Hakka musical to debut
The first Broadway-style Hakka musical -- My Daughter's Wedding -- is scheduled to debut at Taipei's National Theater next month. The musical, produced by the Taipei National University of the Arts, is based on William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, director David Jiang (蔣維國) said. It tells the story of a successful career woman who is skeptical of love and fears marriage, Jiang said. No man dares approach her because of her rudeness -- except one, who tries to win her heart by unusual means. "The musical itself is quite Western and Broadway-like," Jiang said. "But we blended many Hakka elements to make it modern and classical at the same time -- and that's what makes it so unique."
NIA to improve detention
The Ministry of Interior's National Immigration Agency (NIA) will improve facilities and personnel at its detention centers to prevent detained illegal immigrants from escaping, an agency official said on Friday. The agency will replace dilapidated iron fences, update security systems and monitor illegal immigrants' communication records to keep better control of their movements, the official said, adding that the National Police Agency has appointed 120 people in alternative military service to help cover night shifts at detention centers to increase the frequency of patrols. The immigration agency has also increased the capacity at the detention centers in Kaohsiung City and Tainan County and plans to set up new centers in Nantou County and Kaohsiung County to ease overcrowding.
`Sexcapade' verdict rendered
Two defendants in former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Huang Hsien-chou's (黃顯洲) "sexcapade" case were given their final verdicts by the Supreme Court on Friday evening. Chan Hui-hua (詹惠華) received a seven-year-and-six-month sentence while Yu Hung-tsan (游洪贊) was sentenced to six years in jail. The pair was found guilty for kidnapping and robbing Huang. The event in question began when Huang reported to police that he had been robbed, kidnapped and forced to participate in a sex party in a hotel room at Taipei's Grand Hyatt Hotel on Dec. 27, 2001. Chan called Huang on Dec. 26 and asked to meet on Dec. 27 at the hotel to discuss her mother's money problems. As Huang arrived at the hotel room, Chan and Yu called two Chinese prostitutes for a sex party.
Bird poachers on notice
The Pingtung District Prosecutors' Office, in conjunction with the Kenting National Park Administration Office, Pingtung forest rangers and police, has launched a protection campaign for wild birds in an effort to curb illegal bird-hunting, officials said yesterday. Rewards of up to NT$100,000 will be given to anyone providing information on such offenses, while convicted poachers will face prison, the prosecutors said. Every year in fall and winter, large numbers of migratory birds such as brown shrikes, Chinese sparrow-hawks and gray-faced buzzards, fly in from the north to the Hengchun Peninsula (恆春半島) to feed and rest, the Kenting park office said. However, over the past decades, the birds -- especially the brown shrikes and gray-faced buzzards -- have become targets for local poachers. In a nod to the old adage that poachers make the best gamekeepers, the prosecutors have reinforced measures to crack down on poaching, which includes using reformed poachers as watchmen.