Yeh denies rumor
The Ministry of Justice's Bureau of Investigation Director-General Yeh Sheng-mao (葉盛茂) yesterday denied a report in a Chinese-language newspaper which said that he will replace Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南). The bureau yesterday morning sent text messages to reporters' mobile phones in response to the report, saying that the rumor was unsubstantiated. It is well known that Yeh enjoys a close relationship with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Yeh was Chen's head of Internal Affairs when Chen was Taipei City mayor. When Chen was elected president for the first time in 2000, he proposed promoting Yeh from deputy director-general of the bureau to director-general, but Yeh said he would respect his senior officers and bide his time.
RTI cuts broadcasts
Radio Taiwan International (RTI) announced yesterday that it will halt five of its foreign-language broadcasts as part of its efforts to streamline the company. The broadcasts in Korean, Burmese, Arabic, Mongolian and Tibetan will stop Feb. 1. RTI chairman Lin Feng-cheng (林豐正) said that the company currently has a workforce of 488 people broadcasting in 18 languages daily to the world and is the only international broadcasting station in the country.
Thailand arrests trio
Three Taiwanese men have been arrested in Thailand on charges of heroin trafficking, and could face the death penalty, Thai police and customs officials said yesterday. Three were caught in northern Chiang Rai Province with 9.1kg of heroin after police stopped and searched their car. Chen Hung-Chu, 32, was driving in Mae Sai district when police stopped him on Monday and found the drugs hidden in his car. He told police that two of his friends were waiting to get drugs in Chiang Rai town. Lio Te-Sheng, 52, and Wu Mien-Ho, 28, were arrested later Monday in Chiang Rai.
DPP to push rights agenda
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) hopes to push through a piece of human rights legislation in three years to safeguard human rights protection, acting DPP Chairman Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday. Ker said this is part of the DPP's efforts to realize President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) idea of making human rights protection part of the foundation of the country. In the next three years, the DPP will work to introduce a "human rights basic law" and seek to amend laws enacted during the martial law era that violate human rights, Ker said. He made the remarks during the party's Central Standing Committee's weekly meeting.
New India visa offered
To help boost trade and economic exchanges with India, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and the India-Taipei Association have teamed up to offer better visa treatment for Taiwanese businesspeople, a TAITRA spokesman said yesterday. Starting immediately, the association will issue one-year multiple entry business visas to Taiwanese businesspeople who are able to show a recommendation letter issued by TAITRA, the spokesman said. Association chairman Vijay Gokhale said that not only is the visa good for twice as long as before, it will only take half a day for applicants to get their visa.