Temple to ring in new year
Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) Buddhist Temple will hold its annual bell-ringing event on Sunday, Lunar New Year’s Eve, a ritual that is supposed to help the country and its people bid farewell to unhappiness. The ringing of the bell at DDM’s monastery in Jinshan District (金山), New Taipei City (新北市), is scheduled to begin at 10pm on New Year’s Eve, temple authorities said. The monastery’s Fahua Bell will be rung 108 times to symbolize the passing of the 108 human sins in Buddhist belief. President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will deliver the final strike to coincide with the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, temple officials said. It will be the fourth time the president will attend the event since he took office in 2008. The officials said people could also watch the ritual via a live Web cast on the temple’s Web site.
Louvre pieces on loan
A rare collection of fresco wall paintings from the Louvre in Paris will be among 100 works from seven French museums that will go on display in Taipei from tomorrow to May 14, the National Palace Museum said yesterday. The exhibition, titled “Western Mythology and Legends: Selected Works from the Louvre Collection,” will feature ancient Greek pottery, frescoes from the ancient city of Pompeii, and paintings and sculptures from between the 16th and 19th century, museum officials said at a press conference. “It is the first time that the set of nine frescoes depicting Apollo and the Muses from Pompeii will be exhibited in Taiwan,” National Palace Museum director Chou Kung-shin (周功鑫) said. Also on display will be an 18th century painting of Mount Olympus by Francois Lemoyne and a red-figured cup by Greek potter Brygos, showing the capture of Troy.
Milk powder prices cut
Milk powder companies have decided to cut prices by between NT$10 and NT$20 per 1.5kg can, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. However, ministry officials said additional promotions that will be launched by some of the companies next month would increase the savings to as much as NT$136 per can. The companies made the decision after reaching an agreement with the government to lower their prices to reflect a decrease in tariffs, the officials said. On Nov. 25 last year, the Ministry of Finance implemented the tariff reductions on three categories of milk, a response to soaring milk powder prices.
KMT nominates vice speaker
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) was chosen as the party’s nominee for the post of deputy legislative speaker after she won a straw poll held by KMT lawmakers yesterday. The eight-term lawmaker will pair up with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on a KMT ticket that is expected to win the posts in a legislative vote on Feb. 1, when the Eighth Legislature takes its oath of office. “It was probably because I was the most senior lawmaker,” Hung said. The KMT secured 64 seats out of 113 in the new legislature, the Democratic Progressive Party won 40 seats, the People First Party and the Taiwan Solidarity Union each gained three seats, the Non-partisan Solidarity Union obtained two seats and an independent lawmaker gained a seat.
Foodstuffs trader indicted
A trader in Taipei was indicted yesterday for allegedly selling expired foodstuffs after altering the production dates on their labels, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said. The prosecutors said they were seeking a four-year jail term for Shen Feng-ying (沈鳳英), who runs two trading companies, on charges of fraud and other crimes involving the sale and doctoring of expired imported foodstuffs for seven years. According to the indictment, Shen had since 2005 sold relabeled food products to bakeries and restaurants, concealing that the materials, including chocolate, cocoa, nut products, fruit jams and glucose syrup, had passed their expiry dates. Shen had also since 2009 resold outdated materials that she had adulterated, according to the indictment.