Thu, Sep 23, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ CrimeMan caught with diamonds

Police in Ho Chi Minh City have seized 2,000 diamonds worth an estimated US$2 million this week from a Taiwanese man's house after he was arrested for smuggling stones into Vietnam, police said yesterday. Last week, customs officials at Ho Chi Minh City's airport arrested the 42-year-old Taiwanese man when 229 diamonds were discovered in his luggage after arriving on a flight from Taipei. During raids on his rented house on Sunday and Monday, police found the additional 2,000 diamonds, making it the largest number of gemstones ever confiscated, the police officer said on condition of anonymity. The suspect is being held for further investigation, he said.

■ Diplomacy

Allies support UN bid

Taiwan's allies Costa Rica and Burkina Faso spoke for Taiwan's bid to join the UN at the 59th UN General Assembly's annual general debate in New York, which brings together heads of state and governments from around the world, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Costa Rican President Abel Pacheco de la Espriella and President of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaore argued for Taiwan's bid on Tuesday. Pacheco reiterated Costa Rica's long-term support for the Taiwan's efforts to participate in the UN. Blaise cited Taiwan's positive cooperation with international organizations and its contribution to human civilization as reasons for the UN to accept Taiwan. Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山), which is visiting the US, thanked the two allies' support for Taiwan's UN bid, a ministry statement said.

■ Fisheries

Russians fire on fishing boat

A Kaohsiung-registered fishing boat has allegedly been fired at in Russian territorial waters and the Fisheries Administration is helping to investigate the matter. Reports said the deep-sea fishing vessel, Cheng Huei No. 1, trespassed into Russian waters near the Kuril Islands and was chased by a Russian vessel after it refused to stop. The Russian boat was only able to intercept the ship after firing upon it, according to the reports. The crew, from Taiwan, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, were reported to be safe, but 200 tonnes of illegally caught fish were found aboard, the reports said. Fishery officials in Kaohsiung noted that Taiwanese fishing ships operate in the North Pacific fishing grounds for saury at this time of year and that Russia may have stepped up patrols in the region.

■ Weather

Bureau watches typhoon

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) is closely monitoring Typhoon Meari, the 21st typhoon reported in the Pacific area this year. The weather bureau is not expected to issue any warnings for the typhoon within the next two days unless Meari hastens its pace and continues moving in a west-northwestward direction directly toward Taiwan, CWB meteorologists said. Typhoon Meari, with a radius of 100km and packing maximum sustained winds of up to 82kph, was centered about 540km northwest of Guam at 8am yesterday. Meanwhile, the weather bureau warned that the first cold front from the north this year has reached Taiwan, bringing down the mercury and showers. The chance of rain today in the northern and northeastern parts of the country is 70 percent, while it is 50 percent in central Taiwan. Temperatures in the north are expected to drop to about 28 degrees Celsius.

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