Tue, May 08, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ WEATHER

Blue skies ahead

People in Taiwan and the islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu will see mostly sunny skies throughout the coming week, the Central Weather Bureau said in a forecast yesterday. Meteorologists at the bureau predicted stable weather with little chance of rain for the next seven days for Taiwan and the outlying islands, although northeastern, eastern and southeastern regions could see cloudy skies from Friday through Sunday. Daytime temperatures could rise to over 30oC, the bureau said, adding that because of the prevailing cool northerly wind, the difference in daytime and nighttime temperatures might be as high as eight degrees.

■ POLITICS

Wang yet to be invited

Although Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential contender Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has said the party must determine its presidential ticket as soon as possible and that he would like Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to be his running mate, Wang yesterday said Ma had not invited him to be his running mate. "[Ma] never told me that he wanted me to be his running mate. I learned the news from media reports and there has been no evidence for this," Wang told the media yesterday. After Ma was nominated as KMT presidential candidate in the party's Central Standing Committee on May 2, he said he would seek to meet Wang and discuss how they can work together to secure victory in next year's presidential election.

■ NURsing

Breastfeeders' main worries

The top concern of nursing mothers is that they do not produce enough milk for their baby, said the Bureau of Health Promotion's analysis of calls received by its nursing mothers' hotline. Almost 40 percent of calls are from women who are worried that their babies are not getting enough breast milk. Other problems encountered by mothers include breast discomforts and abnormalities, how to collect milk at work and babies developing jaundice. Women who think they do not produce enough milk should carefully consider their options before turning to baby formula, said Wang Shu-fang (王淑芳), secretary-general of the Taiwan Academy of Breastfeeding. "Ninety-eight percent of women are biologically capable of producing enough milk for their babies if they adopt the right techniques," Wang said. "More common problems in milk pro-duction include posture, pumping technique and people's lack of understanding of breast-feeding women."

■ DEFENSE

And then there were three

Defense Minister Lee Jye (李傑) said yesterday that the Ministry of National Defense had altered "spiritual and behavior" guidelines that harked back to the authoritarian era. The "five convictions" that guided the members of the country's armed forces have been reduced to three. Fielding questions at the legislative Defense Committee, Lee said that of the "five convictions" -- doctrine, leadership, nation, responsibility and honor -- the notions of "doctrine" and "leadership" have been removed as times have changed. However, Lieutenant-General Chen Kuo-hsiang (陳國祥), chief of the General Political Warfare Bureau under the Ministry of National Defense, who was also present during the question-and-answer period, said the removal was still under discussion and that no conclusion had been reached.

■ TRANSPORTATION

`Small links' travel rises

Travel rates on the "small three links" between Kinmen and Matsu islands and three ports in China's Fujian Province have risen, with first-quarter figures for both passengers and voyages posting noticeable year-on-year growth, the government reported yesterday. Statistics compiled by the Cabinet-level Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics show that ferries traveling between the islands and China made 1,300 trips in the first three months of this year, up 436 from a year ago. During the same three-month period, more than 98,000 passengers -- an annual increase of 25.8 percent -- traveled between the two sides, with some 84,000 leaving Taiwan for China, budget directorate statistics show. Although only about 14,000 Chinese people entered Kinmen or Matsu in the first quarter via the "three small links," the figure nevertheless represented a year on year rise of 48 percent.

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