Temperatures to drop
Temperatures around the nation are likely to drop over the weekend with the arrival of a cold front from China, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The mercury could hit lows of 13°C to 14°C in northern Taiwan, 14°C in central Taiwan and 15°C in the southern and eastern parts of the country, the bureau said. Eastern Taiwan and northern areas could also see intermittent rain tomorrow, the bureau forecast. Relatively warm temperatures are likely to return on Monday as the front moves offshore, but the arrival of another cold front and a strong northeast monsoon on Tuesday could push temperatures down again slightly in northern and eastern Taiwan, the bureau said. Intermittent rain is also expected nationwide on Tuesday, the bureau said.
Foreigners cut from party
Not as many foreign guests will be invited to attend President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) May 20 inauguration ceremony as were invited to his first inauguration in 2008, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday. The decision is a cost-cutting move, said Wu Chin-mu (吳進木), director-general of the ministry’s Department of Central and South American Affairs. Apart from high-ranking officials from Taiwan’s 12 diplomatic allies in the region, Wu said his department does not intend to invite guests from other countries. MOFA spokesman James Chang (章計平) confirmed that invitations will be issued based on a set of guidelines provided by the Presidential Office. About NT$20 million (US$625,000) should be saved by canceling the firework displays and parties that usually accompany presidential inaugurations, according to an anonymous source familiar with the matter.
Excess overtime is common
Excessive overtime was found to be the most common type of labor law violation in a recent wave of inspections conducted by the Council of Labor Affairs, an official said yesterday. The inspections, carried out in the second half of last year, targeted businesses that had a record of poor compliance with labor laws. Chen Hui-ling (陳慧玲), chief of the council’s Department of Labor Standards, said that of 4,517 violations found, 1,227 cases (27.2 percent) involved extending overtime beyond the legal limit. Failure to pay overtime was second-most common, with 1,200 cases (26.6 percent). There were 667 cases (14.8 percent) of employers failing to keep attendance records, and 432 cases (9.6 percent) of workers not being fully paid, Chen said.
Ma to meet Boao delegation
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is scheduled to meet today with vice president-elect Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and his delegation before they leave for China to attend this year’s Boao Forum, which will start tomorrow. Wu, who will be attending the forum in his capacity as the top advisor to the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation, might meet with Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (李克強), who is widely tipped to be China’s next premier, during the conference on Hainan Island. Sources familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that if Wu and Li meet, their talks will focus on economic issues and not touch upon sensitive political topics. Former foreign minister Fredrick Chien (錢復) is heading the 50-strong delegation, which includes Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), Taiwan Stock Exchange chairman Schive Chi (薛琦) and Cathay Financial chairman Tsai Hong-tu (蔡宏圖).