Sat, Dec 30, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

WEATHER

Early 2018 to be warm, dry

Normal or slightly warmer temperatures are expected with a limited chance of rain in the first quarter of next year, Central Weather Bureau Weather Forecast Center Director Lu Kuo-chen (呂國臣) said. This has to do with the weakening of La Nina, which usually causes ocean temperatures to drop, as well as the strengthening of northeasterly winds, which are to reduce rain in central and southern Taiwan, Lu said. However, January and February are typically the coldest months of the year, so even though there have been no cold surges this year, the bureau cannot rule out cold snaps in the coming months, Lu added. As for weather trends over the past year, he said this was possibly the warmest year in recorded history, with an average annual temperature of 24.4°C.

IMMIGRATION

Online status check launched

From Monday, foreign residents who hold Alien Resident Certificates (ARCs) or Alien Citizen Digital Certificates can apply online to see whether they are prohibited from leaving Taiwan, the National Immigration Agency said yesterday. Residents can already file their tax returns and check departure and entry dates online, saving them the trouble of visiting agency offices, the agency said. However, people from China, Hong Kong and Macau will not be covered by the program for the time being, it added. Legal foreign residents aged 18 or above are eligible to apply for an Alien Citizen Digital Certificate at local agency service centers by submitting a valid ARC, it said. Applicants must pay NT$275 and register the number of their application form at moica.nat.gov.tw within 15 days of applying, it added.

CULTURE

Israel chosen as show theme

Israel is to be the theme nation for next year’s Taipei International Book Exhibition, the organizers announced on Wednesday. The exhibition is to run from Feb. 6 to Feb. 11 and is to feature various events, including talks, movie screenings and virtual reality experiences, Israeli Representative to Taiwan Asher Yarden said. Visitors will be able to experience Israel with all five senses, as it will feature some iconic sights, tastes, smells, sounds and textures from the country, theme planning director Hsieh Pei-ni (謝佩霓) said. Four renowned Israeli authors — Noa Yedlin, Yannets Levi, Gil Hovav and Hanoch Piven — are to attend, along with the indie-folk acoustic band Di Gasn Trio. Israeli food and drinks are also to be showcased at the event, which is to take place at exhibition halls 1 and 3 of the Taipei World Trade Center.

CRIME

Special gang unit launched

A special unit aimed at combating fraud, narcotics sales and other gang-related crimes was on Monday launched by the Criminal Investigation Bureau. The Special Tactical Unit, a team of 26 elite officers, is to combat crime and help carry out various advanced tactical operations, bureau Commissioner Liu Po-liang (劉柏良) said. In addition to supporting criminal investigations, the unit is also to conduct exchanges on counterterrorism training with foreign law enforcement agencies, Liu said, adding that he hopes to see increased exchanges with agencies from the US and Europe. The unit will be equipped for a variety of scenarios, including sniper detail, surround and capture, and close-quarters combat in an urban environment, the bureau said. Members will be armed with weapons including Glock 19s, M4 assault rifles, SIG-SSG-2000 sniper rifles and MP5 submachine guns, it said.

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