■ Local Politics
Huang denies visits
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has devoted much of his time to soul-searching since Saturday's legislative elections and has not met with politicians as local news media reported, a senior Presidential Office official said yesterday. James Huang (黃志芳), the Presiden-tial Office deputy secretary-general, was responding to media reports that Chen has met with several political heavyweights at his official residence. According to media reports, Chen had met with former Vice Premier Lin Hsin-yi (林信義) and two Judicial Yuan vice presidents -- Cheng Chung-mo (城仲模) and Lai Ying-jaw (賴英照) -- in the past few days to discuss a possible Cabinet reshuffle to cope with the post-election political situation. "The reports are not factual," Huang said, adding that the only person that the president has received at his official resi-dence since the elections is his mentor Lee Hung-hsi (李鴻禧). Lee, an academic specializing in constitutional affairs who now heads the Ketagalan Institute, paid a visit to Chen on Sunday to encourage him not to be daunted by the elections setback, Huang said.
■ Civil Law
KMT chief's wife wins suit
The Taipei District Court ruled yesterday that a local bio-technology firm must pay Lien Fang Yu (連方瑀), wife of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), NT$500,000 (US$15,432) in compensa-tion for using her image without her authorization. Lien Fang sued the firm in July after it had used her image in an advertisement promoting a freckle removal cream. She had asked for NT$5 million in compensa-tion and said the money would be donated to charity organizations if she won the suit.
Paal called back to US
The US, concerned about rising cross-strait tensions, has summoned American Institute of Taiwan (AIT) director Douglas Paal to report on the legislative elections outcome and future Democratic Pro-gressive Party policies, a local radio station reported yesterday. Paal returned to Washington over the weekend and has met with several officials, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, the Broadcasting Corporation of China said. Also among the topics discussed was Taiwan's budget for arms purchases. Paal's return home came after Washington had expressed displeasure about President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) plan to apply for Taiwan to rejoin the UN, amend the Constitution and remove the word "China" from the names of Taiwan-ese firms. The AIT declined to comment when contacted by the Taipei Times for confirmation of Paal's unscheduled trip to the US.
Bikes donated to Philippines
Taiwan has donated 28 police motorcycles to the central Philippine province of Capiz on Panay Island, officials said yesterday. Officials of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines said they presented the vehicles during a recent visit to the province and they were accepted by Governor Vincente Bermejo. During the visit, the Taiwanese officials also discussed issues concerning fishery cooperation between the two countries with Capiz officials. Both sides are expected to sign a memo-randum on joint fishery development soon, they said.