Thu, Sep 24, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■ SCIENCE

Taiwan vies for center

The Academia Sinica is lobbying the International Council for Science (ICSU) to set up its new office for integrated research on disaster risk in Taiwan. The ICSU is a non-governmental organization representing a global membership that includes both national scientific bodies and international scientific unions. “Taiwan is on the shortlist of three possible locations for the ICSU’s new disaster risk research office,” said Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), a former Academia Sinica president who is scheduled to take over the ICSU presidency in 2011. “Taiwan stands a good chance,” he said. “As Taiwan often falls victim to earthquakes and other natural disasters, it would be a boon for us if the ICSU selects Taiwan as the base of its new strategic research project.” The ICSU’s integrated research on disaster risk is aimed at addressing the challenge of natural and human-induced environmental hazards and disasters, Lee said. Taiwan will be able to learn a lot about disaster prevention and response under the guidance of international academics and experts if the ICSU sets up the office here, he said.

■ POLITICS

Ma sorry over complaint

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday apologized for upsetting victims of Typhoon Morakot by telling his sister that they did not appreciate the effort he put into the relief work. At a book launch on Monday, Ma’s elder sister Ma Yi-nan (馬以南) said her brother had made the remark to her. Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said Ma was referring to an isolated case last month. Wang said a priest in Wutai Township (霧台), Pingtung County, sent out an e-mail from his stranded township asking for help. The e-mail passed through many hands before reaching Ma, Wang said, adding that the president telephoned the priest as soon as he received it. Ma visited Pingtung the following day, Wang said, and was surprised to find the priest had complained to an evening paper that he had come too late. Ma mentioned this in an e-mail to his sister, Wang said. Ma was complaining that the priest had misunderstood the situation and his comment was not targeted at all typhoon victims, Wang said.

■ ENTERTAINMENT

Patriotic PRC film must wait

The Chinese film Great Cause of China’s Foundation (建國大業) will not be shown in Taiwan this year as the maximum of 10 Chinese releases per year was reached in July, Frank Chen (陳志寬), director of the Government Information Office’s Department of Motion Pictures, said yesterday. Chen said the Taiwan branch of United International Pictures, which acquired the distribution rights of the film, inquired about importing the film in July and was told it could only apply for next year. The film is about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) defeat of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the Chinese civil war and the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

■ TOURISM

Guide training finished

Twenty-two students graduated yesterday from a “religious and cultural tour guide” training camp organized by Tainan County, with some graduates saying they had planned temple tour packages. The vocational training, offered by the Tainan Training Center, was the first of its kind, said Tsai Su-fen (蔡素芬), director of the center. “Training religious and cultural tour guides is a brand new approach,” Tsai said, adding that religious culture is an important tourist attraction, especially for Chinese visitors.

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