Ma approves 23 promotions
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has approved the promotion of 23 military officers to the ranks of major general or lieutenant general, the Ministry of National Defense announced yesterday. Of the 23, five will be promoted to lieutenants general, or two-star generals, including Hau Yi-chih (郝以知), a ministry counselor. Four of those to be promoted are Army Penghu Defense Commander Chou Hau-yu (周皓瑜), Navy Fleet Command deputy head Lu Chien-ti (盧前悌), Air Force Combat Command deputy head Ma Tzu-yung (馬自勇) and National Security Bureau Special Service Center deputy commander Hsu Yen-ching (許燕情). The other 18 people will be raised to the rank of major general, or one-star general. The conferral ceremony will be held tomorrow morning and will be attended by Ma and Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱). The promotions will take effect on Sunday the ministry said.
Tourism revenues rising
Tourism income generated in Taiwan reached a record high last year, but still lagged behind the other three Asian Tigers — Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea — according to the latest statistics from the Council for Economic Planning and Development. The council said the nation’s international tourism revenues last year reached more than US$11 billion, up 26.4 percent from the previous year. International tourist arrivals totaled 6.09 million, 9.34 percent more than in 2010. The remarks follow a recent report by the UN’s World Tourism Organization which listed the world’s top 25 nations and territories in terms of international tourism revenue. Hong Kong topped the Asian Tiger list with revenue of US$27.2 billion, in 10th place worldwide, followed by Singapore with US$18 billion at 15th and South Korea with US$12.3 billion at 22nd place, the report said. The council said that if Taiwan was included in the rankings, it would come in at 25th place.
Tibetan official to speak
The Kalon (minister) of the Tibetan government-in-exile’s Department of Information and International Relations, Dicki Chhoyang, will make a presentation on the foreign policies and current situation of the government-in-exile on Friday during her visit to Taiwan. The presentation will take place at the Legislative Yuan in English accompanied by simultaneous Mandarin translation. Co-organized by the Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama — the de facto embassy of the government-in-exile in Taiwan — and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), the lecture is open to the public, but online registration is required. To sign up or for more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/2012tibet.
DOH tackles lack of ER staff
The Department of Health (DOH) has proposed a set of solutions to the increasing shortage of emergency room (ER) doctors amid accusations that they are underpaid and overworked. The solutions include a cash bonus of NT$120,000 per year for physicians who have completed ER training, enhancing safety in work environments and encouraging the transfer of patients from ER units to other units, the department said in a statement. Authorities will push for bills that support appropriate punishment in cases of medical negligence, it said. The statement came after a study found that 10 percent of the nation’s ER doctors leave their profession 10 years into their practice.