Former officials impeached
The Control Yuan yesterday impeached former secretary-general of the Executive Yuan Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), former chief of the Hsinchu Science Park James Lee (李界木) and former minister of the National Science Council Wei Che-ho (魏哲和) over a land procurement deal allegedly involving former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). They were charged with breach of duty when they completed a deal whereby the government-run Hsinchu Science Park purchased land in Longtan Science Park, Taoyuan County, from Dayu, a subsidiary of Taiwan Cement Group. Prosecutors in December indicted the former first family for allegedly receiving NT$300 million (US$9.1 million) in kickbacks from a total payoff of NT$400 million made by Leslie Koo (辜成允) related to the deal. The case is currently being tried.
Bureau launches promotion
The Tourism Bureau yesterday launched the Southern Taiwan Summer Tour Passport, which aims to integrate the efforts of local governments and various stakeholders in the tourism industry, such as restaurants and hotels, to promote tourism in southern Taiwan. The summer tour promotion, co-organized by the city and county governments of Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Pingtung and Penghu, will offer discounts of up to 50 percent at hundreds of hotels and restaurants from July 13 to Sept. 30 and includes add-ons such as NT$10 hotel upgrade packages. A total of 80,000 Southern Taiwan Summer Tour Passports are now available free of charge at highway rest stops, train stations, Taiwan High Speed Rail stations and Taipei MRT service centers.
Fair to focus on France
Next year’s Taipei International Book Exhibition, one of the highest-profile book fairs in Asia, is to focus on French literature and publishing as its main theme, the organizer announced yesterday. Paulina Lin (林文琪), executive director of the Taipei Book Fair Foundation, said there is much to learn from publishing policies and traditions in France, such as the fact that the French government has adopted protection measures for small publishing companies so that the public has access to non-mainstream authors. The 18th annual exhibitionwill be held between Jan. 27 and Feb. 1 at the World Trade Center.