Eva Cheng

On November 6, quoting the Ministry of Public Security, the official Xinhua News Agency proudly announced there were only 17,900 “mass incidents” — Beijing’s term for mass protests — in the first nine months of 2006. Xinhua said it represented a drop of 22% from the same period last year.

Under an historic November 8 agreement between the ruling Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the Maoists will dissolve their parallel government by November 26 and join an interim government that will be set up no later than December 1. The CPN(M) waged a 10-year guerrilla war seeking to end Nepal’s feudal monarchy. It has established a parallel administration in some 80% of the country.

Just as a five-month-old campaign to oust him was losing momentum, President Chen Shui-bian was rocked on November 3 when the public prosecutor indicted his wife, Wu Shu-chen, and three other people for allegedly embezzling US$450,000 from a special diplomatic fund.

Many of the 2.6 million US soldiers who served in the Vietnam War have contracted cancer and a cocktail of serious health problems that they believe to be directly linked to their exposure to the dioxin-contaminated defoliant Agent Orange. The US military sprayed Agent Orange heavily in some parts of Vietnam for 10 years during the war.

The drive to oust Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has been put on hold as the major parties jostle to win the December 9 mayoral and city council elections for the major cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung.

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