French honor Taiwan pilot
A French Air Force official yesterday honored a Taiwanese pilot who died in a fatal fighter jet crash in eastern France on Oct. 3. Denis Mercier, chief of staff of the French Air Force, presented a flying medal to the family of Lieutenant Colonel Wang Tung-yi (王同義) at Wang’s funeral, held at Luxeuil Air Base, according to Taiwan’s representative office in France. Wang, 37, died during a training drill soon after taking off from the base. His Mirage 2000-5 lost contact shortly after take-off and crashed into a wooded area some 500m from a group of houses. The cause of the crash is still being investigated. Wang’s family visited the crash site and met with Wang’s co-workers at the airfield earlier yesterday. Taiwan’s Representative to France Michel Lu (呂慶龍) was also scheduled to attend the funeral, officials said.
EU representative named
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said yesterday that Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tung Kuo-yu (董國猷) has been designated the nation’s representative to the EU. Hsiao said that she was informed by some members of the European parliament and asked Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Ko (柯森耀) to verify the information at the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee meeting yesterday. It had been rumored for some time that Tung was to take up the position, left vacant after David Lin (林永樂) was appointed Foreign Minister on Sept. 19. Ko said that he was not aware of Tung’s appointment and added that Lin’s successor had yet to be appointed.
Prize winner donates fortune
A winner of the government-sponsored Public Welfare Lottery yesterday donated NT$10 million (US$341,500) to the Taipei City Government, which said the donation is to be used to help more than 18,000 people. The donor, whose name was not disclosed, won NT$654 million in the July 24 draw with a ticket purchased at a lottery stand affiliated with a tea shop in Taipei, according to Taiwan Lottery Co. With the NT$10 million donation, the city will be able to purchase three rehabilitation buses, as well as aid equipment for physically and mentally challenged residents and fund educational assistance programs for children from disadvantaged families, Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said at a press conference. The lottery winner also donated NT$10 million to New Taipei City (新北市) and NT$30 million to a social welfare foundation.
Cabinet mulls Hu’s vacancy
Premier Sean Chen has accepted the resignation of Cabinet spokesman Hu Yu-wei (胡幼偉), but no decision has been made yet on his replacement, an acting spokesman has said. The Cabinet is still considering who should fill the post, Cabinet Deputy Secretary-General Huang Min-kung (黃敏恭), who is temporarily serving as spokesman, said on Sunday. Hu, 51, formally tendered his resignation on Sunday, after he disclosed the previous day that he was in a relationship with a graduate student and said he would resign. The former professor and student adviser said on his Facebook page that he decided to speak out about the relationship and resign because he had received many anonymous calls, threatening to publicize the matter. However, Hu made it clear that he would not give any media interviews on his personal life and asked that people respect his privacy.