Wed, Oct 07, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■NATURE

‘National Day Birds’ on way

Gray-faced buzzard eagles, also known as the “National Day Bird,” will soon pass through Kending (墾丁), the Construction and Planning Agency said in a statement yesterday. To welcome the rare migratory birds, listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Kending National Park will hold an eagle-watching event that will include various bird-watching and environmental education activities. Appendix II includes species for which trade must be controlled to “avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.” The gray-faced buzzard may be the most famous of 200 bird species that transit through Kending National Park every year as they migrate, and because its migration period usually comes around the Oct. 10 national day celebrations, it is nicknamed the “National Day Bird.” The birds usually rest in Kending for about 20 days from early to mid-October and can be seen flying in groups above the ocean. They breed in eastern China, eastern Russia and Japan and winter mainly in Indochina, Malaysia and the Philippines. Their preferred habitat is low mountains, hills and foothills

■DIPLOMACY

AIT envoy assumes duties

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday announced that Eric Madison assumed his duties as deputy director of the Taipei Office on Friday. “A career foreign service officer, Madison served most recently as economic counselor at the American Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the past year,” said a statement released by the AIT. “Prior to that, he served as deputy counselor in the economic section at the American Embassy in Beijing.” Madison had previously served at the AIT as the deputy chief of the Economic Section from 1992-1995, the AIT added. In related news, the AIT yesterday announced that all its offices will be closed on Monday to mark Columbus Day in the US. The offices will re-open on Tuesday.

■TRAVEL

MOFA passes on advice

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday reminded all Taiwanese travelers to European countries, especially the Czech Republic, to carry proof of medical insurance at all times in case of random police checks. Chiu Jong-jen (邱仲仁), the director-general of the Department of European Affairs, said the Czech Republic representative office called the ministry last week to ask the government to pass on the advice to all those traveling to the country. Chiu said the message was not targeted at Taiwan specifically but generally to travelers worldwide. He also said random police checks are uncommon but it is always a good idea to carry all relevant documents while traveling abroad.

■DIPLOMACY

Sapporo office to open soon

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said its Sapporo branch office is scheduled to open on Oct. 24, with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony. At a press conference in Tokyo, Representative to Japan John Feng (馮寄台) said the opening of the office holds special significance for Taiwan-Japan ties and the office will be able to serve more than 300,000 Taiwanese tourists that visit Hokkaido each year. Sapporo will be the third branch office under the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Relation Office in Tokyo in addition to Naha and Yokohama. Taiwan also has a representative office in Osaka.

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