Fri, Jul 02, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick take

STAFF WRITER WITH CNA

■DIPLOMACY

Zedkaia receives degree

Marshall Islands President Jurelang Zedkaia received an honorary doctorate from National Taiwan Normal University yesterday in recognition of his efforts to promote bilateral relations and for helping Taiwan participate in international organizations. Zedkaia received his honorary doctorate in political science from university president Chang Kuo-en (張國恩) in a ceremony witnessed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) and other officials. Zedkaia said the honor was a big event for him as well as his country, and one he would not forget. Afterwards, he visited the university’s Mandarin Training Center, where he took part in a 20-minute-long language class, where he learned several Mandarin phrases. This is Zedkaia’s first state visit to Taiwan. He arrived on Wednesday on a six-day trip.

■ENTERTAINMENT

Karaoke tape makers fined

The Fair Trade Commission on Wednesday fined two karaoke tape makers a total of NT$1.7 million (US$53,000) for restricting market competition. In a meeting with distributors and retailers in September 2008, the two companies allegedly said that their distributors were not permitted to sell or act as an agency for other tape makers, or they would terminate their contracts. The commission said the two firms controlled 80 percent of the market, and their actions had interfered with free market competition because other tape makers were not able to obtain distributors for their products.

■ENVIRONMENT

Drug recycling stations open

Recycling stations opened at 1,500 drug stores nationwide yesterday for the collection of expired or unused medications. “The recycling stations are being set up to encourage people to join the campaign against environmental pollution by properly disposing of drugs and other medical products,” said Lien Jui-meng (連瑞猛), president of the Union of Pharmacist Associations. A survey by a research team headed by National Taiwan University associate professor Chen Chia-yang (陳家揚), said traces of fever reducers, pain relievers, antibiotics and lipid-lowering drugs have been found in major rivers in the north and center of the country. Although these medications were safe for human consumption, they could cause ecological changes if dumped in rivers, because long-term exposure to contaminated river water could affect the growth of aquatic plants and fish, Chen said.

■TOURISM

Singaporeans prefer Taipei

Taipei is the most popular Asian city among Singaporean backpackers, a survey published in the Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao in Singapore on Wednesday showed. Some 31 percent of young travelers polled said Taipei topped the list of cities they would like to visit, followed by Bangkok, Shanghai and Sydney. The survey examined the preferences of the city-state’s young people in a number of categories, including most popular brands, video games and places to go. The Lianhe Zaobao said the cultural diversity and the wide range of leisure activities in Taipei were the main factors attracting young tourists. Philip Chao (趙光訓), director of Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau Office in Singapore, said Taipei offers tourists fine cuisine, high mountains and spectacular sea views.Taipei, like Singapore, is a safe city with activity going on 24 hours a day, Chao said.

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