Legislator slams minister
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) complained yesterday that Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) is biased and not qualified for his job. The two men traded barbs when Chen visited the Tainan District Prosecutors' Office yesterday morning to pro-mote prosecutors' anti-vote-buying efforts. Lee said that Chen and the prosecutors were always investigating and indicting their political enemies, especially near election time. Lee called Chen an embarrassment to the judiciary and unqualified to be the minister of justice. Chen said Lee's accusations were groundless and added that Lee was not qualified to be a lawmaker. Chen said prosecutors don't go looking to make trouble for anyone who has done no wrong. Chen said the Tainan District Prosecutors' Office is working on a bribery-related case linked to the pan-green camp. "If we are not fair, why don't pan-green people come to us and complain?" Chen said.
Winds bring more spoonbills
Strong northeast trade winds have brought another flock of black-faced spoonbills from the northern Korean Peninsula to the Chiku wetlands to winter, bird-watchers said yesterday. As of yesterday, 682 of the endangered birds had arrived at the wetlands in Tainan County, said a spokesman for the Happy Family, a group of wild-bird fans that promotes wildlife conservation. "The number is already close to the record set Dec. 3, 2003, when 705 black-faced spoonbills were counted wintering at the Chiku sanctuary," the spokesman said. A global survey conducted in January, found only 1,206 black-faced spoonbills left in the world.
Ma attends Jakarta meeting
Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) left for Jakarta yesterday to attend an Asian Network of Major Cities (ANMC) conference aimed at promoting resources exchanges among major Asian cities. Ma will take part in a forum on inter-city resources exchanges to boost Asian development. He will also meet with Tai-wanese businesspeople operating in Indonesia. He is scheduled to return to Taipei tomorrow. The network groups 12 capitals: Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, Beijing, Hanoi, Manila, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, New Dehli and Yangon.
Aboriginal fest to be held
Indigenous people from 36 settlements nationwide will showcase their agricultural products, traditional handi-crafts and promote eco-tourism trips at the National Aboriginal Festival in Ilan County. Sponsored by the Ilan County Government, the festival will be held at the National Center for Tradi-tional Arts in Ilan. It will feature events such as traditional dance perfor-mances, painting contests and an artwork auction. The organizers will also sponsor one-day eco-tourism tours to Na-ao and Datong on Satur-day and Sunday. The festival starts Saturday and runs through next Monday.
Pirated products decreasing
Pirated video and audio products accounted for 42 percent of all video and audio products sold in this country last year, resulted in a 20 percent decrease per year in the total value of legitimate products, Govern-ment Information Office Director General Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday. Lin said piracy has taken a toll on the country's trade with the US.
Kids eat too much fat: DOH
A new survey of nutrition released yesterday has found that elementary school students lack several basics needed in a balanced diet. The Department of Health commissioned Academia Sinica to conduct the survey on the nation's nutrition situation and its changes between 1998 and 2002. The survey on students aged 6 to 12 found that boys took in more calories and other nutrients (except for vitamin C) than girls. About half of the students ate too much fat, while over 60 percent of fourth, fifth and sixth grade girls were deficient in iron as recommended by the Dietary Reference Intake. They also took in too much cholesterol and salt. The health department suggested that parents should choose appropriate snacks and beverages for their children, while avoiding those that have too much fat, sugar or salt.