Kidnap victims rescued
Philippine authorities have rescued four abducted Taiwanese and arrested eight Taiwanese accused of kidnapping them, the justice department said yesterday. The four, including a woman, were locked up in a central Manila motel room, with two chained to a bed post while the suspects waited for ransom payments from the victims’ relatives in Taiwan, the National Bureau of Investigation said. The bureau’s agents raided the motel room on Tuesday and rescued the hostages, arresting eight Taiwanese suspects and a Filipina suspect. The bureau said it was tipped off that a Taiwanese businessman, his wife and two business partners had been abducted by other Taiwanese.
Vegetable prices surge
Wholesale vegetable prices in Taipei surged last month by an average of nearly 70 percent compared with the same time last year, after Taiwan was struck three times by typhoons, government data shows. The average price of vegetables in Taipei’s wholesale markets was NT$38.8 per kilogram last month, up 72.44 percent from NT$22.5 per kilogram last year, statistics from the Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) showed. The price of fast-growing leafy vegetables rose 88.48 percent in August from a year earlier to an average of NT$31.1 per kilogram in the wake of the typhoons. AFA Director-General Lee Tsang-lang (李蒼郎) said the supply of most leafy vegetables is expected to increase by Monday, adding that green onion supplies would rise within two weeks. Wholesale vegetable prices are expected to return to an average of NT$30 per kilogram or lower within a week, when harvesting of some fast-growing leafy vegetables begins, Lee said.
Lien Chan heads to Russia
Former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) departed yesterday for Vladivostok, Russia, to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which is to take place this weekend. The former vice president and former chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport that Taiwan has participated in the meeting for many years and has contributed greatly as an APEC member. Lien said he would meet with leaders from around the world before the meeting to exchange ideas on the global economic situation and economic development in the Asia-Pacific region. Lien has previously said he is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) today to discuss issues regarding trade in goods and services.
Legislators to lobby for jets
Members of the Taiwan-US Inter-Parliamentary Amity Association departed yesterday for the US, where they will lobby for the sale of advanced fighter jets to Taiwan. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方), who is also the head of the Legislative Yuan association, said his delegation would visit several US government agencies, including the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. The delegation will invite US Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to visit Taiwan, he said, adding that if Shinseki accepts the invitation, he will be the first incumbent US official from such a level to visit Taiwan in 10 years. Lin and his delegation will also meet US congressmen and government officials and thank them for supporting Taiwan’s efforts to join the US visa-waiver program. The lawmakers will reiterate Taiwan’s wish to purchase US-made F-16C/Ds, Lin said.