Two nods for ‘Life of Pi’
The full list of this year’s nominees for the MTV Movie Awards were announced on Tuesday, with Taiwan-born director Ang Lee’s (李安) Life of Pi (少年PI 的奇幻漂流) nominated in two categories. Life of Pi lead actor Suraj Sharma was nominated for “Breakthrough Performance” and “Best Scared-as-Shit Performance.” The MTV Movie Awards ceremony will be held on April 14 in Los Angeles. According to the list, Django Unchained and Ted lead the pack with seven nominations each, followed by The Silver Linings Playbook, which landed six nominations.
Minister admonishes fans
Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) yesterday urged baseball fans to refrain from using demeaning remarks against the South Korean national team when cheering for the Taiwanese national team in the World Baseball Classic (WBC). Chiang made the comment in response to Taiwanese baseball fans using derogatory terms, such as “Korean dogs,” during the battle between the two archrivals on Tuesday night. “I believe that all the fans made such remarks out of love for their country and for our national team. I fully respect them, but I think there should be a boundary,” Chiang said. “Competition between two countries should always remain positive,” he added. By finishing at the top of Pool B in this year’s tournament, Taiwan secured a berth in the second round of the tournament for the first time since the event was launched in 2006.
US delegation on its way
Deputy US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis is to lead an interagency delegation to Taiwan on Monday and Tuesday for meetings of the US-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council, the American Institute in Taiwan said in a press release yesterday. Marantis’ delegation will be joined by officials from the Office of the US Trade Representative and the US departments of state, commerce and agriculture, as well as officials from the institute. Bilateral negotiations under the framework agreement had been suspended by the US since 2007 in response to Taiwan prohibiting the import of US beef, first because of concerns over mad cow disease and then because of the US’ use of the feed additive ractopamine. Taiwan’s delegation is to be led by Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Bill Cho (卓士昭).
Fraud ring unmasked
The Criminal Investigation Bureau announced on Tuesday that it has cracked down on a telecommunications fraud ring and arrested 16 suspects. The ring was led by a Taiwanese man identified by police only by his surname, Sung (宋), who was arrested in China last month and is to be repatriated to Taiwan, the bureau said. According to a police report, Sung’s fraud ring specialized in hiring Chinese women to make telephone calls from China to random people in Taiwan. If the calls were answered by men, the women would try to lure them into a romantic liaison before trying to dupe them out of money. The fraudsters would ask their targets to help them out of financial woes, the report said, adding that the victims would be asked to show up for a date at which they would meet the ring’s Taiwanese female accomplices, who would then ask them for money. The bureau estimated that the ring has pilfered about NT$100 million (US$3.37 million) from more than 100 victims.