Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■AGRICULTURE

Help for Kaohsiung farmers

The Council of Agriculture began accepting applications yesterday for subsidies for Kaohsiung County growers of corn, onions, leafy vegetables and cauliflowers who suffered crop losses when Typhoon Jangmi swept in late last month. Cash subsidies of NT$12,000 per hectare will be offered to eligible farmers, the county’s Bureau of Agriculture said. The county suffered total crop losses of NT$60 million (US$1.85 million) during Typhoon Jangmi. Regulations state that losses must top NT$90 million for a county to qualify for low-interest loans and NT$180 million to be eligible for cash subsidies. Affected growers can take documents of proof of their crop losses to the nearest agricultural affairs office in their jurisdiction. Applications will be accepted until next Wednesday. Following the screening of the applications by the bureau and the Agriculture and Food Agency, the subsidies will be immediately paid to qualified farmers.

■POLITICS

Lai appointment confirmed

Asked by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) whether Deputy Minister of the Interior Lai Feng-wei (賴峰偉) would fill the vacancy left by Yeh Ching-chuan (葉金川), Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Kao Lang (高朗) confirmed yesterday that Lai had been tapped to be the other deputy secretary-general of the Presidential Office. Kao made the remarks during a question-and-answer session at the legislature’s Judiciary, Organic Laws and Statutes Committee.

■POLITICS

Lai withdraws from TSU

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) last night announced her withdrawal from the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), ending her four-year relationship with the party. Lai’s decision came shortly after the TSU central executive committee said it would expel her from the party if she did not quit her position as -chairwoman within the next three days. The committee said the decision was made after five months of observation of a string of pro-China policies by the government, as well as Lai’s role as chairwoman, the TSU said. In her withdrawal statement, Lai said she had accepted her position with the blessing of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), the spiritual leader of the TSU, and that it has been her goal to open trade policies and minimize their impact on Taiwanese, as well as to maintain the nation’s dignity in the exchanges. “Today, after learning of the decision of the TSU’s central executive committee, I was surprised, puzzled and deeply sorry,” Lai said.

■MEDIA

IFJ probes allegation

An international media watchdog said yesterday it was probing allegations that the Taiwanese government tried to influence local coverage of China’s tainted milk powder scandal. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said the Government Information Office (GIO) asked a news agency to change its coverage of the milk powder scandal, the latest in a recent string of demands against the nation’s media. It said it was still investigating the charges and did not offer details of the changes that were allegedly requested. The GIO called the IFJ’s claim “groundless and misleading,” saying it was “based on false stories by reporters whose interests are at stake in the issues concerned.” Local coverage of the milk powder scandal, which has killed at least four children in China and prompted removals of Chinese-made goods from shelves around the world, has raised consumers’ fears of imported dairy products.

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