Mon, Oct 15, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ SOCIETY

Lu officiates weddings

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) officiated at a mass wedding ceremony of 32 couples at the Hsinchu Science Park yesterday. Lu exhorted the 64 grooms and brides -- all scientists, technicians or staff working for companies at the park -- to respect their marriage vows. She called on the newlyweds to forgive and be patient with each other, adding that there are inevitable ups and downs and twists and turns in married life. But the virtue of "thinking about the other's goodness," she said, would help them overcome the difficulties they will likely encounter in their marriages.

■ MEDIA

`China Post' Web site hacked

The Web site of the English-language daily the China Post was closed for more than two hours yesterday morning after its site administrators discovered that hackers had added profanities to the headlines of every story. The newspaper was not aware of the attack, which saw the f-word placed in each headline, until they began receiving telephone calls from readers at around 9am. The newspaper was forced to shut down its Web site, which did not resume normal operations until yesterday afternoon. The newspaper is still trying to determine the identity of the hackers. A similar incident occurred about four months ago, where the home page of the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper) was turned into the Chinese national flag.

■ HEALTH

Taipei pressures drug maker

Taipei requested yesterday that Akzo Nobel, the Netherlands' largest pharmaceutical firm, quickly sign a contract to produce flu vaccines or it would be forced to find another partner to ensure flu control, state media reported yesterday. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) selected the Dutch company in July last year for a build, own and operate (BOO) project for the production of flu vaccines and the two parties were about to sign a contract this year. But progress was hampered by a separate deal in March between Schering Plough, a global research-based pharma-ceutical company, and Akzo Nobel, under which the Dutch firm agreed to sell its vaccine research and development unit -- Organon Biosciences -- to Schering Plough. As the acquisition agreement would only be completed by the final quarter of this year, it would be impossible for the Dutch firm to give CDC a timetable on signing the BOO deal with Taiwan, the agency said.

■ TRAVEL

Global trekkers arrive

A Swiss couple arrived in Taiwan after driving through 156 countries on their around-the-world trip that began 23 years ago, a Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday. Emil Schmid, 65, and Liliana Schmid, 66, arrived from East Timor and kicked off their trip across Taiwan on Saturday from Kaohsiung, after their Toyota Land Cruiser arrived in the city. They began their around-the-world trip on Oct. 18, 1984, traveling to the US. Emil was a computer software engineer and their global adventure began with the simple wish to get away from schedules for a year. But one year's travel proved insufficient, so they kept prolonging it and have not stopped since. Over the past 23 years, they have visited North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia, returning to Switzerland on just three occasions.

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