Scorsese to film in Taiwan
Oscar-winning US director Martin Scorsese has announced a plan to shoot his new film in Taiwan in June next year on the recommendation of fellow director Ang Lee (李安). Scorsese, who made the announcement at a Cannes Film Festival reception on Wednesday night, said his crew had been to Taiwan to scout for locations. The film Silence is adapted from Japanese writer Shusaku Endo’s historical novel of the same name. The film, set in the 17th century, tells the story of two Portuguese Jesuit missionaries sent to Japan to investigate reports of apostasy. Scorsese said Lee recommended he shoot his new film in Taiwan at a screening in 2011 of the 3D adventure film Hugo, which was directed by Scorsese. He said he made the decision after Lee won this year’s directorial Oscar for Life of Pi, more than 70 percent of which was shot in Taiwan.
Work on bridge to restart
Construction of a bridge to link Kinmen County and an island to its west will restart on Tuesday, officials said yesterday. The Kinmen Bridge, linking the county’s main island and Little Kinmen (小金門), or Lieyu (烈嶼), is scheduled to be completed in August 2017. About 4.8km of the 5.4km-long bridge will be suspended over water and it will link the highway systems on both islands. Work on the bridge started in May last year, but came to a halt in November after the contractor was found to be in breach of the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法). The new contractor won the bid to finish the bridge last month. The bridge is expected to cost more than NT$6.6 billion (US$220.6 million).
Minister heads to Geneva
Department of Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達) on Friday left to attend the 66th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, during which he is expected to meet with his Chinese counterpart. Chiu said arrangements were being made for him to meet with Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission Chairperson Li Bin (李斌), adding that he expects to discuss the H7N9 avian flu outbreak with Li. They will also cover issues related to a medical pact signed between Taiwan and China in 2010, such as food safety and the inspection of traditional medicinal herb exports form China, Chiu said. He will lead a delegation of 20 people to the WHA, which begins tomorrow and runs until May 28, and will hold bilateral talks with the health ministers of 26 countries, including the US.
Fewer on unpaid leave
The number of workers on furlough in Taiwan has dropped by 25 percent to 1,177 in the past two weeks, according to the latest statistics released by the Council of Labor Affairs. As of Wednesday, workers from 26 companies had agreed to take unpaid leave, with 843 of which are already on furlough, the figures show. Most of the furloughed workers take between one and four days of unpaid leave each month, the council said. The number represents a decrease from April 30, when 1,581 workers from 33 companies had agreed to furlough arrangements with their employers, with 1,252 of them actually on furlough at that time. The latest figure is the lowest since Sept. 15 last year. The council said it would continue monitoring the issue in cooperation with local labor affairs authorities.