Lu calls for speedy ruling
Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday called on the Council of Grand Justices to make a speedy ruling on whether prosecutors had violated the Constitution by questioning President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) over his alleged misuse of the "state affairs fund." Lu said she was not in a position to comment on the Taipei District Court's decision, but hoped the Grand Justices would tackle the case as soon as possible. The Taipei District Court ruled on Friday that they would continue with first lady Wu Shu-jen's (吳淑珍) hearing. She was indicted for corruption and forgery charges in connection with the fund. While the court rejected a request by prosecutors to seize documents concerning the fund Chen claimed to have used for secret diplomacy, it requested the Presidential Office present the documents by Wednesday.
Crackdown on firecrackers
The National Firefighting Administration yesterday urged the public to report any illegal firecracker factories, saying that informers would receive a reward of up to NT$500,000 (US$15,240). The administration made the appeal after an explosion at a firecracker factory in Miaoli resulted in one death. The administration said they have sent officials to join experts from the Central Police University to investigate the cause of the blast. It has also asked the Miaoli Firefighting Bureau to check the factory's equipment and security management to see if it violated any regulations. Violators face a fine of between NT$300,000 and NT$1.5 million. With the approach of the Lunar New Year firefighting bureaus nationwide have been told to crack down on illegal firecracker factories.
■ foreign affairs
Brunei office to re-open
Taiwan has confirmed it will re-open its representative office in Brunei on March 1 next year, almost a year after closing the facility on March 17 to save on diplomatic resources. In a news release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said that Customs Director-General Yu Shau-wu (俞邵武) has been appointed to head the Brunei office. The ministry said that lukewarm bilateral relations, including few official visits and civilian exchanges between the two countries, prompted the ministry to shut down the liaison office earlier this year. However, the move triggered strong protests from some legislators and Taiwanese expatriates living in Brunei. To promote mutual trade and economic relations, as well as ties with other Southeast Asian countries, the ministry decided to re-open the office.
Animal testing lab planned
A Taiwanese clinical pharmacologist working with a leading US pharmaceutical firm is planning to set up a pre-clinical trial animal testing lab in Taiwan to win outsourcing contracts from global pharmaceutical firms. Tsang-Bin Tzeng (曾滄濱), senior director of the Clinical Pharmacology Department of AstraZeneca, headquartered in Delaware, told Taiwanese investment and trade representatives in New York that the time was right for Taiwan to have animal testing labs, as most of the global pharmaceutical firms were outsourcing clinical trial work overseas. Tzeng recently made a trip to Taiwan to visit science and technology parks around the country and the export processing zone in Kaohsiung. He said he was impressed by the facilities as well as government incentives for investors. With a qualified biotechnology work force and management personnel, Taiwan has an advantage in entering the animal testing business, he said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
ANOTHER IMPORT: A Filipina who arrived on Friday to visit family developed a fever on Saturday and test results yesterday were positive, making her Taiwan’s 465th case The government’s real-name mask purchasing system is to be continued until at least the end of the year, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported a new imported COVID-19 case from the Philippines. The center would continue to requisition mask production to ensure people can buy masks using the real-name system until the end of December, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the CECC’s spokesman. While the CECC requisitions about 8 million masks per day to ensure there are enough for the real-name system, more than 10 million masks are produced per day