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Hau stays mum over Xinsheng

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Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday remained low key about an inconclusive investigation by the city into questionable expenditures for the Xinsheng Overpass reconstruction project, urging the public to wait for the result of a legal inquiry into the controversy.

Hau said his government “put its heart and soul into the probe” and would make public the results once the interviews were concluded.

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Chen’s office asks public for small donations

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The office of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday announced belt-tightening measures and asked for public donations to sustain its daily operations until February after a recent amendment revoked Chen’s perks as a former head of state.

Chen Sung-shan (陳淞山), manager of Chen’s office, said it would continue to operate despite the financial difficulty. To sustain the NT$540,000 (US$16,800) monthly expenses, he said the office would implement austerity measures to cut costs.

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Key IT firm may be China-owned

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An information technology company that provides key systems software for much of the country’s financial institutions is alleged to have been bought by a major China-based investor, an opposition legislator said.

The purchase has raised questions among Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers on just how much of Taiwan’s sensitive financial data may have flown across the Taiwan Strait to Chinese companies.

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Hau admits crisis of overpriced flowers

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Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) admitted yesterday that problems with procurement contracts handled by the city government have dampened his popularity and clouded his bid for a second term in the year-end election.

“It is without a doubt a crisis,” said Hau of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), adding that he has briefed President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) — who doubles as the KMT chairman — and KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) on the ins and outs of the matter.

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Overpass review reveals overpricing

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A closer look at more than 500 purchase plans from the Xinsheng Overpass construction project found that besides the flowers and plants, the contractor also overcharged at least seven other purchase plans, the Taipei City Government said yesterday, promising to check the project’s budget thoroughly.

The city government revealed the latest findings on the project after Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday presided over the first meeting of a task force formed on Friday to investigate if any corruption was involved in the purchase plans for the overpass and the Taipei International Flora Exposition.

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'Made in China' expo products anger Taipei residents

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Taipei residents have alleged that commemorative products for the Taipei International Flora Exposition which begins on Nov. 6, dubbed by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) as the nation’s biggest ever international exhibition, are almost all made in China.

Angry residents contacted the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) to complain about the issue saying they were shocked to find the products were made in China, with one resident saying although he originally felt proud about Taipei holding the expo, now he felt ashamed after he purchased some commemorative products to give to foreign friends and found the products were labeled “made in China.”

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‘Martial law’ still rules campus

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Curfews at dormitories, bans on demonstrations, skyrocketing tuition and gender inequalities in school regulations are among the violations of student rights’ that are still common at schools, a group of students said yesterday after investigating 65 universities across the country.

“Apparently, many schools are still under martial law, since more than 60 percent of the universities in the country still have school rules restricting students’ rights to hold assemblies and demonstrations,” Cheng Yi-chan (鄭亦展), a student at Chang Gung University’s Computer Science and Information Engineering Department and a member of the Student Rights Team, told a forum yesterday.

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Page 119 of 148

Newsflash

A new study urges the White House to improve US intelligence ties to Taiwan and to support the nation’s indigenous submarine program.

Published this week by the Project 2049 Institute, the study calls for a massive intelligence-sharing system that would include the exchange of everything from radar and sonar data to secret information from signals, human agents and imagery.