DPP appeals for Wu, Hong
Eleven Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday urged Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) to file an extra appeal against a final ruling involving senior DPP politicians Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) and Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌) in the sale of a Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar) property in 2004. The Taiwan High Court on March 13 upheld a ruling that Wu, who was chairman of Taisugar in 2003, had violated Taisugar’s rental-only policy and sentenced him to three years and 10 months in prison, while Hong was given two years and four months for lobbying. The DPP lawmakers said that the policy regulating state-owned enterprises’ public land leases and superficies was abolished on March 2001, before the property deal was made. Hong argued that he had not interfered in the real-estate deal, while Wu said the sale was completed six months after he had left Taisugar and that he was not the main individual responsible for the deal.
Toys fail safety tests: bureau
Four out of 20 samples of inflatable toys tested in southern Taiwan were found to contain excessive amounts of plasticizer, the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection said recently. The substandard items, picked at random in Greater Kaohsiung and Pingtung County in the run-up to the summer season, when water activities are popular, contained plasticizer at levels 200 to 500 times higher than the national safety limit of 0.1 percent, the bureau said. In addition, 11 of the items were not labeled in accordance with the Commodity Inspection Act (商品檢驗法), with infringements such as mislabeling of the toys’ names and age limits, and failing to identify the materials used, place of origin, names of the importer and manufacturer and safety warnings, the bureau said. Fines of NT$100,000 (US$3,340) to NT$1 million can be imposed on dealers who fail to recall the substandard items and make corrections, it added.
All-female troupe to perform
The all-female Japanese musical theater troupe Takarazuka Revue will be performing for the first time in Taiwan this month as the group marks its 99th anniversary, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday. More than 40 troupe members will perform at the National Theater from Saturday to April 14, the ministry said, adding that a Japanese parliamentary delegation would also arrive for Saturday’s performance. The troupe is scheduled to meet with Japan’s representative in Taipei today, according to the Taipei office of the Interchange Association, Japan.
Israeli bands at festival
Nine Israeli bands and individual artists will join the Spring Scream music festival in southern Taiwan via the Internet, the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei said yesterday. The musicians will give a six-hour concert in Tel Aviv that will start at 6pm tomorrow, and local viewers will be able to watch the live performance on a big screen set up at the music festival’s venue in Kenting (墾丁), the office said. It will be the first time for foreign musicians to give a live performance at the music bash via the Internet, the office said. Israeli DJ Orly Yaakobi will be in Taiwan to host the six-hour performance and introduce the acts to the local audience, it said. This year’s Spring Scream is scheduled to run from today to Sunday at Kenting’s Oluanpi Lighthouse National Park. The festival will feature about 250 bands and DJs on eight stages, the organizers said.