AIT director appointed
Former US foreign policy advisor to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Joseph Donovan Jr has been appointed managing director of the Washington office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). Donovan has served as the US principal deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs and as US consul general in Hong Kong/Macau. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of minister counselor, Donovan’s Taiwan experience includes three assignments with the AIT as acting deputy director, political chief, Kaohsiung branch chief and language student. Donovan has a masters degree in national security affairs from the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University. Donovan’s foreign service assignments include deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Tokyo and director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs at the US State Department. He replaces Barbara J Schrage at the AIT Washington office.
E-shopping boosting sales
The nation’s e-commerce platform providers have prepared more items for the Lunar New Year holiday shopping period, aiming to boost sales ahead of the festival. Shopping platform operator PChome Store Inc said it has prepared 5,400 different types of snacks and drinks, up 40 percent from last year, from 22 countries. PChome said online shopping has become one of the major channels for Lunar New Year shopping as it saves time and the inconvenience of carrying goods and waiting in line.Sales of Lunar New Year products, especially food and drink, over the past two weeks have grown by 30 percent from the previous two weeks, it said. Online shopping platforms Yahoo Kimo, Momoshop, GoHappy, United Daily News Group’s und.shopping.com and many other sites have also set up designated areas for Lunar New Year shopping.
CDC warns on Bali rabies
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday urged the public to be on guard against rabies when traveling to Bali, Indonesia, and said two people have died there after contracting the disease. CDC Deputy Director Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said that a large part of the island’s dog population is afflicted with rabies, and around 100 people report dog bites daily. Chou urged the public to be cautious of cat and dog bites while traveling to the island. According to the CDC, rabies has caused two deaths in Bali since the middle of last year.
Ministry swaps postings
Commanding Army General Lee Hsiang-chou (李翔宙) is to take over as deputy minister of defense for armaments while the current deputy minister is to become the new chief of the army, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced on Friday. Both appointments are to take effect on Thursday. Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發), a former deputy army commander, assumed his current post as deputy defense minister just five months ago, whereas Lee became army chief in August 2011. MND spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) said the changes were made based on the military’s needs and the terms of duty, adding that the job swap was in accordance with relevant regulations. The ministry has another deputy minister responsible for policy. That post is currently held by Andrew Hsia (夏立言), a career diplomat.