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.
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.
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.
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.
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
Taiwanese have donated more than NT$10 million (US$329,946) to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, following an appeal for help by a Yilan-based Italian priest to save his “other homeland.” Catholic Father Giuseppe Didone on Wednesday issued a public letter asking for donations to be made to the fundraising center of Camillian Saint Mary’s Hospital Luodong to purchase emergency provisions, including surgical masks and protective gowns, for medical personnel in Italy. Didone yesterday expressed his gratitude and said that he was touched by the love shown by Taiwanese. While state-funded hospitals in Italy are mostly adequately supplied, many local clinics are suffering from
Taiwanese sports are to return next weekend, with the baseball and soccer leagues starting their new seasons, although there are to be restrictions for spectators and protective measures due to COVID-19. The Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) season was originally scheduled to begin on March 14, then pushed back to March 28, before settling on next Saturday. “To conform with the government’s mandate limiting crowds at outdoor events, we will strictly limit the total number of people at each league game at fewer than 200,” CPBL secretary-general Feng Shen-hsieng (馮勝賢) said. “This figure will include the players, coaches, team employees, ballpark