Presidential Office targeted
Law enforcement authorities are tracking the IP address of an e-mail received by the Presidential Office on Monday threatening a suicide attack against the office and legislative buildings, Taipei police said yesterday. In the anonymous message, the sender said they would crash their motorcycle into the buildings while carrying a canister of gasoline because they were angry over the sluggish economy, police said. Police denied a media report saying the sender had been arrested and was being questioned. A suicide attack occurred in Taipei in 2003, when a 46-year-old man drove a truck carrying drums of gasoline into the Boai Special District (博愛特區), which has a high concentration of government buildings. The man, who died in the incident, slammed the truck into the front of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, which is only 20m from the Presidential Office.
Fishing crew saved from fire
All five crew members aboard a fishing boat that caught fire a day earlier were rescued from the sea and flown to Greater Kaohsiung yesterday, the Coast Guard Administration said. The 39.25 tonne boat caught fire about 19km off the Pratas Islands (also known as the Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島) after departing from Pingtung County on Saturday. Two Taiwanese and three Indonesian crew members who had abandoned the boat were floating on chunks of styrofoam for days, the coast guard said. The administration received a report of the accident on Monday morning and immediately formed a task force to track down the boat, registered in Liouciou Township (琉球). A 16-member group on two vessels and a transport aircraft sent by the administration found the fishermen about 9km off the islands on Monday afternoon.
‘Baby vendor’ sentenced
A female maternity assistant, surnamed Tseng (曾), was sentenced to nine years in prison by the Taiwan High Court yesterday for selling babies and forging birth certificates. The ruling said Tseng, who was not a doctor, opened a clinic in Guansi Township (關西), Hsinchu County, to help women give birth. Between October 2006 and July 2007, Tseng allegedly sold two babies for roughly NT$300,000 (US$10,000) each. The two infants were born at her clinic, but the parents did not want to keep them. The ruling said Tseng also forged five birth certificates for her clients for various purposes. Tseng was charged with selling infants or children and forgery, the ruling said. Tseng can appeal the ruling with the Supreme Court.
WTO chief welcomes Lai
Permanent representative to the WTO Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) presented her credentials to WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday. In welcoming Lai, Lamy recognized Taiwan’s contributions to the WTO’s promotion of the Doha Development Round over the past 10 years and praised Taiwan for providing technical assistance to developing and under-developed countries. The Doha Development Round is the WTO’s current trade negotiation agenda and was started in November 2001. During the meeting, Lai and Pascal exchanged views on issues related to multilateral and regional trade, economic cooperation, and cross-strait ties. Lai promised that Taiwan would fulfil its duty as a WTO member and defend the multilateral trade system on the basis of equality.