■ Crime Man caught with diamonds \n \nPolice in Ho Chi Minh City have seized 2,000 diamonds worth an estimated US$2 million this week from a Taiwanese man's house after he was arrested for smuggling stones into Vietnam, police said yesterday. Last week, customs officials at Ho Chi Minh City's airport arrested the 42-year-old Taiwanese man when 229 diamonds were discovered in his luggage after arriving on a flight from Taipei. During raids on his rented house on Sunday and Monday, police found the additional 2,000 diamonds, making it the largest number of gemstones ever confiscated, the police officer said on condition of anonymity. The suspect is being held for further investigation, he said. \n \n■ Diplomacy \nAllies support UN bid \n \nTaiwan's allies Costa Rica and Burkina Faso spoke for Taiwan's bid to join the UN at the 59th UN General Assembly's annual general debate in New York, which brings together heads of state and governments from around the world, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Costa Rican President Abel Pacheco de la Espriella and President of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaore argued for Taiwan's bid on Tuesday. Pacheco reiterated Costa Rica's long-term support for the Taiwan's efforts to participate in the UN. Blaise cited Taiwan's positive cooperation with international organizations and its contribution to human civilization as reasons for the UN to accept Taiwan. Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山), which is visiting the US, thanked the two allies' support for Taiwan's UN bid, a ministry statement said. \n \n■ Fisheries \nRussians fire on fishing boat \n \nA Kaohsiung-registered fishing boat has allegedly been fired at in Russian territorial waters and the Fisheries Administration is helping to investigate the matter. Reports said the deep-sea fishing vessel, Cheng Huei No. 1, trespassed into Russian waters near the Kuril Islands and was chased by a Russian vessel after it refused to stop. The Russian boat was only able to intercept the ship after firing upon it, according to the reports. The crew, from Taiwan, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, were reported to be safe, but 200 tonnes of illegally caught fish were found aboard, the reports said. Fishery officials in Kaohsiung noted that Taiwanese fishing ships operate in the North Pacific fishing grounds for saury at this time of year and that Russia may have stepped up patrols in the region. \n \n■ Weather \nBureau watches typhoon \n \nThe Central Weather Bureau (CWB) is closely monitoring Typhoon Meari, the 21st typhoon reported in the Pacific area this year. The weather bureau is not expected to issue any warnings for the typhoon within the next two days unless Meari hastens its pace and continues moving in a west-northwestward direction directly toward Taiwan, CWB meteorologists said. Typhoon Meari, with a radius of 100km and packing maximum sustained winds of up to 82kph, was centered about 540km northwest of Guam at 8am yesterday. Meanwhile, the weather bureau warned that the first cold front from the north this year has reached Taiwan, bringing down the mercury and showers. The chance of rain today in the northern and northeastern parts of the country is 70 percent, while it is 50 percent in central Taiwan. Temperatures in the north are expected to drop to about 28 degrees Celsius.
FAMILY FEUD: Weng Jen-hsien, who was convicted of killing six people in 2016, was the second prisoner to be executed since President Tsai Ing-wen took office A death row inmate was executed on Wednesday, less than a year after he was convicted of killing six people by setting fire to his home. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he signed the order and the death sentence was carried out on Wednesday afternoon in New Taipei City. The Supreme Court on July 10 last year sentenced 53-year-old Weng Jen-hsien (翁仁賢) to death after he was convicted of killing his parents, niece, nephew and nephew’s wife and his parents’ caregivers. Weng set fire to his home in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) on Feb. 7, 2016, after a family feud
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
IN PRINCIPLE: The Central Epidemic Command Center began yesterday to ban visits to hospitalized patients, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 10 new COVID-19 cases — eight imported and two locally transmitted — bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 339. The imported cases involved six men and two women, all Taiwanese, who had traveled to Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, countries in Latin America, the UK or the US before arriving back in Taiwan between March 6 and Tuesday, center data showed. Among them, patient No. 338 was part of a tour group that traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic, and has resulted in an infection cluster of five cases,