Ang Lee appreciates Taiwan
The greatest benefit of winning an Oscar for his 3D box office hit Life of Pi (少年PI的奇幻漂流) would be to get the chance to thank Taiwan under a global spotlight, Taiwan-born director Ang Lee (李安) said in Taipei yesterday. Visiting Taipei after a film promotion tour in Japan, Lee said his biggest hope was to have the chance to express appreciation to his native country, where more than 70 percent of Life of Pi was filmed. He added that the film was only made possible because of the help and encouragement received from the people in the country. Life of Pi has become the highest-grossing film of the US-based director’s career, raking in US$452 million worldwide as of Jan. 17, according to the Web site Box Office Mojo. The movie has received 11 nominations, including Best Director and Best Picture, for the 85th Academy Awards to be presented on Feb. 24.
Speaker going to US
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) is to attend US President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony tomorrow on behalf of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Taiwan’s representative office in Washington said. Wang, who will head a six-member official delegation, was to leave Taiwan yesterday. After arriving in Washington, the group is to attend a dinner with Taiwanese expatriates today and atttend the inauguration ceremony tomorrow with Taiwan’s representative to the US, King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), the office said. The other five members of the delegation are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman John Chiang (蔣孝嚴), KMT legislators Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) and Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) and Democratic Progressive Party legislators Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) and Mark Chen (陳唐山). The delegation is scheduled to return to Taiwan on Thursday. Meanwhile, King will attend the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Feb. 7.
Temperatures to rise
Temperatures across the nation are forecast to rise, with daily highs likely to reach 23°C in most areas, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The cold surge that had enveloped Taiwan since Thursday has weakened, with warmer weather expected to extend into next week, the bureau said. Clear skies are expected until Tuesday, when increasing seasonal winds could bring showers in northern Taiwan and send the mercury dropping again, the bureau said. Temperatures will range between 13°C and 24°C in the north, 12°C and 23°C in central Taiwan and 13°C and 26°C in the south, the bureau predicted.
Traffic to be regulated
Traffic control measures on the nation’s freeways will be implemented during the Lunar New Year to help avoid traffic congestion, transport officials said. The holiday, which runs from Feb. 9 to Feb. 17, is relatively long this year and more people are expected to travel than usual because of this, the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau said. During peak travel hours the journey between Taipei and Kaohsiung City could take as long as seven hours, the bureau said. Traffic control measures on the nation’s freeways, such as the suspension of tolls between midnight and 7am, will be applied for the entire holiday period, according to the bureau. The bureau added that on Feb. 9, Feb. 13 and Feb. 14, only vehicles with three or more passengers will be allowed to get on the freeways.