Taiwan on exemption list
Taiwan is one of seven countries that will be exempt from economic sanctions for importing Iranian oil, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced on Monday. In a statement released by the US Department of State, Clinton said India, Malaysia, South Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan would be exempted because of their significant reduction of oil imports from Iran. The seven join 11 other countries, including Japan and some EU nations, that were put on the exemption list in March. US President Barack Obama signed a bill at the end of last year to expand US sanctions against Iran, covering its central bank and financial sectors, a move that allows penalties on foreign banks that settle oil imports with the Iranian central bank. However, the law exempts firms from countries that significantly reduce their crude imports from Iran. Oil imports from Iran are estimated to account for only 4 percent of Taiwan’s total oil imports. Officials have not revealed the amount of Taiwan’s reduction.
Ministers go to APEC talks
Three ministers will attend a series of APEC ministerial level meetings in Russia this month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The ministers will share their views on energy security, women’s business opportunities and health financing with their counterparts in St Petersburg, Lily Hsu (徐儷文), head of the Department of International Organizations, said at a routine press conference.
Abusive dog catchers fired
A contractor hired by state-run Taiwan Port Co to catch stray dogs at Kaohsiung Port has been fired because of animal abuse, a port official said on Monday. It was reported that the contractor’s employees had mistreated a dog while catching strays at the port earlier this month. The dog died two days later. In response to a public outcry over the incident, the port said it had rescinded the contract on Wednesday last week after an investigation into the animal’s death. The Greater Kaohsiung City Government’s Animal Protection Office would take over the task of catching strays at the harbor, said Chang Chan-jung (張展榮), head of the labor safety division at Kaohsiung Port. The contractor could face a fine of between NT$15,000 and NT$75,000 under the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法), Animal Protection Office deputy director Chu Chia-te (朱家德) said.
US group awards academic
A prestigious US organization granted an award to a Taiwanese researcher from Academia Sinica, the country’s highest academic institution, for contributions he made to transdisciplinary education and research. Ovid Tzeng (曾志朗), a former minister of education, was named the recipient of this year’s Academy Gold Medal of Honor, which was awarded by the non-profit organization Academy of Transdisciplinary Learning and Advanced Studies (TheATLAS). The annual award “recognizes unusual accomplishment in transdisciplinary education and research, public service and other allied pursuits beneficial to design and process science,” TheATLAS Web site says. Tzeng accepted the award at TheATLAS 2012 Biennial Meeting at Asia University in Greater Taichung, which started on Tuesday last week. TheATLAS was founded in 2000 to promote transdisciplinary education and research.