Sat, Oct 15, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff Writer, with CNA

WEATHER

Banyan unlikely to hit

Tropical Storm Banyan, which has been downgraded to a tropical depression, is likely to regain strength and develop into a tropical storm again, but the chances of it hitting Taiwan are small, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. Banyan, which formed southeast of Taiwan on Tuesday, was downgraded to a tropical depression after it made landfall in the Philippines on Thursday. However, it has been picking up moisture as it moves across the South China Sea and has the potential to develop into a storm, the bureau said. As of 8am yesterday, the depression was located 700 km southwest of Taiwan’s southernmost tip of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), moving in a north-northwesterly direction at 20kph, the bureau said. Although it is unlikely to pose a direct threat to Taiwan, the bureau cautioned there could be sudden downpours nationwide over the weekend. It also warned that residents in eastern Taiwan should be on high alert because the area was still recovering from heavy precipitation brought by Tropical Storm Nalgae.

IMMIGRATION

NIA told to toughen stance

The Ministry of the Interior instructed the National Immigration Agency (NIA) on Thursday to step up a crackdown on runaway or illegal foreign workers. According to the latest statistics released by the agency, a total of 31,912 foreign workers have absconded from their jobs and only 2,179 have been detained. Deputy Minister of the Interior Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) warned employers not to hire illegal foreign workers or those on the run. Employers who do so could face a fine of between NT$150,000 and NT$750,000. Foreign workers who have been listed as missing persons would face deportation if caught, he said. The ministry has asked local governments to enhance inspections of workplaces such as public construction sites and entertainment venues frequented by foreign workers, he added.

CRIME

NTNU steps up security

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) yesterday said it would step up security measures after at least four female students reported being groped at night over the past two months. The university said the measures would include giving female students a whistle to draw attention and increasing the number of light fixtures and closed-circuit televisions. NTNU secretary-general Lin An-bang (林安邦) said the school has also told each department to remind female students to travel in groups when going out at night and to make sure that doors are closed when they are in individual study rooms or classrooms. According to the school, the suspect is a man in his 30s, adding that near-by Shihda Night Market has also reported similar incidents.

CULTURE

Annual jazz festival begins

Greater Taichung’s annual jazz festival opens today, which Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) said has become a major music festival in Asia. The festival will run till Oct. 23. The line-up includes the Charles Tolliver Band and the Sirius Quartet, as well as Scene of Jazz from Japan, Koh Mr Saxman from Thailand and outfits from Malaysia, South Korea, Shanghai and Hong Kong. According to Hu, in the early years of the festival, a lack of funding and performers meant that the city had to call agents in Thailand, Japan and South Korea to find bands willing to travel to Taichung to perform. In the ensuing years, however, the festival has gained in popularity through word of mouth, Hu said, adding that he expects it to attract up to 800,000 people this year, up from last year’s 750,000. He also expressed hope that the festival, now in its ninth year, will attract 1 million people next year.

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