Tue, Jun 24, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■CULTURE

Hakka video contest held

The Council for Hakka Affairs is inviting people to take part in this year’s creative Hakka music video competition. First held in 2005, the annual contest aims to promote Hakka pop culture and connect the younger generation with Hakka culture, event spokesman and Hakka actor Chang Shan-wei (張善為) said at a press conference in Taipei yesterday. The theme for this year’s contest is Hakka children’s songs. Contestants are to create music videos for songs announced on the event’s Web site. All works will be judged for creativity, elements of Hakka culture and visual effect. The winner will be awarded a NT$300,000 cash prize. For more information, visit www.hakkamv.com.tw.

■AGRICULTURE

Pig farmers ‘stealing’ scraps

The price of kitchen leftovers, which hog farms use to feed their stock, has risen to a point where some farmers are “stealing” it, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official said yesterday. As food prices skyrocket in the international market because of poor harvests caused by bad weather, the price of kitchen scraps is now NT$1,000 per tonne compared with NT$300 to NT$600 last year, Lin Mao-yuan (林茂原) of the EPA’s Environmental Police Unit said. In some cities and counties, the price could reach NT$2,000 or more, he said. The EPA collects about 1,900 tonnes of leftovers per day, and last year the total volume collected was some 663,000 tonnes, which was used as hog feed. With the price of leftover food on the rise, thefts have been reported in Taichung and Hsinchu counties, where pig farmers have been observed “cleaning up” slop collected by EPA personnel for shipment to recycling companies, Lin said.

■HEALTH

Betel nut addicts kick habit

A campaign in Hualien County to help betel nut addicts kick the habit has succeeded in guiding 145 people out of a total of 276 who took part in the program to quit, the county’s health bureau said yesterday. As of the end of last month, 145 addicts had given up betel nuts entirely since the campaign’s launch in July last year, bureau officials said. The remaining 131 betel nut chewers in the program now consume an average of 4.61 nuts per day, from 41.08 in the past, the officials said. A study conducted by the bureau from 2003 to 2006 showed 35,823 county residents chewed the addictive nuts, with their daily consumption averaging 16.8 nuts. The county’s annual consumption of betel nuts is estimated at 216 million nuts.

■DIPLOMACY

Taipei group visits Shanghai

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday led a delegation of Taipei City government officials on a five-day visit to Shanghai. Hau, the nation’s first elected municipal chief to visit China, is visiting Shanghai to witness the signing of an agreement to confirm Taipei’s participation in World Expo Shanghai 2010, scheduled for May 1 to Oct. 31, 2010. He is scheduled to meet Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng (韓正) on Thursday to witness the signing of the agreement. Hau will visit the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, where he hopes to gain a better understanding of how Shanghai zoo authorities take care of pandas. Hau will also visit a project aimed at developing Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport into a multiple transportation hub. He will also meet Taiwanese business leaders to encourage them to repatriate some of their overseas investment and to locate their R&D centers and business headquarters in Taipei.

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