Lee to miss court date
Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) will miss a court date for oral arguments scheduled for today over his indictment on charges of embezzling state funds because he is still recovering from a vertebral artery stenting procedure performed on July 12, Lee’s office said yesterday. Lee is still suffering from fever for unknown reasons and has not been released by Taipei Veterans General Hospital although the surgery was a success, office director Wang Yan-chun (王燕軍) said in a press release. The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division on June 30, 2011, indicted the 90-year-old and his aide, Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英), accusing the pair of siphoning off US$7.8 million from secret diplomatic funds to establish the Taiwan Research Institute.
Family van falls in gorge
A van carrying a family of seven fell into a gorge near Hehuanshan (合歡山) in Nantou County on Sunday, possibly because of brake failure, leaving one person dead and six injured. Kuo Shih-liang (郭世良) told police that he was driving a van carrying his family and the family of his sister-in-law down the mountainous Taiwan Provincial Highway 14A at 10am when the van’s brakes failed and the steering wheel jammed, according to the Nantou County Police Bureau. The car then cut through the oncoming lane at high speed and fell into a 70m-deep gorge, police said. Firefighters located the van, rescued those in it and sent them to a nearby hospital for treatment. Six of them were found to have suffered fractures or head injuries, and the other passenger arrived at the hospital without a pulse and was later pronounced dead. Police were still investigating the cause of the incident as of Sunday night.
Hsieh to pitch Universiade
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday met with Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇), the nation’s first tennis player to win a Grand Slam title, and invited her to serve as a spokeswoman for the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei, to which the Wimbledon champion agreed. Hsieh, who attended the meeting at Taipei City Hall accompanied by her father, Hsieh Tzu-lung (謝子龍), said she believes her new job will “help market and promote the sport of tennis.” Hsieh, 27, claimed the women’s doubles championship at Wimbledon on July 6 with Peng Shuai (彭帥) of China, becoming the first Taiwanese senior player to win a Grand Slam title. The Taipei Universiade is scheduled to take place from Aug. 19 to Aug. 30, 2017.
Chinese trash hits Kinmen
Kinmen authorities were suffering from headaches again after trash from China washed up on the beaches of the outlying island in the wake of a recent typhoon. Beaches in northwestern Kinmen are inundated with a great deal of trash from China every summer, from empty liquor bottles and plastic bottles to shoes, styrofoam and discarded lighters washed ashore. In winter, it is the turn of beaches in the island’s northeast. Kinmen National Park said the beaches have been bombarded with litter in the wake of the recent Typhoon Soulik and Tropical Storm Cimaron. The park has asked the nearly 10 communities that have “adopted” sections of the beaches to increase the speed of cleanup operations and will also hire extra workers to help restore the beaches. “The root of the problem is that China’s Fujian Province, which is very close to Kinmen, should carry out river management more carefully,” park officials said.