Biodiversity classes offered
People who wish to get involved in the conservation wildlife are encouraged to join classes focusing on Taiwan’s endemic species. To encourage public participation, the Council of Agriculture’s Endemic Species Research Institute will host 13 “biodiversity investigators training classes” from next Monday through Sept. 11 in Nantou County. The classes will cover 10 different categories of life, including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, butterflies, snails and plants, and will include both technical knowledge as well as field studies. Those who complete the course will have the opportunity to help work on Taiwan’s endemic species database, the institute said. More information is available on www.tesri.gov.tw/ngis2009/ or call 02-2731-0290, ext. 25.
MOFA rebuts report
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday rebutted a report in the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) that former Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀) was planning to come to Taiwan for a personal visit in November. Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊) said the ministry had made no such arrangement and that he had heard nothing of such a plan until he saw it in the paper. The Liberty Times report said an invitation was made by a figure in Taiwan’s cultural arena who is close to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). Lee served as Singapore’s prime minister from 1959 to 1990. He visited in 1994 under the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government and again in 2004 when invited by former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
Taipower fines KRTC
Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) was fined NT$860,000 by Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) for excessive use of electricity on May 20 during a concert ahead of the World Games. KRTC public relations manager Marian Chiang (江惠頌) said on Sunday the company had received a bill from Taipower in May that included a penalty. The concert drew about 30,000 passengers on the Kaohsiung MRT, leading the company to increase train services as well as personnel to facilitate services. The company now fears a similar penalty could appear in the next bill, as the opening of the World Games on Thursday drew even more passengers than during the concert. “We hope [Taipower] will not cause us to lose our profit,” Chiang said.
‘Apollo 11’ exhibit opens
An exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing opened yesterday in Taipei, featuring posters, film screenings, books and lectures to showcase one of the most important moments in human history. The exhibition, called New Era of Discovery, was organized by the American Institute in Taiwan in collaboration with the National Central Library and will run though Aug. 2 to showcase NASA’s manned space missions. Launched on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 mission was the first manned mission to land on the moon, making mission commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin Jr the first humans to walk on the moon while command module pilot Michael Collins orbited above. Former US astronaut Marsha Ivins made a speech at the ceremony yesterday titled “My Journey with NASA Missions,” in which she shared her adventures and those of other astronauts. A veteran of five space flights from 1990 to 2001, Ivins has logged more than 1,318 hours in space.