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Taipei mayor takes jibe from TV show host in stride

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Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) made an international appearance yesterday as a US TV program poked fun at him, jokingly describing him as “the worst person in the world” for demanding the city’s public schools stop subscribing to the Chinese-­language Apple Daily because of the newspaper’s News-In-Motion program.

MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann show is an hour-long weeknight news and political commentary program with Olbermann, who counts down the day’s top stories with humor and sarcasm and pokes fun at individuals in the stories. Usually the latter do not make rebuttals because Olbermann’s show is known for making comments in a subjective and sarcastic style.

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Ma spokesman dodges motorcade remarks

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Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) yesterday declined to apologize after being accused of making “reckless” remarks in response to a report in the ­Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) on Monday that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) motorcade abused its traffic privileges while the president was not in the car.

“I don’t understand what they are thinking,” Wang said. “Doesn’t the Liberty Times, which created a composite photograph that deviated from the truth, owe the public an explanation?”

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Japanese representative to Taiwan Saito resigns

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Japan’s Interchange Association — Tokyo’s representative office — confirmed yesterday that Representative Masaki Saito has resigned but said the resignation would not take effect until its board of directors approves it.

There was immediate speculation that the career diplomat’s surprise move was linked to remarks he made at an academic conference in May at National Chung Cheng University, remarks that were widely criticized at the time by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers.

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Su Beng: Staying true to the fight for independence

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Wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt while making his weekly trip around the country to promote Taiwanese nationalism, Su Beng (史明) is widely revered as a man of action devoted to socialism and Taiwanese independence.

Born in 1918, Su is expected to be released from a hospital in Japan where he has been treated for uremia and kidney problems since late last month, with a group of activists planning to greet him at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on his return.

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DPP slams Ma’s campaigning expenses

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President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) owes the public an apology for using government money to campaign for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidates, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said yesterday, accusing Ma of spending at least NT$3.71 million (US$115,000) a day campaigning.

The caucus also lambasted the presidential security detail for hogging the road by telling drivers on a freeway to clear the passing lane for a presidential motorcade heading for Taipei on Saturday — although some media outlets, including TVBS, reported yesterday that Ma was not in the motorcade at the time. There was a traffic jam on the freeway at the time because of an unrelated car accident.

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Chen facing new set of indictments

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Prosecutors investigating former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) alleged money-laundering activities yesterday said they were close to concluding their investigation and delivering another round of indictments to the former first family and businesspeople involved in the case.

Special Investigation Panel (SIP) spokesperson Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) said the panel had recently questioned several witnesses and defendants suspected of helping the former first family launder money and it would soon summon former China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控) president Angelo Koo (辜仲瑩) for questioning.

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MOI to present report on vote-buying

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The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said yesterday it would give a progress report on vote-buying cases linked to Saturday’s local government elections at the legislature today, an announcement that drew mixed reactions.

The pan-blue camp said it hoped the ministry would increase its efforts to expose illegal campaign practices, while pan-greens doubted the effectiveness of the crackdown.

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Newsflash


An F-16 jet takes off as part of an emergency scramble exercise yesterday morning at Hualien Air Base.
Photo: Yu Tai-lang, Taipei Times

The armed forces yesterday held large-scale air, land and sea exercises throughout the nation, with eight fighter jets from Hualien Air Base conducting simulated long-range and duration intercept missions.