Crew members rescued
All 14 crew members aboard a Cambodia-registered freighter that ran aground in waters off Penghu yesterday morning have been rescued, according to aviation police. Two helicopters were dispatched by aviation police to rescue the crew members, they said, adding that the crew members are now staying at a temporary shelter.
New ambassador named
William Tapia Aleman, who was the first overseas Nicaraguan student in Taiwan, will succeed Juan Marcos Garcia Borgen as the country's ambassador next month, Simon Ko (柯森耀), director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of Central and South American Affairs, said yesterday. "Aleman graduated from National Taiwan University ... He has plentiful experience in diplomatic affairs and deep understanding of the country. He can speak both Mandarin and Taiwanese," Ko said. Garcia Borgen now serves as deputy head of the department in charge of Asian and African affairs of Nicaragua's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Changhua to open bike trail
Bikers in Changhua County will soon have a new place to enjoy themselves when a scenic bike trail is completed in April next year, county government officials said on Wednesday. The officials said the 14km bike trail currently under construction starts from a water park in Tianwei Township (田尾) and will pass through a series of scenic spots, including an ecological park along the Choshui River and the Hsihu Sugar Factory. They said the central government has agreed to appropriate NT$30 million in support of the project. After the trail is completed, cyclists may ride along the route while enjoying nearby scenic spots, the officials said, adding that they may also take a rest and stop at eateries along the trail to savor local delicacies. The officials hope that the new bike trail will attract bike lovers from neighboring counties and boost local tourism.
New species found
A recent survey of intertidal invertebrates at Lungkeng Nature Reserve in Kenting National Park has found a species not seen in Taiwan before, marine biologists said yesterday. Chao Shih-ming (趙世民) -- a research fellow at the National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung -- said his team began the survey early this year at the Pingtung County park. The team found at least 10 species of phylum echinodermata, 58 species of phylum mollusca and 44 species of phylum arthropoda and many other marine animals, Chao said. A lithotrya nicobarica reinhardt never before found in Taiwan was discovered, Chao said, while another two species had been spotted in Kenting. Lithotrya nicobarica reinhardt originated in the Indo-West Pacific region. It has a small shell of about 1cm in width and usually inhabits coral reefs or rock crevices, he said.
CAA chief not worried
Civil Aeronautics Administra-tion (CAA) Director-General Billy Chang (張國政) said yesterday that he was not worried about a possible exodus of local pilots to foreign airlines. He said the hiring of Taiwanese pilots by foreign companies shows that the quality of their skills has been recognized. Rishworth Aviation officials recently visited Taiwan to recruit pilots for airlines in the Middle East, India, Vietnam and China.