A Libyan government official confirmed yesterday that a preliminary deal has been reached to pay US$2.7 billion to relatives of those killed in the 1988 Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. \nLawyers representing the American families whose relatives were among the 270 people killed when Flight 103 exploded, announced Tuesday in the US that the Libyan government has offered to pay US$10 million per family to be disbursed as the US takes clearly defined steps toward ending its attempts to isolate Libya. \nThe Libyan government has not officially commented on the announcement, which has yet to be mentioned in any media in the North African nation. \nHowever, the government official confirmed the deal on condition of anonymity, calling it a "preliminary agreement." He would not discuss details. \nThe official said a "political meeting" would be held June 6 in London that will include US and Libyan government officials. He said those attending would include William Burns, a senior US State Department official, British Foreign Office minister Ben Bradshaw and Libya's ambassador to London, Mohammed Abdul Quasim al-Zwai. \nThe State Department has not been involved in the negotiations. A senior department official expressed doubt that the Bush administration would approve the arrangement. \nBurns was en route to Cairo yesterday for meetings on the Mideast peace process and could not immediately be contacted. \nThe official said the Libyan team involved in negotiating the deal has no official status -- an attempt to indicate the Libyan government wasn't involved. \nHowever, other Libyan officials have said privately in the past that the same people identified yesterday as participants in the upcoming London meeting, plus Libyan intelligence chief Moussa Kousa, had met earlier this year in London to discuss such a financial settlement. \nThe British government and British relatives of those killed in the bombing reacted cautiously to the offer. \n"There are so many ifs and buts about it. It doesn't change anything for us. I just stand and watch," Lisa Mosey said after the proposed agreement put the price of her daughter Helga's life at US$10 million. \nDavid Ben-Aryeah, confidential adviser to British victims, agreed: "Let's wait and see. A deal is not a deal until it is submitted in writing, payment is received and the check cleared. Talk is cheap -- actions speak louder than words." \nBritain's Foreign Office was also guarded. "We shall study the details of the Libyan offer and seek the views of the Lockerbie families, their lawyers and the United States," said a spokesman. \n"We shall be unable to determine whether Libya has met the requirements until we know the families' formal response to the offer and have studied Libya's full and final response to all the demands of the UN resolutions," the British Foreign Office spokesman said. \nHe added that Britain and the US would hold trilateral discussions soon with Libya and would urge it to resolve all the outstanding issues as soon as possible.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
THAI CASE UPDATE: Twenty-nine close contacts of the worker have been tested with two types of tests, including 18 dorm mates, with 28 negative results so far Five imported cases of COVID-19, four from the Philippines and one from Hong Kong, were reported yesterday, bringing the total confirmed cases in Taiwan to 467, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The four returning from the Philippines were on the same flight, and the local health department has identified 15 people who had direct contact with them — including 10 passengers in the two rows in front or behind them, who have been put under 14-day home isolation, and five crew members, who will practice 14-day self-health management, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang