Basketball fundraiser set
Entertainers from Taiwan and South Korea are scheduled to take part in a charity baseball game in Greater Taichung on Sunday, as part of a collaborative effort with the Tourism Bureau to promote travel through sports exchanges. The Taiwanese team is to be led by comedian Peng Chia-chia (澎恰恰). The money raised from the free game at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium is to be donated to charities for autistic children, the bureau said. The bureau is also planning to organize a “Taiwan Day” next month, in collaboration with the US NBA Houston Rockets basketball team, as part of the efforts to give Taiwan greater visibility. Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin (林書豪), the first NBA player of Taiwanese descent, is likely to be a major attraction, the bureau said.
Children’s film fest to open
The Taiwan International Children’s Film Festival, which is set to start in Taipei on March 27, is this year aimed at inspiring children to think more openly and creatively. The biennial festival, to run until April 6 at the Xinyi Vieshow Cinemas, will feature more than 100 films from 32 countries, according to Taiwan Public Television Service (PTS), the festival’s organizer. The films’ main themes range from friendship, sibling relationships and family struggles, to adventure, science and life and death. The theme of this year’s festival — “Diversified Thinking and Boundless Creativity” — was chosen to challenge and inspire youngsters to think about things from different perspectives and beyond boundaries, PTS said.
Family may sue prosecutors
The family of a man who reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself with shoelaces in a detention room of the Yunlin District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday said it is considering filing suit against personnel for neglecting their duties to guard him. District prosecutors’ office spokesman Kuo Chih-ming (郭志明) said the 35-year-old man, surnamed Lo (羅), was arrested with three others on suspicion of trading drugs and carrying pistols. They were brought to the office at 5pm on Friday, Kuo said, adding that to prevent them from colluding on their statements, police kept them in four separate rooms. The spokesman said police had also taken the men’s belts. However, at 7:10pm, police found Lo dead after he had allegedly hanged himself with shoelaces. Kuo said the office has apologized to Lo’s family and that a criminal investigation has been launched.
Lettuce exports set to rise
Farmers are likely to export more lettuce this year compared with last year after securing more orders through contract farming, according to the Council of Agriculture. The nation’s farmers grow the vegetable on about 600 hectares of land — in which the crops are sold to designated buyers at fixed prices, the council’s Agriculture and Food Agency said. Exports of lettuce have increased substantially in the past four years, steadily rising from 2,904 tonnes in 2009 to 4,012 tonnes in 2010, 4,565 tonnes in 2011, 8,311 tonnes in 2012 and 10,384 tonnes last year. Lettuce exports were worth NT$283 million (US$9.36 million) last year, more than tripling the NT$90 million earned in 2009, data showed. Japan is Taiwan’s largest export destination for lettuce, accounting for 80 percent of total lettuce exports.