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In Brief

In Brief

Al Gore set to visit Taiwan in September
Former United States Vice President Al Gore has agreed to deliver two speeches in Taiwan in September on global warming, said Democratic Progressive Party Lawmaker Tien Chiu-chin yesterday during the inauguration of a "Friends of Gore" Taiwan chapter.
Tien said Gore's appearance fee for the speeches would be US$200,000. With flight arrangements and accommodation, the total cost of Gore's appearance will be around NT$23 million, she said. The cost, she hopes, will be offset by donations from people who are passionate about the ecosystem.
Gore is expected to arrive on September 13 and will stay for one week. He will deliver two speeches in Taipei and in Kaoshiung and will attend a summit on environmental issues in Yu Shan National Park.
Fisherman murdered
Seven Indonesian nationals were sent to Taiwan last night to be questioned in a Taiwanese court over the murder of a Taiwanese fisherman five days ago in Palauan waters, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday.
According to Chinese-language news reports, fishing captain Tsai Yun-sheng was killed by a group of Indonesian fishermen on April 27. So far it is unclear how the violence erupted and why Tsai was killed. It is suspected that the perpetrators might have thrown Tsai overboard after killing him.
The Criminal Investigation Bureau said the seven men are expected to take a polygraph test as part of the interrogation procedure.
Press freedom
Taiwan was ranked first in news freedom in Asia by the Washington-based "Freedom House" in its annual survey of press liberty, which was released yesterday.
According to the Freedom House's "Freedom of the Press 2007: A Global Survey of Media Independence, Taiwan was "free" listed first in Asia for the first time ever. It also ranked Taiwan 33rd among the 195 nations surveyed, up from 35th last year. In contrast, Japan, the region's previous leader, slipped to 39th place, whereas South Korea and Hong Kong were both ranked 66th, Singapore was ranked 154th and China ranked 181st.
Mahjong masters
Eight finalists who will be representing Taiwan in the 2007 World Series of Mahjong competition were chosen among 148 candidates yesterday following a fierce three-day competition.
A 58-year-old male mahjong player surnamed Wu won the championship, obtained a travel allowance of NT$200,000 and will the lead runner-up, the third and the forth prize winner to compete with international players in Demark starting June 21. The other four finalists are expected to enter a competition in Japan.
Culminating in the finals, the World Mahjong Championship is scheduled to be held in China in November.


Updated : 2021-09-20 08:17 GMT+08:00