Book fair to focus on Bhutan
When the Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) opens on Feb. 9 at the Taipei World Trade Center, the spotlight will be on Bhutanese culture and literature, the organizers said. The Taipei Book Fair Foundation (TBFF) said it has invited three renowned Bhutanese writers — Karma Ura, Kunzang Choden and Yonden Dargye — to attend the show, one of the world’s largest annual book fairs. The fair will also feature more than 300 Bhutanese publications, and for the first time, three of the Himalayan country’s national treasures, TBFF Executive Director Paulina Lin said at a press conference. One of the treasures is the Eight Thousand Verses of Transcendental Wisdom, a major Buddhist classic that dates back to the 12th century, Lin said.
Wu leaves Burkina Faso
Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) left Burkina Faso to return to Taiwan on Wednesday after wrapping up a visit to the West African ally to attend the inauguration ceremony of its president. Prior to his departure, Wu paid a visit to Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, who was sworn in to a new term on Monday. Compaore reiterated during the meeting his country’s friendship with Taiwan and voiced his appreciation for development assistance provided by Taiwan. Wu said he hoped the two countries would continue cooperation in areas such as agriculture, medical care, public health, vocational training, human resource development and photovoltaic power generation. During his stay, Wu also hosted the completion ceremony for a Taiwan-funded vocational training center and visited a new hospital constructed with a loan from a Taiwanese bank.
New cancer drug tested
Taiwan will join six other nations that are participating in the third-stage clinical trial of a new drug to treat late-stage oral cancer, according to Hao Sheng-po (侯勝博), president of the Asian Society of Head and Neck Oncology. Hao said the new drug is meant to work by stimulating the immune systems of patients, before resorting to treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It is hoped that the patients’ own immune systems will suppress the growth of the cancer cells, he said. Orient Europharma Co, the agent for the US-produced drug, said that in the second-stage clinical trials, the cancer cells in 12 percent of the patients disappeared completely. On average, the cancer cells in all the patients in the test group shrunk by 50 percent, the agent said.
Taiwan works with NGOs
Taiwan will work with international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to share its experience in deterring human trafficking operations, vice chairman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ NGO Affairs Committee Wu Rong-chuan (吳榮泉) said yesterday. “There are two programs. One is to build a shelter for victimized teenage girls in Cambodia in association with an American religious NGO, and the other is to provide anti--human trafficking training for Middle East countries,” Wu said. The US State Department moved Taiwan from a list of tier 2 to tier 1 countries in its Trafficking in Persons Report published in June, meaning the Taiwanese government has fully complied with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking as defined by the US Trafficking Victims’ Protection Act.
Embarkation card scrapped