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Dalai Lama tours areas hit hard by Typhoon Morakot

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People wearing T-shirts with a picture of the Dalai Lama on the back wait for the arrival of the Tibetan spiritual leader at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Sunday evening.
PHOTO: CHU PEI-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The Dalai Lama visited Siaolin Village (小林) in Jiasian Township (甲仙), Kaohsiung County, yesterday on the first full day of his five-day trip, where he hugged survivors of Typhoon Morakot and prayed for its victims.

“Mom, Dad, the Dalai Lama has come to pray for you, please come up quickly,” Chen Lan-yin (陳蘭因), a Siaolin survivor, said while the Dalai Lama held a ritual to bring peace to the departed at the site where the village once stood.

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Committee rejects request for referendum on ECFA

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The Executive Yuan's Referendum Review Committee yesterday turned down a petition submitted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) asking for a referendum on the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) that the government plans to sign with China.

The committee turned down the petition at the end of a three-and-half-hour meeting after 13 members voted against the petition, while four voted in favor and two abstained.

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Dalai Lama invited to comfort victims

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The Dalai Lama has accepted an invitation to visit the victims of Typhoon Morakot in southern Taiwan at the end of this month, a Kaohsiung City Government official said yesterday.

Asked about the visit, the Presidential Office told the Taipei Times it had “no comment.”

The Tibetan spiritual leader had expressed his desire to visit Taiwan last November, but President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said then that “the timing isn't appropriate.”

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 August 2009 07:06 ) Read more...
 

Ma cool on starting security measures

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The Presidential Office said yesterday that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has decided for the moment not to activate the national security mechanism in response to the growing threat of an (A)H1N1, or swine flu, epidemic.

The announcement came after calls from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for the president to call a national security meeting in response to the growing threat of a nationwide outbreak.

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MORAKOT: THE AFTERMATH: Swine flu hindering disaster relief work

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Deity figures covered with mud are pictured in Linbian Township, Pingtung County, yesterday.
PHOTO: CNA

Disaster relief work in the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot is being complicated by the emerging threat of a swine flu epidemic, as an increasing number of flu patients are diagnosed and reported nationwide, including several aid workers.

The Ministry of National Defense said in a press release yesterday that 10 soldiers working in the Pingtung area had been diagnosed with swine flu.

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China to put 200 on trial in Xinjiang

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China will this week put more than 200 people on trial over last month’s deadly ethnic unrest in Xinjiang, with security tight because of fears of fresh violence, state media said yesterday.

The trials will take place at the Intermediate People’s Court in Urumqi, the capital of the mainly Muslim northwest region where, according to Beijing, violence early last month left at least 197 people dead, the China Daily reported, citing unnamed officials.

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MORAKOT: THE AFTERMATH: Ma, Liu approval ratings plummet in Morakot’s wake

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President Ma Ying-jeou’s popularity has dropped to a record low of 16 percent in the wake of Typhoon Morakot, and his odds of winning the 2012 election have fallen to 50 percent, according to opinion polls released yesterday.

A survey conducted by the TVBS Poll Center on Monday and Tuesday found Ma’s approval rating had plummeted to 16 percent, while Premier Liu Chao-shiuan’s rating plunged to 13 percent.

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Newsflash


Democratic Progressive Party legislators Chen Ou-po, right, and Hsu Chung-hsin hold a press conference in Taipei yesterday, calling on the Ministry of Justice to immediately release former president Chen Shui-bian from prison on medical parole.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is suffering from various ailments, and it would not be good for him to return to prison, his attending physician told lawmakers yesterday.

Chou Yuan-hua (周元華), a psychiatrist in charge of Chen’s care at Taipei Veterans General Hospital (TVGH), added that it would be better for the former president to be looked after at home or to stay in a hospital that has a psychiatry department near his home.