‘Clean’ committee formed
The Presidential Office formed a “clean government” committee on Monday, whose first job will be to bar Presidential Office employees from accepting or giving gifts during the Lunar New Year holidays. The committee has begun promoting the idea of “no offer of gifts,” “no acceptance of gifts” and “no acceptance of free meals,” although gifts and meals are acceptable if they meet certain regulations. The Presidential Office said the committee was created in response to President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) pledge to “correct the political atmosphere,” adding it was an important task of the government to set a new example of clean politics. The committee will meet once a month and will be chaired by Presidential Office Secretary-General Chan Chun-po (詹春柏).
‘CIP to provide subsidies
The Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) will select eight indigenous communities and provide them with up to NT$5 million (US$151,500) in subsidies to develop into tourism and leisure centers, a council official said yesterday. Alang Manglavan, director of the Department of Health and Welfare, said the program also hopes to help indigenous communities nurture management talent and increase employment. The council will decide late next month or early February which communities will receive the subsidies, he said. At talks yesterday with representatives of indigenous communities from Chiayi, Kaohsiung and Pingtung cities and counties, the council official invited communities with at least three years’ experience in community development to apply to join the program.
‘AIT seeks study applicants
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) has begun accepting applications for seven Study of the United States Institutes next summer. The topics include American civilization, American politics and political thought, contemporary American literature, foreign policy, journalism and media, religious pluralism in the US and an institute for secondary educators. The programs will be held from mid-June through early August in the US and are designed for faculty and school educators. The institutes are postgraduate-level academic seminars with integrated study tours that will provide a group of 18 educators and professionals from around the world with the opportunity to learn more about US society, culture and institutions, AIT said. All participant costs will be covered. Information on the selection criteria, program summaries and application forms can be found at www.ait.org.tw. The deadline is Jan. 22.
‘Temblor shakes south
A moderate earthquake struck Kaohsiung County at 8:04am yesterday. The Central Weather Bureau said the 5.6 magnitude quake struck about 45km southeast of Tainan City. The US Geological Survey put the quake’s strength at 5.4. No casualties or damage were reported.
‘Rail travel disrupted
An insulator failure tripped a power line between Cidu (七堵) and Sijhih (汐止) railway stations at 6:47pm on Monday, causing delays to 44 trains and affecting about 35,000 people, Taiwan Railway Administration officials said. Passengers on express trains that were canceled or delayed by 60 minutes or more are eligible to claim full refunds within 15 days. The westward line resumed operations at 8:30pm and the eastward line restarted at 10:20pm, they said.