Pitchers help fundraising
The Alliance for Handicapped People (殘障聯盟) will be selling 12 sets of baseballs and shirts autographed by New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建民). Wang has donated the autographed baseballs to the alliance's benefit sale. To commemorate Wang's great performances this season, each baseball will be sold together with a shirt for NT$150,000. Taiwan's other star in the Major Leagues, Kuo Hong-chih (郭泓志) of the Los Angeles Dodgers, has also donated six sets of autographed jerseys and caps to the sale. These will be sold for NT$100,000. Lin Ching-hsin (林進興), director-general of the alliance, said at a news conference yesterday that he hoped the sale would raise NT$2,500,000 towards the alliance's operating expenses for next year.
Su announces prison move
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced yesterday that a Taipei County detention center will be relocated to the site of an ammunition depot. The premier made the announcement when he visited the detention center in Tucheng (土城) to listen to briefings from the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) on the relocation. After the briefings, the premier said he would follow Chou's suggestion to relocate the detention center to the site of the ammunition depot, also in Tucheng. MOJ officials estimated that the relocation work would be completed within seven years at a cost of NT$2 billion (US$60.6 million). The site, in a prime urban area of Tucheng, is expected to fetch NT$6.7 billion. Taipei Detention Center officials noted that the center was designed to accommodate 2,134 inmates, but presently houses 3,600. The new facility will be able to hold between 4,000 and 5,000 people.
Former Japanese PM to visit
Former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori will arrive in Taipei today for a three-day visit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement yesterday that Mori had been invited by the government to meet President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) Chen will give Mori a medal to thank him for his role in promoting bilateral relations.
Hospital unhappy with dealer
A hospital in Taipao (太保), Chiayi County, that was found to be dispensing fake high blood pressure medicine to patients filed a complaint with prosecutors yesterday against the dealer who provided them with the medicine. God's Heart Hospital said in its complaint that Chang Shih-hsun, who supplied medicine to the hospital for many years, on Oct. 19 sold them 600 boxes, or 18,000 pills of Norvasc purported to be manufactured by Pfizer Laboratories, among which about 100 boxes, or 3,000 pills, were found to be phoney. The fact came to light on Nov. 2 after the hospital asked Pfizer for verification of their medicine after some patients complained the medication seemed to be having no effect. An internal investigation conducted by the hospital found that about 100 patients were given fake pills, tarnishing the hospital's reputation, according to officials. The hospital began recalling the medicine from patients and replacing them with genuine Norvasc, the officials added. Chang, who was charged with providing the fake medicine, told a local TV station that he had unwittingly purchsed the fake medicine from a firm whose owner is now in China.