Legislators expressed concern yesterday about a drop in the number of American guests that will attend Double Ten National Day celebrations and asked whether this was a sign of weakening ties with the US.
\nAfter President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said that he would give an important National Day speech on cross-strait relations, a number of US officials withdrew from Sun-day's ceremony, legislators said.
\n"Our friends are becoming fewer and fewer," Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said, citing the departure of Therese Shaheen, former chairwoman of the American Institute in Taiwan, and the detention in the US of Donald Keyser, the former US deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs.
\nMinister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) told Hsiao at a question-and-answer session of the Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee that US officials were shunning National Day to avoid provoking China.
\nThe timing is sensitive because the US presidential election is approaching, he said.
\nIn response to questions about US Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Richard Lawless' warning of the consequences Taiwan may face if the legislature fails to pass a NT$610.8 (US$18 billion) budget to buy weapons, Mark Chen called for the country to unify and learn from Israel.
\nChinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Kwan Yuk-noan (
FOSSIL CLUES: The bushfires resulted from a positive Indian Ocean dipole event, when the region east of the ocean becomes drier, professor Shen Chuan-chou said The bushfires that swept through Australia last year were connected to a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), which is expected to become more frequent due to climate change, a geologist studying coral fossils said yesterday. National Taiwan University Department of Geosciences professor Shen Chuan-chou (沈川洲) since 2001 has been working with Australian and US researchers to study climate systems in the Indian Ocean. Led by Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences professor Nerilie Abram, the team published a paper on IOD in the journal Nature on March 9. The bushfires resulted from a positive IOD event, when the
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
A survey has found that 37.3 percent of transgender people in the nation have experienced gender-related discrimination or bullying in the workplace, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights said yesterday. The alliance’s survey showed that 55.41 percent of transgender people said that they had been afraid to use a public restroom, 18.53 percent had been harassed or attacked in public, while 15.83 percent had been afraid to ask a police officer or other professional for help. The survey, conducted from March 14 to Wednesday last week, was based on 518 valid responses from transgender people aged 14 to 78, the