Forum meets in Taipei
Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and four former national leaders from countries that have no diplomatic relations with Taiwan will take part in the inaugural meeting of the World Forum for Democratization in Asia (WFDA) in Taipei next week. Michael Ying-mao Kau (高英茂), executive director of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD), made the announcement during an interview yesterday. The TFD was founded in June 2003 with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Legislative Yuan. Kau said that more than 100 ranking officials from governments and civic organizations from more than 20 countries in Asia will take part in the WFDA meeting Sept. 15-17 at the Taipei International Convention Center. The forum will also exchange views on such issues as religion, women, direct democracy and political responsibility, Kau said.
Ma shrugs off `shooting'
A false report on the Yahoo! Kimo Web site claiming that Chinese Nationalist Chairman and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had been shot caused quite a stir on Friday. The Web site offered an apology yesterday as Ma responded to the rumor with humor. The story, headlined "Ma Ying-jeou shot," appeared on Friday afternoon and instantly generated serious discussions among users as reporters began calling Ma's assistants to confirm the news. Yahoo! yesterday offered an apology on its Web site, and explained that it was a mistake made during a host-testing process. Ma shrugged off the rumor. "When I heard that I had been shot, I immediately checked my jacket and found no bullet holes. Then I knew it was just a rumor," he joked, making reference to the gunshot which grazed President Chen Sui-bian's (陳水扁) abdomen in the 319 assassination attempt last year.
Pomelos earn praise
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) praised the quality of pomelos grown in Matou (麻豆) Township, Tainan, yesterday during a visit to his hometown, saying that he intends to present the seasonal fruit to foreign diplomatic missions stationed in Taiwan as a gift in celebration of the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Sept. 18 this year. Chen made the visit after growers had complained that the president cared less about sales of fruits from his hometown than those of other places, referring to pomelos from Touliou (斗六) in Yunlin County, which Chen recently recommended. On his visit to Tainan, Chen met with local residents, visited a temple, and then stopped in Shanhua (善化) Township for a beer festival.
Lu, Hsieh tout Taijiquan
Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday gave his word that he will try his best to persuade the 2009 World Games Association to add Taijiquan, also known as Chinese Shadow Boxing, to the games' program. The premier made his remarks when he accompanied Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) to Kaohsiung to co-host the grand opening ceremony of the "President Cup National Taijiquan Contest" yesterday morning. The contest has 1,600 participants and is being held at Kaohsiung's Chien-chen Junior High School. Lu and Hsieh were both invited to host the ceremony because both of them are Taijiquan fans. "Taijiquan is a unique sport. It looks slow and weak but it is actually irresistible when you use it in fighting," the premier said.