Fri, Nov 19, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Education

AIT says student visas rising

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announced yesterday that student

visas issued to Taiwanese

in the first 10 months of

this year have surpassed

the figure for all of last

year. AIT has issued 12,654 students visas to Taiwanese so far this year, compared

to 11,277 for all of last

year, officials said. They said that the acceptance

rate for student visa appli-cations has continued to

rise over the past several years. Over 97 percent of applications have resulted in a student visa. This com-pares with issuance rates of approximately 90 percent in 2002 and 91 percent last year. "We welcome and want to encourage international students to come to the US to study," AIT Director Douglas Paal said. "Although we have implemented new measures to make our borders and

the traveling public more secure, we have not changed the basic criteria for visa eligibility to visit or study

in the United States," he

said.

■ Religion

Sex banned during festival

Fengyuan will ban love-making for three days next month during a Taoist festival, the organizing temple announced yester-day. The Chi An Chien Chiao (Pray for Peace) festival, held very 20 years, will be held from Dec. 8 to 10. All residents have been asked

by the temple's management committee to eat vegetarian food and refrain from having sex during the festival to show respect for the temple's god mother. "We called a meeting for repre-sentatives from restaurants, hotels and brothels and asked them to follow the rules during the festival. They all agreed," Cheng Ping-hsi, deputy director of the committee, told Chinese Television (CTV). Restaurant owners agreed to either serve only vegetarian food during the festival or close for the three days. Brothel and hotel owners agreed to suspend sex trade for three days, he said.

■ Society

Quality of life ranks high

Taiwan ranks 21st among 111 countries in terms of quality of living environ-ment, according to a recent survey carried in a publica-tion by The Economist. Taiwan scored 7.26 out

of a possible 10 in the survey in The World in 2005. Ireland topped the list with

a score of 8.33, followed

by Switzerland, Norway, Luxemburg and Sweden. Australia, Iceland, Italy, Denmark and Spain rounded out the top 10. The US and Canada ranked 13th and 14th, respectively. China placed 60th, while Hong Kong was ranked 18th.

■ Defense

Keen on anti-terrorism

Taiwan will not absent

itself from international counterterrorist actions

and efforts, Minister of the Interior Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said in a speech in Hawaii this week, sources from the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. Su attended the 2004 Asia-Pacific Homeland Security Summit and Exposition in Honolulu from Sunday through Wednesday and

gave a speech on measures taken against global terror-ism. He said Taiwan had established a national counter-terrorism action task force in early 2002 in accordance with a resolu-tion reached by the UN Security Council in the

wake of the Sept. 11 terror-ist attacks. Su urged the

US to include Taiwan in

a global counter-terrorism system and expressed Taiwan's eagerness to join the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). Su is scheduled to return to Taipei tomorrow.

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