Night market vendors brush up their English
Foreigners visiting Taiwan's night markets might have to point and mime less to get the food they want after vendors bone up on common "marketplace" English from a new booklet published by the Ministry of the Economic Affairs.
The pamphlet will include 1,000 words in both Chinese and English covering food, apparel, cosmetics as well as everyday items, along with 168 practical conversations for the marketplace.
For example, the pamphlets will include "oyster omelet" and "pig's blood cake" to describe two traditional local delicacies.
Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Bureau (刑事局), working with public prosecutors, conducted simultaneous raids in Taipei, Taoyuan, Miaoli and Taichung yesterday, arresting 13 fraud suspects on charges of cheating a number of banks in Southeast Asia out of more than NT$10 million.
The police found that from July last year, the fraud ring began to collect the information of dozens of customers from the National Credit Card Center in Taipei, change the addresses of their accounts, apply for new credit cards and debit cards, and then give them to other members in the ring to withdraw cash from banks in various Southeast Asian countries. The operation was launched after a task force spent four months tracing the suspects.
The 2005 European Film Festival will be held in Taipei's Majestic Theater from December 16 to 19, showing 10 recent award-winning films each from different countries.
The 2005 European Film Festival is co-organized by the European Economic and Trade Office, the representative office of the European Commission in Taipei, in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Taipei City Government's Cultural Affairs Department and coordinated by Infine Art and Culture Exchange.
Credit balance up
The credit balance of credit card services provided by local banks amounted to NT$453.9 billion (US$13.59 billion) at the end of October, accounting for 7 percent of the total consumer loan balance, according to a report released yesterday by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics. The figure compared with NT$425 billion at the end of 2004 and NT$186.3 billion at the end of 2000.
The balance of consumer loans provided by local banks totaled NT$6.49 trillion at the end of October, up 10.7 percent from the NT$5.86 trillion posted at the end of 2004.
The consumer loans include housing loans, loans for home renovation, credit cards, workers' welfare loans and car loans.