Wed, Oct 08, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■ ENVIRONMENT

Hualien holds spill drill

Hualien County yesterday held a drill to simulate a serious chemical spill from a damaged ship off its coastline, Hualien County Commissioner Hsieh Shen-shan (謝深山) said. The county government mobilized 34 units, including firefighters, environmentalists, public health officials, marine patrol guards and township administration personnel. A total of 191 people participated in the drill, Hsieh said. The scenario involved an accident in which a cargo ship hits a rocky surface near the mouth of Meilun River (美崙溪). Marine pollution is an important risk to consider for the county, which has 175km of coastline, the longest of any city or county. Yesterday’s drill covered emergency reporting, inspection, oil spill cleanup and collecting evidence, said Hsieh, who headed the exercise. Hualien County has seen several serious pollution incidents in the past and quick mobilization by authorities is always crucial, Hsieh said.

■ AGRICULTURE

Council promotes chicken

The Council of Agriculture suggests the public enjoy chicken soup this winter to warm the body and soul, saying the public should take advantage of quality domestic chicken to endure the cold weather. Chicken has long been a favorite in this country, Poultry Association chairman Chen Mu-shi (陳木獅) said yesterday, adding that a bowl of chicken broth conjures up childhood memories for many people. Chen said chicken was ideal for a low fat, nutritious diet and contains an array of essential vitamins, including A, C and E. To promote chicken, the council launched the 2008 Happy Chicken Soup Festival yesterday, which will run until the end of the year. Events will include chicken soup cooking classes, a vote for the restaurant with the best chicken soup and a chicken soup cooking competition. Details are available at www.gtown.tw.

■ POLITICS

Taiwanese prefer Obama

US Senator Barack Obama is the preferred candidate of Taiwanese as the next president of the US, according to the results of an international poll released by Readers Digest yesterday. More than 1,000 Taiwanese were interviewed by telephone in July for the poll. Taiwan was among four countries, including Brazil, India and Poland, that showed the least overall interest in the US election compared with 13 other nations. The poll also showed that the environment was the main concern among the Taiwanese interviewees, followed by the global economy. Cheng Tuan-yao (鄭端耀), director of National Chengchi University’s Institute of International Relations, said US interests would be the top concern of whoever becomes US president, noting that both candidates have paid little attention to the Taiwan issue and have not mentioned Taiwan during their campaigns.

■ CRIME

Crime rising: councilors

Two Kaohsiung City councilors expressed concern on Monday over worsening crime in the city and urged police to step up efforts to curb the trend. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Councilor Lien Li-chien (連立堅) said that figures released by the city’s Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics showed that Kaohsiung had a crime rate of 239 cases per 100,000 people in August — the highest since March 2006. Citing an example, Lien said the neighborhood around the rapid transit system’s Aozihdi Station in Gushan District (鼓山) alone recorded seven robbery cases in the past month. DPP City Councilor Lin Ying-jung (林瑩蓉) said she had been robbed in the city.

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