Rainy days ahead: bureau
More rain is expected in the next few days as the nation comes under the influence of consecutive weather fronts, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. Unstable weather was forecast to hit northern, eastern and central Taiwan beginning yesterday, followed by higher chances of rain between tomorrow and Sunday, when another front is expected to pass over the country, the bureau said. Temperatures should remain around 18°C to 24°C in the north and between 20°C and 28°C in the south until Saturday, it said. However, a significant drop in the mercury is likely over the weekend and into Monday due to the arrival of a cold air mass. Daily lows could plummet to 13°C in coastal areas, it added.
Rare shark catch probed
Coast guard officials in Taitung yesterday said they were investigating a fishing boat suspected of violating a ban on catching a rare shark species. The officials said they were checking a fish market when they found the 31kg shark on the deck of a Singang Harbor-registered fishing boat. The shark was identified as an oceanic whitetip, a large pelagic species that inhabits tropical and warm temperate seas. They reported that it was the third incident this year of fishermen being caught with this kind of shark. Oceanic whitetip numbers are low and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission announced a complete ban on their catch beginning on Jan. 1. Inspections have been stepped up to implement the ban.
American dies in accident
An American woman was killed and another injured when the scooter they were riding ran off the road on Tuesday on Green Island (綠島), police said. The deceased, identified as Anna Rosemary Harris, 18, died of a neck injury at the scene. Roberta Maria Preisinger, 54, suffered a broken wrist and facial injuries and was taken to a hospital in Taitung County. Her injuries were described as not life-threatening. The rental scooter that they were riding veered off the road when going downhill and fell about 9m down a ravine, the police said. Four other people were traveling in the group, but a police officer answering press inquiries late on Tuesday said that details about the accident had yet to be established, because there was no one on hand to interpret for the Americans.
Nation has fewer children
The number of children in the nation has fallen dramatically over the past five years, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday, a day before Children’s Day. Children under 12 accounted for 11 percent of the nation’s total population last year, down from 13.3 percent in 2007, it said. The DGBAS said the government would continue to carry out child-related social welfare measures to ensure that children receive basic financial support and live a healthy life while easing Taiwanese couples’ angst over having and raising a child. According to DGBAS statistics, 314,000 people received parental leave subsidies totaling NT$5.33 billion (US$178.39 million) last year, up from 233,000 people receiving NT$3.92 billion a year earlier. Under the policy, new parents can take parental leave of up to two years before their child turns three, and they can receive 60 percent of their monthly salary during the first six months of the leave period.