Wang to chair meeting
After having said he would not be present at the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) Central Standing Committee meeting today, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-Pyng (王金平) late last night said he would attend the meeting, but refrained from revealing whether or not he would remain in his post as a party vice chairman. Wang will preside over the meeting on behalf of KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), who is in the US. The committee is scheduled to approve a motion endorsed by the party's five vice chairmen, including Ma and Wang, and all 31 committee members to make Lien the KMT's first honorary chairman. Wang has been avoiding Ma since losing last Saturday's chairmanship election, while the chairman-elect has been trying to get him on the phone or see him in person.
Japanese response awaited
The government has filed nine requests ahead of a formal round of fishery talks with with Japan and is looking forward to a positive response, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said at a news conference yesterday. Lu said the requests were filed at a July 12 preparatory meeting for the 15th round of fishery talks set for July 29 in Tokyo. He declined to reveal any details of the requests. As for Taiwanese fishermen's demands that their representatives be invited to join the negotiating team and that the level of bilateral talks be upgraded, Lu said the requests have been submitted to Japan and that the Japanese side is studying their feasibility.
CLA to review brokers
The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) will evaluate more than 800 foreign labor brokerages nationwide next month, council officials said yesterday. The results of the evaluation are expected to be released by the end of December. The council conducted a similar review last year, in which 86 brokerages were placed in the A-category of an A to E ranking system, with A being the highest-ranking. At present there are no laws controlling the quality of such businesses. The council plans to draft an amendment to the law governing the operations of labor brokerages in order to weed out poorly performing ones, they said. An amendment will allow the authorities to refuse to renew business certificates for firms that are rank E in two consecutive evaluations, the officials said.
Ethnicity a cancer factor
A study spanning 14 Asian cities has found the highest incidence of colorectal cancer among ethnic Chinese, a trend which researchers in Hong Kong on Monday blamed on a Westernized diet. Between last October and April this year, doctors performed colonoscopies on 5,055 people and found polyps in 19.4 percent. Of these, 4 percent had cancer. Colorectal polyps and cancers were found in more than 18 percent of ethnic Chinese, followed by just over 12 percent of Indonesians, 12 percent of Malaysians, 10 percent of Thais and eight percent of Filipinos. Only 5 percent of ethnic Indians suffered the same condition. One of the researchers blamed the phenomenon on the genetic makeup of ethnic Chinese and their changing diet. Researchers found the ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong the most susceptible to advanced colorectal polyps and cancer -- 11 percent of them were diagnosed with the condition -- compared to just over 2 percent of ethnic Chinese in Taiwan.