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MORAKOT: THE AFTERMATH: Cabinet does about-face in rejection of foreign aid

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The government yesterday did an about-face, saying it would accept foreign aid after the public expressed indignation over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MOFA) decision to refuse all foreign assistance except for cash.

“We welcome all kinds of help from all countries. We will provide a detailed list of the items that we need very soon,” Executive Yuan spokesman Su Jun-pin told a press conference following the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday. “The list could include personnel, aircraft and heavy machinery.”

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MORAKOT: THE AFTERMATH: Ma media comments anger disaster zone survivors

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Comments that President Ma Ying-jeou made to an international news crew about the rescue efforts following Typhoon Morakot yesterday angered some of the storm’s victims after they were translated into Chinese.

While inspecting Jiaxian Township in Kaohsiung County, where Xiaolin Village was completely wiped out, Independent Television Network (ITN) reporter Rahit Kachroo asked Ma if Taiwan should have been better prepared for the storm, to which Ma replied, in English, that the villagers were caught by surprise, which contributed to the losses.

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MORAKOT: THE AFTERMATH: Officials agree: No state of emergency

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The daughter of a missing Taitung police officer, Chiang Wen-hsiang, stands at the side of a flooded river and cries out for her father in Taitung yesterday.
PHOTO: CNA

The Legislative Yuan and the Executive Yuan yesterday decided against calling on the president to declare a state of emergency.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said after a meeting with Premier Liu Chao-shiuan and the three legislative caucuses that they believed the government could handle disaster and relief procedures based on the provisions listed in the Disaster Prevention and Protection Act.

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Myanmar criticized over sentencing of Suu Kyi

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Criticism poured in for Myanmar yesterday over the sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi as the EU promised more sanctions and one of its key regional partners called for the democracy icon's immediate release.

After the authorities ordered the Nobel laureate to remain under house arrest for a further 18 months following a trial in Yangon, protesters rallied outside Myanmar's diplomatic missions to denounce the outcome.

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Aid workers race against time, 700 found in Xiaolin

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Rescue efforts continued yesterday as search teams raced against time looking for thousands of villagers trapped by mudslides caused by Typhoon Morakot.

As of press time, more than 400 victims had been rescued by the military yesterday, but hundreds of villagers were still waiting for help and at least 400 people were unaccounted for.

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Twenty-three dead in wake of Morakot

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Residents of Xiaolin Village in Kaohsiung County’s Jiaxian Township disembark from a helicopter outside Cishan Junior High School yesterday after they were rescued from the village, which was wiped out by mudslides brought by Typhoon Morakot.
PHOTO: CNA

At least 23 people were confirmed dead, 32 injured and 56 confirmed missing in the wake of Typhoon Morakot, the Central Disaster Emergency Operation Center said yesterday.

Hundreds of others were reportedly missing in mountainous areas of southern Taiwan, while the military was trying to rescue those cut off by fallen bridges and raging rivers.

As of last night, the Presidential Office had not declared a state of emergency.

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Internet community mobilizes to help

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The Internet community in Taiwan rallied yesterday to help people affected by the devastating flooding brought by Typhoon Morakot.

“I can’t do much, but I’ve ordered 10 cases [of bottled water] and sent them to disaster-hit areas in the south,” a Plurker identified as Philip0721 wrote on the Plurk Web platform late on Saturday night. “Each one of us, let’s all order 10 cases of bottled water for the south.”

Last Updated ( Monday, 10 August 2009 07:33 ) Read more...
 


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Newsflash

Deputy US Secretary of State James Steinberg has refused to comment on President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) recent declaration that he will never ask the US to fight for Taiwan.

“It’s not particularly useful to speculate what would happen in the event that conflict comes about,” he said.