Rains to ‘triple’ in 20 years
A scientist yesterday urged the government to beef up flood defenses as global warming would cause the amount of heavy rain dumped on Taiwan to triple over the next 20 years. The projection is based on data showing the incidence of heavy rain has doubled in the past 45 years, coinciding with a global rise in temperatures, said Liu Shaw-chen (劉紹臣) of Academia Sinica. The estimate comes two months after the devastation wrought by Typhoon Morakot, which left more than 700 people dead. “The government will need to enhance its land planning and flood prevention measures since we’ll be seeing more and more Typhoon Morakots in the future,” said Liu, who heads the institute’s Research Center for Environmental Changes. Taiwan’s temperature has also been going up, with the number of days with “excessive heat” — above 36ºC — in Taipei doubling since 1961, he said.
Hundreds call to claim cash
A police station was jammed with 200 phone calls from people trying to claim a hefty reward for helping find three bags of cash dropped by an armored truck, local media reported yesterday. The calls started to come in after the bags, which contained NT$7.55 million (US$230,000) in cash, rolled out of a truck in Keelung City, TVBS cable news channel reported. The bags were quickly recovered, as at least one person called police after watching them fall off the vehicle, while another picked up the bags and brought the cash to a nearby police station. As word spread of the incident, hundreds of people rang the police station saying they had placed the initial call about the dropped bags. However, only the person who actually delivered the money to police is entitled to the reward, which can be up to 30 percent of the total amount, based on local regulations. Police in Keelung declined to comment on the report.
Crop losses hit NT$41m
Agricultural losses from Tropical Storm Parma had reached NT$41.12 million (US$1.3 million) as of Monday, the Council of Agriculture said yesterday. The storm early this month left one dead and caused flooding in 30 areas in Yilan County. Yilan bore the brunt of the damage, suffering NT$40.409 million in agricultural losses.Council tallies showed that crop losses amounted to NT$28.61 million, with green onions the hardest hit. Meanwhile, 22.3 hectares of farmland in Yilan were washed away by floodwaters brought by the typhoon.
AIT launches video contest
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday launched the 2010 Democracy Video Challenge, a worldwide contest aimed at enhancing global dialogue on democracy. Budding filmmakers, democracy advocates and the general public are invited to create video shorts that complete the phrase “Democracy is…,” an AIT press release said. Seven winning videos will be chosen — one each from Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe, the Near East and North Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Western Hemisphere, as well as one anonymous video, it said. Winners will be granted an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, New York and Hollywood, where gala screenings of the winning videos will be held, it said. They will also meet film directors, public officials and democracy advocates from non-governmental organizations in the US, it said. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 31.
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
Peggy Chen (陳佩琪), wife of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), yesterday said that the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) claim that Taiwan had warned the WHO about possible human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 was “far-fetched.” The US on April 9 said that the WHO had put politics first and ignored Taiwan’s early warning in December last year, which the WHO denied the following day. The WHO said that it received an e-mail from Taiwanese authorities on Dec. 31 last year, but that “there was no mention in the message of human-to-human transmission.” Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC,
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
PROTECTION LACKING: DPP Legislator Lai Pin-yu said that currently, victims cannot legally force online platforms to remove sexual videos or imagery of them A bill to prevent the nonconsensual distribution of imagery or videos of sexual acts between adults on Friday passed a first reading and has been forwarded to a Legislative Yuan committee to be discussed. The bill was jointly proposed by 18 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators. It seeks to promote gender equality, uphold righteous and moral social conduct and to protect the privacy of individuals, all of which would help prevent incidents similar to South Korea’s “Nth Room” case, the proposal said. The Nth Room involves a criminal investigation into the distribution of sexually exploitative videos via the Telegram app from 2018 to