Bolton to visit Taipei
Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton will visit Taiwan in the middle of this month at the invitation of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. Bolton has been a staunch supporter of Taiwan, meeting with first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) in Washington in 2002 in his official capacity as then-undersecretary for arms control and international security. He also expressed his support for Taiwan to join the UN at a congressional hearing on his appointment as undersecretary in 2001. He visited Taiwan twice in the spring of 2000 to witness the presidential election and President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) inauguration.
Tap festival opens in Taipei
Taipei City's tap festival kicks off today, with shows and classes offered by well-known dancers from around the world. The festival, organized by the Taipei Arts Promotion Association, will run through Aug. 14. Barbara Duffy and Van Porter from the US, Mandy Petty from England and Keiji Ichino from Japan are among the foreign tappers participating in the festival. A tap contest will be held on Aug. 11 at the Taipei Cultural Center. Petty, Ichino and local groups, including Tapwalker, will perform Sleepless Tap at 7:30pm on Aug.14 at the City Stage next to the center. Free tickets for the show will be available starting at 2:30pm that day at the stage. For further information, call 02-2382-6971 or visit the Web site www.taptaipei.blogspot.com.
DOH approves genechips
Locally developed genechips capable of detecting human papillomavirus (HPV) and speeding up HPV genotyping were approved for sale by the Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday. The HPV detection genechips, with the brand name "Easychip HPV Blot," were developed about two years ago by a biotech firm associated with King Car Food. "Easychip HPV Blot" genechips are capable of identifying the genotypes of 15 of 17 high-risk types of HPV via a polymerase chain reaction-based method. Such virus types have been implicated in cervical cancer, which must be treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radical surgery, a company source said.
Street art symposium set
The Kaohsiung County Government will hold a street art symposium from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 and has invited French street artists to share their experiences with their Taiwanese counterparts. Elodie Presles, chief executive officer of France's national street art center, and two teams of French street artists will be invited to the three-day event, the officials said. Interested performers can register for the event through Aug. 10, officials said. Kaohsiung County committed itself to developing street art performances last year, and it has issued 104 performing licenses since then, officials said. Street performers' direct interaction with passers-by on streets, at subway stations and at other public facilities brings the art closer to the public, the officials said.
Malaysian nabbed for drugs
A Malaysian man was arrested on Thursday at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport after officials found 35,000 nimetazepam tablets -- a hypnotic drug -- in his luggage. Lim Swee-chye, 29, was about to leave on a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong when Investigation Bureau agents and customs officials asked to check his luggage. An official said 9.25kg of nimetazepam tablets had been hidden in eight bags of corn chip snacks in Lim's luggage.