DPP to expel two members
The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Central Standing Committee yesterday passed a proposal by DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to expel two party members — former DPP legislator Hsu Jung-shu (?Q) and former Council of Agriculture minister Fan Chen-tsung (范振宗) — for attending a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) forum. “The Central Standing Committee members believe Hsu and Fan seriously violated party regulations and all members agreed to expel the two,” DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said. Cheng said the proposal would be sent to the party’s Central Review Committee for a final decision next Wednesday, when Fan and Hsu would be invited to defend themselves.
World chefs battle for title
Chefs from six regions around the world are scheduled to compete at the World Culinary Contest in Taipei next month. Eight teams will compete from Aug. 20 to Aug. 23 — two from Taiwan and one each from the US, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. One of Taiwan’s teams will represent northern Taiwan and the other southern Taiwan. Chang Hua-jiou (張華九), spokesperson of the contest’s organizing committee, said two teams would compete in the finals, during which the judges would prepare a case of ingredients that the teams must use in their dishes. The teams will not be told in advance what they are, Chang said. The ingredients will include flavors from both local and Western cuisine. The winning team will receive a NT$300,000 prize. Singapore won in 2007 and last year.
Conscript numbers to drop
The Ministry of National Defense will decrease the annual number of conscripts between 2011 and 2014 as part of its plan to switch to a professional military with a starting salary of NT$30,000 for privates, ministry officials said on Tuesday. Department of Manpower Director Wang Chun-chiang (王春江) said that the minimum monthly salary would be guaranteed. In response to concerns about the funding that would be needed, the ministry said it would strike a balance between national defense and the nation’s finances to achieve optimum efficiency. The military has 275,000 service members. Under the troop reduction plan, this number will drop to 215,000. The goal of making the switch to a volunteer system is to establish an elite and high-quality military force, enhance combat prowess and boost military operational efficiency, Strategic Planning Department Director Lee Hsi-ming (李喜明) said.
Tropical storm may form
A low-pressure system located near southern Taiwan may develop into a tropical storm, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The low-pressure system is about 1,300km to the southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻) and is moving northwest at a speed of 20kph. The bureau expected the system to develop into a tropical storm within the next two days because it has a very solid structure. The system is approaching the Bashi Channel and the southeast of Taiwan. The bureau forecast that the system could start affecting the weather nationwide on Friday. The southeast region and Hengchun Peninsula are expected to see the effects of the low-pressure system first.