Wed, Apr 04, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Weather
Warmer days on the way

The arrival of a polar air mass has brought inclement weather to most parts of the nation, and weather conditions are not expected to improve until tomorrow, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. According to the bureau, the cold front has brought showers to many parts of Taiwan and pushed the mercury down, with Tamsui (淡水) in the north recording 12.5oC early yesterday. The bureau said that there is a 60 percent to 70 percent chance of rain for most parts of the nation over the next two days, with heavy rain expected in mountainous regions. Temperatures will reach around 16oC in the north, 20oC in the east and 23oC in the south in the day. Temperatures are expected to rise from tomorrow, but northern Taiwan will continue to experience showers, the bureau said.

■ Society

After-school hours extended

Elementary schools in Taipei City will be permitted to extend their after-school care for one hour to 7pm under a new measure that is expected to be implemented soon, the city's director of education said yesterday. Wu Ching-ji (吳清基), however, added that while the city government supports the idea of prolonging the current child care schemes to cater for busy parents who are unable to look after their children after school, it will respect each school's decision on whether to extend its after-school care. Wu made the announcement at a press conference held by the Federation of Parents Associations in Taipei City at the city hall. The group suggested that as the number of double-income families and single-parent families has been on the increase in the city, the city government should work to create a safe environment for children with parents who work.

■ Fishing

Agency defends subsidies

Fishing subsidies for the purpose of environmental protection and marine resource conservation should be allowed, while subsidized fishing operations should be prohibited, officials from the Fisheries Agency said on Monday. The officials made the remarks after Taiwan was labeled as one of the world's leading subsidizers of fishing following its opposition to a comprehensive ban on subsidies to fishing fleets at the WTO. Taiwanese representatives will continue to explain the nation's stance on the issue to the international community, the officials said. Taiwan provides far fewer fishing subsidies than Japan and South Korea, the officials stressed, adding that Taiwan ranks 20th in the world and 11th in Asia in terms of subsidies for fishing operations, while globally, Japan is in first place and South Korea is 12th.

■ Society

Density second highest

The country's population density of 632 people per square kilometer is the second highest in the world among countries with a population of at least 10 million, according to statistics released yesterday by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS). Bangladesh tops the list with a population density of 985 people. Among the 25 cities and counties in Taiwan, the population density of the two largest municipalities -- Taipei and Kaohsiung -- is the highest, at nearly 10,000 people per square kilometer, according to the DGBAS statistics. The tallies indicate that the nation's population stood at 22.87 million at the end of last year, up 106,000 from the level at the end of the previous year. During the year, there was a net natural increase of 69,000.

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