Hong Kong relaxes rules
Hong Kong’s Immigration Department yesterday announced relaxed rules for entry to Hong Kong for travelers who hold Republic of China passports. Taiwan residents holding a valid Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents (commonly known as Taibaozheng) with a valid entry/exit endorsement for China may now enter Hong Kong as a visitor and stay for up to seven days, irrespective of whether they are transiting through Hong Kong to or from China or only visiting Hong Kong, provided normal immigration requirements are met. Those wishing to stay longer should apply through their airline or travel agency for a single or multiple-entry permit, allowing them to stay for up to 30 days in Hong Kong. Visas can be applied for online. The limit was raised from 14 days earlier this year and the previous limit of two online visa applications within a 30-day period has been scrapped. Details can be found online at www.immd.gov.hk.
Aboriginal kids attend course
In order to make health information more readily available in remote Aboriginal communities, the Department of Health (DOH) invited 120 elementary schoolchildren from Wulai Township (烏來), Taipei County, Fusing Township (復興), Taoyuan County, and Nanao (南澳) and Datong (大同) townships in Ilan County to a two-day training session in which professionals from the Centers for Disease Control, the National Bureau of Controlled Drugs and the National Health Insurance Bureau will teach them about common diseases and which medicines to use. The children will also visit medical and health facilities. Department of Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan (葉金川) said yesterday that, four years after the program started, public health conditions have improved in communities with children who have taken part in the program.
Festival promoted overseas
As the Tung Blossom Festival has become one of the most popular Hakka events in the country, the Council for Hakka Affairs will begin promoting it abroad. “The beautiful scenery of mountains and hills dotted with millions of small white Tung blossoms not only attracts millions of domestic visitors each year, but has also caught the attention of tourists from other countries,” Council of Hakka Affairs Director Huang Yu-chen (黃玉振) said at a news conference announcing the beginning of this year’s festival. “To attract more visitors, we’ve put up ads for the festival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and the international airports in Beijing and Tokyo.” The festival is expected to attract more than 10 million visitors, Huang said. Details on the festival can be found by visiting www.tung.hakka.gov.tw.
Lu files an injunction
Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday filed an injunction against the Journalist to force the magazine to comply with a court ruling that it must apologize for wrongfully accusing her of spreading rumors about an alleged extra-marital affair between then president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his interpreter. Lu’s lawyers Hung Kwei-san (洪貴參) and Chen Chun-wen (陳俊文) filed the document on behalf of the former vice president against the editor-in-chief of the magazine, Li Ming-chun (李明駿), former editor-in-chief of the Chinese-language China Times Wang Chien-chuang (王健壯), China Times reporter Yang Shu-mei (楊舒媚) and three others, a press release by Lu’s office said.