Luggage system fails
More than 100 pieces of luggage did not reach their destination on time because of a technical problem at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport’s baggage-handling system, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said yesterday. Director of the Taoyuan International Airport Office Lee Tsan-huang (李燦煌) said the system was purchased in 2000. The failure was the result of a broken part in the conveyor belt, he said. Lee said the airport quickly increased ground personnel to help handle luggage after the problem was reported at 8am, which delayed a flight to Shanghai. Meanwhile, some passengers on China Airlines (中華航空) and EVA Airways (長榮航空) flights were asked to pick up their luggage later this week. Normal operations resumed at about 10am, Lee said.
ATJ in financial crisis
With only NT$749 (US$22) in its bank account and unable to pay its two employees this month, the Association of Taiwan Journalists (ATJ) is now facing its severest crisis since its creation 13 years ago, the association said. ATJ secretary-general Liu Chia-yun (劉嘉韻) said annual operational costs were about NT$3 million (US$91,000), including the publication of the Eyewitness bimonthly magazine. However, the membership fee paid by its 300 members adds up to NT$300,000 — 30 percent of which has to be deposited into the ATJ’s journalist protection fund. National Taiwan University journalism professor Chang Chin-hua (張錦華) said the ATJ was the only journalist organization in the country, and that it often reminds journalists of ethics while serving as a defender of journalists’ rights against political interference. She called on the public to help the ATJ.
Free essay-writing test
The Steering Committee for the Test of Proficiency-Huayu, an organization funded by the Ministry of Education, will offer an online Mandarin essay-writing test with feedback free of charge, the committee said yesterday. People interested in taking the test will be required to type their essays using Mandarin phonetic symbols or Hanyu pinyin, the committee said. The test runs through the end of this month. More information is available www.sc-top.org.tw/index.php.
Solomons official expelled
A senior Solomons government official on a training course in Taiwan has been sent home in disgrace after allegedly attacking three Taiwanese policemen, an official and a newspaper said yesterday. William Marau of the Solomon Islands foreign ministry is said to have attacked the officers when they intervened as he argued with an assistant in a Taipei grocery store on Nov. 16, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported. Marau was brought to a nearby police station in handcuffs, it said, adding that he apologized to the policemen the next day, claiming he was drunk. The official was fined by a Taipei district court and sent back to his country, the paper said. A Ministry of Foreign Affairs official confirmed the report, but played down its significance. “The matter is finished. After all he apologized,” she said on condition of anonymity. The Solomon Islands are among 23 countries that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.