India seeks Chinese teachers
India plans to recruit up to 10,000 teachers from Taiwan to meet growing demand for Chinese language classes, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. Indian Minister of Human Resources Kapil Sibal made the proposal during a meeting with Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) in India last week, an education official said. Sibal said there was a strong demand for Chinese teachers, as about 10,000 Indian high schools currently offer Chinese classes, or plan to do so, the official added. Taipei will set up a taskforce to train India-bound teachers and hold more talks with New Delhi on the teaching program before the end of this year, she said. India’s Education Ministry could not be immediately reached for comment. Taiwan has previously supplied Chinese language teachers to France, the US and Vietnam, the education ministry said.
Food security meeting held
A conference aimed at developing solutions to the nation’s “food deficit” and new approaches to food security opened yesterday in Taipei. The two-day “National Food Security Conference” brought together nearly 100 experts and professionals from the private and public sectors and academia, to discuss how to respond to what has become a global challenge. Borrowing a phrase coined by Josette Sheeran from the World Food Programme, Deputy Premier Sean Chen (陳?) opened the conference by comparing the food crisis to a “silent tsunami.” Chen said the government was taking the issue very seriously, promising to study opinions and proposals offered at the conference. Organized by the Council of Agriculture, the conference will focus on five main issues, including increasing domestic production, boosting international investment and cooperation, risk management and providing a safe and stable supply of water for irrigation.
Temperatures reach 35.5oC
The Central Weather Bureau yesterday reported that the temperature in Taipei hit 35.5oC yesterday, the highest temperature recorded so far this year, and follows Monday’s high of 35.1oC. Meanwhile, the circumfluence of Tropical Storm Aere mainly affected Hualien, Taitung and the Hengchun Peninsula, increasing the chances of rain in those areas, the bureau said. Conditions on the west coast were relatively stable because of descending air currents. The bureau also lifted its sea warning at 5:30pm as the storm moved away from Taiwan. Temperatures on the west coast were expected to drop as well, it said.
Sand theft sentence upheld
The High Court’s Greater Tainan branch office overturned a not-guilty verdict in a sand-stealing case against city councilor Wu Chien-pao (吳健保) yesterday, ruling that he must serve a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence. Wu and former city councilor Lee Chuan-fu (李全富) were charged with the illegal removal of sand from the Tsengwen River (曾文溪) after using questionable methods to win a contract to dredge the river in 2004. Wu and 25 others were indicted in August 2004 on charges of bribing officials, breaking government procurement laws and colluding to steal public assets. In August 2008, the Tainan District Court found Wu not guilty of the charges, but sentenced Lee to two years, a sentence that was later commuted to one year.