Gambian president arrives
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday afternoon announced that Gambian President Yahya Jammeh is visiting Taiwan on a five-day state visit. Gambia and Taiwan resumed relations in 1995 after a 21-year break. It is Jammeh’s first visit to Taiwan since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office last May. The press release went out on the day Jammeh arrived. In the past, the ministry has sent out a press release announcing the arrival of distinguished foreign dignitaries in advance. When Palauan President Johnson Toribiong visited on Feb. 22, a press release was sent out two days before he arrived. Information on Tuvaluan Prime Minster Apisai Ielemia’s visit was also made public one day prior to his visit on Feb. 14.
Hsieh won't be indicted
Kaohsiung District Prosecutors yesterday said they would not indict former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) after he was accused of slander by former DPP Kaohsiung City councilor Chen Chun-sheng (陳春生). In 1998 Chen released an audiotape suggesting Hsieh’s rival in the mayoral election, Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who was seeking re-election as Kaohsiung mayor, had had an affair with a female reporter. Wu filed a lawsuit against Chen, who was found guilty of creating the fake tape and sentenced to six months in prison. In December 2006, Chen said Hsieh had given him the tape and asked him to release it. Hsieh then filed a slander lawsuit against Chen, who returned the favor by suing Hsieh for slander. Prosecutors said they would not indict Hsieh because he was speaking in his own defense and had not intended to damage Chen’s reputation.
Deaflympics tickets on sale
Tickets for the Deaflympics opening ceremony on Sept. 5 in Taipei will go on sale next month, with prices ranging from NT$1,000 to NT$6,000, the organizer said yesterday. Ticket stubs from the opening ceremony can also be used to gain free admission to the 2010 Taipei International Gardening and Horticulture Exposition, an official of the Taipei Deaflympics Organizing Committee said. The commitee will offer tickets at a discounted price of NT$200 for students and free tickets for the disadvantaged. More details are available on the official Web site, the official said. The committee will also distribute free VIP tickets to sponsors of the event and distinguished guests from home and abroad, the official said. The ceremony, which is being planned by theater director Stan Lai (賴聲川), is expected to be a unique gala performance of Taiwan’s sports history, the official said. The committee will also issue free tickets for the final rehearsal of the ceremony to the hearing-impaired, physically disabled and low-income families.
Reporters climb Yushan
A group of reporters traveled to Yushan (玉山) yesterday after receiving hypoxia tolerance training in a lab at the WuFeng Institute of Technology in Chiayi County. The five journalists and cameramen from a local newspaper and two cable TV stations were continuing their training to adapt to a high-altitude environment in preparation for their upcoming coverage of next month’s attempt to climb Everest by four Taiwanese climbers. They are scheduled to depart on April 30 for Nepal and to reach Everest base camp on May 9 to cover the Everest expedition by the four climbers — Wu Yu-lung (伍玉龍), Huang Chih-hao (黃致豪), Hsieh Ying-su (謝穎泝) and Chiang Hsiu-chen (江秀真).