Wed, Jul 21, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Terror

Militants may attack ships

Evergreen Marine Corp, the world's second-largest container shipping line, has boosted safety measures after an Iraqi militant group threatened to attack the world's top 10 shipping lines that carry weapons for US troops, Evergreen Marine said yesterday. Evergreen said its ships have not called at Iraqi ports or transported arms for US troops. "But we have notified all our ships and 250 overseas branch companies and agents to step up security measures," a company press officer said by phone. "Currently all our shipping operations are normal," the press officer said. Evergreen is the world's second-largest container line after Maersk-Sealand.

■ Recreation

Stay out of river: EPA

Carrying out recreational activities in the Tamshui River remain inappropriate as high bacteria levels were detected by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday. The Bureau of Public Works under Taipei City Government yesterday continued to repair the Shizitou Pumping Station in Wuku township, Taipei County. The pumping station malfunctioned after being struck by lightning last Friday. City councilors Monday criticized the government's slow response, saying that more than 3 million tonnes of household sewage had been discharged into the river. Officials said yesterday that the task was more difficult than it had predicted.

■ Ordnance

Workers uncover big bomb

Construction workers unearthed a 453kg bomb yesterday while digging for the MRT system at the Taipei Sungshan Airport. The bomb was found in the morning by a worker using a bulldozer. Police blocked off the area with several hundred meters of warning tape and notified military inspectors. Military personnel dispatched to examine the bomb determined that it was most likely dropped from a US plane during World War II. The area around the Sungshan Airport was used at that time by the Japanese air force. The bomb does not currently pose a threat, however, since the triggering mechanism has long since rusted. The bomb was sent to an arsenal in Nankang for disposal.

■ Crime

Smugglers caught

A Xiamen fishing boat was seized in waters off Kinmen Island's Kuningtou Monday night as it attempted to smuggle Taiwan-made electronic components, machinery and other industrial products into China, the Kinmen Coast Guard headquarters reported yesterday. The Kinmen Coast Guard authorities said that two Chinese fishing boats, both without names, were discovered acting suspiciously in the area off Kinmen. One of the two fishing boats, operated by Xiamen resident Peng Kuanzhu, was cornered by two Kinmen patrol boats around 9pm on Monday off Kuningtou.

■ Disaster Relief

A-mei to hold benefit

Pop diva Chang Hui-mei (張惠妹), widely known as A-mei, plans to give a benefit concert in the capital tomorrow for the victims of Tropical Storm Mindulle. The storm caused widespread destruction two weeks ago, killing 29 people and causing flooding and landslides in mountainous parts of central Taiwan -- home to many Aboriginal tribes. Chang said her own Aboriginal origins inspired her to hold the benefit concert. "Because I am an Aborigine myself, I hope I can do things to help them," she told reporters while taking a break.

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