MOFA touts youth diplomats
Taipei District prosecutors yesterday indicted former independent legislator Lo Fu-chu (羅福助) and others over his alleged involvement in a land digging and construction scandal. Prosecutors charged Lo and 10 other businessmen from construction and investment companies with violating the Water and Land Preservation Act (水土保持法). Lo allegedly ordered workers to dig up land in a mountainous area in Xindian (新店), Taipei County, over five or six years and flatten hills to create 15 baseball fields. Lo was suspected of illegally selling the land and applying with the local government to build apartments, prosecutors said. Prosecutors opened an investigation after receiving reports from informants last September. They questioned Lo and other witnesses and searched his residence. He is currently barred from leaving the country.
Alishan visits increase
The Alishan Forest Recreation Park, founded more than 30 years ago, is expecting its millionth visitor of this year very soon, the Forestry Bureau said yesterday. Since its opening in 1976, the park has attracted between 600,000 and 994,000 visitors per year, but has never attracted more than 1 million in a single year. Forestry Bureau officials said the bureau has prepared prizes for the millionth visitor, as well as for the following 10 groups. Visitor numbers to the park have been boosted by Chinese tourists, who have made up to 10,000 visits to the park each day since restrictions on Chinese tourist visits to Taiwan were lifted last year.
Ministry cancels car perk
The Ministry of National Defense (MND) has stopped assigning chauffeured vehicles to retired generals on a regular basis, military spokesman Yu Sy-tue (虞思祖) said yesterday, in response to complaints from the Control Yuan. Since June 30, the ministry has recalled all vehicles and chauffeurs that were previously assigned to the generals, Yu said. The generals are no longer on active duty but serve as advisers to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and are reserve generals who can be called upon to serve in emergencies, including in times of war. According to the Control Yuan’s investigation, two defense ministry vehicles were assigned on a long-term basis to serve five such generals. Their family members also used the cars, the investigation had found. This violated a rule forbidding cars being used for transporting individuals other than officials holding top administrative positions, the Control Yuan said. Yu said yesterday the MND has already corrected the mistake, adding that from July 1, the vehicles have been reassigned.
Trapped husky rescued
A husky trapped on the roof of a building for several days has been rescued and is awaiting adoption, a spokesman for Animal Rescue Team Taiwan said yesterday in Kaohsiung, urging dog owners not to abandon their animals. The dog was seen on Saturday on top of a corrugated steel structure near the Guanyinshan Scenic Area in Kaohsiung County by a passerby who called for help online, alerting the team that eventually rescued the three-year-old dog four days later. Ni Chao-cheng (倪兆成), who led the rescue team, said the 18kg dog was suffering from dehydration and low blood sugar but recovered well after being given a nutrient solution by a vet. Anyone interested in adopting the husky should contact the rescue team.