Sat, Mar 10, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff Writer, with CNA

WEATHER

Cold front moves in

A cold air mass moving in from China sent the mercury plunging yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau said. Temperatures in areas north of Changhua County plummeted to a low of about 10oC late yesterday evening as the cold air mass picked up strength, the bureau said. The cold spell is forecast to persist until Monday, when it is expected to weaken, the bureau said. The front is also expected to bring rain to northern and central Taiwan, while snow is likely in mountainous areas, it said. Temperatures are expected to hover around 11oC to 14oC in the north, 11oC to 17oC in central areas, 14oC to 19oC in the south and 12oC to 20oC in the east.

RAILWAYS

TRA sets up ties with Japan

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) will start selling limited numbers of commemorative products at select stations on Monday, as its CK124 steam locomotive establishes sister ties with Japan Rail’s Hokkaido C11 steam locomotive. To celebrate the new ties, the TRA said it would introduce commemorative products featuring the logos of both countries’ railways. A total of 300 T-shirts, 600 hats and 900 key chains will be on sale starting at 10am on Monday at TRA shops at the Taipei Railway Station and the Neiwan Station in Hsinchu County, and on the CK124 steam locomotive train between Hsinchu and Neiwan leaving Hsinchu at 10:09am.

DIPLOMACY

New Singapore envoy tapped

Taiwanese Representative to Switzerland Hsieh Fa-dah (謝發達) has been appointed as the country’s new representative to Singapore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Singapore officials have said they welcomed the new appointment, Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) said on Thursday, adding that it would probably take two to three months before Hsieh assumes his new post. While serving as vice minister of economic affairs, Hsieh participated in talks with the city-state under the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP). Yang said ASTEP talks were ongoing and would be one of Hsieh’s main responsibilities. While Taiwan and Singapore may hold their own views on the economic partnership, everything is proceeding smoothly, Hsieh said.

SOCIETY

Childcare program revamped

Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) yesterday said the ministry planned to expand a childcare subsidy program by enlarging the pool of qualified child-minders. Under the current program, families that employ licensed nannies for children aged under two are entitled to a monthly subsidy that ranges from NT$3,000 to NT$5,000 depending on their household income. Once the expansion has been approved by the Executive Yuan, families that hire nannies who are not professionally licensed, but who have graduated from a vocational high school or a college or university’s department of childcare, home economics or healthcare, or those who have concluded a 126-hour professional training program, would be entitled to a subsidy ranging from NT$2,000 to NT$4,000 per month. Lee added that under the renewed program, the grandparents of children aged under two who are the primary caregivers could also be defined as child caregivers, as long as they complete the 126-hour training program and acquire certification.

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