Tue, Apr 20, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ TRANSPORTATION

Wenhu track catches fire

The Wenhu Line on Taipei City’s MRT system experienced another problem yesterday when a track caught fire. Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) said the incident happened at Wende station at 1:38pm. Service was interrupted and shuttle buses were offered to commuters between Jiannan Road and Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center stations. Service resumed at 2:16pm when back-up systems switched on. Preliminary investigations showed a 50cm cable had burned. TRTC said it needed more time to determine what caused the fire and how many passengers were affected. The Wenhu Line, an extension of the Muzha Line, was inaugurated in July last year and has since suffered more than 100 malfunctions. The first major incident happened on July 10, when a power outage brought the line to a halt, stranding approximately 700 passengers on trains between stations and forcing them to walk to nearby stations along the tracks.

■ DIPLOMACY

St Kitts post upgraded

The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis has upgraded its representative to Taiwan from charge d’affaires to resident ambassador. Jasmine Huggins, St Kitts’ first ambassador to Taiwan, presented her letters of credit to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday in Taipei. Huggins said at a reception later that her new appointment as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary signals a deepening of the friendship between Basseterre and Taipei and is a significant milestone in her diplomatic career. “When I was asked to come to Taiwan to establish the [St Kitts] embassy … I could not have imagined that my acceptance of that grave responsibility would have taken me on this remarkable journey that would grant me such enormous professional and personal satisfaction,” she said.

■ JUSTICE

Groups to protest for Chen

Pro-independence groups announced yesterday they would hold a rally on May 8 — one day before Mother’s Day — against what they say is the unfair detention of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). The Taiwan High Court ruled last week to continue to detain Chen for another two months, despite attempts by family members to wire back NT$700 million (US$22.2 million) the family has frozen in Swiss bank accounts. The groups said the rally would be a personal appeal from Chen’s mother, Chen Lee Shen (陳李慎). “Chen Lee Shen was crying so hard after the ruling that she is going blind in one eye,” organizers said. The rally is scheduled to take place on both Ketagalan Boulevard and in front of the legislature’s side door on Jinan Road in Taipei City.

■ EDUCATION

KMT to reinstate scholarship

After a 10-year hiatus, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) could decide to reinstate the Sun Yat-sen scholarships, a party official said. President Ma and KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) could soon be invited to give oral tests to candidates, as both were recipients of the scholarship and have good command of the English language, said Lin Yung-juei (林永瑞), a KMT official in charge of administrative management. Ma, who doubles as KMT chairman, will meet KMT officials on Thursday for discussions on reinstating the scholarship, established in 1960 to send talented young people abroad for advanced studies in different disciplines. The plan is for 10 young men and women, under 40 years of age, to receive the scholarships worth NT$15 million this year, Lin said.

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