Dominican envoy returns
New Dominican Republic Ambassador Victor Manuel Sanchez Pena presented his credentials to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in a ceremony held at the Presidential Office yesterday. This is the second time that Sanchez has served as his country's resident envoy in Taiwan and Chen welcomed his return. "I hope you'll feel at home in Taiwan. You'll see amazing progress in various aspects. When you left Taiwan four years ago, construction of the Taipei 101 Tower had just got underway. Today, it has been completed and recognized as the world's tallest building," Chen said. Chen recalled that he met with Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez Reyna while attending Panamanian President Martin Torrijos' inauguration ceremony in Panama City in September.
Landmine bill reviewed
The Legislative Yuan's National Defense Committee finished a review yesterday of a bill aimed at controlling the production and use of land-mines in Taiwan. According to the bill, all landmines must be destroyed within four years, with the exception of those intended for training and research purposes. In addition, landmines deployed in minefields must be located and removed completely within 10 years, the bill stipulates.
Money laundering pact inked
Taiwan has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Albania on cooperation in fighting money laundering, the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) said yesterday. The agreement was signed by Liu Hsin-tai (劉新太), director of the MJIB's Money Laundering Prevention and Control Center, and Lutfi Minxhozi, director of Albania's Anti-Money Laundering Commission, on behalf of their respective governments, MJIB officials said. The two sides exchanged instruments of approval of the accord by mail on Nov. 25, the officials said. Under the terms of the MOU, the officials said, the two sides will exchange intelligence about suspicious financial deals and assist each other in efforts to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes. Both Taiwan and Albania are member states of the Egmont Group, an international alliance of financial intelligence units set up to combat money laundering and relevant economic crimes. MJIB officials said the alliance has been exhorting its member states to sign bilateral cooperative agreements to upgrade efficiency in the global campaign against money laundering and other economic crimes.
Band heads to Rose Parade
The Taipei First Girls Senior High School Marching Band is scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on Dec. 28 to take part in the New Year's US Rose Parade to be held in Pasadena Jan. 1. The 165-member band will be one of only two foreign bands invited to take part in the annual Rose Parade. It will also be the second time the band has been invited to the Rose Parade in 10 years. Prior to the Rose Parade, the band is scheduled to give a performance at Disneyland in Anaheim, California on Dec. 30, making it the first band from Taiwan to perform at the famous attraction. School alumni based on the US west coast have scrambled to help play host to the students from Taipei. The band traveled to Britain and France in December 2002 to stage a series of performances at the invitation of schools in those two countries.
Two tremors hit east coast