Taipei cooks in 38℃ heat
Temperatures in Taipei hit 37.8℃ yesterday, the highest on record so far this year and the sixth-highest since records began early last century. A weatherman with the Central Weather Bureau said that the weather will remain hot and humid throughout the nation for at least the next three days under the influence of a strong high pressure system in the Western Pacific. Temperatures yesterday were over 35℃ everywhere in the nation. There might be some afternoon thunderstorms on Thursday and over the weekend, the weatherman said.
Qatar lifts entry ban
The Qatari Ministry of Health on Sunday lifted an entry ban imposed on travelers coming from Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. An official source at the Health Ministry said this step followed the latest reports of the World Health Organization regarding the SARS disease, indicating it was under complete control in these countries and that no new cases were registered lately. The ministry had imposed a 14-day quarantine on travellers coming from these places. The source confirmed that no cases of SARS infection have been registered in Qatar.
■ Foreign labor
Fire kills Thai woman
A Thai woman was killed in a fire at a textile factory in Chiayi County's Shuishang township late Sunday night, police said yesterday. Two other Thai women who worked at the factory were badly burned in the fire and remain in critical condition in intensive-care wards, police said. The deceased was identified as Strilark, police said, adding that the 22-year-old had inhaled too much smoke and was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital. The injured women were unconscious when firefighters discovered them and took them out of the burning factory building.
Fat fish go on diet
The National Pingtung Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium has been feeding vegetables to the sea fish in its aquarium to help them lose weight. "We used to feed our fish shrimps, squid and oyster. After eating this for a long time, the fish became fat and their colors faded. The increased nitrogen in their excrement polluted the water in the aquariums," a marine biologist at the Pingtung aquarium said by phone. "The meat diet also affected their hormones, disturbing their breeding cycle," he said. "Through research, we realized that fish in the sea eat both meat and sea weeds," he said. So last year, the aquarium began to add two vegetable meals to the diet of the fish. "Twice a day we tie vegetables with ropes and dip them into the aquariums. The fish swamp to the veggies and chew on them," the biologist said. The vegetables are mainly cabbage, spinach, carrot and turnip.
Farmers help Panama
Taiwanese agricultural experts have helped farmers in Panama's Darien, Veraguas, Herrera and Cocle provinces to build structures for growing tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans and other vegetables, according to officials of the Republic of China Embassy in the central American country. Each structure covers either 175m2 or 350m2 of land and allows for pest- and climate-controlled conditions for the vegetables being cultivated. So far, 37 of the structures have been built under a cooperation project, according to the officials.