Ang Lee to move into US TV
Double Oscar-winning Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee (李安) is moving over to television after winning an Academy Award for best director last month for Life of Pi, US cable channel FX said on Thursday. FX said Lee is to direct the pilot episode of its drama Tyrant, about an unassuming US family drawn into the affairs of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation. Production is due to start in the summer but no broadcast date or casting has been announced. Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff — the team behind Emmy-winning psychological thriller Homeland — are the executive producers. FX and TV production company Fox 21, which is producing Tyrant along with FX Productions, are all units of News Corp.
Group calls for blackout
The Society of Wilderness is urging a million people in the nation to switch off their lights for an hour next Saturday to support and observe this year’s Earth Hour, during which 100,000kWh of electricity could be saved. The Earth Hour, organized by the WWF, is held annually in late March and is now in its seventh year. People across the world will turn their lights off at 8:30pm next Saturday — at the participants’ local time — this year to show that they can change the world by altering their behavior and attitude toward global climate change. More than 200 million people took action last year, with the organization urging the public to save energy and reduce carbon emissions to ease global warming, said the Society of Wilderness, one of the organizations that is to participate in the event. Last year, about 600,000 people joined the effort nationwide.
Court upholds jail terms
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a two-year prison sentence against Wang Ren-bing (王仁炳), a former Presidential Office official, for leaking confidential information to China. In the case, the court also upheld the Taiwan High Court’s eight-month prison sentence for Chen Pin-jen (陳品仁), a former aide of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Liao Kuo-tung (廖國棟), for allegedly passing the state secrets he received from Wang to Chinese intelligence operatives. The ruling is final and cannot be appealed. Wang allegedly handed the 2008 inauguration documents of then-incoming President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to Chen. Chen then faxed the documents to Chinese intelligence authorities. Wang was convicted of violating the Classified National Security Information Protection Act (國家機密保護法), while Chen was convicted of privacy offenses.
Report lists HSR subsidence
Subsidence along the nation’s high-speed rail (HSR) line lessened in three places in Yunlin County, but worsened in Changhua County last year, according to a report released yesterday by the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. However, the system remains safe, it said. Last year, Huwei Station in Yunlin County sank 3.9 cm, compared with 4.6cm the previous year. The ground near Yunlin County’s Tuku Township (土庫) and provincial highway No. 78 sank 4.8cm, from 7.3cm recorded in 2011, while an area along county highway No. 158 in Yunlin County sank 4.4cm, compared with 5.5cm in 2011, the report said. Subsidence in Changhua County’s Sijhou Township (溪州) worsened, sinking 4.3cm, 1.9cm more than in 2011. The report said the differential settlement along the railway line remained within the standard limits of one in 1,500. The Bureau of High Speed Rail said it would continue to monitor subsidence.