Goshawks hordes migrate
More than 12,000 Chinese goshawks flew past Kenting, Pingtung County, on Saturday, the highest number in a single day this year, as they migrate south for the winter. The number of Chinese goshawks passing Kenting peaked between 6am and 7am, with more than 5,000 birds recorded flying overhead. The number went up to 12,000 by day’s end, breaking this year’s previous record of 9,000 birds in one day. So far, 49,000 Chinese goshawks have passed Kenting, according to the latest statistics released by Kenting National Park Headquarters. Tsai I-jung, a technical specialist at the park, said that still more Chinese goshawks are expected, though they are believed to have been delayed by Typhoon Sanba, which stopped the southbound migration.
Taiwan wants detainees
The government wants the Philippines to immediately deport nearly 300 Taiwanese who were arrested by Manila police in a massive anti-fraud crackdown after one died and some began falling ill inside crowded detention centers. Philippine authorities arrested 380 suspected members of an online fraud syndicate, including 291 Taiwanese, 86 Chinese and one New Zealander, in simultaneous raids last month in houses in metropolitan Manila and nearby Rizal province. It was the most arrests made a single day in a Philippine anti-crime operation in years. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Manila, said yesterday it wanted the Taiwanese to be deported “as soon as possible.”
Matsu joins in lake swim
A wooden boat carrying a statuette of Matsu, the Goddess of the Sea, joined a record number of swimmers in crossing the nation’s largest fresh water lake yesterday in an annual mass swimming event. The boat was escorted and pushed forward by 66 swimmers from Chiayi County on the 3,000m swim across the approximately 800 hectare Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County. The Nantou County Government and the Masters Swimming Association of Taiwan said at first they had declined to accept the registration of the Singang Fengtian Temple in Chiayi out of concern for the presence of a religious group in the event. However, they relented after the temple administration showed said the deity’s participation would bless the event. The number of total swimmers in this year’s event rose to 28,390, from 27,138 last year, organizers said.
Working holidays on the rise
Taiwan was the fifth--largest country of origin for people visiting Australia for working holidays last year, behind Britain, South Korea, Ireland and Germany, Australian authorities said. About 130,000 people were in Australia on working holiday visas at the end of last year, up 14.4 percent from the end of 2010. The number of Taiwanese in the program was the nationality that saw the biggest growth, up 46.3 percent from 2010, according to Australian immigration department figures. Australia gave 9,112 Taiwanese permits to join the program last year, 51.7 percent more than a year earlier, the department said. Taiwan reached a reciprocal working holiday agreement with Australia in April 2004. It is the only country among Taiwan’s working holiday partners that does not cap the number of Taiwanese who can participate in the program in any given year.