Chen attacks KMT bill
Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday hit out at the legislature for approving a law to revoke his presidential perks as he appeals a 20-year jail term for graft. “This malicious law is aimed at persecuting former president Chen, and this amounts to political suppression by the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] ... to appease China,” Chen’s office said in a statement. Last week the legislature passed a bill stripping former heads of state of courtesy treatment, including a monthly allowance and annual expenses, if convicted by a court of grave offenses such as sedition and graft in the first trial. The number of bodyguards assigned to a former leader will also be reduced to two or three from the maximum 12, under the amendment. Chen will lose an annual stipend of about NT$9 million (US$281,000) when the law takes effect within 20 days of being passed. Chen was sentenced to life in prison last year by the Taipei District Court on multiple counts of corruption, but the High Court cut his term to 20 years in June. His courtesy treatment would be restored if he is cleared by the Supreme Court in a final verdict.
Formosa offer accepted
The Yunlin County Government said on Monday that residents had accepted Formosa Petrochemical Corp’s offer of NT$500 million in compensation for agricultural and fishery losses caused by recent fires at its petrochemical complex in Mailiao Township (麥寮). Officials from Mailiao and Taisi Township (台西) have agreed to the offer, said Yunlin County Deputy Commissioner Lin Yuan-chuan (林源泉), who presided over the coordination meeting. As for the development of a feedback mechanism requested by residents, it will be discussed at future meetings, he said. During a meeting with Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) on Monday last week, the company agreed to pay a maximum of NT$500 million in compensation for losses suffered after the July 7 and July 25 fires. Residents had initially rejected the offer, blocking major roads leading to the complex last week.
Dance troupe tours Europe
The Yi Tzy Folk Dance Theatre from Tainan has performed in six international arts festivals in France and Italy since July 12. The troupe consists of 17 dancers and eight musicians. Yu Hao-yen (游好彥), a well-known choreographer who accompanied the troupe on its tour, said Yi Tzy dances blend special Taiwanese temple festival elements with creative choreography. Troupe leader Kuo Ling-chuan (郭玲娟) said although the month-long performance tour was tiring, it offered invaluable opportunities for the company to learn from their foreign peers. Representative to France Michel Lu (呂慶龍) hosted a dinner in honor of the troupe on Monday, praising them for helping to elevate Taiwan’s international profile and promoting cultural exchanges.
Granny charged in murder
A woman has been charged with murder after allegedly stabbing her 11-month-old grandson to death, almost decapitating the boy, prosecutors said yesterday. The 60-year-old woman was arrested on Monday at the Taipei apartment she shared with her daughter and son-in-law, after police found the baby’s body with 17 stab wounds, a prosecutor at Taipei District Court said. The woman told police that she wanted “everyone to die” after she found some bruises on the baby and feared her son-in-law would be angry with her, prosecutors said.