Mercury to drop again
Temperatures around the nation could drop again starting on Friday due to the arrival of a cold air mass from China, the Central Weather Bureau forecast yesterday. The mercury could fall by about 2oC on Friday and Saturday, before rising on Sunday, when the cold air mass is expected to weaken, the bureau said. Day and night temperatures around the country may vary by up to 10oC, especially in the central and southern areas, from today until Dec. 9, it added. Daily highs during that period are expected to reach 23oC to 24oC in the north, northeast and east, while climbing to 26oC and 27oC in the central and southern regions, the bureau said.
Bangkok travel alert issued
The government on Monday issued a yellow alert for travel to Bangkok and its surrounding areas, warning Taiwanese to reconsider visiting Thailand’s capital as anti-government protests continued. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged Taiwanese planning to visit Bangkok to be vigilant about their personal safety, ministry spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安) said at a regular news conference yesterday. A “gray” travel alert for Thailand has been in place since early last month, as anti-government protesters in the capital tried to storm Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s office, demanding that she step down amid claims that her government is controlled by her elder brother, ousted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, foreign media reports said. Kao also urged citizens not to visit crowded areas in Bangkok and avoid wearing yellow and red shirts, which are the colors donned by the fighting political factions in Thailand.
Legislature votes on CEC
The Legislative Yuan yesterday voted to retain Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairperson Chang Po-ya (張博雅) and Vice Chairperson Liu Yi-chou (劉義周) in their posts, and approved four nominees to the commission. After legislators cast their ballots along party lines, Chang, 71, and Liu both won another four-year term by a margin of 65-42, with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers endorsing the Executive Yuan’s nominees and the opposition parties voting against them. The Democratic Progressive Party caucus said it voted against the nominations because President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had used the commission as a political tool during the so-called “September strife” and because the candidates did not include representatives from the opposition.
Barbie Hsu is pregnant
Actress and singer Barbie Hsu (徐熙媛) — also known as Big S — announced late on Monday that she and her husband are expecting a baby, confirming recent rumors that she is pregnant. Hsu’s statement sparked a media frenzy since she and her husband, Chinese entrepreneur Wang Xiaofei (汪小菲), are well-known in Taiwan and China, and because the high-profile couple have reportedly wanted a baby since tying the knot in 2011. Hsu, the elder sister of TV hostess Dee Hsu (徐熙娣, better known as Little S), married Wang in a lavish wedding in China. The 37-year-old actress became a household name in Taiwan in the 1990s as a member of the duo girl group S.O.S with Dee Hsu, but is best known for her subsequent role in the TV drama Meteor Garden (流星花園).