Subsidy program announced
The National Culture and Arts Foundation will accept applications from Aug. 1 to Aug. 15 from individuals and organizations seeking subsidies to make documentary films. A spokesman for the foundation said the subsidy program, now in its third year, would award up to NT$500,000 (US$15,000) to each applicant to help with production costs. He said the criteria when screening the applications would include not only the quality and substance of the proposed films, but also their creativity and social impact. The National Culture and Arts Foundation is a corporate body established in 1994.
Ma, Chen in war of words
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) engaged in a war of words yesterday while attending an Aboriginal festival. "[Taitung] Fongnian Airport should become an airport for direct cross-strait charter flights," Ma told a crowd at the Makapahay Festival in Taitung. The festival is held annually in Taitung where several Amis communities celebrate the year's harvest. However, Chen, who arrived at the festival not long after Ma had left, disagreed. "Instead of connecting to China, we should be connecting to the world," Chen told the crowd. "Let's make Taitung a showcase of Polynesian culture, let's move eastward, not westward," Chen said.
Professor suspected of abuse
An associate professor at Fo Guang University, Ilan County, has been referred to prosecutors by police for suspected sexual abuse of a female student on Friday, and the school was mulling whether or not to fire him, a university spokesman said yesterday. The teacher, surnamed Lin (林), was accused of taking a female student to a motel in Taipei and allegedly sexually assaulting her while she was under the influence of alcohol. The female student was allegedly forced to get into Lin's car on Friday and taken to a KTV, where she drank a couple of glasses of wine and became drunk. Soon after she was taken to a Taipei motel and sexually assaulted. When Lin was detained by police for questioning, he confessed to committing a sexual act with the young woman but denied he had drugged the wine.
Thousands ride cable car
The total number of passengers on the Maokong cable car system exceeded 20,000 on Saturday, most people's first day off since it began operations on July 4, a spokesman for Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) said yesterday. The system operated smoothly on Saturday, except for a 30 second suspension caused by an incorrect signal, the spokesman said, adding that 31 people had sought assistance at medical stations due to dizziness and bites from mosquitoes and other insects. The spokesman urged people planning to take the system not to forget to bring bottled water and to take precautionary measures to prevent sunburn and mosquito bites. TRTC statistics showed that a total of 22,156 passengers used the system on Saturday, 4,512 more than the previous day. The cable car system has suspended operations several times since its inauguration on Wednesday. Conditions seemed to have improved substantially over the first weekend despite some misunderstandings between passengers and station staff, as well as a protest staged by a group of students against the lack of an air-condition system, the spokesman said.