Mon, Oct 29, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

Staff writer, with Agencies

■ Temblor detection

The Central Weather Bureau has improved its earthquake detection system and officials said yesterday that by the end of next year they would be able to detect a magnitude-4 or stronger earthquake and issue a notification within 35 seconds. The nation suffered its deadliest earthquake in five decades on Sept. 21, 1999, when it was hit by a magnitude-7.3 temblor, leaving 2,415 people dead and more than 10,000 injured and causing serious damage to property and infrastructure nationwide. At that time, it took the bureau's Seismology Center 102 seconds to fully grasp the magnitude of the earthquake and issue a notification, the officials said.

■ SOCIETY

Stray dog rescued

Animal rights activists in Kaohsiung City saved a stray dog whose head was trapped in a plastic container for the past month, cable news network TVBS reported. The network said an elderly woman reported the distressed animal earlier this month. She said the animal had avoided anyone trying to come near it. It was not immediately known how the dog got its head trapped in the container and how it managed to consume food and water. There have been increasing reports of animal cruelty, in which some dogs were found to have clusters of rubber bands cutting into their necks or had been partially skinned. Stray-care associations and animal rights activists urged the government to punish those who mistreat animals.

■ POLITICS

Chou, Lee row continues

A dispute between Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) and Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) continued yesterday, with Chou challenging Lee to debate the matter in public, only to have his challenge rebuffed by the minister. Lee said there was no point arguing with Chou in public, as the promotion and appointment of police officers lies squarely within the authority of the National Police Administration. As county commissioner, he said, Chou simply does not have the right to make promotions or appointments, irrespective of the fact that Taipei County was upgraded to a quasi-special municipality on Oct. 1. Chou, who tried to promote 140 middle-ranking police officers in his county only to have his promotions declared null and void by the ministry, argued that his power to control police appointments and promotions should be the same as that of his counterparts in the special municipalities of Taipei and Kaohsiung.

■ POLITICS

Councilors cross floor

The Tainan City People First Party's (PFP) council caucus will be consigned to history today as all three PFP councilors will return to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). PFP Tainan City councilors Lee Chin-chuan (李錦泉), Wang Chia-chen (王家貞) and Lin Mei-yan (林美燕) will formally announce their return to the KMT today. The PFP caucus discussed the return of its members to the KMT and decided to support KMT nominees for both legislative and presidential elections during a meeting last month. Although the PFP has asked the three councilors to delay their return to the KMT, Lee said they were left with no other choice, but stressed that they would still serve PFP supporters in their constituency. KMT membership will be officially restored to the three councilors late next month, Lee said.

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