Typhoon could affect nation
Typhoon Trami has developed into a super typhoon, the Central Weather Bureau yesterday. Trami, which was upgraded into a super typhoon at about 2pm, was1,080km east-southeast of the nation’s southernmost tip, bureau data showed. It was moving west-northwest toward Japan’s Ryukyu Islands at 17kph. It could start affecting Taiwan on Friday, the bureau said, adding that there is a chance that the eye could cross Taiwan. Ferry services between Taitung County and Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼) are to be suspended from noon today until Friday and services between Taitung and Green Island (綠島) are to be halted from tomorrow to Friday, ferry operators said.
Giraffe dies of ‘choking’
Hsiao Shun (宵順), a male giraffe in the privately run Wanpi World Safari Zoo in Tainan, died suddenly in its enclosure on Sunday, the zoo said yesterday. A preliminary finding following an autopsy suggests that it died of choking, the zoo said. A photo of the seven-year-old animal lying on the ground at the zoo was posted on social media, with the person who took the photo writing Hsiao Shun fell to the ground suddenly, vomited and stopped moving. A veterinarian checked Hsiao Shun and pronounced it dead. Hsiao Shun was the sixth offspring of a giraffe couple at Taipei Zoo. It was sent to Wanpi World for mating in 2013 under a giraffe conservation cooperation program with Taipei Zoo, in the hope of increasing the diversity of genes of giraffes in captivity.
Schools set up Pune center
National Chengchi University and Flame University of India have set up a Center for South Asian and Southeast Asian Studies, with the aim of making it an important platform for academic and policy exchanges between the two nations. The center was founded in Pune, the second-largest city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, on Friday last week. It is tasked with promoting and integrating bilateral academic exchanges between Taiwan and India, said center executive director Liu Chi-feng (劉奇峰), a Taiwanese associate professor of politics at Flame University, adding that it should help promote mutual understanding and cooperation between Taiwanese and Indian students.
Flood control impresses
The mayor of the Philippine city of Dipolog yesterday proposed setting up a system between his city and Kaohsiung to exchange experiences in flood management in the face of challenges posed by extreme weather conditions. Dipolog Mayor Darel Dexter Uy brought up the idea while visiting a 4.5-hectare detention basin in Kaohsiung’s Sanmin District (三民) — one of 15 such facilities in the city that also serves as park. The detention ponds are effective in reducing rainwater runoff, as seen when meter-high floods in parts of Kaohsiung triggered by heavy rains late last month receded within one hour, said Han Jung-hua (韓榮華), acting head of the city’s Waters Resources Bureau. As climate change has made more extreme weather events inevitable, the emphasis in flood management should be shifted from flood prevention to disaster mitigation and evacuation, Han said while accompanying Uy on a tour of the pond. Uy said he planned the visit hoping to learn from Kaohsiung’s experience in flood management, because Dipolog has never made use of artificial flow control structures such as detention basins, despite being vulnerable to flooding.
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
CAUTION: The CECC would first observe how the nation fares after easing domestic restrictions and wait for the pandemic to further subside before making its next move The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that relaxing domestic restrictions and border controls simultaneously might complicate efforts to reopen the nation, amid discussions about Taiwan’s exclusion by other countries in their first lists of tourists. The center hopes for there to be a period of observation following the easing of domestic restrictions, before it decides what to do next, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a daily news briefing in Taipei. Chen was responding to a question about the reasoning behind the central government’s decision not to allow foreign students into the
Taiwan respects other countries’ decisions not to include it in their first lists of tourists allowed entry when they reopen their borders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday reported that the Japanese government was considering reopening the country to tourists from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand first. Greece on Friday announced that from June 15, it would allow visitors from 29 countries, including Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and Germany. Japan has not yet finalized its visitor list, but the ministry has conveyed its hope that Tokyo would