Famine program launched
World Vision Taiwan, the local chapter of the international Christian relief organization, promoted its 20th 30-Hour Famine program yesterday, calling on the public to help raise money to combat the global food crisis. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend this year’s Famine Hero Rally scheduled for Aug. 15 and Aug. 16 at the National Taiwan Sport University stadium in Linkou (林口), Taipei County, an event the group hopes will raise NT$170 million (US$5 million). People interested in participating can sign up from May 1 at 30hf.org.tw. The registration fee for adults is NT$1,000 and NT$500 for students.
Vouchers still unclaimed
A total of 160,841 people had yet to pick up their consumer vouchers as of Sunday, a few days before tomorrow’s deadline, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. The ministry said that as of Sunday, 23,103,405 of 23,264,246 eligible people — or 99.31 percent — had collected vouchers worth a total of more than NT$83.17 billion. The ministry urged eligible people who have not collected their vouchers to do so at designated post offices, adding that those who fail to claim them by the deadline would lose their right to them.
Arrested journalists in focus
The legislature yesterday agreed to refer to the Executive Yuan a motion by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) that the government seek help to free two journalists arrested by North Korea. Huang’s motion stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should seek assistance from non-governmental channels to assist the journalists from online news outlet Current TV — Laura Ling (凌志美), a US citizen whose mother is Taiwanese, and Euna Lee, a Korean-American. Ling and Lee were arrested and detained by North Korean guards while filming a story on refugees on the border of North Korea and China on March 17.
Mother killed over remote
A man accidentally killed his mother while they were fighting for a TV remote control, media reported yesterday. The incident occurred on Saturday in Nantou City. Su Peng-sheng (蘇澎生), 43, was watching TV at home with his mother, Hsiao Ching-chou (蕭金綢), 64. In a quarrel over the remote, Su’s mother grabbed a wooden stick to hit him. Su pushed his mother, causing her head first to hit the wall and then the corner of a table, media reports said. The son rushed his unconscious, bleeding mother to the hospital, where she died on Monday. Su turned himself in, saying he was heartbroken. He has been charged with homicide, which carries a minimum two-year jail term, reports said.
Ma appoints NSB chief
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday appointed acting director of the National Security Bureau (NSB) Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) to head the bureau. Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said Ma had observed Tsai for more than a month and was convinced that he was fit for the job. The Presidential Office has dismissed speculation that former NSB director-general Tsai Chao-ming (蔡朝明) had resigned amid a power struggle within the government’s intelligence branch. Wang has said that Tsai had offered to resign on several occasions, but that Ma refused to let him go.