Sat, Jan 14, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Society

Lotto winner flees gangsters

A woman recently fled her home because of threats from gangsters after she won a Big Lotto (大樂透) jackpot of NT$262.4 million (about US$8.2 million), local Chinese-language media reported. The winner, from Nanao (南澳) Township in Ilan County, apparently won the jackpot last month. The woman's family used to be dependent on government benefits, but after she won the money, she bought herself a BMW automobile, made donations to the church, and even planned to give NT$10,000 to every resident in her village. But when some gangsters heard about this, they came to her village and attempted to blackmail her, ETTV news cable reported. The woman eventually moved away from her hometown. Her current whereabouts are unknown.

■ Drugs

Two held over airmail dope

Two men were arrested on suspicion of importing 1.6kg of marijuana by airmail from Canada, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said yesterday. The two men, surnamed Wang and Tsai, said they ordered the marijuana from a Canadian man and used Federal Express to import it, the CIB said. The US Drug Enforcement Administration's Hong Kong office was informed on Oct. 21 that US customs officials had found a suspicious parcel bound for Taiwan in a Federal Express station in Memphis, Tennessee, on Oct. 18. The weight and thickness of the parcel attracted the officials' attention, the CIB said. The parcel was described on the bill of lading as a photo album, but a detector needle discovered that marijuana was hidden in the parcel. CIB agents said they will continue to track down the source and the distribution network for the drugs.

■ Education

More get bachelor's degrees

The ratio of 24-year-olds who have bachelor's degrees will increase dramatically in a decade to more than 80 percent, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said on Thursday. Council officials said that among 24-year-olds, 48.3 percent had a bachelor's degree in 2004, but the ratio was expected to balloon to 81.8 percent in 2010. In view of the rapid increase in the number of college students, the CEPD suggested that the government adjust the number and structure of the colleges and universities. The council also suggested the establishment of a fair assessment mechanism for colleges and universities as well as study and research programs for lecturers to ensure teaching quality. CEPD officials predicted that an average of 100,450 students will graduate annually from colleges in the science, engineering, agriculture and medical fields between now and 2015, but the supply of college graduates will outstrip demand from employers by 20,400 every year.

■ Health

Experts attend Tokyo talks

A delegation of three Taiwanese medical experts attended a bird-flu prevention meeting held on Thursday and yesterday in Tokyo after being invited by the World Health Organization (WHO). Taiwan is not a member of the WHO. This is the second time Taiwanese delegates have attended a WHO-sponsored bird flu prevention meeting, and that this reflects the necessity of Taiwan being included in the global epidemic prevention network, as the nation is in close proximity to countries that have reported cases of the H5N1 virus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday in a press release. The Tokyo WHO meeting was to discuss early responses to a potential influenza pandemic in Asia.

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