Fri, Jul 16, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Health

Protesters block DOH doors

Over 100 protesters from the National Union of Nurses Association (NUNA) blocked the Department

of Health's doors yesterday morning, accusing the department of "trampling on the nursing profession" and Director-General

Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁)

of backtracking on his promises. According to NUNA chairwoman Yin

Jeo-chen (尹祚芊), Chen promised that a candidate recommended by NUNA would take charge of the department's new Bureau

of Nursing and Healthcare. Irritated by the appointment of Mary Huang (黃美娜)

as the bureau's new chief,

the association demanded

a meeting with Chen.

Shortly after Chen

met the association's representatives at about 11am and received their petition, the protesters dispersed.

■ Diplomacy

Australia visa pact signed

Young Taiwanese will be able to apply for working-holiday visas in Australia starting Nov. 1, the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday. Taiwan's representative

to Australia, Timothy Yang (楊進添), and Australian Commerce and Industry Office Representative Frances Adamson signed

the working-holiday visa

pact in Taipei yesterday,

after a series of meetings

between officials from both governments. Australia has no official ties with Taipei, but is the second country

to make such a deal with Taiwan after New Zealand signed an agreement in February. Under the scheme, up to 1,000 Taiwanese between the ages of 18 to

30 will be able to travel

to Australia for a working-holiday stay of up to 12 months. The agreement was signed so that young people from both nations "will have opportunities to learn about each other's country's culture and society, which will substantially boost Taiwan and Australia's relations,"

the ministry said in a press release.

■ Culture

Report slams museum

The National Taiwan Museum has mismanaged

its collections, with many historical relics damaged, the Control Yuan has found. Following an investigation, the Control Yuan yesterday censured the museum and

its supervising agency, the Council for Cultural Affairs. The Control Yuan also wanted to impeach museum employees, but elected not to after it found that the museum's collections had not been compiled correctly in the first place. The Control Yuan investigators discovered that three of the museum's warehouses in

the Taipei area were in poor condition, with relics poorly cared for and some pottery items damaged. They also found that there was no record of how missing

relics were removed from warehouses and that some had simply been thrown away by mistake. Other items had been lent to other organizations but were never returned, such as a large drum that was lent to Taipei's Lungshan Temple in 1960.

■ Transportation

Car ownership jumps

The number of motor vehicles reached 6.26 million in the first half

of this year, at an average

of 27.7 per 100 people, according to the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission. A commission report released yesterday showed that more than 253,000 new motor vehicles were registered between January and

last month. The figure represents a 26.4 percent increase on the same period last year.

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