Torrential rain forecast
A strong weather front accompanied by increasing southwesterly winds could bring the nation its heaviest precipitation next week since the plum rain season began in May, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. Torrential rain with hourly precipitation of over 200mm is likely in western and northeastern Taiwan from Tuesday to Thursday, when the frontal system passes over Taiwan, the bureau said. With the strength of seasonal winds from the southwest also expected to reach a peak at the same time, the bureau said, the unstable weather conditions could cause substantial flooding. However, the rain could help bring down temperatures across the nation to below 30°C, the bureau added.
Fraudsters to be deported
Forty-five Taiwanese nationals suspected of taking part in two Philippines-based telephone fraud rings were deported from the country and sent back to Taiwan yesterday after being caught in mid-April. The suspects, who were arrested immediately after arriving at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, will be subject to a criminal investigation. The 45 were among 72 Taiwanese nationals and 6 Chinese suspects who were arrested in Davao on April 18 after Taiwanese and Philippines police raided three of their suspected operating bases. An initial investigation showed that members of the rings, led by two Taiwanese, posed as judicial personnel, local officials or call center employees to coax or intimidate victims into wiring money into the swindlers’ accounts. The remaining 27 Taiwanese nationals are expected to be deported at a later date after raising enough money to cover their travel expenses.
Rummage sale at TAS
The Taipei American School (TAS) Orphanage Club will be hosting its annual end-of-school-year rummage sale today from 10am to 5pm. Club members have collected a huge variety of new and used clothing, shoes, stuffed animals, games, furniture, electronic items and other miscellaneous items. The sale will be held in the school’s forecourt and lobby, come rain or shine. All of the proceeds go to the club’s funds for needy children and orphans in Taiwan and its outlying islands, as well as AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania. TAS is located at 800 Zhongshan N Rd Sec 6 in Tianmu (天母).
Zongzi prices to be probed
Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said yesterday that the government is looking into prices of zongzi (粽子) — glutinous rice dumplings — and it would publish the results next week ahead of the Dragon Boat Festival, when the popular treat is traditionally consumed. Jiang, who is also the head of a Cabinet task force on consumer price stabilization, said that convenience store chains’ catalogues of pre-sold zongzi showed price increases from last year, despite the price of some ingredients being lower. Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Chen Wen-te (陳文德) said prices of round and long-grain glutinous rice are 8.3 percent and 20.87 percent lower than last year respectively, while the price of pork — the main filling — had fallen to NT$69 (US$2.30) per kilogram from NT$72. Council of Agriculture data also showed prices of duck eggs, mushrooms and peanuts, commonly used as filling, are either the same or slightly higher than last year.