Mao granddaughter visits
The granddaughter of Mao Zedong (毛澤東), the founder of communist China, is paying a low-key visit to Taiwan, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported yesterday. Kong Dongmei (孔東梅), believed to be the first Mao relative to visit Taiwan, was among a group of nearly 100 Chinese businesswomen attending a two-day trade forum that opened in Taipei yesterday, the evening paper said. Kong, who runs a multimedia publishing company in Beijing, declined to comment on her visit, the paper added. Mao’s communist forces seized power in China after a civil war in China in 1949, banishing Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) troops to Taiwan.
Wu Shu-jen hospitalized
Former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) was hospitalized yesterday afternoon because of low blood pressure on the eve of the hearing that will determine whether her husband is freed from his long-standing detention. “She was suffering from internal bleeding because of severe constipation. The bleeding also triggered her low blood pressure,” said Liu Chiung-kuan (劉景寬), vice superintendent of the Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital. Wu’s condition was stable, Liu said. Wu was paralyzed from the waist down after being hit by a truck in an alleged assassination attempt in 1985. She has been in fragile health and is wheelchair-bound. She and her husband are facing a variety of graft charges.
Teenagers’ teeth to be fixed
Two hundred young people aged 11 to 18 from poor families will be given free orthodontic treatment under a NT$24 million (US$728,000) project launched by two local organizations, the Taiwan Association of Orthodontists said. The Taiwan Fund for Children and Families will select the 200 recipients, while dentists from the orthodontist association will perform the procedures, association director Hung Ching-hui (洪清暉) said. Chuang Hsiu-jung (莊琇茹), a taekwondo student at Taitung Peinan Elementary School and the recipient of this year’s Presidential Education Award, was chosen as the first recipient. Taitung Dental Association director Chiu Hung-cheng (邱宏正) said he customized a set of clear braces for Chuang and would endeavor to give her a confident smile after two years of dental work. The braces, which cost NT$200,000, were ordered from the US, he said.
Canada honors premier
The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) yesterday presented the annual Canada-Taiwan Friendship Award to Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) in recognition of his long-term contribution to strengthening the links between Canadians and Taiwanese. CTOT Executive Director Ron MacIntosh described Liu as a valued partner whose leadership and vision have created a lasting legacy for Canada-Taiwan cooperation in the fields of education, science and technology. Liu graduated from Sherbrooke University with a master’s degree and from the University of Toronto with a PhD in chemistry. The CTOT presented the award for the first time last year, when it honored Pierre Loisel, a Canadian environmentalist who has lived in Taiwan for more than 40 years and who has made contributions to Taiwan’s high-tech industry and organic farming.
Taipei to target Web cafes
The Taipei City Bureau of Health said yesterday it would increase raids of Internet cafes and KTVs to catch those breaking new smoking regulations now that teenagers are on summer vacation. “Since smoking indoors became illegal on Jan. 11, we have found that most infractions have occurred at Internet cafes,” Yu Li-hui (游麗惠), head of the bureau’s Health Management Department, said at a press conference at the John Tung Foundation (董氏基金會) yesterday morning. The foundation has asked that the government increase raids of public places frequented by teens. Foundation president Yau Sea-wain (姚思遠) said that he had received many complaints from parents since the beginning of the summer questioning the enforcement of the regulations after their children returned from Internet cafes smelling of smoke. Yu encouraged the public to help inspectors by reporting violations at the toll free number 0800-531-531.
Beef ban may change
The government is considering lifting the ban on Canadian bone-in beef and beef products from cattle more than 30 months old, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday. Ma made the remark while meeting a Canadian parliamentary delegation at the Presidential Office. He did not specify when the sanction might be lifted. Taiwan imposed a comprehensive ban on Canadian beef in 2003 on fears of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly called mad cow disease. In 2007 it reopened the market to boneless beef and meat from cattle under 30 months of age. Ma yesterday said government agencies were looking into the matter and would soon reach a decision.