Fri, Oct 26, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

Staff writer, with agencies

■ SOCIETY

California hotline set up

Taiwan's government has set up a special hotline at 002-1-213-446-5008 for people in need of information on friends and relatives caught up in the wildfires blown by fierce winds that have forced hundreds of thousands of people in southern California to flee, Phoebe Yeh (葉非比), acting deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The ministry's staffers in the US have visited Taiwanese affected by the fires at a resource center in San Diego and they all remain safe, Yeh said. Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳) has sent a message to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to express the support and best wishes of the government and the Taiwanese people, Yeh said.

■ ASTRONOMY

Fullest moon to appear

The fullest moon of this year will appear tonight, according to astronomers in Taipei. Astronomers at the Taipei Astronomical Museum said the moon will become full at 12:52pm today, and that at 8pm members of the public will be able to look east at a 35o angle to view the fullest moon of the year. At that time the Moon will reach the closest point to Earth of its orbit. Today's moon will be 14 percent larger than the smallest full moon of this year, seen on April 3, when the moon was farthest from the Earth, the astronomers said. The full moon today is also expected to be 30 percent brighter than lesser full moons seen earlier in the year.

■ ENVIRONMENT

Hsieh wants `wetland bank'

Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) proposed a "wetland bank" concept yesterday, suggesting that efforts be made to conserve and restore the nation's wetlands. Efforts should be made to systematically research and plan wetland conservation and restoration so that wildlife habitats can be conserved and the sustainable development of wetlands can be secured, Hsieh said. Some of these efforts could be commissioned to NGO groups, he said. Noting that conserving the environment is a move that reflects "the power of progress," Hsieh said Taiwan should seek to link itself to the "global power of progress" and make the nation a stronghold of this concept. Hsieh made the remarks during a ceremony held in Taipei to mark the inauguration of the NGO group Taiwan Ecological Engineering Development Foundation.

■ CRIME

Ko held for insider trading

Venture capital mogul Ko Wen-chang (柯文昌) and two associates have been detained for alleged insider trading, a prosecutor said yesterday. Ko, chairman of leading capital firm WK Technology Fund, and company executives Ho Cheng-chin (何正卿) and Lee Rung-hsun (李榮勳) were arrested on Wednesday after prosecutors raided the company, said Lin Jinn-tsun (林錦村), a spokesman for the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office. They were suspected of making illegal profits of up to NT$900 million (US$27 million) through the acquisition of Green Point Enterprises Co by US-based Jabil Circuit Inc, Lin said. WK Technology Fund allegedly purchased a large amount of shares in Green Point between July and December last year before Jabil Circuit, a maker of printed circuit boards, announced in January that the merger was completed. Ko, dubbed the "godfather of venture capital" by local media, also faces perjury charges for allegedly destroying evidence related to the case, the prosecutor said.

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