Tzu Chi certifies volunteers
The Taiwan-based Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation will certify eight Zulu volunteers from the South Africa as officers of the foundation, a senior Tzu Chi official, Pan Ming-shui (潘明水), said yesterday. Pan, who provides aid services in southern Africa, said that with the certifications, the eight volunteers would now be authorized to visit people in need and hold fundraising activities on behalf of the foundation. The eight volunteers, who have already taken a two-year training course, are in Taiwan attending a five-day seminar for the foundation's international volunteers. Attended by more than 600 participants from 23 countries and territories, the seminar is being held in Hualien County, where the foundation's headquarters are located, Pan said.
Taiwan makes donation
Taiwan donated US$170,000 to the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to boost bilateral cooperation in weather research and disaster prevention, Taiwan's representative to the Philippines, Wu Hsin-hsing (吳新興), said yesterday. Wu presented the donation to DOST Secretary Estrella Alabastro on behalf of the Taiwanese government in Quezon City on Friday. The donation will help the Philippines on two research programs -- weather hazard prevention and rainfall analysis technology. The weather hazard prevention program aims to upgrade the equipment at the Philippines' high-altitude weather observation stations to collect better data on the formation of typhoons. The rainfall analysis program will improve the Philippines' rainfall observation network and rainfall analysis capabilities through the upgraded weather observation stations.
Chinese dangers online
The Council of Mainland Affairs (MAC) recently launched a new Web page designed to remind Taiwanese of the global risks and challenges generated by China's rapid economic development. The new Web page can be accessed on the main page of the council's Web site at www.mac.gov.tw. MAC Vice Chairman Johnnason Liu (劉德勳) said that low-priced Chinese products were now sold in many countries, which has brought unemployment problems and posed a threat to international trade. Citing WTO statistics, Liu said China had been the target of the highest number of anti-dumping investigations for the past 12 years in a row. Three hundred-and-seventy-five of China's 536 cases have resulted in the imposition of anti-dumping duties by the WTO, or twice the number of duties leveled against second-placed South Korea, he said.
Judicial system a mystery
More than 70 percent of people do not have a full understanding of the nation's judicial system, a survey released by the Judicial Yuan showed yesterday. The poll was conducted from July 25 to Aug. 9, with 5,003 samples from people aged 20 and older. Of the respondents, 1,740 said they did not have any court experience. The poll showed that 72 percent of respondents said they did not have a full understanding of the country's judicial system, while 22 percent -- those with a higher education degree, a higher salary and/or more experience with the courts -- said they understood the system, the Judicial Yuan said. It said it would ask subagencies to improve public education on how it operates.