Park to reapply for pandas
The Leofoo Village Theme Park will reapply for permission this spring to bring a pair of giant pandas from China after the government rejected them last year amid political tensions, a park manager said yesterday. The park in Hsinchu County will ask the government next month or in April for permission to bring the pandas from the Wolong Giant Panda Reserve Center in Sichuan Province, Leofoo marketing manager Albert Yuan (袁相杰) said. "Everyone has a wish to see pandas," Yuan said. The 70 hectare park has examined the government's reasons for rejecting the animals and believes it can better address them now, Yuan said. The government said Leofoo personnel lacked experience with pandas and had not travelled to Sichuan to examine the animals. It also cited climatic differences between Taiwan and the bamboo forests of southwestern China.
Task force to be named
State Public Prosecutor-General Chen Tsung-ming (陳聰明) said yesterday that members of a soon-to-be-established special investigation task force are expected to be named early next month, paving the way for the group to formally become operational in April. Chen, who was nominated by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for the top prosecutor's post and confirmed in last month by votes from 126 legislators, said he has probed the intentions of several dozen prosecutors who were seeking to be candidates for the special investigation task force. The operations of the special investigation task force will be established under the State Public Prosecutor-General's Office and will work with the Anti-Corruption Center under the Taiwan High Prosecutor's Office.
Cosmetic surgery booms
Some Taiwanese will be returning to the office after the Lunar New Year holidays with a new face, having chosen a visit to cosmetic surgeons over a trip abroad. Whether they opted for the pricey procedures with year-end bonuses in mind or whether they wanted to take advantage of the nine-day break to recuperate from surgery, major clinics report being booked solid in the run-up to the holiday, with some operating even through New Year's Eve. Surgeon Chung Ching-yuan (鍾金源) said that his clinic had seen a 60 percent increase in the volume of patients leading up to the Lunar New Year, with most patients choosing relatively non-invasive procedures.
■ Post office
228 stamps issued
The renamed Taiwan Post Co said yesterday that it will issue stamps featuring the National 228 Memorial Hall on Wednesday in observance of the 60th anniversary of the 228 incident. The building is located on Nanhai Rd, which was previously used by staff of the American Culture Center. The design of the stamp was approved by the Executive Yuan. According to the company's statement, the new stamps will have a face value of NT$5 and have the country name Taiwan, both in Chinese and in English, printed on its top corner on the left. Besides the memorial hall, a lily was also placed on the right-hand side of the stamp. Only 1 million stamps will be made available to the public on Wednesday, and each person can only purchase two. Since Wednesday will also be a national holiday, the stamps can only be sold in post offices in Taipei and those branch offices that are open on holidays.
FEW REMAIN: Conservationists tried to stop the demolition, but to no avail, and the owner cannot be fined, as the structure was not listed as a historical building One of the few remaining Japanese colonial-era granaries in Taiwan was dismantled by its owner on Friday, prompting outrage from conservationists. The granary, which was at No. 16, Lane 11, Hangzhou S Rd Sec 1 in Taipei, belonged to Taiwan Takushoku Corp during the colonial era, conservationist Chang Wan-lin (張琬琳) said, adding that she and others had been collecting information to reapply to have the building protected as a historical structure. During the colonial era, the granary served the area from Monga (艋舺) to what is now Songshan District (松山) in the north, she said. “Back then the eastern part
SEEING THE POSITIVE: A majority of respondents in Taiwan said that they favored Trump because they think Taiwan-US ties would improve with him Among eight Asia-Pacific countries and regions, only Taiwan prefers US President Donald Trump over his challenger, former US vice president Joe Biden, in the upcoming US presidential election, a survey released on Thursday showed. According to the poll published by UK-based market research firm YouGov, 42 percent of Taiwanese favor Trump in the Nov. 3 election, while 30 percent back Biden and 28 percent have no opinion. In contrast, respondents in Malaysia favor Biden over Trump 62 percent to 9 percent, and in Singapore by 66 percent to 12 percent, the survey showed. Biden also led Trump in Australia (60 percent to 21
TROUBLEMAKER: The missiles, capable of striking up to 2,000km away, would likely be used to deter other nations from coming to Taiwan’s aid, a legislator said The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has reportedly deployed advanced hypersonic missiles along China’s southeast coast, which Taiwan’s missile defense system might have difficulty intercepting, an analyst said yesterday. Citing an unnamed military source, the South China Morning Post said that the missile bases on the coasts of China’s Fujian and Zhejiang provinces have been upgraded and are stocked with DF-17 missiles, equipped with hypersonic glide vehicles. “The DF-17 hypersonic missile will gradually replace the old DF-11s and DF-15s that were deployed in the southeast region for decades,” said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. “The
Hong Kong air traffic controllers turning away a Taiwanese flight last week might have been China’s first move in a broader campaign to restrict Taiwan’s air access to its outlying islands, a retired air force general said on Saturday. The government needs to establish a response plan in the event that aircraft are denied entry to Flight Information Regions (FIRs) en route to Kinmen and Matsu, among others islands, retired lieutenant general Chang Yen-ting (張延廷) said. The Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of the Interior, as well as the Straits Exchange Foundation and Mainland Affairs Council, must