous talent targeted

The Council of Indigenous Peoples will expand its program to give Aborigines skills that they can use when they return to their villages, council Chairman Chen Chien-nien (陳建年) said yesterday. The plan this year will include 720 people in

18 teams, compared with the 640 people in 16 teams last year, Chen said. This year's program will teach self-help skills, how to better organize and develop individual talent and learn things useful to fostering indigenous cultures. Wang Hung-en (王宏恩), voted best artist at the Golden Melody Awards in 2002 and a member of the Bunun tribe, will serve as the spokesman for the program's development team. Wang hopes to cultivate Aboriginal talent in music composition and production so that Aboriginal music can go beyond just singing. Chen said Aboriginal people have the responsibility to pass down their culture to the younger generation.

■ Crime

Illegal immigrants nabbed

Sixteen Chinese women were arrested on a beach near Tamsui in a pre-dawn

raid yesterday, coast guard officers said. Also nabbed in the raid were two Taiwanese fishermen who had allegedly transported the 16 to shore aboard the Fuhao speedboat. The youngest of the seized immigrants was only 16 years old, coast guard officers

said. Acting on a tip that

a smuggling ring would smuggle a batch of Chinese into the country soon, coast guard authorities kept a close watch on the Fuhao after it left Aoti fishing port in Taipei County at 3:30pm on Sunday. After picking up the women

in the Taiwan Strait from

a Chinese fishing boat,

the Fuhao headed back to Taiwan. It ran aground near Tamsui after a two-hour chase with coast guard cutters. The ship's two crew members and the 16 stowaways jumped overboard and tried to hide in shrubs but were found.

■ Flood Relief

Japanese team helps out

A medical team from Osaka is in Nantou County to help with medical services there in the wake of the storms earlier this month. The five-member team, headed by Yodogawa Christian Hospital superintendent Takeshi Ishida, along with a medical team from Puli Christian Hospital, traveled to Jenai township by helicopter. Because the roads to most

of the flood-ravaged areas in Nantou have been repaired and sufficient medical supplies are continuing to flow in, some medical teams have left; the medical teams from Puli and Yodogawa

are taking their place. Lin

Li-hsueh, an administrator

at Puli Christian Hospital, quoted Ishida as saying that when the Japanese team arrived at the scene, they were very impressed that the military and civilians were working well together. Tropical Storm Mindulle, which struck the country on July 2, brought torrential rain and severe mudslides.

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