Pirate attack suspected
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday evening that a Kaohsiung-registered fishing boat, the MV Win Far 101, was believed to have been hijacked by pirates approximately 1,000km off the coast of Africa. MOFA Spokesman Henry Chen (陳銘政) said the boat had a crew of 30. Only the captain and second captain were Taiwanese, while the crew were from Indonesia, China and the Philippines. A wire report said a British cargo ship had been hijacked along with the Taiwanese boat near the Seychelles. The Fisheries Agency has contacted its British counterpart and the US naval authority stationed in the region for assistance, Chen said.
ARATS official arrives
Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Deputy Director An Min (安民) arrived yesterday for a seven-day visit. An said his trip was a business inspection and not related to the forthcoming meeting between Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林). The meeting is scheduled for next month or June. Chiang, who spoke at a dinner he hosted for An yesterday evening, said the government’s policy was to tackle easier and more urgent issues first and steadily move toward more difficult and less pressing ones. Economic issues precede political ones, he said.
Chiu accuses Ker of crime
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) yesterday accused Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) of involvement in illegal stock trading. Stock investor Chang Shih-chieh (張世傑), who finished a prison term in February, recently published an autobiography in which he says he conspired with a number of legislators and hosts of stock market investment programs to manipulate the stock market. He said one of the legislators was a senior DPP legislator who visited him while in detention and asked him to shoulder responsibility for the illegal trading. Chiu said yesterday Chang was referring to Ker, who had close relations with Chang. Ker yesterday rebutted the claim. Chang, along with KMT Legislator Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁), was indicted in 2005 for violating the Securities Transaction Law (證券交易法) and for breach of trust in relation to illegal trading of Hold-Key Wire & Cable Cooperation (合機電線電纜公司) shares.
Kaoliang vouchers issued
The Kinmen County Government said it would present every Kinmen resident with NT$10,800 in gift vouchers this year for purchasing the island chain’s most famous product, kaoliang. A first batch of gift vouchers was distributed to the county’s 85,143 residents at 45 locations in six townships on Sunday, with each resident receiving NT$3,600 in vouchers. The residents have until June 5 to spend the vouchers in exchange for kaoliang from a local distillery. The county government said it would do the same twice more to coincide with the Dragon Boat Festival on May 28 and the Mid-Autumn Festival on Oct. 3. The vouchers are being handed out to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Kuningtou in Kinmen in late October 1949, officials said. During that battle, troops in Kinmen defeated 19,000 invading Chinese troops, killing 3,873 and capturing 5,175 others. The Kinmen garrison troops lost 1,267 casualties.