Temperatures stage rally
Daytime temperatures around the country went up by 4?C to 5?C yesterday as the low temperatures and rain that had people shivering in most areas over the past week gradually give way to drier and warmer weather, the Central Weather Bureau said. The more moderate spell of weather will likely last for four days before another cold front and a strong continental cold air mass are expected to reach the nation from the north on Wednesday, the bureau said. Today’s highs will exceed 20?C throughout the nation, and on Tuesday temperatures are likely to rise to about 25?C in northern and eastern areas and up to 28?C in the south, the bureau said. The next front is expected to last until Friday, bringing low temperatures, precipitation and possibly heavy rain to the north and the northeast, it said.
Lee reveals surgery
Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) revealed yesterday that he underwent surgery for skin cancer two weeks ago and is expected to be completely cured of the disease in a few months. Lee said on the sidelines of a book launch in Taipei yesterday he was diagnosed with skin cancer after inquiring about the scar above his upper lip. “These were cancer cells that had gone deep into the skin,” Lee said, adding that he had gone for a medical check after his family thought the spot was abnormal. Lee said the operation had removed all of the cancer cells and he expects to be in complete remission in a few months.
Japanese students increase
An increasing number of Japanese have come to Taiwan to learn Mandarin or pursue other studies over the past decade, bucking a trend of decreasing interest in studying overseas among Japanese students. Citing data from the Japanese government, the Ministry of Education said that 30 percent fewer Japanese are going abroad for education than 10 years ago. However, the number of Japanese students at Taiwanese universities, particularly at Chinese learning centers, has increased over the same period, from fewer than 2,000 to more than 3,000. The famed hospitality of Taiwanese is a major draw, according to students. Since 2006, the ministry has been encouraging foreigners to join short-term Chinese language tours in Taiwan. There have been 198 such tours to date. As of the end of last year, 150,000 people had taken the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language, a locally developed examination to determine the Chinese proficiency of non-native learners.
Meteorology exchanges start
Taiwan and China are to begin official exchanges on meteorology and earthquake monitoring once the two sides ink cooperation pacts at a high-level meeting scheduled in Taipei later this month. The Straits Exchange Foundation and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits are scheduled to hold the meeting from Feb. 26 to Feb. 28 at the earliest, during which they are to sign the separate agreements on meteorological cooperation and seismic monitoring. Pending legislative procedures, the agreements would see the Central Weather Bureau working formally with the China Meteorological Administration and China Earthquake Administration for the first time. Both sides will organize their own task forces and begin convening meetings on data sharing, personnel exchanges and technological cooperation, officials said.