Wed, Oct 14, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■WEATHER

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.

■SOCIETY

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.

■AGRICULTURE

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.

■CULTURE

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.

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