Bureau issues rain warning
Residents in the southeast of the nation and on the outlying Green Island (綠島) and Lanyu (蘭嶼) — also known as Orchid Island — should be on high alert for heavy rainfall caused by Tropical Storm Bebinca, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. Daren Township (達仁) in Taitung County had seen 201mm of rainfall between midnight and 10:30am yesterday, with more rain expected in the area over the course of the day, forecasters said. Greater Kaohsiung and Pingtung County could expect 130mm of rain, the bureau said, warning of flooding, falling rocks and high waves. As Tropical Storm Bebinca is likely to bring in southwestern winds over the next few days, central and southern Taiwan could also face downpours and thunderstorms, the bureau added.
Canada warning issued
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday issued an “orange” travel alert for several areas in Alberta, Canada, after days of torrential rainfall triggered serious flooding there. The ministry urged Taiwanese to avoid unnecessary travel to Calgary, the largest city in Alberta Province, and the mountain resorts of Banff and Canmore. Ministry spokesperson Anna Kao (高安) cited information sent by overseas representative offices saying that only a few Taiwanese tourists had been in Canmore hotels because the highway was closed. In the ministry’s four-color-coded travel advisory system, an “orange” alert is the second-highest level. In case of emergency, the ministry urged Taiwanese to call the 24-hour emergency line on 1-604-377-8730, or the emergency liaison center at 886-800-085-095 for assistance.
Lychee farmers get boost
The nation is to begin exporting lychees to Australia next year as part of efforts to expand the overseas market for the fruit, a Council of Agriculture officials said, adding that they have had some very positive responses after 10 years of promotional efforts. Australian experts came to Taiwan earlier this month for on-the-ground inspections and such exports are “very likely” to be allowed by the next harvest season, the council said. The fruit is harvested mainly in June. Taiwan currently exports lychees to China, Canada, Japan and Malaysia, with a total annual average of about 1,000 tonnes shipped, the council said. In addition to lychee exports, Taiwan and Australia are also planning further exchanges through mutual visits and workshops for farmers, the council said. To ensure a year-round supply of new tropical fruit varieties to meet domestic and international demand, the two countries are also discussing the possibility of further technical cooperation, it added.
Ma gets clean bill of health
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday completed his annual physical checkup at Taipei Wanfang Hospital, where two colorectal polyps were found that appeared to be benign. The hospital is conducting a biopsy on the polyps, and is to present the results in three or four days. According to Taipei Wanfang Hospital president Lee Fei-peng (李飛鵬), Ma’s overall health is very good, with most of the checkup results similar to last year. Ma’s physical checkup lasted about nine hours and Lee said the presiden’s eyesight is better than average though he has a slight cataract. Ma’s heart and vital capacity are in great shape thanks to his habit of running, but he has suffered some joint issues, he added.
Lawmakers yesterday approved the Executive Yuan’s nomination of Transitional Justice Commission Acting Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠) to head the agency, as well as the nominations for seven commission members. Former commission member Yeh Hung-ling (葉虹靈) is to serve as deputy chairwoman, while commission member Peng Jen-yu (彭仁郁) is to retain her post. The new members of the commission are Judicial Reform Foundation executive director Chen Yu-fan (陳雨凡), National Chengchi University professor Frank Wang (王增勇), National Taiwan Normal University associate professor Lin Chia-fan (林佳範), Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) and National Dong Hwa University associate professor Awi Mona. All
A DECADE’S WORK: The two-volume, 1,400-page lexicon has collected more than 20,000 words and phrases, and is expected to help people learning the Liu Dui dialect The Liu Dui Culture Research Association on Saturday unveiled the nation’s first domestically compiled lexicon of Hakka-language words in the Liu Dui dialect, an effort that took a decade of work and cost about NT$7 million (US$233,085 at the current exchange rate). The two-volume, 1,400-page lexicon collected more than 20,000 phrases and words, and is estimated to be of great value in helping people learn the Liu Dui dialect and culture, the association said. It could also become a reference book for teachers, the association added. The lexicon collected phrases and common words used in daily speech, as well as local sayings, phrases
EXPANSION: The transportation ministry is to subsidize Taipei and Kaohsiung’s purchase of 63 multipurpose taxis, as well as the payment of incentives for drivers The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is appropriating nearly NT$60 million (US$2 million) to subsidize plans by the Taipei City Government and the Kaohsiung City Government to expand their multipurpose taxi fleets, it said over the weekend. The ministry said that it has since 2013 subsidized the multipurpose taxi service nationwide, as it has become a way for disabled people to travel. The nation has 980 multipurpose taxis, including 301 in Taipei and 272 in Kaohsiung, ministry statistics showed. Last year, the service was accessed more than 200,000 times in Taipei and 460,000 times in Kaohsiung, which the ministry said shows
The One Bear Museum in Hsinchu County’s Guansi Township (關西), a teddy bear museum once touted by the county government as a “luminous pearl” along Provincial Highway No. 13, is facing possible closure. The museum’s building, which was provided by the county government, has a serious water leakage problem and lacks a parking lot for buses to bring in tour groups, Hsinchu County Councilor Lo Shih-shi (羅仕琦) said on Saturday. The county government should step in to rescue the museum, or the negative reviews about the museum on the Internet might affect visitors’ impression of the township and the county, he said. The