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Ball now in Ma's court on visit by Kadeer

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A spokesman for Rebiya Kadeer yesterday confirmed that the exiled Uighur leader had accepted an invitation to visit Taiwan, adding that the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) holds the key to whether the visit will materialize.

Kadeer is more than happy to participate in the Kaohsiung Film Festival and speak to the Taiwanese public, Nury Turkel, president of the Uyghur American Association, told reporters in Washington.

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Young people mobilize against casinos

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A group of young people from Penghu County yesterday urged other residents of the archipelago working in Taiwan proper to return home and vote against gambling in an upcoming referendum on allowing corporations to establish casinos in Penghu.

At a press conference in Taipei, Liu Yu-ming (劉昱明), a student at National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of Law, warned that Penghu’s image and reputation as a natural paradise could be tarnished if residents voted “yes” in the referendum.

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Chen charged over diplomatic funds

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Prosecutors yesterday issued another wave of indictments against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), charging him and four others with embezzlement in a case involving classified diplomatic projects.

The Supreme Prosecutors' Office's Special Investigation Panel (SIP), in charge of probing the former president's corruption and money laundering cases, said it had completed its investigations.

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Chen Chu gives support to film, human rights

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Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) yesterday reaffirmed the city's commitment to screening a documentary on Uighur independence activist Rebiya Kadeer to highlight the city's support for human rights despite opposition from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) councilors.

The move came as two directors pulled their films from the city's upcoming film festival in protest and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced plans to screen the film nationwide.

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Taiwan High Court to meet soon on Chen’s detention

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The Taiwan High Court said it would hold a hearing on Wednesday at the earliest on whether to keep former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in detention.

Chen’s current term of detention expires on Friday.

The courts are in the process of moving Chen’s corruption and money-laundering case from the district court, where the first verdict was passed down by judges in Judge Tsai Shou-hsun’s (蔡守訓) courtroom, to the Taiwan High Court for an appeals process.

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Dalai Lama expenses furor brews

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The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) yesterday denied allegations by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the media that its request for details of any government money spent on the Dalai Lama’s visit to Taiwan by local governments was politically motivated.

“As the government authority in charge of religious affairs, we received a request from the Control Yuan to see if government money was spent by the seven local governments that invited the Dalai Lama to cover his expenses,” Civil Affairs Department Director Huang Li-hsin (黃麗馨) told the Taipei Times by telephone yesterday. “The Control Yuan made the request because they received a public petition asking if government money was spent to cover the expenses of the Dalai Lama’s visit and whether this was in violation of the separation of religion and state clause in the Constitution.”

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Taipei pajama protesters call on Ma to step down

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Protesters hold up placards bearing Chinese characters that are a coarse play on words during a demonstration against President Ma Ying-jeou in Taipei yesterday.
PHOTO: SAM YEH, AFP

Around 1,000 people joined a “pajama parade” yesterday — though only a handful of people actually wore pajamas — organized by artists unhappy with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) leadership, calling on him to step down or to stop getting paid.

Following banners that read “stop paying the incompetent” and a woman dressed up as a Chinese zombie to portray Ma’s administration as a “zombie government,” demonstrators departed from the assembly point in front of the National Taiwan University and headed toward Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office, before moving on to Liberty Square for a rally in the evening.

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Newsflash

Formosa Betrayed, the first US-made movie devoted to a storyline set during the White Terror era, is scheduled for theatrical release in Taiwan by Sky Digi Entertainment Co this August, the film’s producer said.

“Since before the movie was completed, thousands of fans have wondered when it would be released in Taiwan. Now, we are excited to announce that the film is scheduled to be in Taiwanese theaters beginning the weekend of August 6, 2010,” Taiwanese-­American filmmaker William Tiao (刁毓能) said in an open letter issued on Friday.