Kentucky leader in Taiwan
The governor of Kentucky arrived yesterday to mark the 30th anniversary of a bilateral partnership and to congratulate President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on his re-election, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear was to attend a reception hosted by Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) in celebration of the longstanding partnership between Kentucky and Taiwan, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday. The Taiwan Provincial Government, which exists in name only after its functions were streamlined in 1998, established a sister-state relationship with Kentucky in 1982. Beshear is also expected to issue a proclamation congratulating Ma, the ministry said.
Artwork on display in Israel
The works of 16 modern Taiwanese artists will be on display in Israel from Friday through Aug. 11 in a collaboration between two major art museums in the two countries. Entitled “Boundaries on the Move: A Cross-Cultural Dialogue,” the exhibition, organized by the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM), features Taiwanese artists active since the 1980s and three contemporary artists from Israel in dialogue with one another, TFAM said in a statement. They will examine those boundaries that are “on the move” in everyday life in the context of social, political and economic issues facing Taiwan and Israel, and address complex issues of individual identity, territorial borders, society, economics and immigration in an era of advanced technology and globalization. The exhibited artworks include photography, video, oil paintings, print and sculptures, the statement said.
‘Mercy releases’ kill animals
Tens of millions of animals, mostly fish and birds, are dying every year because of so-called “mercy releases” by Buddhists trying to improve their karma, welfare activists said. The government is planning to ban the practice, saying it damages the environment and that a large proportion of the 200 million or so creatures released each year die or are injured due to a lack of food and habitat. About 750 such ceremonies are carried out in Taiwan each year, the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan said. Some groups have agreed to halt the practice, but others have not, Council of Agriculture official Lin Kuo-chang (林國彰) said on Sunday. Proposed amendments to wildlife protection laws would see offenders face up to two years in jail or fined up to NT$2.5 million (US$85,000) for unauthorized releases, he said.
Increased protection urged
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Tourism Bureau at the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee meeting to help protect Taiwanese tourists from being mistakenly identified as Chinese amid growing tensions between China and the Philippines over territorial claims in the South China Sea. The proposal was passed by the committee. Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) said the ministry would keep in close contact with the bureau on the matter. “Taiwan’s representative office in Manila has reminded Taiwanese expatriates and businesspeople to stay alert and take precautions,” he said. The office also suggested that Taiwanese living in the Philippines stay away from last week’s protest site in Manila, Yang said.