Local officials vow boycott
Eighteen pan-blue-governed city and county governments yesterday signed a joint statement supporting the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) proposal to boycott the Central Election Commission's plan to hold the presidential election and UN referendum at the same time. The pan-blue city and county government heads pledged to hand out the ballots for the two votes separately during the March election, adding that they would not follow any central government instructions to hand out the ballots together. The commission will make a final decision tomorrow about whether the election and referendum should be held at the same time. KMT Organization and Development Committee Director Liao Fung-te (廖風德) said the city and county government heads felt that handing out the ballots separately would be simpler for poll staff. "The Local Government Act (地方自治法) grants local governments the authority to handle elections and we will do it our own way," he said.
Radio budget slashed
The government's Radio Taiwan International (RTI) had two-thirds of its budget blocked by pan-blue legislators at the Education and Cultural Committee meeting yesterday. Some Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers said they opposed the station's program Taiwan Perspective. KMT Lawmaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) accused RTI of being politically biased and lacking journalistic ethics. RTI president Lin Feng-cheng (林峰正) said the radio station would not survive past next April or May if the legislators slash its budget. He said the station had always maintained high journalistic professionalism and accurately reflected the voice of the people.
Chen calls for budget debate
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who doubles as chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), called yesterday for debate with the opposition parties on defense budget cuts. Chen made the appeal at a meeting of the DPP Central Executive Committee after the opposition parties recently slashed the whole research and development budget for the military to develop the country's own advanced weapons. Chen instructed the DPP legislative caucus to endeavor to have the budget reinstated. He said if this does not happen, he will ask for a public debate with the opposition parties on the issue of whether the country needs defense in an effort to give the public a better understanding of who the real defender of Taiwan is and who is on China's side. Noting that Beijing had 200 missiles targeting Taiwan in 2000 when he became president, Chen said the number of missiles has now increased to 988.
STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA";
Medical technique succeeds
Taipei Medical University Hospital recently used a new technique to remove uterine fibroids during a cesarean delivery, the director of the hospital's Obstetrics and Gynecology Department announced yesteday. The excised fibroid weighed 3.8kg, which was bigger and heavier than the baby, who weighed only 2.8kg, said Liu Wei-min (劉偉民). Liu said the patient was diagnosed in March with a uterine fibroid 30 cm long, which at first led him to mistakenly believe the patient was in her 25th week of pregnancy. Liu said after he delivered the baby, he ligated the uterine arteries to prevent massive hemorrhaging and then removed the fibroid. Traditionally, a woman suffering from uterine fibroids during pregnancy, surgery must wait more than six months after the birth for surgery, Liu said.
Fake sports products seized
Police seized 600 pairs of counterfeit sports shoes and 300 sports shirts imported from China and arrested a suspect surnamed Lai in a raid in Taichung County, Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) officials reported yesterday. The officials said they were patrolling the Internet when they came across a Web site selling brand-name sports shoes at one-third of the normal price. They contacted Taichung County police who raided two warehouses full of counterfeit Puma, Adidas and Nike sports shoes. Lai told police he became involved with a counterfeit ring in Guangzhou three years ago. They ran ads on an overseas Web site to evade police detection. He said the counterfeit products were imported at a price of between NT$200 and NT$300 but sold for between NT$1,000 and NT$2,000.
Staff writer, with Agencies";
TREATMENT OF UGANDANS: Chung Chou University of Science and Technology was ‘involved in a major breach of relevant regulations,’ the Ministry of Education said Chung Chou University of Science and Technology has been banned from accepting international students after it was found to have mistreated students from Uganda, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The plight of students from the East African nation was exposed after online news site The Reporter uncovered illegal practices at the university in Yuanlin City, Changhua County. While students were promised English-language courses, scholarships and paid internship opportunities before they arrived, the report said that the university did not provide the scholarships and only a few courses were taught in English. The so-called “paid internship opportunities” were in reality blue-collar
CONFLICT: Memorials to Chiang Kai-shek are defended even by some of those who suffered under his rule, as they give him credit for bringing prosperity to Taiwan Fred Chin fumbles with the combination lock on an old metal gate, the bright turquoise marred by rust spots and grime. On the other side is a long dark corridor and rows of cells. It was here that Chin was detained, tried and sentenced to 12 years in an offshore jail by the totalitarian regime that ruled Taiwan for almost 40 years. “In one-and-a-half years I left this room four times,” the now 72-year-old said, gesturing to the whitewashed walls. “Three times for court, and the last time when I was sent to Green Island (綠島). Three-hundred sixty-five days a year,
RULES TIGHTENED: Passengers arriving from Sydney and Los Angeles tested positive for COVID-19, while passengers arriving from Seattle all tested negative Seventeen of the 217 passengers who arrived on long-haul at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday morning tested positive for COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said, adding that the positivity rate was higher than expected. Yesterday was the first day that the government enforced stricter health guidelines for the testing of passengers arriving on long-haul flights. They must undergo a polymerase chain reaction test immediately after arriving at the nation’s international airports. Those who test positive are sent directly to hospitals to avoid spreading the virus to people working in and around the airports and at quarantine hotels. Victor Wang (王必勝),
‘NEW YEAR GIFT’: While the MAC called the song propaganda, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that it addressed the homesickness of ‘Taiwanese compatriots’ A pro-unification pop song aired on Chinese television earlier this month would only further sour Taiwanese sentiment toward China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Wednesday. The music video for We Sing the Same Song (我們同唱一首歌), which aired on China Central Television, features Chinese artists performing alongside Taiwanese singers Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) and Chen Li-nong (陳立農). The lyrics were reportedly written by Taiwanese lyricist Vincent Fang (方文山), known for his collaborations with Jay Chou (周杰倫), to music composed by a Chinese musician. Sung in Chinese and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), the song is about three Taiwanese siblings who