`CIA' document faked
The government yesterday dismissed as fake a so-called CIA report saying President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) staged his own election-eve shooting last year to win sympathy and aid in his re-election bid. An official with the President's Office said the Criminal Investigation Bureau has examined the report which independent Legislator Li Ao (李敖) claimed he obtained from the CIA, and found it is fake. "The CIA logo is wrong, a Taiwan official's photo was incorrectly identified, and it contains biased wording," the unnamed official said. "The CIA compiles many reports on foreign countries, but the CIA is known for its objectivity, neutrality and caution," the official said. On Wednesday, Li said the CIA report claimed Chen hired two snipers to carry out the shooting to kill or wound Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) so that Chen would get sympathy votes and win the election.
Japanese search for woman
Two staff members from the representative office in Tokyo have arrived in Asahigawa to help with the search for a Taiwanese woman who went missing while on a mountain-climbing trip, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday. Lin Song-huann (林松煥), director of the Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said Tsai Wan-ting (蔡婉婷) was reported missing during a recent climbing vacation on Hokkaido. Japanese police have launched an all-out search over the past few days, Lin said. The police have not ruled out the possibility of Tsai having been attacked by a bear or fallen into a ravine. No clues to her whereabouts have been found so far, he said.
Encephalitis case confirmed
The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday confirmed the year's first case of Japanese encephalitis, and urged the public to take steps to avoid bites from mosquitoes potentially carrying the virus. In a statement released last night, the DOH said the it had confirmed that a man above 60 years old living in Tainan had been infected with the encephalitis virus late last month, and is on the mend. Since confirming the man's diagnosis, the statement read, the Tainan city health bureau has been actively spraying areas near the infected man's home with insecticide. The Japanese encephalitis virus is spread through the bite of the Culex tritaeniorhynchus mosquito, which carries the virus. The mosquito breeds in flooded rice fields, marshes, and standing water around planted fields. Symptoms of the disease are fever, headache and nausea. In serious infections, there can be an infection of the brain (encephalitis) and paralysis.
Chang made SEF chairman
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chang Chun-hsiung's (張俊雄) status as chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) became official yesterday after his appointment was formally approved by the SEF's board of directors. After a unanimous vote from the board yesterday afternoon, Chang was made chairman of the SEF. At a press conference yesterday, Chang emphasized that the functions of the SEF lay in service, exchange and negotiation. If there is to be a true breakthrough in cross-strait relations, Chang said, negotiation across the Taiwan Strait should not be limited to the civil sector alone. It is important to seek negotiations between the governments on either side of the Strait, otherwise the true purpose of cross-strait exchange may be prevented, Chang said.