Fri, Dec 30, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Society
Party traffic controls ready

Traffic controls will be in place around city hall as the Taipei City Government prepares for the upcoming New Year's Eve Party. Four lanes along Shifu Road (from Songgao Road to Songshou Road) will be closed for concert stage construction from today until 7pm tomorrow. Traffic controls between Shifu Road and New Renai Road will also be in place from 7pm tomorrow until 2am on Sunday. With an estimated 100,000 people expected to attend, Taipei City's police department said it may expand the traffic controls to include Guangfu S Road. The MRT system will operate around the clock on Dec. 31, with the exception of the Xiaobitan and New Beitou lines. Bus services around the Xinyi shopping district and city hall area will also run 24 hours on the day.

■ Diplomacy

Money well spent: MOFA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday defended its funding of the World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD), ROC Chapter, saying the league carries some weight and conducts vital international political lobbying on the nation's behalf. The WLFD has been lambasted by lawmakers for receiving too much funding, around NT$30 million annually from the foreign ministry, as opposed to the small amounts of between NT$30,000 and NT$50,000 other NGOs received last year. MOFA Spokesperson Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said yesterday the organization is one of the few UN-registered organizations which is eligible to participate in the UN's Department of Public Information annual meeting and carries much weight in political lobbying circles.

■ Legislation

Panel okays punishment ban

The first reading of the amendment to ban corporal punishment in schools was passed on Wednesday after a review session by the Education and Culture Committee at the Legislative Yuan. The article stipulates that students' rights must be respected and that students should not be subjected to physical or mental harm. The amendment is to be incorporated into the Basic Education Law (教育基本法), but has yet to undergo a second and third reading before officially becoming law.

■ Diplomacy

New Honduran leader to visit

Opposition leader Manuel Zelaya has been elected as the new president of Honduras, and he has expressed a keen interest in visiting Taiwan early next year, the ministry of foreign affairs (MOFA) said yesterday. MOFA confirmed yesterday that Zelaya has emerged as the winner of the presidential election in Honduras. The election was held at the end of last month. Because of delays in counting the votes, the government of Honduras only sent a telegram to MOFA yesterday to confirm the election result.

■ Crime

Paperwork delays parole

The parole of former Yunlin county commissioner Chang Jung-wei (張榮味) was delayed by paperwork yesterday. Chang's lawyers yesterday asked judges to release him on bail at a parole hearing in the Tainan branch of the Taiwan High Court which stemmed from Chang's involvement in the Linnei Township (林內鄉) incinerator construction scandal. The request was denied. The judges said they had not yet received the Ministry of Justice's report on Chang's parole request, and that they would delay making a decision until these documents have been received.

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