Wed, Oct 13, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

staff writer,with agencies


Temblor rocks northeast

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck off northeast Taiwan yesterday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, but there were no immediate reports of damage. The quake hit at 7:16am 307km off Suao (蘇澳) in northeast Taiwan, at a depth of 108km, the USGS said. It was followed by a magnitude 5.0 quake about seven hours later 50km off nearby Keelung City, the Central Weather Bureau said. Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes.


Playboy to open store

Playboy Enterprises said yesterday it would open its first shop in the country next month following the launch of a local television channel. The Playboy store in Taipei will be a free-standing three-story building occupying 230m2 and will be operated under license by Zino HK Ltd, the company said without providing financial details. It was unclear what products the store would sell, but other similar outlets mainly offer Playboy brand-themed fashion items. The local Playboy TV channel was launched last month through telecoms operator Chunghwa Telecom’s digital platform MOD IPTV. Local media said the company had launched a contest to recruit sales girls for the store, offering a monthly salary of NT$100,000 and free training courses in modeling.


County to promote English

Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) pledged yesterday to help bed and breakfast (B&B) owners and taxi drivers learn to speak English to attract more foreign tourists to the county. Chou said few foreigners visit the county because of the lack of an English-friendly environment. “We should put more effort into building English-friendly tourism, reinforcing an English service certification project and giving B&B owners and taxi drivers the opportunity to learn the language.” The county’s Tourism and Travel Bureau said that aside from encouraging tourism-related staff and businesses to get English service certificates, it was planning to make bilingual signs and publish information brochures and Web sites.


Ma slips up again

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday made another slip-up when he referred to Solomon Islands Prime Minister Danny Philip as a “general manager.” In his welcome speech, Ma said in Mandarin that he wanted to extend his sincere welcome to “General Manager Philip.” Realizing his mistake, the president quickly corrected himself. It was not the first time that Ma had committed a gaffe since assuming the presidency in May 2008. In April last year, Ma referred to Sao Tome and Principe Foreign Minister Carlos Alberto Pires Tiny and his wife as coming from Burkina Faso, another Taiwanese ally. In October last year, Ma called the Caribbean a “worthless bean” by mistake, when he mispronounced the first two characters in Mandarin as bale, or guava (芭樂). Bale, or bala in Hoklo or Taiwanese, means something worthless or unimportant. In January this year, Ma said he would visit Costa Rica during his planned trip to Central American allies the following week. Taiwan severed diplomatic ties with Costa Rica in June 2007 after the Central American nation switched recognition to China.


Lien picked as APEC envoy

Former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) will attend this year’s economic leaders’ meeting of the APEC forum as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) special envoy, Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) announced yesterday. Ma appointed Lien to serve as his APEC envoy for the third consecutive year since Ma’s inauguration in May 2008. This year’s APEC economic leaders’ meeting will be held in Yokohama, Japan, on Nov. 13 and Nov. 14, with the theme of “change and action.” Because of Beijing’s opposition, Taiwan’s presidents have been barred from APEC unofficial leadership summit meetings since the country became a member of the regional grouping in 1991 under the moniker “Chinese Taipei.”

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