Sun, Oct 03, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ Environment

No botulism in birds' turf

Tests in the nation's major habitat for the black-faced spoonbill have found no evidence of botulism contamination, the Tainan County Animal Disease Control Center reported yesterday. Center officials said the first test was completed last month, with officials checking 18 sites; a second test will be conducted this month and samples will be taken until early next year. They made the remarks as the first group of the rare birds arrived at the Chiku Wetlands Sanctuary near the estuary of the Tsengwen River in Tainan County to spend the winter. Between Dec. 2002 and January last year, cases of black-faced spoonbills infected with botulism were reported and 73 died, the first time the rare birds had died en masse in Taiwan.

■ Foreign Affairs

Paraguay gets big grant

The nation donated US$2 million to Paraguay Friday to help its sole diplomatic ally in South America boost its exports. Victor Varela Allegretti, a Paraguayan Industry and Commerce Department (ICD) official in charge of export affairs, said the donation will be subject to transparent management. According to Varela, US$1.6 million of the donation will be used to revitalize Paraguay's sagging exports and economic development while the remaining US$400,000 will finance a project to improve the ICD's information system.

■ Society

Workaholics risk marriages

Sixty-six percent of white-collar workers who want to get married have problems finding a partner mainly because of long work hours, according to the results of a survey released yesterday. The survey conducted by the 9999 Pan Asia Job Bank, an online job search Web site, shows that 52.31 percent of white-collar workers have a desire for marriage, compared with 26.08 percent who said they are not the marrying kind and 21.61 percent who have little interest in marriage. On the reasons not to get married, 43.52 percent of the respondents said they do not want the bondage of wedlock, 22.77 percent believe marriage is the burial of life, 18.49 percent think marriage will subject them to too much legal responsibility, and 12.95 percent said they have not found the motivation to get married.

■ Arts

Troupe to perform in Seoul

A folk acrobatic troupe from Taichung County will perform folk drumming in the upcoming Seoul Drum Festival by invitation of the Taiwan representative group of the International Organization of Folk Arts (IOFA). The Jyou-Tian Folk Drum and Arts Group (九天民俗技藝團) will participate in the three-day festival that opens Oct. 8. Since 2000, many different drum troupes from around the world, performing in modern or traditional styles, have been invited to join the annual event to introduce their native music and culture to local people. The festival is sponsored by the Seoul City Government. This year, a total of 12 groups from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Ghana, India, Japan, Sweden, Taiwan and the US, as well as the host country South Korea, will perform. The Jyou-Tian troupe was founded in 1995 by drum performer Shue Chen-rong (許振榮). Shue assembled a team of energetic young people -- including some school dropouts -- to play drums, do acrobatics and perform traditional dances for local temple activities. Jyou-Tian members have been dedicated to performing Taiwan's traditional folk drumming. Their ideas and efforts made them a "distinguished performing group of Taichung County" in 2002 and since then.

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