Thu, Oct 11, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take



Chen to make party decision

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday he will announce today whether he would accept the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairmanship. He will make the announcement before leaving for the Marshall Islands for a leader's summit. The DPP chairmanship has been vacant since former chairman Yu Shyi-kun resigned on Sept. 26 over the controversy concerning the party's "normal country" resolution, which was passed at the DPP National Congress on Sept. 30. Yu was in favor of a version incorporating stronger rhetoric on key issues that some party members, including DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), feared could scare off moderate voters. Hsieh has canceled all campaign activities since Sept. 28, the 21st anniversary of the founding of the DPP. His campaign office has said he is sick and has a sprained ankle, adding that he had become ill in part because of the stress of seeking a compromise over the resolution. Hsieh said he would resume public appearances once the chairmanship issue has been settled.


Chen to name new nominees

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will name four new nominees for the Council of Grand Justices to fill the four positions left vacant after four of his eight nominees were rejected by the legislature last month, Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said yesterday. Those four nominees, known for their affiliation with the pan-green camp, were voted down by the pan-blue majority in the legislature. "The president has the duty of making four other nominations," Cho said. "We hope the legislature reviews their qualifications in an open-minded way and doesn't humiliate them for their political stances." Cho said the president had not yet decided whether to renominate 27 people for the Control Yuan.


`Pants fugitive' arrested

Chang Shih-chieh (張世傑), a fugitive suspected of manipulating stock prices, was arrested by Taichung prosecutors and Taipei police at the Far Eastern Plaza Hotel in Taipei yesterday. Chang had escaped capture last Tuesday night when Taichung prosecutors and police went to his Taipei residence to arrest him. He had told them he would go with them once he had changed his pants. The police waited outside his bedroom for a while before calling a locksmith to open the door. They found he had escaped via a secret passage. Chang was yesterday taken to Taichung for questioning.


Flu vaccine promoted

The Department of Health urged the elderly and children under two years of age to make use of the free influenza vaccine now available at hospitals. Shih Wen-yi (施文儀), deputy director of the department's Centers for Disease Control, said the center estimated that only 360,000 of those older than 65, or 14.6 percent of the elderly, had received the free shots this year, compared with around 25 percent last year. Among children aged between six months and two years, 19,000 had received flu shots. The figure represents approximately 9 percent of children in that age group, down from 15 percent in the same period last year. Shih attributed the overall 30 percent decrease in the number of people receiving free shots to reports questioning the safety of the mercury-containing flu vaccines. He said research has shown that the vaccine, which contains minimal amounts of thimerosal, was not harmful to humans.

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