Team heads to Honduras
After a month-long search for three representatives to be sent to Honduras to inspect projects in the region, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) yesterday announced that Kung Kuo-wei (宮國威), a teacher familiar with Latin American affairs, Lin Shih-yin (林詩音), an employee at Taiwan Fertilization Co and Wu Chia-yin (吳佳音), a media representative, had been chosen out of 149 applicants. The group, headed by author Wu Dan-ru (吳淡如), left on a 10-day trip to Honduras yesterday. ICDF secretary-general Chen Cheng-chung (陳正忠) said that this marked the first time for a civic group to assess an ICDF project. Chen hoped that through the group's trip, the public would understand the importance of development assistance abroad.
Officials warn on smuggling
Quarantine officials warned the public yesterday not to smuggle animals and plants from China into Taiwan and urged people to refuse to purchase a product if its origin cannot be determined, as reinforced measures were taken to prevent infectious diseases from being brought into the country. The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine under the Council of Agriculture recently killed 20 dogs smuggled from China in an effort to prevent rabies from entering Taiwan, bureau officials said. Rabies is endemic in China but Taiwan is rabies-free. According to bureau statistics, a total of 96 dogs smuggled from China had been seized up to the end of this month. The bureau also called on people to inform officials of animal and plant smuggling activity by calling a telephone hot line at 0800-039-131.
Official proposes exchange
Chinese National Tourism Administration Director Shao Qiwei (邵琪偉) yesterday proposed that Taipei's National Palace Museum enhance its exchanges with Beijing's Palace Museum to attract more Chinese tourists. Shao, who arrived in Taiwan the day earlier as the head of a 66-member delegation, made the proposal during a visit to the National Palace Museum, where a wealth of precious Chinese antiquities are displayed. Shao later visited Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and the holiday flower market in Taipei, located under the Chienkuo overpass. Shao was invited by the Taiwan Visitors Association to visit Taiwan in his capacity as president of the Chinese National Travel Association. Beijing announced earlier this year that it will allow more Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan and it is widely believed that Shao's visit is aimed at paving the way for this policy.
Train tests to 300kph
A test train on the high-speed railway achieved 300kph, the highest test speed so far, over a distance of around 25km yesterday, the Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) announced in a press release yesterday. The test took place on the Kueijen (歸仁) village section of the railway in Tainan County. THSRC officials said the tests are done mainly to check the trains' acceleration and braking systems, and their integration with the track, machinery and electronics system. When the new 345km railway is inaugurated, a trip from Taipei to Kaohsiung will take less than 90 minutes. The high-speed railway will form the backbone of western Taiwan's transport network and will connect eight metropolitan areas between the nation's two largest cities.
The chief mechanic in an air force unit from which an F-16 and its pilot went missing last week died on Sunday evening in what might have been a suicide, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. The ministry in a statement confirmed media reports that the mechanic, surnamed Huang (黃), “hurt himself” at a military barracks. Huang was taken to Hualien Armed Forces General Hospital after he was found unresponsive in the barracks, but doctors could not revive him, the ministry said. Huang served in the 26th Tactical Fighter Group of the 5th Tactical Fighter Wing, the same unit as the missing
‘VIRUS DIPLOMACY’: The nation’s expertise in handling COVID-19 was among the reasons that it should not be excluded from the WHO, the European Parliament said The European Parliament this week passed resolutions that support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO and its intention to negotiate a trade pact with Taiwan. During its plenary session from Monday to Thursday, the parliament approved resolutions on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and the EU’s trade policy, parts of which were viewed as friendly toward Taiwan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a statement yesterday, the ministry welcomed the passage of the resolutions and thanked the parliament for its support for Taiwan. In the first resolution, the parliament cited Beijing’s increasing threats to Taiwan, the crackdown on
NON-TYPICAL: Apart from Atsani, storms in autumn missed Taiwan, rainfall has been lower and average temperatures have been higher, a CWB forecaster said The current water shortage is expected to worsen in the next few months, with the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) yesterday forecasting a colder, dryer winter than normal. With winter starting next week, the bureau at a media briefing outlined the expected conditions through February and reviewed autumn’s significant weather events. Weather Forecast Center director Lu Kuo-cheng (呂國臣) said that autumn this year had three major characteristics: First, 13 tropical storms and typhoons formed from September to this month, up from 11 in the same period last year, Lu said. Apart from Atsani, for which sea and land alerts were issued in Taiwan, the tropical
The gig began with a nun chanting on stage, but suddenly erupted into a wall of noise unleashed by distorted guitars and screamed sutras — the unique sound of Taiwan’s first Buddhist death metal band. The nation has a vibrant metal scene, but few outfits are quite as eye-catching as Dharma (達摩樂隊), a band that aims to deliver enlightenment via the medium of throaty eight-string guitars and guttural roars. Dressed in robes — black, of course — they use traditional Sanskrit sutras as lyrics, but everything else screams death metal, from bloody face paint on stage to growled vocals, relentless riffs and