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MRT line formerly known as ‘Zhahu’ breaks down again

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The MRT’s Wenshan-Neihu Line experienced two more breakdowns yesterday — in the morning and the evening — related to power interruptions in the tunnel between the Dazhi and Songshan Airport stations.

The operation center first cut power in the tunnel at 10:21am after detecting an abnormal signal, suspending service between Zhongshan Junior High School and Jiannan stations until 12:18pm, the Taipei Rapid Transit System Corp (TRTC) said.

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Xinjiang launches fresh ‘Strike Hard’ campaign

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Police in China’s restive Xinjiang region have launched a fresh manhunt aimed at capturing fugitives wanted in connection with deadly ethnic violence in July this year, state media said yesterday.

The regional public security bureau’s “Strike Hard and Rectify” campaign, which began on Sunday, will run until the end of the year, the Xinjiang Daily reported.

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Premier Wu brushes off US beef referendum

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Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday rejected calls for a referendum on the government’s relaxed beef policy, while Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged support for one in an open letter.

In an interview with the UFO Network radio station, Wu said a referendum would be inappropriate and there was no good reason for one. There is a risk that the matter of US beef imports would become “tainted by populism,” making a rational debate impossible, he said.

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228 foundation to open memorial museum in 2011

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The 228 Memorial Foundation plans to open its national 228 memorial museum in 2011 with the goal of presenting the “honest” truth behind the 228 Incident free from political bias, foundation chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) said yesterday.

The museum, located on Nanhai Road (南海路) where the American Institute in Taiwan’s culture and information section used to stand, will be a place for the victims of the 228 Incident and their families, Chan said.

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DOH’s outreach effort on beef imports fuels protests

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The Department of Health (DOH) decision to try a new tool — Plurk, a micro-blogging service similar to Twitter — to promote public understanding of the new policy on US beef imports has turned out to be as controversial as the beef policy itself.

The department announced on Oct. 23 that Taiwan would expand market access for US beef, after officials of the two countries agreed on a protocol the day before in Washington, to lift a partial ban on US beef imports. Under the terms of the new protocol, US bone-in beef, ground beef, intestines, brains, spinal cords and processed beef from cattle younger than 30 months and which have not been contaminated with specific risk materials (SRMs), will be allowed to enter Taiwan starting on Nov. 10.

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China behind Cairo barring Lu: DPP

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Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Department of International Affairs Director Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) yesterday alleged that China was behind Cairo barring former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) from entering Egypt even though she had a visa.

Hsiao, vice president of Liberal International (LI) who just returned from an LI Congress in Cairo, said yesterday that the Egyptian organizer, the Democratic Front Party, asked the Egyptian foreign ministry to tell the DPP, an LI member, that Cairo would not let Lu enter the country.

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Experts call pacts ‘window dressing’

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The four agreements signed by Taipei and Beijing last November were nothing but “window dressing,” experts attending a cross-strait forum said yesterday, urging the government to pressure Beijing to quit blocking other countries from signing free-trade agreements (FTA) with Taiwan as both sides mull an economic pact.

Wednesday will mark the agreements’ first anniversary after they were signed on Nov. 4 last year by Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and his Chinese counterpart, Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait. The agreements addressed direct sea links, daily charter flights, direct postal services and food safety.

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Newsflash

Police in China’s restive Xinjiang region have launched a fresh manhunt aimed at capturing fugitives wanted in connection with deadly ethnic violence in July this year, state media said yesterday.

The regional public security bureau’s “Strike Hard and Rectify” campaign, which began on Sunday, will run until the end of the year, the Xinjiang Daily reported.