Three Taiwanese arrested
Bangkok police say they have arrested three Taiwanese and a Thai after seizing 230kg of heroin before it could be smuggled to Hong Kong. Police Lieutenant General Chaiwat Chotima said investigators seized 678 bars of heroin worth 426 million baht (US$13 million) at a hotel in Bangkok’s outskirts on Thursday before the drugs were delivered to smugglers. Chaiwat said yesterday the Thai suspect was arrested at the hotel, while the three Taiwanese were caught before they boarded a flight to Hong Kong at Suvarnabhumi Airport. He said the four are facing a charge of possessing drugs for sale and will be investigated on drug trafficking charges. Police believe the value of the narcotics would increase five to 20 times when sold abroad.
Airports handle more traffic
The growing number of overseas tourists visiting Taiwan has resulted in a rise in the number of passengers handled by Taiwan’s main airports in the first half of the year, according to Ministry of Transportation and Communications statistics. A total of 14.75 million travelers used Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in the first six months of this year, or an average of 82,000 per day, setting a half-year record for the airport. A total of 2.79 million travelers, or an average of 15,000 per day, used Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) in the January-to-June period, the highest number the airport recorded in a half year in nearly seven years. Of Taiwan’s three main international gateways, only Kaohsiung International Airport saw a decline in passenger traffic from a year earlier. The number of passengers it handled fell by 1.6 percent in the first half, primarily because of a decline in traffic on a domestic route to the outlying island of Kinmen.
Salgueiro concert tomorrow
Portuguese singer Teresa Salgueiro will bring the traditional urban folk music of her country to Taiwan, in a one-night-only performance this weekend, organizer Le Pont des Arts Agence Artistique said yesterday. The 44-year-old diva, who starred in Lisbon Story by Wim Wenders in 1994, will perform selections from the movie soundtrack, fado songs and other music at her concert tomorrow, Le Pont des Arts said. Salgueiro, who is visiting Taiwan for the first time, said at a press briefing in Taipei that she hoped her performance would help give Taiwanese a better understanding of the city of Lisbon. Fado, a musical genre that can be traced back to the early 1800s in Portugal, is characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and is characteristically infused with sentiments of resignation, fatefulness and melancholia. Salgueiro’s concert will be staged at the National Concert Hall in Taipei.
Peak meteor shower viewing
Stargazers have a chance of getting a good look at the Perseid meteor shower next week, one of the most spectacular celestial events this year, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The meteor shower, which started in the middle of last month and continues until late this month, will peak between 2:15am and 4:45am on Tuesday, the museum said. Conditions for star-watching should be good after the new moon sets at about 10pm on Monday, the museum added. The Perseid shower has a rate of about 100 meteors per hour from a radiant near the North Star, where the Perseid meteoroids strike the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up, the museum said.