Thu, Nov 01, 2007 - Page 3 News List

TAIWAN NEWS: QUICK TAKE

Staff writer, with Agencies

■ POLITICS

Vice minister to be replaced

Elizabeth Chu (朱玉鳳), director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' protocol department, will replace Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Katharine Chang (張小月), Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳) said yesterday. Chang has been tapped to be the nation's next representative to the UK. Chu's vacancy will be filled by Liu Yi-min (劉宜民), director-general of the Department of European Affairs, Huang said. Huang said that it is a global trend to have female managers and that he was impressed by Chu's "proactive" work ethic and "outstanding" performance over the years. Huang revealed that there will be a second wave of personnel reshuffles, emphasizing that he will not hesitate to release officials who are not suitable for their jobs.

■ TRANSPORT

Taipei taxi fares rise today

Starting today, taxi fares in Taipei City will increase, with the previous nighttime rate applying around the clock. Passengers will also be required to pay an additional NT$20 on metered fares between 11pm and 6am. Also starting today, Taipei City Government's Parking Management Office will start issuing scooter parking fee slips in different colors. The slips will be a different color for each day of the week. The Parking Management Office hopes the measure will make it less likely that parking wardens will forget to issue parking slips, and put an end to scooter owners using old slips to trick parking wardens into not issuing a new slip.

■ CULTURE

Hakka conference opens

More than 300 Hakka community leaders from around the world gathered in Taipei yesterday for the opening of the 2007 Hakka Community Leaders' Conference. The conference, organized by the World Hakka Federation, welcomed Hakka community delegates from more than 30 countries on six continents. In his opening remarks, federation president and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) said the number of Hakka speakers is declining and urged all Hakka to unite and work to preserve their culture and language. Several others speakers voiced similar concerns. In the afternoon session, Hakka community leaders presented papers on issues specific to their communities. The conference ends today.

■ SOCIETY

Development fund launched

The Council of Indigenous Peoples launched the application process for its Aboriginal community development project fund yesterday. Council Minister Icyang Parod said at a news conference in Taipei that communities within the 29 Aboriginal mountain townships and the 25 Aboriginal plains townships were qualified to apply for money from the fund. Communities interested in receiving funds may submit their community development plan, with a special focus on culture, ecology and the economy, to township offices for initial review before Nov. 30, Icyang said. Through a strict evaluation process, a list of 23 communities qualified for the funding would be announced at the end of February, Icyang said, adding that each qualified community would be entitled to receive a NT$2 million (US$62,000) development fund. During the past three years since the program started, 79 Aboriginal communities across the country have received the money and most have used it well, Icyang said.

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