Wed, Jun 20, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■ POLITICS

New party to hold meeting

The newly established Taiwan Farmers Party will hold a commissioners meeting next Thursday to hammer out strategies to boost the party's development and recruit more members, party sources said. The party, headquartered in Kaohsiung County, formed a 23-member Development Commission at its inaugural meeting on Friday. During the commission's first meeting, a liaison officer will be selected to represent the party in engagements with other political parties and government authorities, the sources said. The party, which has vowed to fight for farmers and fishermen's rights and interests, seeks to establish effective tactics and strategies to win at least 5 percent of the vote in the upcoming legislative elections in order to secure two to three at-large legislative seats, the sources said.

■ TRADE

Australia to import mangoes

The Australian government has agreed to import mangoes from Taiwan, in a major breakthrough in bilateral trade relations, officials of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia announced on Monday. The breakthrough is the result of a three-year effort to persuade the Australian government to import the Taiwanese fruit, the officials said. The announcement came after Australian quarantine officials came to Taiwan to inspect mango farms and other related facilities at the end of last month, officials said. Mangoes are a tropical fruit in season during the summer. Therefore, during the southern hemisphere winter, Australian consumers will be able to enjoy imported Taiwanese mangoes, the officials said.

■ SOCIETY

Pendants endanger kids

Doctors are warning parents not to let their infants wear pendants, necklaces or pacifiers attached to strings around their necks after a Taiwanese girl was strangled to death by the string of her pendant. The incident occurred in Hsinchu County on April 19. The girl died on Monday after lying in a coma for two months, the Chinese-language Apple Daily and the United Daily News reported. The two dailies said the parents of the one-year-old girl had gotten a longevity pendant from a temple and tied it around the girl's neck with a string. On April 19, the girl was playing in a baby's bed with her two-year-old sister when the string of her pendant got caught on an iron bar of the baby bed, strangling her. When the mother, surnamed Lee, realized something was wrong, she rushed into the room, but her daughter was already unconscious. The girl's mother, 28, was charged with homicide, which carries a maximum two-year jail term.

■ ENVIRONMENT

Bureau urges cuts

The Environmental Protection Bureau of the Taipei City Government is urging business and the public to cooperate in a drive that will start on July 1 to wipe out over-packaging and reduce waste. According to bureau officials, during a random inspection of food gift boxes last month, four out of 10 gift boxes were over-packaged. Most of the over-packaged items were chicken essence products. Since July last year, the Environmental Protection Administration has implemented increasingly strict regulations targeting over-packaged gift boxes containing cakes, cosmetics, liquor, computer software and video games, bureau officials said.

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