Sat, Mar 28, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■ TRANSPORTATION

Kaohsiung ends free buses

Kaohsiung City’s free bus rides will be terminated at the end of this month, the city’s Transportation Bureau said. Wang Kuo-tsai (王國材), director of the city’s Transportation Bureau, said Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) had approved the bureau’s plan to stop the service. Wang said the nine-month service had cost the city government a total of NT$75 million (US$2.2 million), adding that the rest of the budget — estimated at NT$10 million — would be spent on shuttle buses for the World Games. Wang downplayed the impact of the termination on the city government’s efforts to boost the utilization rate of the city’s mass transit system.

■ DIPLOMACY

Panama receives funds

Taiwan Ambassador to Panama Simon Ko (柯森耀) donated US$5 million to the Central American nation on behalf of the government on Thursday to help renovate a highway and construct a tap water supply system. The donation was accepted by Panamanian Minister of the Presidency Rafael Mezquita at the Presidential Office. Expressing his country’s gratitude for the donation, Mezquita said the money would be of great help in improving the livelihoods and living conditions of the people of Panama. Describing Taiwan as not only a generous donor but also a good partner, Mezquita said, “Taiwan is Panama’s staunch sponsor.” To highlight the government-to-government nature of the donations and the Panamanian government’s transparency in using the funds, Mezquita said that the money has gone into the country’s national treasury, that the use of the money would be scrutinized by parliament and that it would be audited. His remarks were in response to previous reports that said Taiwan had given a US$5 million private donation to Panamanian first lady Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos.

■ ANIMALS

Chihuahuas available

Animals Taiwan (AT) on Thursday sent out a request urging the public to help find adoptive families for more than 25 dogs that were secretly bred in a cage by a man outside his property. AT said all the dogs, mainly Chihuahuas and Daschunds, had had their vocal cords cut. Two female dogs with puppies were also found at the site. The incident has been reported to the Taipei Animal Health Department. AT said the department had refused to take the dogs in. AT plans to take all of the dogs to be neutered but will need to find homes for them. Those who are interested in providing a temporary or permanent home for the dogs, please visit www.animalstaiwan.org for further details.

■ ENVIRONMENT

Incinerators create income

Two incinerators operated by the Kaohsiung City Government have created extra income of more than NT$150 million (US$4.45 million) each year by generating electricity from the heat produced by the incineration process, city government sources said yesterday. The incinerators, attached to the two garbage centers in the city, incinerate an average of 240,000 tonnes of waste and garbage a year out of a total of approximately 298,000 tonnes of waste treated, officials from the Kaohsiung Department of Environmental Protection said in a report to the Kaohsiung City Council. The 298,000 tonnes of waste also included garbage collected from Penghu County, as well as from Kaohsiung County and Yunlin County.

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