Temperatures to rise
Temperatures across the nation could rise significantly over this week, starting today with daytime highs of 20°C to 26°C nationwide, the Central Weather Bureau said. From tomorrow to Wednesday, the mercury is expected to climb even higher, with daytime temperatures set to hover between 22°C and 27°C nationwide, the bureau said yesterday. Meanwhile, sporadic showers can be expected in northern and northeastern areas today and the chances of rain are likely to increase until mid-week, as clouds heavy with moisture move in from the south, the bureau said. It said that a newly formed tropical storm in the Pacific is unlikely to affect the nation significantly. Tropical Storm Sonamu, the first storm of this year’s Pacific typhoon season, was centered 1,800km south-southwest of Taiwan’s southernmost tip as of 8am yesterday, bureau forecasters said.
Book fair to be held on ship
The Germany-registered passenger ship Logos Hope is scheduled to hold a book fair at Keelung Port from tomorrow until Jan. 20, the organizers said yesterday. More than 5,000 books on science, sport, cuisine, art, philosophy and language will be on display the German charity Good Books for All (GBA) Ships said. There will also be a “life experience” section that will allow visitors to, for example, feel what it is like to be an AIDS patient, the organizers said. Logos Hope is the latest addition to GBA Ships and is twice the size of MV Doulos, a similar type of floating bookstore that has visited the nation several times. The ship is carrying about 400 volunteer crew members from 56 countries, working in positions such as engineers, accountants and chefs.They will engage in cultural exchanges with visitors, the organizers said.
Spanish firm wins rail bid
A company from Spain has won the opening bid to build a light rail system in Greater Kaohsiung. Kaohsiung City Government Secretary-General Wu Hung-mo (吳宏謀) said Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles won the bid with a project cost estimate of about NT$5.68 billion (US$195.86 million), lower than the NT$5.8 billion base price set by the government. The Spanish firm will construct the project jointly with the Taipei-based Evergreen Construction Corp, Wu said. The 8.7km light rail transport system is a major project that is expected to help promote economic development in the area near Kaohsiung Port, according to the city government. The transport system will connect many important facilities in the city.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tung Kuo-yu (董國猷) has been appointed Taiwan’s representative to the EU and Belgium, the Presidential Office announced on Friday. Tung, 60, will take up the post that was made vacant when his predecessor, David Lin (林永樂), was appointed foreign minister late last year. Once he formally assumes office, Tung is expected to push for a working holiday agreement with Belgium and an economic cooperation agreement with the EU. Well-versed in European and North American affairs, Tung has been posted in Houston and New York before taking over as deputy representative to the US in April 2008. Joseph Shih (石定), current deputy head of the ministry’s Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs, will succeed Tung as vice foreign minister.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by