Plane in emergency landing
A Mandarin Airlines airplane made an emergency landing in southern Taiwan yesterday after one of its windows was broken by a piece of de-icing equipment that was dislodged during bad weather, an airline spokesman said. No one was injured in the incident, airline authorities said. The local carrier has an extensive network of domestic and regional routes. Authorities said the aircraft, a Fokker-50 propeller plane, was carrying 50 passengers and a crew of four. It was en route from Taipei to Hengchun, a popular holiday destination on the nation's southern tip. Authorities did not specify the bad weather, but television reports described rain and high winds in the area. The plane landed safely in Kaohsiung, authorities said. Civil aviation in Taiwan has long suffered from endemic safety problems, with China Airlines -- the nation's largest carrier -- suffering 10 fatal crashes since 1970. The airline, however, was given a top-level safety certificate by the International Air Transport Association last month in recognition of improved standards.
Tremor rocks north
A powerful earthquake measuring six on the Richter scale rocked the north of the country early yesterday morning, swaying high-rise buildings in Taipei and sending panicked residents to the streets. A wooden hut in Taoyuan County collapsed, but initially no casualties were reported, police said. The quake happened at 12:20am some 12km off Suao at a depth of 57.7km, according to the Earthquake Center of the Central Weather Bureau. The tremor was caused by friction between the Philippines plate and the Euro-Asia plate. Aftershocks were expected in the next few days, officials said.
Officials hope to pass bills
The Executive Yuan is hoping that three bills concerning the restructuring of the government can be passed in an extra session of the Legislative Yuan, Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮), director of the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission under the Executive Yuan, said yesterday. Yeh said that the bills concerning an amendment to the Organic Law of the Executive Yuan, a draft bill on the total number of employees of central government agencies, and a draft bill on the adjustment of the function, operation and organization of the Executive Yuan are crucial to upgrading the government's efficiency. Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) has said he hopes an extra session of the Legislative Yuan can be held in late July. The priority bills include those related to a long-stalled arms procurement package, the tax laws, a review of a list of Control Yuan members nominated by the president and a statute on the establishment of a pension fund supervisory commission.
Lack of teachers cited
Colleges and universities around Taiwan are churning out qualified teachers, but with 180 graduates this year for each opening, the number of unemployed teachers is growing, prompting some to take to the streets June 12 to vent their frustrations. The potential teachers, most of them having never had the opportunity to teach after graduation, will walk the streets of Taipei on June 12 to ask the Ministry of Education to consider increasing the number of teachers in elementary and junior high schools and implementing small-class programs to create more openings for the jobless who are qualified to teach.