Tue, Feb 17, 2009 - Page 4 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: PIGEON POST

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

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VISAS

Slovenians receive visa-free entry status

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Sunday that effective immediately, holders of Slovenian passports would no longer require visas to visit Taiwan for less than 30 days.

MOFA Department of European Affairs Director-General Anne Hung (洪慧珠) said the decision was based on the friendly relations between Slovenia and Taiwan and the fact that the move poses no threat to national security.

Slovenia became the seventh Central or Eastern European country to enjoy visa-free privileges, Hung said, following Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

In total, 27 EU countries have been granted visa-free privileges, with Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus being considered for the same treatment, Hung said.

SOCIETY

TransAsia Sisters offer drama lessons to immigrants

In cooperation with the Assignment Theater Troupe, the TransAsia Sisters Association, Taiwan (TASAT) will begin offering drama lessons to immigrant spouses from Southeast Asia next month, the group said in a statement on Sunday.

A total of 18 courses will be taught until a final performance in December. Participants will perform the roles of playwright and actors in the production of their own drama.

“In class, we will learn to express ourselves through sounds, speech, body language, as well as parent-child education, interpersonal communication, makeup for stage performance, [selecting] background music, and posture,” the statement said.

Children’s courses will also be offered. For details or to sign up, contact TASAT at (02) 2515-9943.

SOCIETY

African handicraft sale to begin in May

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will hold an exhibition of African handicrafts for sale in May as part of its efforts to promote cultural and commercial exchanges with the continent.

Department of Economic and Trade Affairs Director-General Weber Shih (施文斌) said that as Africa has suffered from the global economic slowdown along with the rest of the world, he hoped sales at the show would contribute to the economies of the participating countries.

The African countries offering handicrafts for sale will be diplomatic allies Burkina Faso, Gambia, Swaziland and Sao Tome and Principe, as well as three non-allies that are friendly to Taiwan — South Africa, Nigeria and Libya — Shih said.

CRIME

Police help South African retrieve portion of stolen money

Yunlin County police on Saturday arrested Huang Yen-ming (黃彥銘) on suspicion of stealing a bag from a South African man and taking cash from it.

Police said the South African man, surnamed Cassim, was a teacher at National Yunlin University of Science and Technology’s language center.

Police said on Friday afternoon that Cassim brought US$15,000 in cash and US$45,000 in traveler’s checks to a bank in Douliou City (斗六). Cassim talked to the bank clerks for a while after he finished the transaction but forgot to bring the bag with him when he left.

Police said Cassim returned to the bank 15 minutes later, but his bag was gone.

Police checked surveillance cameras and found that Huang, who was the next customer in line after Cassim, had taken the bag and left. Police ordered Huang to come to the police station to return the bag on Friday night, but Huang did not show up.

On Saturday evening police arrested Huang and recovered the bag.

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