KMT to pay children's tuition
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday promised that the party would cover tuition fees for four cousins whose lost a parent during last Tuesday's earthquakes. Fang Shu-chuan (方淑娟) and her 34-year-old brother died when the three-story Pingtung County furniture shop they lived in collapsed. Fang is survived by seven-year-old twin boys and her ex-husband. Her brother is survived by two children and his wife. During a visit to Fang's family and other victims yesterday, Ma said the party would pay tuition fees from elementary school to high school. He also made a trip to other parts of the town and asked a KMT local branch to assist with reconstruction.
Banging their own drums
Thousands of people were to attempt to set a world drumming record yesterday, officials said. "We hope at least 8,000 people will take part in the world record-breaking event" in Banciao, said an official from the Taipei County government, which organized the event. The drummers were to beat drums simultaneously for two minutes to the rhythm of Queen's We Will Rock You beginning at 11pm. The current world record for drumming was set in October in India, when 7,951 people beat their drums in unison. A total of 9,000 drums were sold by the Taipei County Government for yesterday's event. The funds raised will be donated to charity.
Fear of germs ends marriage
A court has approved a divorce request filed by a housewife because her husband has mysophobia -- a pathological fear of germs, a local newspaper reported yesterday. The husband, identified only by his family name Wang, had for nearly two decades forced his wife and children to wash their hands and feet before entering their house, the United Daily News quoted an unnamed judge in Ilan County as saying. The paper said Wang also dictated that the entire family must eat out and no meal could be cooked or brought into the home because he found smoke and grease unbearable. The husband admitted that he was afraid of germs and that what he did was for his family's own good, the paper reported. The judge found his argument unconvincing and ruled in favor of the wife. The couple's two sons, aged 15 and 17, asked the judge to give their mother custody because they could no longer suffer their father's obsessions.
Su receives rebuke
World United Formosans for Independence Chairman Ng Chiau-tong (黃昭堂) yesterday said he would not support any bid by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to run for the presidential bid next year if Su does not change the Cabinet's decision to loosen its policy on investment in China. Ng said Su did not actively manage cross-strait trade as President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had promised in his New Year address last year but had instead instigated a mistaken policy by relaxing investment regulations in China. Ng said a better policy would be to withdraw part of Taiwanese businessmen's investment in China. Former senior adviser to the president Wu Li-pei (吳澧培) also said that the Cabinet had not had any new ideas on the nation's policy on investment in China nor did it solve the problem of excessive investment there. Their remarks came after the Cabinet's decision on Friday to allow Taiwanese chipmakers to apply to manufacture chips in China using more advanced technology.