Chou up for parole
The Ministry of Justice yesterday said that former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Chou Po-lun's (周伯倫) application for parole will be reviewed tomorrow. The ministry said Wednesday is the day when officials usually hold their weekly meeting so they will take the chance to review Chou's case as well. Chou was convicted of accepting NT$16 million from Chiaofu Construction Corp -- the backer of the Ronghsing Park development project -- when he was a Taipei City councilor in 1988. Chou and six former city councilors and six city government officials were jailed in connection with the scandal. On Aug. 3, 2001, the Taiwan High Court sentenced Chou to six years in prison. The verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Thais arrest two for drugs
Thai narcotics police nabbed two Taiwanese at Bangkok's Don Muang Airport last Friday for attempting to smuggle 700g of heroin out of the country, Thai customs officials said yesterday. Acting on tip-offs, police nabbed Yeh Fu-tsai, 42, and Yang Chi-hung, 38, as they attempted to board separate flights to Taipei, an official said. Yeh was caught with 350g of heroin sewn into the shoulder pads of his suit while Yang was found to have 380g hidden in his suit. The men said they had been paid NT$100,000 (US$3,240) each to smuggle the drugs.
TSU to run five candidates
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Secretary-General Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) yesterday said that the TSU will take part of year-end county commissioner and city mayor elections and the plans to nominate five candidates for Keelung, Hsinchu, Yunlin County, Tainan and Pingtung County. Chen said the TSU plans to nominate its "best talent" for the elections. Plans call for ex-legislator Holmes Liao (廖宏祥) to run for Hsinchu County commissioner while Chien Lin Whei-jun (錢林慧君) may run for Tainan mayor. Former legislator Cheng Cheng-lung (程振隆) will run for the Yunlin County commissioner and Huang Chao-chan (黃昭展), chairman of the northern Kaohsiung chapter, plans to campaign in Pingtung County.
Malaysian navy rescues ship
The Malaysian navy boarded a Taiwanese fishing vessel which had been seized by Chinese crew members who mutinied and locked up the captain and other Taiwanese sailors, a Malaysian official said yesterday. Acting on a request from Taipei, the navy tracked down the 48m Dong Yih in the Malacca Strait on Sunday and boarded it near Pulau Pisang off Johor state, an official said. The boat, with four Taiwanese, 19 Chinese and six Filipinos crew members departed Singapore on Jan. 11 for the Indian Ocean. The Chinese mutinied three days later and attempted to take the boat back to Singapore.
Kaohsiung buses go digital
Kaohsiung City launched bus services with digitized operations yesterday. The city government spent around NT$40 million (US$1.26 million) in developing the country's first digitized bus services, including 130 bus stop signs, TV monitors in 448 buses that will play real-time programming and a bus hotline offering information to passengers. Kaohsiung Mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), said his government wants to curb the increase in scooters and encourage more people to use public transport.