Daily Briefing


Taiwan today accepted the resignation of its civil-aviation chief, after the island's worst air disaster and a spate of subsequent incidents. Civil Aeronautics Administration Director Tsai Duei offered to resign within hours after the Feb. 16 China Airlines crash that killed 202 people.


Vice President Al Gore will travel to Israel next month to represent the United States at celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the nation's founding.


About 2,000 unemployed young Britons will be given free deodorant, shampoo and shower cream so they are clean at job interviews. Drugstore chain Boots has donated "image presentation packs" for distribution at job centers in Kent as part of a government drive to get young people off welfare.


Canada's "Senator Siesta," famous for long bouts of absenteeism in Mexico, has resigned six weeks after he was unceremoniously suspended from the unelected upper house of the Canadian Parliament.

The Senate had stripped Sen. Andrew Thompson of his $45,100 annual salary in February because he had appeared only a handful of times since 1990. By resigning, Thompson will now be able to collect a $33,600 annual pension, two years earlier than if he had waited until the mandatory retirement age of 75.

Thompson, 73, had said his chronic absenteeism was due to poor health, although Canadian photographers stalking his residence at La Paz, Mexico, saw a well-tanned man running errands with no apparent difficulty.

Today in history

-- In 1609 English explorer Henry Hudson sailed from Amsterdam on his third and final voyage seeking a northwest passage to Asia. Instead, on this voyage, he found the huge bay that is named for him.

-- In 1807, the British Parliament abolished the slave trade.


South Africa has decided to shoot all pigeons in its northwestern diamond-producing area, because the birds are being used to smuggle gems out of the country.

"Diamonds are being strapped onto the body of pigeons and flown out of the country. The law now is to shoot all pigeons on sight," said Manda Msomi, chairman of parliament's public enterprises committee.