Ma brushes up on toilets
The 2004 Public Convenience Exposition opened at the Taipei City Hall plaza yesterday. The three-day event, co-organized by the city's Bureau of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Administration, is the nation's first expo for toilets and is open to the public free of charge. Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) attended the opening ceremony and gave a demonstration of how to clean a toilet. With a large variety of advanced toilet equipment on display, Ma said, the public can gain an understanding that state-of-the-art toilets are really user-friendly. It was the government's duty to launch a "toilet revolution" to keep public conveniences sanitary and ensure that they operate well, Ma said.
President's grandson named
President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) new grandson, born on Friday, has been given a name -- Chao Yi-ting (趙翊廷). The baby left National Taiwan University Hospital yesterday just before noon in mother Chen Hsing-yu's (陳幸妤) arms. Although he has lost a little weight and is suffering a touch of jaundice, the baby is reportedly healthy. According to father Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘), the name was chosen after careful consideration of the number of character strokes. It means "rising up into limitless spaces with unobstructed success." The baby's mother told reporters outside the hospital that that Yi-ting's two-year-old brother, Chao Yi-an (趙翊安), had already been to visit, and that she was recovering quickly after a natural delivery.
MOFA opens NGO forum
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) opened the this year's International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Partnership Forum in Taipei yesterday to enhance the exchange of experiences among Taiwan's NGOs and their counterparts in the Third World, according to a MOFA statement. Discussions in the two-day forum will focus on problems and the movement of citizens in the Third World, and NGO global and regional cooperative development, the statement said, noting that leaders of many international NGOs, including International Association for Volunteer Effort President Liz Burns, took part in the meeting. The statement said that the MOFA has arranged additional activities for the foreign dignitaries, including a visit to the Children Are Us Foundation and the Eden Social Welfare Foundation Dec. 22 to introduce the nation's efforts in helping challenged children and under-privileged women around the country.
Gambian minister tours
Gambian Foreign Minister Sidi Morro Sanneh will arrive in Taiwan today on a seven-day visit, during which he will meet President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and tour major economic and cultural facilities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Sanneh, 57, has served in several international organizations, including the Development Bank of Africa and the UN Development Program, before being named foreign minister in October, the statement said. During his stay, Sanneh will also meet Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) and inspect the Government Information Office, the Mainland Affairs Council, the Department of Health and the International Cooperation and Development Fund. Sanneh will also visit Gambian students studying locally, as well as the Nankang Software Park and the World Trade Center in Taipei and Kaohsiung Harbor.