Wed, Jul 30, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ CRIME

FAKE MONKS ARRESTED

The National Immigration Agency said yesterday police had arrested 12 Chinese men for posing as Buddhist monks to swindle money. Wearing monk robes, the Chinese raised about NT$1 million (US$33,000) during their 10-day stay in Taiwan, the agency said, adding that similar tactics had been used in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. The agency said the suspects paid a straw company in Shenzhen in China’s Guangdong Province for false work certificates and then visited Taiwan under a trade exchange program.

■ CRIME

TAICHUNG TOUTS PROGRESS

Deputy Taichung Mayor Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家旗) said yesterday that although the city has the highest crime rate in the country, it has also seen the biggest improvement. Hsiao made the remarks after the National Police Agency announced countrywide crime rates for last year showing that Taichung City had the highest crime rate for the fifth consecutive year. The figures took into account violent crime, burglary, theft, extortion, assault and fraud. Taichung had the highest burglary rate and highest rate of motorcycle thefts and robberies. “In the first six months of this year, the number of criminal cases dropped by 23 percent from the same period last year. The improvement was also the biggest in the nation,” Hsiao said. The installation of monitoring systems at major intersections has had a positive effect on Taichung’s crime rate, he said.

■ AVIATION

PLANE TO GET LICK OF PAINT

The Ministry of National Defense said yesterday the presidential Boeing 737-800 would be repainted in March next year, but at no extra cost to the taxpayer. The nation’s one and only presidential plane used to be painted in the air force’s colors — white with blue stripes on top — but in April 2006 the jet was given a green underside and a white top with red and blue stripes, causing critics to say the Air Force was flattering then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) by using Democratic Progressive Party colors. Air Force Headquarters issued a press release on Monday saying the planned color change had nothing to do with the president’s political affiliation. Ministry spokeswoman Major General Lisa Chi (池玉蘭) told a press conference yesterday that China Airlines technicians would carry out a detailed “C-check” on the plane, and to do so the paint had to be removed. After the examination, the air force will make at least three proposals for a new color scheme. Since removing the paint was part of the check, no additional cost would be incurred, she said. The Air Force estimates that the new color scheme will cost around NT$3 million (US$100,000).

■ CULTURE

DANCE COMPETITION PLANNED

The 2008 Mongolian and Tibetan Folk Dance Competition will take place from Aug. 21 to Aug. 22 at the National Taiwan University of Arts. Lai Hsiu-feng (賴秀峰), president of the National Dance Association of the Republic of China, said entries would be accepted until Aug. 12 and 20 prizes totaling NT$700,000 would be awarded in two categories. The Mongolian and Tibetan categories will be divided into group and individual competitions. The first-place winner in the group section will receive NT$100,000 cash, followed by NT$70,000 for second place and NT$50,000 for third place. Two group dance works selected as masterpieces will each be awarded NT$10,000. In the individual sections, the prizes are NT$50,000 for first place, NT$30,000 for second place and NT$20,000 for third.

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