Pop divas to perform
Four pop divas are planning a charity concert in Taipei in April in support of abused women and girls. A-mei (Chang Hui-mei, 張惠妹), Na Ying (那英) from China, Tanya Chua (蔡健雅) from Singapore and Hong Kong’s Sandy Lam (林憶蓮) will perform at Taipei Arena on April 20, the organizers said on a Facebook fan page called “Project WAO (Women as One).” The April concert was inspired by Lilith Fair, a concert tour and music festival founded by Canadian musician Sarah McLachlan. All proceeds from the concert, which are expected to reach NT$10 million (US$330,900), will go to the New Taipei City (新北市)-based City People Foundation to support its program for female abuse victims aged between 10 and 18, the organizers said. Tickets will go on sale through 7-Eleven’s ibon kiosks nationwide at 10am on March 8, International Women’s Day.
French doctor given medal
Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) yesterday conferred a friendship medal of democracy to Jacques Marescaux, a renowned French doctor specializing in minimally invasive surgery, in recognition of his contribution to enhance cooperation between Taiwan and France. Marescaux is the head of Institut de Recherche contre les Cancers de l’Appareil Digestif (Research Institute Against Digestive Cancer) and the European Institute of Telesurgery. He helped establish the Asian Institute of TeleSurgery in 2008 under a cooperative program undertaken by Show Chwan Health Care System. Thanks to the program, Taiwan has become an important hub in the region in the field, Lin said. More than 4,000 surgeons from 59 countries have received training in Taiwan, Lin said, adding that 59 percent of them are from Taiwan.
Cell murder sparks review
Taichung Prison on Monday said it will study how to improve conditions in the facility after a mentally ill inmate was killed by his cellmate, who also suffers from a mental illness. Prison officials said an inmate surnamed Tseng, who was serving a 12-year sentence for killing his brother, was strangled by another man, surnamed Cheng (鄭), while asleep. Cheng, who was sentenced to 19 years for several burglaries, reportedly told officials that he decided to commit the murder in the hopes of receiving the death sentence. Taichung Prison says it has 139 inmates with mental illness. Cheng and Tseng were considered stable after being treated, which is why they were housed together, the prison said.
Experts to help cranes
Two Japanese experts are in Taipei to try to help a pair of endangered red-crowned cranes mate, the Taipei Zoo said. The pair — 11-year-old Big and eight-year-old Kika — were given by the Kushiro City Zoo in Hokkaido, Japan, as symbols of Japan’s gratitude for Taiwan’s generous aid following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The Taipei Zoo says the two cranes are adapting well to their new environment, but they have been kept apart. The annual breeding season for red-crowned cranes runs from March to May, so the Kushiro zoo and Kushiro Crane Natural Park have each sent an expert to help Taipei’s pair mate. The Taipei Zoo said that it has no plans to use artificial insemination with the cranes.