Tue, Sep 29, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■DIPLOMACY

Visa free entry extended

Holders of Holy See diplomatic and official passports as well as regular Vatican passport holders will be granted visa-free entry to Taiwan for short stays, with immediate effect, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The move is part of efforts to cement bilateral relations and promote exchanges, the ministry said. It said holders of Holy See diplomatic and official passports can enter Taiwan without visas for visits of up to 90 days, while for regular Vatican passport holders the maximum stay without a visa will be 30 days. The Vatican is the only European state that maintains formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Officials said the level of engagement between Taiwan and the Vatican has risen in frequency and importance. Vatican heavyweights, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes and Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, have visited Taiwan this year, the officials said. The Pontifical Council convened the 2009 Spiritual Exercise for the Leaders of the Church’s Charitable Organization in Taipei earlier this month, bringing together 450 charity executives from 29 countries.

■CRIME

Police raid meth factory

Three men were arrested in Pingtung County in a recent raid by the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau on a factory manufacturing methamphetamine, the bureau said in a statement yesterday. The bureau’s Southern Mobile Unit seized 386kg of liquefied methamphetamine and equipment used to produce the drug during the raid, the statement said. Officers said the factory was in a building in an area between the townships of Linyuan (林園) and Jiadong (佳冬) badly hit by flooding after Typhoon Morakot. The men took advantage of the fact that the police were busy with rescue and recovery missions to expand production, officers said. The factory is one of the largest meth labs discovered in the south in recent years.

■HEALTH

Students hospitalized

Nearly 100 elementary school students in Taichung City and County remained hospitalized yesterday after falling ill on Friday with symptoms suggesting food poisoning, said Taichung City Public Health Bureau officials. Soon after eating lunch boxes provided by an outside contractor, students at Tanyang and Rueisuei elementary schools in Taichung County and Ssu Chang Li Elementary School in Taichung City were taken to hospital with fevers, bellyaches and diarrhea, officials said.

■POLITICS

Appointments proposed

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) proposed the appointment of deputies of several ministries to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for approval last night. Liang Chi-yuan (梁啟源), previously a research fellow at the Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica and recently appointed as member of the National Security Council, will become minister without portfolio of the Executive Yuan. Chu Chin-peng (朱景鵬), president of College of Humanities and Social Science of National Dong Hwa University, will become minister of the Research, Development, and Evaluation Commission; Lin Sheng-chung (林聖忠), incumbent administrative vice minister of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, will be promoted to political vice minister of the ministry. Two of the three political vice chairmen, Liu Te-hsun (劉德勳) and Mainland Affairs Council Chao Chien-min (趙建民), will stay in the same position, while Fu Dong-cheng (傅棟成) will leave.

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