Maa appointed SEF deputy
Maa Shaw-chang (馬紹章), executive director of the Chinese Nationalist Party-affiliated think tank the National Policy Foundation, was appointed deputy secretary-general of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) yesterday. Maa, who will be the third deputy secretary-general of the organization, will not begin work until Monday because of the New Year’s holiday. The new position has been left vacant since February last year when Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) resigned to join DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh’s (謝長廷) presidential campaign. Maa obtained his doctoral degree in political science from Ohio State University. He once served at the Mainland Affairs Council as a researcher and at the Council for Economic Planning and Development as a specialist. He was a senior vice manager at Global Investment Holdings before taking up the job at the SEF.
Stage collapses at concert
Two dozen performers were injured on Wednesday when a stage partially collapsed at a New Year’s party in Miaoli County. The accident occurred in Toufen Township (頭份), where more than 1,000 people were watching the New Year’s Eve performance. Shortly after the party started, the right part of the stage caved in and two dozen performers who were singing and dancing fell to the ground. “They were rushed to the hospital. Most of them suffered from cuts and scratches and were released from the hospital, but four remain hospitalized. Among the four, two have broken bones,” a duty officer from the Toufen Police Station said by phone. Local authorities are investigating if shoddy work caused the stage to collapse, the Broadcasting Corp of China said.
Two arrested over cameras
Two men were arrested in California and charged with illegally exporting thermal-imaging cameras to China, a controlled item under national security, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Wednesday. The US Attorney’s office in Los Angeles said Sam Ching-sheng Lee, 63, and his nephew Charles Yu-hsu Lee, 31, were charged under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and face up to 25 years in federal prison if convicted. Charles Lee is a native of China and Ching Lee is a native of Taiwan, the DOJ said in a statement. The two men are suspected of exporting thermal-imaging cameras to China from 2002 to 2007 without a license and in circumvention of export laws, through MBA, an import/export business located in Hacienda Heights, California.
Siew releases sika deer
Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) attended a ceremony at Kenting National Park yesterday to witness the release of 20 Formosan sika deer into the wild. Addressing the ceremony that marked the deer’s release as well as the park’s 25th founding anniversary, Siew said that although Kenting National Park was established 110 years later than Yellowstone National Park in the US, it has made commendable achievements in terms of wildlife conservation. Beginning with a herd of 22 pure-bred Formosan sika deer, Kenting park authorities have raised nearly 300 offspring of the core herd, which was donated by Taipei Yuanshan Zoo in 1984. Since its establishment the same year, the park has released more than 100 of the protected animals that it bred into the wild.