Fri, Sep 07, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

■ POLITICS

Assets petition reaches goal

The Central Election Commission confirmed yesterday that the number of signatures on a petition for a referendum on divesting the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of its stolen assets has reached the threshold of 840,000. The referendum petition was initiated by Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Yu Shyi-kun. The Referendum Law (公民投票法) stipulates that the number of petitioners for a referendum must reach 5 percent of the total number of voters in the previous presidential election. Commission Secretary-General Teng Tien-yu (鄧天佑) said that, according to the law, the referendum must be held between one and six months after the petition was passed. The actual referendum date is to be decided by a commission meeting to be held in the next few days, Teng said.

■ CULTURE

Monuments commemorated

This year's national commemoration weekend for historic monuments, which falls on Sept. 15 and Sept. 16, will include a series of activities to increase public awareness of the need to preserve historic sites. Council for Cultural Affairs officials said yesterday that the third weekend of September each year marks the celebration, which began in 2001 and was modeled after France's International Heritage Day declared in 1984. Entry to the nation's historic sites, art galleries and cultural museums will be free during the two-day celebration, officials said. The provisional office of the National Center for Research and Preservation of Cultural Properties will hold an opening ceremony to mark the beginning of the activities in front of the Confucius Temple in Tainan on Sept. 15.

■ DIPLOMACY

Paraguay president to visit

President Nicanor Duarte Frutos of Paraguay, the nation's only diplomatic ally in South America, will depart for an official visit to Taipei on Oct. 5, Paraguay's La Nacion newspaper reported on Wednesday. According to the report, Duarte made the comment while presiding over an inauguration ceremony for 40 public housing units donated by Taiwan to his nation in its capital city of Asuncion. Duarte was quoted as having said that he would return home with more funds to build public housing units for low-income Paraguayans and that Taiwan had donated funds to Paraguay because "it knows for certain that the funds will alleviate the poverty and plight of thousands of Paraguayans and give them hope." Duarte said he would celebrate his birthday in Taiwan on Oct. 11. The upcoming visit will be his final visit to Taiwan during his presidential tenure, the report said.

■ SOCIETY

Stray dogs star at event

The Animal Protection Association is hosting a two-day event this weekend to encourage the public to adopt stray dogs rather than buying dogs at shops. Those who have taken in stray dogs will be able to register their pets free of charge and get them free vaccinations, including for rabies, if they pre-register on the association's Web site. Almost 200 people have already signed up, Huang Ching-jung (黃慶榮), secretary-general of the association, told a press conference yesterday. For those who are looking for a dog, the association will be bringing to the event some of the almost 600 dogs in its care, which are in need of families. The event will be held by Taipei City Hall.

■ HEALTH

EPA to help dengue fight

Environmental Protection Administration Minister Winston Dang (陳重信) said yesterday that his agency will set aside NT$7.5 million (US$226,300) to help Tainan City curb a dengue fever outbreak. Dang toured the city yesterday to see first hand the seriousness of the outbreak. He said the agency would review the results of the efforts to control the outbreak before deciding whether more aid will be necessary. Tainan Mayor Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) sacked the city's top health official, Su Chun-jen (蘇俊仁), late last month for failing to bring the mosquito-borne disease under control. The first indigenous dengue fever case this year appeared in the city's Annan District in June. Since then, the city has recorded 299 confirmed indigenous cases.

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