Palace pieces on show
A collection of 16 items from the National Palace Museum in Taipei will be exhibited in Japan, marking the second time that the museum's art treasures will be seen in that country. The first was at Expo '70 in Osaka. The items will be displayed at the Shanghai Modern exhibition showcasing Chinese artworks from the 19th and 20th centuries, including nearly 200 collections of brush calligraphy, paintings and engravings. The exhibition was organized by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper and will be held at the Osaka Municipal Museum of Art from Sept. 4 to Oct. 14, and at the Shoto Museum of Art in Tokyo from Dec. 11 to Jan. 27, a museum spokesman said.
Expat voting guide out soon
The Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission will publish a question-and-answer booklet by the end of the month to help overseas Taiwanese understand their voting rights in next year's presidential and legislative elections, commission Vice Chairman Cheng Tong-hsing (鄭東興) said on Tuesday. Cheng said that many Taiwanese expatriates have recently made inquiries to the commission and its foreign offices concerning their voting rights. The booklet will feature 22 questions and answers on the election dates and voter eligibility, among other information, Cheng noted. The information will also be published on the commission's Web site and copies of the booklet will be made available at the commission's foreign offices and cultural centers, Cheng said. Cheng said more than 10,000 expatriates returned home to vote in the 2004 presidential election.
Chinese request rejected
Taiwan has blocked a Chinese request to use its airspace for an oceanographic survey because Beijing applied through the wrong channel, a government representative said yesterday. The China Geological Survey applied through a Taipei-based non-governmental organization to allow two civilian aircraft into restricted airspace, so Taiwan could not grant permission, a government representative said.
The request eventually filtered up to government level. "China should go through formal cross-strait channels and normal procedures to notify our side so our departments can handle the matter appropriately," the Straits Exchange Foundation said in a statement. China had carried out surveys in Taiwan-controlled airspace before, the government representative said, though not often. "This is not only an official matter. It relates more to aviation safety," the foundation statement said.
City toilets ranked
The restrooms in the Taipei 101 Mall, at the Taipei Zoo and in the Grand Hyatt Hotel are among the cleanest in the city, a Taipei City Government evaluation revealed. The survey found the best mall restrooms were at Taipei 101, Idee Department Store and SOGO's Fuxing branch, while restrooms at the Grand Hyatt Hotel and Grand Hotel restaurants and at McDonald's were the cleanest among restaurants. The cleanest gas station restrooms were at the CPC Corp, Taiwan's Dazhi station. Restrooms at the Taipei Zoo, Muzha MRT Station and Songshan Airport also ranked high. Taipei's Department of Environmental Protection said the survey has been conducted annually since 2002.
Two quakes near coast
Two moderate earthquakes struck off the southeastern coast yesterday, officials said. No damage or injuries were immediately reported. The first of the quakes, a magnitude 5.2 temblor, hit at 9:15am and was centered about 33km southwest of Orchid Island, the Central Weather Bureau said. The bureau said a second quake hit at 11am, 22km southwest of the island.
Chiang holidays cancelled
The Ministry of the Interior announced yesterday the cancellation of the anniversaries of former dictator Chiang Kai-shek's (蔣介石) birthday and death as national memorial days. Interior Minister Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said in a press statement released by the ministry yesterday that the Cabinet has approved a motion proposed by the ministry to discontinue the two memorial days, and the approval took effect yesterday. Both days were listed as national holidays by the former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime. Lee said as Chiang was a controversial figure who rule during the past authoritarian regime, the dates should no longer be commemorated.
No Chinese spirits allowed
The government currently has no plans to allow liquor from China to be imported, Executive Yuan Secretary General Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) said yesterday. Chen was referring to a United Daily News report,which quote People First Party Legislator Lin Hui-kuan (林惠官) as saying the day before that the Bureau of Foreign Trade, under pressure from officials and alcohol importers, is considering allowing a "small quantity" of Chinese spirits to be imported.